I would first like to thank God for the beautiful day he gave us yesterday. With a 30% chance of rain yesterday (and Oh me of little faith!) I thought the day would be ruined. God blessed us with blue skies and white puffy clouds as we released the balloons in honor of Noah. I told David, "the weather man can't predict God". Thank you, Lord for this beautiful day that I will cherish the memory of for the rest of my life!
This week was a roller coaster of emotions. July 6th was the most difficult day for me. I broke down at work a few times and just felt so low. That was the day last year that we found out Noah was gone. That was the nightmare day for me. On that night I could barely comprehend that my son was gone and there was no way I was going to let them take him from me that night. July 7th was the day Noah was born. Honestly, I felt pretty numb on his birthday. I only cried once when Ethan announced that his wish when he blew out the candle would be "for Noah to be here." On Friday I was just so happy. I had such a joy in my heart and couldn't wait for Saturday to come. I didn't dread celebrating Noah's birthday. Of course I wish things were different. I wish he was here with cake all over his hands and face. I would have had a million pictures up on facebook by the next morning of his sweet face covered in chocolate-chocolate chip cake. But I was still so excited to "show off" my son. To "show off" my savior. To let everyone know how God is being glorified even through Noah's death. My heart was truly filled with joy!
Saturday morning I woke up a nervous wreck. Nervous over the details. Would there be enough food for everyone? Would people remember to bring balloons? Would people think this was a crazy idea? Would they think we should just move on and stop talking so much about the child we lost? People started showing up at the church at 1:30. My friends brought trays of food and drinks...more than enough for everyone. Trista made a beautiful (and HUGE) cake for us. Everything went so smoothly. Friends drove from out of state to be there and celebrate with us.
I use the word "celebrate" because that is really what we did. Of course there were heavy moments and while we are sad that Noah isn't here with us on earth, we rejoice that God created his soul and that we will get to be with him and with Jesus for eternity!
Trista worked SO hard on this cake. I found a cake online that had butterflies flying up, but since it was for a balloon release, I asked her if she could add balloons to the cake. The cake was just perfect! I thought it was beautiful and really thought she did a great job making the butterflies and the balloons, but then a few people started noticing that the balloons looked like something else. I will leave it to your own imagination, but I will tell you that people are now referring to it as the "fertility cake"....
David spent most of Friday night writing a letter to our friends and family that he read at the celebration. It was so beautifully written (and you can read it at the bottom of the page). We showed the video (see previous post) and there were a lot of tears, but still joy.
My dear friends Lori and April gave me a beautiful gift - a Pandora bracelet with 2 beautiful charms...one of them is Noah's Ark. Girls, thank you so much for this beautiful gift that I will cherish forever!!!
We are still amazed at the outpouring of love from so many people. We received over 100 facebook messages this week with thoughts and prayers, pictures of Noah's name, and friends that couldn't make it to the balloon release even took the time to release balloons from wherever they were. God has surrounded us with people who love us. We are so very blessed!
I updated Noah's name gallery! Click HERE to view it. Hope I didn't miss anyone's picture...if I did, let me know!
And now....pictures from this beautiful day. I made a quick slide show (no music). Make sure you look below for the video of the balloon release and for David's letter.
Thank you everyone for making this day so special!!!
David's Letter that he read at Noah's celebration:
Thank you all for being here today and supporting our family. One year ago we had no idea that we would celebrate Noah’s first birthday in this way today. We had no idea that his life would be lost here on earth and found with Jesus. We had no idea that all our dreams for what life was going to be, could be crushed within a few short minutes.
On December 27, 2008 two little pink lines told us that Noah existed and we loved him from that very moment. We were told his due date would be September 9th, 2009....that was 9-9-09. We wondered if he would have been right on time like Ethan who came right on his due date or if he would have been a little early and born on Lisa’s birthday. But the fact is, there really are no "would have been's". God knew the exact number of days that Noah would live on this earth, tucked away in Lisa's womb...even if we didn't
Last year we had such a pouring out of love, prayers, and support when Noah passed. We received prayer and support from our church. We had friends drop everything in their personal lives to be with us. That really meant the world to us. Some drove hours and some flew in from vacations and that was amazing to know that people cared about what we were going through. I think even more than caring about us we cherished the friends and family that were going through the loss with us. They missed Noah too. They had dreams for Noah that were lost. They felt the pain of this temporary life. That means a lot to us.
Over the next months after Noah passed, life was really hard. Lisa was having to deal with losing a child, and having had major surgery. I am not the most in touch with my emotions so I probably was not exactly what she needed all the time. I know she felt lonely, and anger and so many emotions. Many of you helped her through and kept us both sane. We struggled with how to share with others that we are a 3 seated family of 4. Do we say we have 2 kids and share Noah’s story….Do we say just 1 kid but that doesn’t feel right either. We also struggled with Why….If Noah was never to be born alive then why create him at all? We struggled with selfishness and depression and nightmares, and what ifs? We still struggle with some of that.
I don’t know if we have handled the whole situation the best way, but we are becoming stronger Christians through this. Nothing has made my faith in Jesus more real than the idea that my Son is with Him. When I pray, study, or lead worship I am reminded that I am praising the God who is taking care of my Noah. Ethan and I ask Jesus to take care of baby Noah almost every night. And there is not a sermon, song, or situation that comes up that doesn’t remind us of who Noah is with. Lisa reminded me that if Noah had never been conceived then he would not exist at all. But because God created his soul we get to be together for eternity. He is already enjoying the presence of God Almighty. I really don’t know where our life or marriage would be without that Comfort and Truth.
I recently ran across a Bible verse that speaks to me…. Romans 9. 20 But, my friend, I ask, “Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did? 21 Doesn’t a potter have the right to make a fancy bowl and a plain bowl out of the same lump of clay?”……God’s ways are not our ways….they are higher, and greater…..That’s my prayer for Noah. That God’s purpose for Noah is higher and greater than anything I can think or imagine. I have questioned God about these circumstances and I have told Him some things that I am not going to repeat here today….but I still believe that He is the potter and He molds Life here. He also Molds life in Heaven. That’s an amazing thought to me. Noah lived a short 7 months with Lisa here on earth, and will Live forever because he was a life.
That brings us to today and I want to thank you all again for being here for us today. I know you moms can understand the feelings Lisa has gone through in this past year. The thought of losing your child is unbearable, and so you can understand how that affects your life. One of the things that I can’t get out of my mind as a Dad is the need to protect my family. I wish I had been able to protect Noah and I know as we look toward trying to have another baby we will be paranoid and over reactive about every little thing. I think that’s expected and completely okay. So as we release balloons in honor of Noah today thank you for being here with us to remember him. Even though we didn’t get the chance to know his personality, and Collinsworth charm…..you have loved him with us….and that means more to our family than you will ever know.