Monday, April 16, 2012

The affirmation of Jordan

So 5 months ago today, Jordan Reed was born.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.  Five months ago, I wasn't sure how I was possibly going to make it through such a horrible event.  The days seemed endless with constant thoughts about Jordan.  The "what ifs" and the "If onlys" were a consistent thought.  With any wound, no matter how deep, time does help.  It will never heal, but the pain has defiantly subsided.   (for now)

Today I decided to take Brady to the park.  Before playing, my plan was to run 3 miles with the jogging stroller.  I was being quite ambitious as I haven't even ran this particular trail without the stroller.  Well, needless to say we only made it one mile with several ups and downs in the terrain.  Pushing a stroller with an extra 30lbs is no easy task.   Phew! After one lap/mile, I noticed a butterfly at the place we started.  I stopped, got a drink and pushed myself to do one more mile/lap at a slower pace.   At the conclusion of the second lap, the butterfly was still in the same place.  I stopped again and watched it fly around, struggling to keep flight in the wind.  Soon it flew away, never to be seen by me again.  It was as if it was cheering me on and waiting for us as we came back to our finish line.

Now it was Brady's turn to play at the playground.  We were there about 30 minutes when a little girl and her grandma came and played at the same section as us.  The little girl kept following Brady around the playground.  It wasn't long before the grandmother began to coach the little girl my name as she climbed up and down the equipment.   Her name: Jordan.  I couldn't help but watch her and wish it was me calling my child by the same name!

These are just two small ways that Jordan is affirming his presence in my life and it is things that this that keep me going-  signs that he is near!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Poem for Jordan at 5 months

No words I write could ever say
How sad and empty I feel today.

Jordan you were taken from us way too early
Gods plan for you I will never understand.
Everyday I think to myself how unfair it is
You weren't given the chance to become our little man.

Jordan to everyone here you will always be a son, brother, grandson and nephew
I'll cherish the memories I had with you
Even though they were way too few.

I've come to realize nothing will ever bring you back
I know because I've tried
I know because I've asked God why he took you instead of me
And I know because so many times I've just sat and cried.

Never did I think you would come into my life leave so quick and take a piece of my heart
No one can ever take away the memory I have of holding you in my arms as you decided to leave this life and part.

If there's one thing I can take comfort in...
It's that Kohl is with you so your time in heaven without us isn't so rough
I hope you guys will always look down on us
Our time to meet again will come soon enough

So go now and rest in peace Jordan
my son you will always be
The memories of your short time here will always stay close to me.

Jordan we love you more than you will ever know and you will never be forgotten.

Written By: Jordan's Dad

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Memorial

On Apri 7, 2012 we held a memorial service for Jordan and Kohl.   The planning began months ago with the preparation of a date and time.  My sister and I spoke regularly about the memorial and several emails were sent back and forth containing ideas.  

We agreed that the Easter holiday would be a great time to remember our little men.  After all, it is the celebration of the resurrected Lord.  The holiday was all together symbolic for our memorial service.  We decided to include a butterfly release at the conclusion of the service.  The butterfly means: entering of a greater life; just as our Lord and children entered their "greater life."  

At the beginning of March, I ordered a demo kit of Painted Lady butterflies.  It was my job to raise the butterflies and bring them on April 7th.  They came in two separate cups as larvae.  About 12 days after they arrived, they formed into pupae and hung to the top of the cup.  I then transferred them to the sanctuary and waited for them to emerge.  It was approximately one week later that they emerged into beautiful butterflies.  I cared for them by feeding them sugar water and orange slices and misting the sanctuary with water.
The life cycle of a painted lady butterfly is only about 2 weeks.  The butterflies, all nine, emerged 16 days prior to the memorial.  It was nerve wracking to think that they could die any time before the memorial even happened.  Luckily, with fingers crossed, all nine survived the 16 days and 4 hour car ride back to our "home" church in Fleetwood, PA.

My sister's job was to create the programs.  She did a beautiful job.  She designed a 3-fold program containing the order of events, a picture of each of the boys, and several poems and quotes throughout. It is something I will cherish forever.  In addition, she also made colorful butterfly sun-catchers for each family that attended.   They included Jordan and Kohl's name with letter beads and purple and topaz beans to represent their birthstones.  It was super creative and took many hours to make.

The service was really nice.  We invited only our closest family members for a very intimate memorial. We began the service with a prayer, followed by the lighting of two candles while "Held" by Natalie Grant played in the background.   My sister, Chad, and I all spoke.  My sister and I read quotes and passages we have come across during our grief process that struck a chord with us.  Chad read a poem he wrote himself.  Our pastor presented a sermon and then we all went outside to release the butterflies.

I felt a sense of relief after the service.   I was happy that we had planned it and were able to do it in honor of our boys.  I was able to rest a little easier that night knowing it was over.   I felt nervous and nauseous during the days and hours leading up to the service.   I wanted to make sure that we gave the boys the tribute they both deserved.  I wanted everything to be perfect without any regrets- and it was!  No regrets!