June 2, 2015 -

"Right now all I can taste are bitter tears, 
and right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow,
but somewhere on the other side of all this pain, 
is that you I hear?, laughing loud, and calling out to me, saying "SEE",
"It's everything you said that it would be, and even better than you would believe.
And I'm counting down the days until you're here with me, and finally, you'll SEE." ~ SCC

May 2011 ~ Avery with his Mickey Mouse

This morning stayed true to the last 3 June 2nds, I woke with the dawn,
read Scripture and cried while the dawn peeked through the blinds of my bedroom window. 

Then I took pictures of the sunrise and was gone the entire day - it was distractingly exhausting. 
It was so good to pour my day into others, there were pockets of joy, and it was good. 
There was lots of quiet in my heart. Lots of tears slipping down my cheeks. Lots of hard memories revisited. 

I'm tired. I'm so sad. I'm so happy he's well and alive and forever,
and I can't wait to be all those things too, but this world hurts a whole lot more without his smiling face and deep belly laughs. 

 3 years seems like such a long time, and yet no time at all. 

Wasn't I just baby-wearing him for 3 days around FPEA? It's heartbreaking, hard and gasping-for-air-unreal.
Sometimes I think I'm dying from lack of air or going straight into a heart attack my chest hurts so much. 

Grief hurts emotionally, psychologically, physically ... every way, it hurts more than anything I've ever known.
I ache for John & Audra, and I ache for Henry & Toby never knowing their older brother.

Losing someone you love makes life complicated, a war zone full of flashbacks and this long train of sadness shows up when you least expect it. I don't expect I'll ever get over it. After all, I love far too deeply to just "be done". There is so much to remember, so much to cherish, so much to love in a person. 

It doesn't, it shouldn't, stop when a person leaves. Love is forever. 

This morning I read one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Psalm 139

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 
If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; If I make my bell in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,", even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. 
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, 
and skillfully wrought in the slowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me,
when as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them! 
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You." 
~ Psalm 139:7-18 ~ 

Avery was such a light in my life.
The spot he held in my heart, he still holds. Even though all my friends continue to get married and have the most adorable children, no one touches the place Avery lives. They remind me of him, sometimes, which is so very bittersweet. 

I wish I could have spent more time with Avery, just getting to know him better.
I really only knew the 4 month old version of him, the older version I knew through countless pictures and videos. 
From his love of Steak 'n Shake & Chik Fil A, though, I'm sure we would have been fast friends. :)

Avery was a great source of joy to me. He was a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and love. 

Avery had and still has - great weight in my world. I'm a firm believer that God uses the smallest among us to so change our worlds in the mightiest ways. Avery reminded me that always was a good time for thanksgiving to Jesus. I was always glad for him, rejoicing over him, I was always at peace knowing he was here. If anything I might have loved and adored him too much, which I think is impossible. :) 

Because Avery has great weight in my world, it's such a special thing to give in memory and honor of him every year on the day of his Homegoing. I always wanted something that would bring joy on this day to someone else Avery's age. For me that means someone near and dear to my heart - orphans in China. 

Each year I donate money in his name to ShowHope to use in a life-saving surgery, in honor of the legacy of Avery. 

Because of a little boy who forever changed my world and the way I look at life, (my life and his),
in joy and in sorrow, in life and in death, in plenty and in want, I've known more love of Jesus
by knowing a little boy named Avery than I would have ever dreamed. 

Avery brought me closer to Jesus. The hope of Avery taught me to pray real prayers from my heart

Avery, you meant so much to me, little man. You are so special that I don't think I ever won't be sad you are here, but I am super happy that you are well and happy with Jesus. After all, Jesus loves you the best. 

Thank you for the nosies and kisses and snuggles. Sometimes all I want to do is talk about you to strangers. 

 The 16 months of knowing you and praying for you are some of my favorite days. You are irreplaceably precious to me.
 {Thank you, John & Audra, for sharing him so much with me, I love you more than you can imagine}

You are forever stamped upon my heart. Heaven is sweeter with you there. 

I love you to the moon and back, always and forever. 

Auntie Jemmie

P.S. Shooting stars still remind me of you.