Monday, May 11, 2009

Joyous Warrior

"I love paper hats!" 2/17/2003

Nine years ago today, Nathaniel Phillip made his appearance into this world. Only weighing in at 5 pounds 13 ounces, he was a little thing with big problems. My world was spinning. My first baby, he was finally here and I was so scared for him. Fear and joy, excited and anxious. Thirty minutes later, he was being wheeled out of my room, IV in place with the medicine that was keeping him alive, and over to Children's Hospital, home for the next two months. At six days old they wheeled him into the operating room for the first time, then again at 6 months old and then again at almost three years old.

Over the next three years, fear and joy, excitement and anxiety and hospital stays would be common place in my life. Through it all Nathaniel was the happiest and the most joy-filled little boy I have ever known. He lived life to the tilt! His smile was infectious, his laugh was contagious and his cuddles were priceless.

He was a very analytical little boy. He separated his blocks based on their colors, and then built a tower with each color. He separated his Captain Crunch Crunch Berries cereal into the three separate colors and then ate each color before moving to the next color. He loved looking at books. There isn't any activity he didn't enjoy.

Nathaniel faced many battles in three, way to short years and he faced them with a big smile, always. Sure he cried when the "ouchies" came, but he wasn't a cranky child because of it. Often times I have wondered if I face my battles with the same courage and joy that my little guy possessed. I doubt it.

He loved everyone he met and would hug them if they offered. He waved at the people in the check out lines as we were leaving whatever store we were in. He shared his joy with everyone and when you were with him you could feel his joy and shared in it.

After his funeral I told mothers of young children to never take their little ones for granted, because you may not have them as long as you think you will. If I had known he wouldn't still be here, maybe we would have read just one more story at bedtime or played bubbles a little longer. It's those things I ponder.

I told people around me after he passed away that I reserved the right to break down crying at any time without prior warning. I still reserve the right, I just don't use it very often--but today I will. Today I will remember and cry and laugh and smile and cry some more.

Nathaniel would have be nine today. I can only imagine what he would be like. He would have been an amazing nine year old and big brother.

Enjoying Sunday afternoon by reading the funny pages. He was mimicking daddy. Daddy was on the other side of the table reading the paper too.

He heard me taking his picture and looked to see what was going on because my friend and I were laughing quietly at him being so cute! 2/24/2003


Pastor Davis said...

Thanks for the good tears. Praise God there will be no tears in Heaven. Only glad reunions.

Boy Mom said...

What a beautiful post, what a beautiful boy. He has beautiful eternal eyes. Love that grin. Enjoy as many tears as you need this day, I'll share a few with you.

Sir Nottaguy-Imadad said...

What a touching post, written as only a mother could write.

perez2foster said...

Valerie, I just read your post and it really touched this mother's heart. What a beautiful boy! I have six kids and it gets really crazy around every day. When the baby is crying and kids are fighting, your words will help me put things in perspective and cherish every moment. You are a wonderful mother and an inspiration to us all! I wish I could give you a big hug right now :o) Love, Suzie