Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Life is Like

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Cole's journey to Heaven. Two years. Eric and I differ on how that time has passed; to him it seems like it happened a long time ago, and to me it feels like it happened nearly yesterday. It is still surreal, and while I think we both have moved forward in our grief, neither one of us will ever completely get over losing Cole. But life is good, and God continues to teach, challenge, and bless us. We live our lives with hope and faith, along with big doses of laughter and twinges of sadness and fear. Hey, we're human, after all. We pray daily for another child, but as far as we're concerned, no other child can replace our precious Cole. If my mind goes to that place of thinking about living the rest of my life without Cole, it overwhelms me. But I know that once my earthly life is done, I will finally get to see my son again. How awesome will that be? It's incomprehensible.

Speaking of Heaven, I wonder all the time what Mr. Cole's life is like now. I'm certain he's just having the best time. Perhaps he takes turns sitting on the laps of his great grandparents, including the one he was named after. Maybe he's still a baby, or maybe he's a rambunctious 2 1/2 year old. I'm sure he's still cute. I know for sure Cole's life is free of pain, sadness, and trouble of any kind.

My sister-in-law, Melanie, was in town for three weeks in August. We went to lunch one day, and we talked about Cole like we often do. We pondered his Heavenly life. Melanie happened to be in town for my birthday, and she gave me the most beautiful gift. She is an incredible artist, and the gift was inspired by our conversation about Cole. I opened it, and was literally speechless.

This sketch of Cole as a toddler gives me a whole lot of joy. Not only did she capture Cole's features perfectly, but she surrounded him with things that have special meaning to us: a pinwheel, tulips (my favorite flower), and a little stuffed lamb that resembles the one we have in Cole's room and the identical one that is "with" him. And did you notice the little bird? We have two little zebra finches and enjoy birds in general. Cole looks so peaceful, happy, whole, and perfect here. What a sweet depiction of what Cole's life might be like.