I have replayed that day from 4 years ago in my mind over and over. Who came to the house. What happened leading up to those moments, the moment. How our children reacted, how we all reacted. What it must have looked like from the outside looking in.
How I thought I would never catch my breath. How I thought I would never be able to live without Xander.
I wrote in my journal just a few days before Xander died, "I'm not afraid of Xander dying, I'm afraid of living without him".
I share this because I want to be real. I want to let others who are grieving or hurting know that the journey is not easy. The roads we have traveled the past 4 years have been filled with darkness and light. I've said before that it's amazing that joy and sorrow can coexist. And still to this day the grief and sadness are real! There are seasons that are harder than others. This would be a hard one, school beginning, a new year, a fresh start, all things that Xander wanted. With each year that passes, Xander seems further and further away from us. We have so much life to live. The Lord is not finished with us.
If you have been in my home, you may have seen this picture. It was taken last October. I have not shared it because I'm just not sure what some will think of it and it is very personal. Honestly, it was very hard for me to look at when I first saw it. But quickly I fell in love with it.
When I close my eyes I see all 7 of us. This picture represents our family. It symbolizes so many things for Doug and I. Who knows how tall Xander would be or what he would look like. I kind of think Carter would be taller than him and that would drive Xander out of his mind!
Here we are 4 years later. We are living. We are living with pain, but we are living with joy. We even have a new life, and that little boy is a gift.
I'm thankful for all that we have 4 years later. I'm thankful that Doug and I still love each other deeply. I'm thankful for Carter, Charli, McClain, and Baker. They are constant reminders that God still has good for us! I am thankful for family and friends that share their memories of Xander and continue to grieve with us.
Xander stands in the presence of Jesus, His savior, someday we will stand there with him. My heart longs for that glorious day.