Today he would be two. My sweet boy. He should be toddling around the house, tormenting his big sisters, cuddling his baby brother. Making us laugh, because of course he would be the most hilarious toddler you’ve ever met. I can sometimes picture him. Other times the image of my son is so far from my mind I can barely remember what his little body looked like when I held him in my arms that day.
We spent last “celebrating” John Karl. The girls and I baked a birthday cake. Kamden was certain he would love chocolate…so chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. Kendall insisted he would love football (and watching her cheer)…so we shaped the cake and decorated it to look like a football. We invited our friends and family over. We ate, we smiled, we laughed, we sent “hugs to heaven” and released balloons in the back yard. I cried.
Time does not heal all wounds. It does bring you farther away from the pain. This only works for the initial pain of his loss. It doesn’t work for all the new things that hurt.
It still hurts. It still hurts so much, but sometimes in a different way. It hurts because I can’t quite remember the feel of him in my tummy, or the kicks to my ribs. It hurts because I don’t remember how he felt in my arms, or what the top of his head felt like pressed to my lips. It hurts because he isn’t wreaking havoc on the toy room or the couch or the wall. I miss him. I miss him so much. So much more than I could ever adequately articulate in blog post. It hurts every time I have to answer the question, “How many kids do you have?” – or some variation of that. It’s an innocent question. It’s so difficult for me to answer. I don’t want John Karl to be forgotten. I want his life to have purpose.
He didn’t stay with us long, but he brought us joy while he was here. I want his life, and his story, and our pain to have purpose for others. Be kind and love. That’s what I hope. Last year I challenged you all to do something kind to remember our boy. I hope you’ll do it again. #loveJohnKarl
Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet boy.