As I consider what I remember about my first two children when they turned one, I remember how much fun they were. Teetering on the edge of learning to walk - immensely curious - increasingly independent - amazingly involved understanding of language - and just so much fun!
As we've lived this year without Isaiah, of course we miss knowing him and getting to see him grow in these ways. Of course we "see" him in the shadow of those sweet babies that are his age. Of course it seems wrong that there is this hole in our family. Of course I am desperate to keep fresh in my mind what he looked like and felt like...
...Yet amidst all of that, we praise God - that he has brought much grace, healing, and peace. We will never "get over" losing Isaiah...we will never "move on"...but we will choose to embrace the peace and healing our Lord offers as we work through our loss. We will celebrate his short life here. We will celebrate the glory he experiences now. We will choose to continue to live. We will choose to remember.
Would you consider remembering Isaiah with us on his first birthday in Heaven? I've heard about so many beautiful ways people come up with to remember their babies on their heavenly birthdays -- releasing balloons, donating books to the hospital, wearing pins to remind us to speak of their baby to others, writing and photographing the baby's name in unique ways...
As I thought about how I wanted to remember Isaiah, I realized that this remembering is really for us. Isaiah gets to be a part of a perfect, beautiful heaven with our Lord - so what we choose to do here is really for us - to ensure that his life is honored and remembered. Yet I also wanted it to be for others - and to honor God as well. I asked myself - "what could we do to remember Isaiah here that would show the love we have for him and also show the love we receive from God?"
Over the next 2 weeks - between now and Isaiah's first birthday, which is April 2, 2013, we would love for our friends and family to consider remembering Isaiah by doing something kind for someone else. It can be something large or small - planned or random - known or anonymous - to those you know or don't know.
I got this idea from the International Kindness Project, put on by the Miss Foundation annually on July 27 in honor of children lost. They encourage this idea to be used year 'round, so if you'd like - you can print off one of these CARDS to give to the person you serve with kindness if you'd like to let them know that you are doing this in honor of Isaiah. If you aren't sure of what you want to do, HERE are some ideas to get your thought process moving. Just remember that no matter how large or small, we are extremely excited and honored that Isaiah will be the reason for some acts of compassion and kindness over the next few weeks.
If you are able and willing and choose to participate, please share your experience with us once you have completed your act(s) of kindness. Feel free to share on the comments of this blog, through an email to me, or on a Facebook comment, post, or message so that I can compile them in a post here to remember. It doesn't have to be long, but maybe write about what you did...how you decided what to do...the impact it made on them or you...include a picture if it seems appropriate.
So many memories and emotions are intertwined with revisiting these days one year ago...but instead of just the loss and sorrow, next year hopefully we will have new memories of these days...ones filled with beautiful acts of kindness because of you.
As the anniversary of the day we met him approaches, we want to remember the beautiful gift of our third child - Isaiah - and remember all that the Lord has done in our lives because of him.
Thank you for remembering Isaiah with us as he spends his first birthday in heaven.