Happy 1st Birthday, my sweet Theodore.
Mommy wanted to do something extra special to honor your beautiful soul; an eternal soul that is still very much alive. From the day you were born, it was always your soul that touched me more than your body. Even on your birthday, they whisked you away for the first open heart surgery before I ever had a chance to caress your flawless skin. Yet despite the many days you were ‘untouchable’, there was no amount of tubes, drugs, or physical distance that could separate your soul from mine. You follow me like a shadow that I refuse to escape; you and me – we are connected by something far greater than human touch.
You, Theodore, have taught me to look in the shadows; to see the unseen, and mask out the distractions of this world. In your shadow, I do not see the rainbow EEG leads attached through your blonde fuzzy hairs; I do not see the NIRS oxygen stickers covering your forehead, or a nasal cannula that disguises your chubby cheeks. Your shadow does not depict the NJ feeding tube invading your tiny nostril; it does not reveal the intubation tube intrusively taped around your lips, or your red splotchy neck from poor blood circulation. Instead, your shadow leaves me with what I simply know as ‘my Theodore’. I’m left with just a detailed outline of your precious soul; the most perfectly unique shape of what God created in His image (Ephesians 2:10). When all other details are erased, the remaining elements of your soul become my focus of beauty. You’ve shown me the importance of remaining in the ‘Light’ in order to recognize shadows; that shadows don’t originate from darkness, but are birthed by ‘light’ alone (John 8:12). Through you, I’ve leaned that shadows cannot discriminate against the color of skin, the cost of clothes, or even the our health, but more importantly, our shadows are the framework that house true identity. And you, my baby, (still) cast a shadow of pure tender love; a masterpiece built over your brief lifetime that is exclusive to only you.
It was no coincidence that your ‘shadow of love’ continually grew in size as your time with us gradually came to a close; just like the lowering sun knows how to lengthen a shadow as it sets on the horizon, your shadow expanded and covered hearts across the entire world within your last few months on earth. You have gripped my heart and revealed how our souls become most alive in the shadow, when everything else is stripped away. So even if I feel paralyzed in darkness when my soul craves you most, I promise to still stand up in the ‘light’, because it is only then that I’ll be able to cast my shadow, where our souls can collide. My soul waits for you in the shadows.
I Love You Forever, Momma xoxo
– Momma Bear, Alexandria
… join me by #FallingRightSideUp
when life gets turned upside down
(Please visit the contact page on this site to let me know if you’re interested in a custom silhouette of your family! Card stock prints & etched stainless steel pendants will be available. All proceeds will go towards ‘Teddy Bear Care’, which currently supports CHD families across America on a monthly basis ❤ )