I remember counting down the days to Gideon’s arrival like it was yesterday. I remember constantly going back and forth, “Was it a count down to bringing in a life or a count down to saying goodbye to one?” It was both…but where was my countdown? Where was my focus?
Even today I have a countdown still, and big on my calendar it says “Gideon’s Birthday.” March 31st, his birthday, his last day, his only day. I’ll never forget a story from a friend that never really made much sense to me until these days. As one mom held her dying newborn baby, her friend having lost her own child at 3 whispered, “Oh sweet Mommy…I wish you had more time…” The mom holding her baby looked up at her friend, in shock and said, “More time? But doesn’t that make it all the more painful?” “Oh,” the other woman said, “I couldn’t be more thankful for every waking moment I had with my child. I’ll savor each day forever.”
My husband and I often debated, if God offered us more time with Gideon would we have taken it. My answer was always resoundingly yes and since then my death perspective has never been the same. I used to spend a lot of my minutes fearing death. Fearing loss, fearing sickness, fearing the ultimate pain of losing a child. I would run away from sad stories and stand virtually unable to handle stories about death. I would run, afraid and weary. And afraid and weary I lived, wondering when the hammer would fall, when tragedy would strike. Oh the minutes I wasted.
I often think of that Mom and what she said about the days she had with her three year old and I want to live in those days too. I want to capture all the happy and healthy days. I want to soak them in and seep them up and not waste a single second of them on worry. Our minutes of life are the only ones we get to count, for in life eternal there is no quantifying.
Gideon had 90 minutes, so far I’ve had 17,154,587…but in the end when its all over, that number will all be a wash and forever will simply be forever. I have 5 children, 1 husband and I have no idea how many minutes they will have, but my heart focus will be on their lives not waiting on death and because my God is my God I can rest assured that Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
I cannot tell you the joy that fills my heart. It is such a freeing and precious way to live. I think for me it is even more magnifying because there is a distinct before and after. B.G. and A.G. (if you will) Before Gideon and After Gideon. I excitedly put his birthday up on that calendar. I bought a star cake pan just for him and we have a whole day of family festivities planned. Already I filled with excitement about YOUR GIDEON BLUE…so many people are planning outfits and I simply cannot wait. (don’t forget to #GideonBlue your picture or email it to me @ email@example.com I want to see them all!!) It is such a gift to live this way, such a constant pathway of peace.
Yes, its true, the tears will always come in their time and when death does knock on our door again I will be none the happy person to open it. Yet the joy remains still and in this moment, we will keep death in perspective.
My sweet three year old son Aaron said to me the other day, “Mommy, is Gideon the same as Samuel?” Surely being 6 months pregnant with a baby boy has got to be confusing for him and I loved that he asked me. “Aaron,” I said, “Both Gideon and Samuel are your little baby brothers, but no they are not the same. Gideon was born last year and he got to be with us for a short time before he when to Heaven to live with Jesus. Samuel has not been born yet, you will get to meet him soon.” Two little baby boy lives, closely linked in time, family, and age…but thank you God that each so uniquely special and different and each will be savored during each moment on this earth, with humble excitement towards the limitless minutes in the next. And thank you God that those minutes are without limit.