Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrating Hezekiah Day

We celebrated Hezekiah Day on January 9th. Before I go into our events on that day let me go back a bit. Every time we have a baby we get the children gifts from the baby. Hezekiah was due on December 30, 2009 which is also my birthday. Since he was due so close to Christmas we opted not to do Christmas presents as we are rather elaborate in our gifts from the baby. It was a minor concern but we were not sure how we were going to give the gifts due to not knowing how long Hezekiah was going to live. It was a prayer of ours to bring Hezekiah home and be able to give the gifts with him alive and us all together. God answered that prayer on January 9, 2010. Hezekiah and I came home :) What a joyous day it was to walk into the house and have all 7 of our children there. We have very fond memories of that day. Ken and the children had all the gifts in piles ready and I sat holding Hezekiah watching as my precious older children opened their presents. The entire day went to fast, it is one we will never forget.

So this year the children decided they did not want any Christmas gifts but instead wanted to do gifts on what they have named as "Hezekiah Day." We exchanged names and each person bought their name. In the morning Ken read some scripture and then we each went around and said one moment we held being special with Hezekiah. It was hard for us to pick just one but here is what was said.

Ken-The moment he was born and I finally saw my son. He came out crying loudly and was strong. I felt such intense love for him and was overtaken by my emotions.

Michele-When I held Hezekiah for the first time and also at home when Ken placed him in my arms. I did not think that moment would come. For a small time I forgot that death was lingering around us and enjoyed all 7 of my children in our home.

Hannah-When I would tickle under his chin he would smile for me.

Elijah-When Mom and Hezekiah came home and I could hold him. I liked us being together as a family.

Solomon-I liked holding Hezekiah and looking at him. I was happy when Mom and Hezekiah came home.
Naomi-I like when Mom and Hezekiah came home. I loved to hold Hezekiah.

Esther-I love Hezekiah and that he came home. I love my Hezekiah baby that Hezekiah got for me.

Ruth-Holding and kissing Hezekiah with Mommy.

As you have read holding and kissing and being together was what we all are so thankful for.
Once we finished talking we started by giving the chidlren each a bear in memory of Hezekiah. These bears were made by Carol in memory of her son Keith.
They are precious and priceless. Carol used clothes or blankets on the bears ears and feet that was Hezekiah's and the children recognized that on their own immediately. Carol also put a patch on the back of the bears that said the child's name along with in memory of Hezekiah. These bears are the favorite gift on Hezekiah Day. The children have not stopped carrying them around and they are tightly snuggled beside them at night. We also gave them a picture photo book that has pictures. I used pictures of Hezekiah and each child's is a bit different with pictures of them in as well. I am thankful we had those 2 gifts on this day. Thanks to Carol a precious woman who is using her aching heart to bless others.

Then we dug into the other presents in an ordered way of course. We spent the afternoon enjoying our gifts and one another. Towards the later afternoon we had some cake. My friend Wendy had brought us some cake stuff earlier so we made it for this day. Thanks Wendy! My sister in law Lauren stopped over and brought us a small cake and cupcakes also to celebrate Hezekiah's birthday. What a blessing to us to know others care...thanks Lauren, Ben, and Noah.

Our day ended well. I am thankful for Hezekiah and his precious life...we choose to celebrate his life! Of course there is sadness and our hearts ache but for us we must remember these precious days he was on this earth. It helps in our healing and it helps us to remember the good when the bad seems so overwhelming. Thank you Lord for the blessing of Hezekiah and for letting him come home. For making sure even the minor things such as the gifts all worked out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Hezekiah

Today we celebrated Hezekiah's 1st birthday. It is hard to believe it has been a year already, the time has flown right by. I know at this time a year ago I was so excited to be holding my son, amazed at how perfect he was. I was so happy he was alive and with us.

