You’re Four.

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Boy.

Today you would turn four! I can’t even wrap my brain around what that would look like. My sometimes empty arms ache to hold you and squeeze you as you prepare for a new milestone like the first day of preschool – I bet you would be wicked smart like your dad and your sisters, and a bit of a smart alec too. Or your first day of school haircut – we know you were a ginger, but would you be as curly as your little brother, I wonder? Would you be preparing to play soccer in the rain today? Or basketball at the REC center? Would we be lugging a swim bag off to the pool today? Whatever you decided on, I know you’d be committed just like your father and hardworking like your siblings.

In the days (& weeks) leading up to your birthday, I replay the time we lost you over and over in my head. Sometimes it’s just as painful as I recall those days and maybe more because now I’m coherent enough to process the pain and ask all the “what if” questions. What if I’d gone to the hospital a day earlier? What if I’d made up a reason for them to deliver you on this very day like I hoped they would? What if God had saw fit to intervene in a miraculous way and save you – you’d be here with us, would I still feel so broken? I miss you, John Karl. I hope one day you can forgive me for failing to keep you safe – and that one day I can forgive myself when my body failed to save you. I’m so sorry you couldn’t stay.

I am so thankful to be your Mommy. To learn to be your mommy here on Earth while you wait for me in Heaven. Thanks for being so patient. I love to think about all the silly times we had when you were waiting in my tummy – kicking on command for your big sisters, and bonking them in the back of the head with your big foot when they tried to snuggle up to my belly.  Making me seasick with all of your moving around. I miss those movements! I bet you’re on the go now too! So much to see and do.

Today, we celebrate the time we had with you and we wonder what a bright little stinker of a four-year-old you’d be. Rambling through the house like a tornado, I bet, with a smudge of birthday cake chocolate on your chin. I see the spunk of your big sister Kamden when I picture you, and the kindness of your sister Kendall. I see the rambunctious mischievousness that we are blessed to watch in your little brother Koen, and on Football Saturdays, I picture you huddled up next to your dad watching the game and shouting probably for the “wrong” team but making him proud.

I love when others remember your name and say it aloud. It makes my heart smile to know you’re not forgotten by friends and family. Today and all week, we remember you with kindness for others, leaving little blessings along the way showing that we all #lovejohnkarl. We just can wait, Little Man, to see all the wonderful things you’ve done in Heaven and squeeze you tight for always.



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