Memories of Sweet Evan

I’ve been meaning for the past couple of months to write a post that features some memories of Evan and treasures that help us remember Evan (AS IF we could possibly forget…but you get my drift). Many friends have given us items that have been handmade or ordered in memory of our sweet Evan. For a while I didn’t have the strength to really look at, much less share, these items. As our journey continues, and I become stronger, I am now ready to share some of those things and explain what each of them mean to us. I haven’t found a place in our home for each and every thing yet but they are all in the nursery waiting for just the right place to put them.
First up…. our sweet Evan bear. After Evan passed away my friend Deanna kept asking me for one of his blankets, some outfits, maybe some socks and anything else I thought I might could part with. She assured me that I would get it back but that it needed be something that was special and that Evan actually wore or used. I finally gave her a few things not knowing what in the world was going to be done with these items. A few weeks later at bunco my friend Tracey handed me a bag and said “You don’t have to open it now but this is for you.” I didn’t open it immediately but when dropping my mom off to her car I told her I wanted to open it before she got out. When I did this is what I found.
As you can see each section of the bear is made of a different fabric. The main body and part of the face of the bear is made with the fabric of two of the gowns that Evan wore A LOT! The arms and legs and the rest of the face are from a blanket that he was swaddled in very frequently. The ears are from mittens that he wore (to keep his little hands away from that tube). The elephant was from the blanket also. I love being able to cuddle this bear and remember my sweet Evan and reflect on the days that he spent in the gowns and blankets that this bear was made from. What a special memory. I can’t thank Tracey enough….what a sweet thoughtful gift made in memory of Evan!

Gifts from Kim

Two of these signs were hand drawn/hand written by my friend Kim. The chalkboard one was at his baby shower at school. I just love seeing his full name and that scripture… Numbers 6:24 The Lord bless thee and keep thee. Kim made the comment once that after Evan’s baby shower she had this at her house and every time she would see it she would say a prayer for our Evan. So this is VERY special to us. We also displayed it at the funeral along with the hand painted canvas with the cross. Around the edges Kim wrote the poem that we found around the time Evan passed away. I read it at his funeral and here it is again:

Daddy please don’t look so sad, mommy please don’t cry,
cause I am in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies.
Please try not to question God, don’t think he is unkind.
Don’t think he sent me to you and then he changed his mind.
You see I am a special child and I am needed up above.
I am a special gift you gave him, the product of your love.
I will always be there with you, just watch the sky at night,
find the brightest star that’s gleaming and my that’s halos bright light.
You will see me in the morning frost, that mists your window pane.
That’s me in the summer showers, I’ll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a little breeze from the gentle wind that blows,
that’s me, I’ll be there, planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a little tug,
that’s me, I’ll be there, to give your heart a hug.
So daddy please don’t look so sad. Mommy please don’t cry,
I am in arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.♥

 There is comfort in these words as it helps me imagine a picture of Evan in the arms of Jesus being sung lullabies. Is there a better place to be than in heaven in the arms of Jesus? Could I want anything more for my child?? No way! That’s not saying it’s easy for him to be there rather than here in my arms singing him lullabies myself BUT he’s far better off in heaven with Jesus than he would here on Earth with me. 
You also can see the ultrasound that Kim had made into the big picture. This was one of the few ultrasounds where Evan didn’t have fluid in his belly and it looks like a “normal” ultrasound of his body. Rather than just his sweet face. I have this ultrasound picture on my refrigerator also. It reminds me that God allowed the doctors to heal Evan enough for us to get to experience precious moments with him outside of the womb. Without those interventions we possibly may not have been able to hold him in our arms and kiss his sweet face. And to have him grab our fingers and look into our eyes. All those things that parents dream about. God placed the doctors in our life that he worked through to give us that time with our sweet baby. It’s hard to explain why this ultrasound picture is more special to me…but it was such a gift to see him this way!  
Out to the side of these is a cross that was purchased to hang in the nursery. I never got around to hanging it (as I ended up in the hospital before it was done) but Kim took the cross and put that little “e” there along with a burlap bow. It’s a sweet reminder of Evan. 
On one of the walls in our hallway I’d like to make a collage of crosses. I plan to hang this cross there eventually. As for the other things you see in that picture, I’d like to hang them on a wall in the nursery when we are hopefully preparing it one day for another blessing from God. For now they are in the nursery and each time I see them, I smile. Usually I have tears in my eyes but I smile because it flashes a lot of memories of Evan through my mind and reminds me, once again, that he’s better than fine-in heaven and in the arms of Jesus listening to lullabies. 
Last one for the day….  

While Evan was in the hospital Brent and I took hundreds of pictures. Usually we were taking pictures with our phones and sending them to grandparents, friends and other family. So many people wanted updates on him and we always wanted to show off his sweet face. Once a week or so I would break out my actual camera and take pictures of Evan. When he passed away my friend Deanna took my card from my camera and got some pictures printed off for us to display at the funeral. After all, it was a celebration of his life here on Earth and we wanted there to be happy tears also! When she brought the pictures to me she had made this canvas made. I love this picture because he is looking so intently at me. Probably thinking “Mama, what in the world are you doing in my face with that thing?” His hair is so fluffy in this picture and I just love looking at it. Again, this picture will be displayed in the nursery hopefully one day. Isn’t he just the most beautiful baby ever? 🙂 
We did go to the doctor this past Monday. Things went well.  We will be going to genetic counseling in the next week.  More news on that next week. Prayers for a positive appointment!! It’s all in God’s hands and we know his plans are so great! Our daily prayer is for God to make his will clear for that particular area of our life. We know his plans are great and we want to follow his will! I know that these doctor appointments are going to reveal his will to us!  We are remembering ….