We decided we will celebrate Hezekiah's birthday every year. There will not be a memorial on this day just a birthday party. The reason for this is how we see Hezekiah and what we believe about eternity. Hezekiah is alive and that fact is what gives us the hope to go on. We want to celebrate every year the precious son and brother that God placed in our lives. I was chosen to be Hezekiah's mommy, to carry him in my womb and care for him while he was on this earth. Ken was chosen as his daddy to care and love him as well on this earth. Hannah, Elijah, Solomon, Naomi, Esther, and Ruth were chosen to be his brothers and sisters and none of this was a mistake. Infact it has been planned for before we even knew. Of course, Hezekiah's birthday parties will be different because he is not physically here but we still rejoice in his birth day!

This afternoon we took a wooden cross we made for Hezekiahs grave marker until we decide what to get permanetly put in. Ken parked further up so I had to carry the white cross to his grave site. It was not heavy but as I carried it back the lane I started to cry. Ken met me about half way and took the wooden cross from me. He put his arm around me and I said to him "this is the cross God wants us to carry." We finished the walk back silently. We decided where to put it and I left with the children to get some balloons. When we arrived back Ken was finished digging the hole and had everything in it's place.

Once everyone was out of course there were tears all around. We started by each releasing a balloon for Hezekiah with the children attaching a letter to him. It was cold so we moved things along quickly. We then proceeded to read a letter and open a gift left by Rodney, Janae, and Aliya (who is in heaven). It was so precious and we loved their thoughtfullness. Then we lit a candle and tried to sing happy birthday. It was almost impossible because at that point we were all sobbing. After our failed attempt Elijah blowed out the candle and we placed a stuffed bear and a jingle bell from each child. We held hands, prayed, and cried some more. Oh how we miss Hezekiah.
We then headed home and after some supper we lit some cupcakes lovingly provided by Paula. Again we were blessed with such love shown to Hezekiah and us. We enjoyed eating the cupcakes with some Happy Birthday plates Wendy provided. We spent the evening relaxing and preparing for "Hezekiah day" on January 9th which will be a memorial for him. I will write more about that later.

I also was blessed by several phone calls and facebook messages in regards to Hezekiah's birthday. There is no way to possibly express how thankful we are to those who remember Hezekiah and make the time to let us know. It helps us in the process of healing!
Esther and Hezekiah share a birthday. Esther turned 6 and is absolutely delighted that she shares a birthday with Hezekiah. We are so thankful for these 2 precious blessings God gave to us!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's a new year and I am looking forward to what God has in store for us this year. I know we will still continue to miss Hezekiah and this "journey" will not just all the sudden go away because it's a new year. There will be many more tears and many new firsts without Hezekiah this year as well. But I know we are stronger than we were last year, I know God will continue to guide us and we have faith in him. These past 2 weeks I have made sure to fill my mind with God's truths reading his words over and over again. I am concentrating on reading strength, joy, and contentment. It has helped me so much to continually do this, it fills me with a strength that only comes from God. At times I question the peace I feel and then know it is from God.

Christmas went well but had it's hard moments. We missed Hezekiah so much. There was no little one to tear ornaments off the tree. Nor was there a little toddler to open presents before time and get away with it because of their innocent smile. For Christmas my Dad and Mom in law got us 2 ornaments for Hezekiah. The one we put a picture of him in it and under it says Joy. I love that one and we placed it high up by the star for all to see. The other one said baby's 1st christmas and his name was on it. It also touched us that my Mother in law started the evening prayer out remembering Hezekiah and thanking the Lord for him.
On Christmas Day my sister Maryann and brother in law Doug gave us a willow tree little baby in memory of Hezekiah. It is adorable and we placed it with the rest of the family ones. They also gave us a card and the amount of money they would have spent on him. We cannot express the gratitude we feel when Hezekiah is not forgotten. We could never forget him and are so thankful for those who also do not.

On New Years Eve we spent the night at home because I was not feeling well. The children made ginger bread houses. They spent over 2 hours working on them and had such a blast. Ken sat with them at the table playing the guitar. It was a relaxing, fun evening and one not to be forgotten. These moments are precious and not to be taken for granted!