Today is my first Valentine’s Day without my baby boy. It’s our first holiday without baby Charlie and I had wondered what that would be like. I didn’t think it would be too hard since it is, after all, only Valentines Day…but then I saw the four little mail boxes I had bought last month, and I just broke down crying.
I think there are some aspects of grieving that are the same for everybody. You miss the person you love. You miss all of the things you loved about the person you love. You miss all of the things you had hoped to some day have and do with the person you love. In essence you miss their presence in your life. What makes our grieving of Charlie’s life seem very unique is that there is just so very much we did not know about our baby boy. I miss all of the things I loved about Charlie James…and I also miss knowing what those things would even be. Would he have been a little cuddle bug like Freddo, tender like Emma, or spunky like Sophie? There is just so much I miss about baby Charlie, and so very much I wish I had even had the opportunity to know…so that I could have had the opportunity to miss.
Today, we had our annual Zeller Family Valentines Scavenger Hunt Extravaganza, and I was struck by the reality that Charlie has never been to one…and never will be. And that even the ways we learn to miss having him (at all of the things we never got to have him at any ways) will be very unique. We will have to learn to love Charlie in our own way. To remember him and treasure him and celebrate his precious life very differently than we would have if we had known him for even a brief time. But I want to genuinely miss my real baby boy. Not just miss what we didn’t have. And so to do that…I really want to remember what I do actually know about and did actually have with our sweet Charlie James. The list is short. Quite short actually. But this is what I really know about Charlie mostly from Psalm 139…
God created Charlie’s inmost being taking a little of me and a little of Reid. As Freddo said the other day, “Charlie matches us!” He really does. He matches us and is forever a part of our family (verse 13).
God’s eye’s saw Charlie’s unformed body as He knit and wove him deep within me (verse 16).
All of the days ordained for Charlie’s life were written in God’s book before one of them came to be. Charlie’s life was a life fully lived for God’s glory…he fulfilled his purpose…even if it was shorter than we would have liked, his life was not shorter than God ordained (verse 16).
And finally, and most importantly, our baby boy is in Heaven with Jesus, and we will see him again Someday.
It’s a very short list of things we know, but I am so thankful for each and every one of these things.
And so, this Valentines Day, we celebrated Charlie’s life by talking about the things we know for sure about the little one we longed to know so much more. Then we each wrote Valentines to the special little guy who “matches” our family.
I’ll close with my Valentine to my baby boy. And Emma’s as well. (Apparently there was a thunderstorm in Heaven today…) : )
My precious baby boy,
I miss you so much I ache. My arms ache to hold you. My lips ache to kiss you. My eyes ache to see your beautiful, and perfect little body. My ears long to hear you cry, and giggle, and whisper, and sigh. And my heart aches to know you. Every precious detail about your precious life. So many longings that will never be, this side of eternity. So many aches that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
But…I have read the end of the story. I’ve read the final word…God’s final Word…on the final page. And the ending gives joy and peace and hope to all of these unmet longings and aches. The story says that someday I too, will die. And therefore someday I too will finally be fully alive. Someday I too will be with Christ as you are today. And someday I will finally see your beautiful eyes, my sweet Valentine.
Someday God will end these aches and we will finally finish our love story.
with love and longing,