I am so thankful for this life that God chosen for me! It’s never been easy but He never said it would be! So glad that I have Him to carry me through the hard times and help to grow me into the person that I’m supposed to be. Last Saturday night I spoke at the Celebration for Women at Cora Baptist Church. We had a full fellowship hall and I feel so blessed to be able to share my story! Many people came up to me afterwards and thanked me for sharing my story. I am so thankful that God has shown me a way to use Evan’s story to work for His good!

Last but not least…. Happy 29th birthday to my wonderful husband!! So glad that God made you just for me. He knew what I needed long before I did!!
Prayers for a blessed weekend for everyone. Being thankful for the rain! 🙂 

Getting Away, Drs Appts, and the busyness of fall…

Brent and I have been holding up pretty well for the past two weeks or so. It helped TREMENDOUSLY when we went out of town last weekend to Atlanta for a little mini vacation. We only went  because he had a Dr. appointment on Monday morning in Birmingham and we figured if we were going to be going to stay in a hotel we may as well extend our weekend and get some enjoyment out of it. I rushed out of school Friday afternoon as fast as I possibly could (after preparing for my sub..and not too early of course..a teacher’s job is never done). I came home to finish up packing and we hit the road about 3:30. Which was only about an hour later than we had originally planned. We were just enjoying one another’s company and as we were about to go through Auburn we saw a big rainbow. It seemed to pop up out of nowhere.

God knows just when to remind us of his promises. The reminder couldn’t have come at a better time. We took pictures and talked about how Evan was sitting in the lap of Jesus and told him to remind his mommy and daddy that everything up in Heaven was GREAT! It was good for our souls to see this. In the past few weeks, and mostly weekends, I had really struggled and had been more sad. I cannot even explain how good it was for my soul to spend a weekend not being sad the whole time. I am looking forward to many more weekends like this (not as sad…not out of town).
 Friday night when we arrived in Atlanta we took a wrong exit and (small town folk that we are) felt frightened when we weren’t in the best part of town. But we made our way to our hotel, got checked in and unpacked. Then we went and enjoyed a nice quiet dinner at a little grill around the corner from our hotel. I then enjoyed going to bed with no responsibilities awaiting me the next morning. Saturday morning we ventured out to Six Flags. Where I realized I am no longer 19 and able to ride roller coasters all day long without feeling like I’ve fallen down a tree and hit every branch on the way down. We only lasted there about 1/2 the day. It was decided we should go back to the hotel and nap or relax. ANYTHING but be at Six Flags. So that’s what we did…took a nap and relaxed. On Saturday night we ventured over to The Cheesecake Factory. The food and atmosphere was wonderful. I then insisted we go to Barnes and Noble because I love to read and have to visit bookstores in other towns. For whatever reason I think they are going to be different…they’re not. But I enjoy it nonetheless. My mama had been talking about this book The Circle Maker. I felt that this was the exact moment I should buy this book. So we did and unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to really get into it. I am looking forward to a little free time this weekend to start checking it out a little more. My mama has raved about it. The gist of it is praying circles around your biggest dreams and greatest fears. Brent and I will soon be venturing down the road, with God leading the way, of having another baby and I just feel led to read this book to help me go down this path. I think it will be a great book to read regardless of where you are in life. Don’t we all have BIG dreams and GREAT fears? There I go chasing a rabbit…back to our weekend…
Sunday we went to the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. Both were fun. We enjoyed the Dolphin Tales show at the aquarium and the tasting room at the World of Coke. It was then time to head to Birmingham.
Let me just tell y’all… When we went to Birmingham in July it was the first time we had been there since Evan had left my arms to be in the arms of Jesus. Seeing the Children’s of Alabama building from the interestate was sooo hard that day. And I just have to say that it hasn’t gotten any easier. Sunday as the hospital came into view (and you have to know that it’s this big, shiny building that you can’t miss and for me being big and shiny represented a lot of hope back in March), tears immediately filled my eyes. I looked at Brent and said “I think seeing Children’s from this view or maybe any view, will always make me cry.” I think it’s because that’s the place where Evan was alive, in my arms, and looking at me. It just holds SO many memories. On Sunday evening we just walked around the mall for a little while then had dinner and went back to our hotel.
Monday we headed over to UAB and went to Brent’s appointment. It was fairly short and sweet. Keep doing what your doing..tweak this, check that…come back in four months. We always feel a little better after he gets a check up and we are reassured that we are doing the right thing!
It was back to reality on Tuesday. This week has been a blur. We are going to be super busy this weekend. Or I am at least.  Tomorrow night is Jay’s Homecoming so I will be going to the game. (along with Brent) and then Saturday DAY my friend Megan’s little girl has homecoming for the little football team she cheers. Saturday night I am speaking at Cora Baptist Church at 6 pm. I am looking forward to sharing my testimony again. Each time I feel a little stronger and look forward to it a little more. I definitely think it helps with my healing! Sunday we have church and I plan to just RELAX. And probably go get my classroom ready because I have a sub on Monday (boo) because I have a workshop (double boo)!
Please keep us in your prayers as Monday afternoon we will be going to the Dr.  to talk about what growing our family will look like for us. I know that it’s all in God’s hands but we have to be practical and prepare as much as possible. That’s why God made people like our doctor…to help us! He works through them. We need prayer for guidance and CLEAR direction about what God’s will for our family is in this particular area. Thank you in advance for all prayers.
I’d also like to ask for prayer for an unspoken for myself and something I’ve been struggling with for the past week or so. Prayer for clear answers about God’s will for mine and Brent’s family will cover this! 🙂 Last, but certainly not least I’d like to ask for prayers for the Morris family. They’re going through some tough times and could use all the prayers that can be sent up!
Thought for the week…..