A thousand words

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but these photos can’t truly capture the thousands of words, thoughts, prayers, laments and praises behind them.

I met my next door neighbor for the first time in 2006. She and her husband, Mike, had just built a house next to ours. They had a two year old son and just couldn’t fit the three of them and the baby on the way in their old home. The new home was going to be the perfect place to start life as a family of four. But only three moved in. Cage was born on March 3, 2006 and died on March 4, 2006.

I vividly remember my elation at the birth of my children. Everything for nine months leads up to the moment they arrive. Plans and dreams for them start when a mother finds out she’s expecting. When the child arrives those dreams take on physical form, become a living reality, and are instantly the object of a mother’s indescribable love. I cannot fathom the pain of losing a newborn child.

Naturally, it took Jennifer a few years to share the whole story with me. That loss hurt so much that she couldn’t bear the thought of trying to have another child. What if? Thousands of words: Sad words, angry words, confused words. As years passed since the loss of Cage, Jennifer and I grew closer. She cautiously shared her pain and fear with me. Thousands of words.

In 2011, when Jen told me she was expecting I was filled with emotion. Joy and hope for their family, fear of something going wrong. I prayed for baby Eli every day. Thousands of words.

We just finished Eli’s one year panel. He is a happy, beautiful, healthy boy. I’ve taken lots of pictures of babies and toddlers, but perhaps no pictures I’ve ever snapped are worth so many thousands of words.

Expecting Eli

He’s here!

Jen and her boys

Newborn Eli

Eli at 3 months

Eli won the parent magazine cover contest for his age group!

Eli at 6 months

Easter with brother Cody

Love for Momma

Eli at 9 months

Eli at 12 months

Cake Smash!

A mother will never forget

Eli visiting brother

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