Happy Fifth Birthday: Celebrating The Birth of A Son Who Didn’t Live

Happy Fifth Birthday: Celebrating The Birth of A Son Who Didn’t Live

Happy Fifth Birthday, John Karl! IMG_6613

I Googled “best gifts for 5 year old boys” because I have no idea what you might be into. The image of your sweet baby face sits in my memory and I will never forget the feel of your body in my arms or the kick of your feet in my tummy, but oh, how I long to know you as you grow from baby to toddler to child, and I’m sure I will want to know you as a pre-teen and a teenager and an adult too.

Sometimes I feel robbed of those days and my heart breaks all over again that we will miss them, so here I am the mom who uses Google to imagine what her 5 year old son might love. Turns out, I didn’t need Google at all. Because though God’s plan meant you didn’t get to live here on earth, you did grow inside me and I birthed you. I know your father, and I know your sisters, and I know your blessing of a baby brother. I am your momma and my heart knows your heart.

My sweet 5-year-old, I know you would be full of spunk (like your middle sister) and adventure (like your eldest sister), of curiosity (like your dad, little brother has this too) and wonder (you’d get that from me, I hope). I know those un-tamable red curls will fit right into a baseball cap while we cheer you on at a t-ball game because certainly you’ll love baseball like Daddy. I can see you snuggled up in the chair with him inquisitively analyzing the batters and understanding the game even at this age.

Wicked smart you’d be – I know it! And just as funny. I wonder if you’d be quiet since the sisters are kind of a lot sometimes. But probably not, you’re one of us. I’m sad I don’t get


to parent you the way we dreamed of, but a teeny bit jealous you’re spending so much quality time with the most amazing Father of all getting answers to all the questions I wish we knew and waiting patiently for the rest of us to catch up.

I hope you saw our hugs to heaven tonight, sweet boy. And this week I hope you are touched by the kind things that we do for others in your honor and reminded that though we can’t love you as tangibly as we’d like we are showing love to all as a way to remember you. #lovejohnkarl

Love you more than words,



Dear friends and readers,

If you took a few minutes of your day to read this post – thank you. Thank you for remembering our sweet John Karl, for understanding and acknowledging our loss. One thing as a mother of a child with Jesus I want, more than anything, is for him to not be forgotten. I promise, there are few things I fear more.

I would treasure your action in his memory. Since John Karl’s first birthday we have tried to remember him by doing something kind for others. Not a grand gesture, something small but kind and maybe unexpected. Perhaps we held the door for an extra person or two, we let the out-of-turn person go first at the 4-way stop, we paid the tokens at the parking garage for the next person, or bought the next in line Starbuck’s drink. Maybe we even took cookies or flowers to the neighbor recovering from surgery or dropped off an double portion of the meal we cooked to the single parent who was super busy this week. Any small thing you can do we tag #lovejohnkarl. These sweet gestures can be anonymous but we do love to see them it encourages us on his birthday and all week long, so if you feel led to share – we would be honored to hear your story of kindness. Thank you for loving him with us and keeping his memory in all our hearts.

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