Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Joshua Matthew

My precious boy, oh how I miss you.
Do you know that I think about you every day?
Do you know that you are included in every bedtime prayer?
"Thank you Father for Oceana, Joshua, and Naomi. Please be with the girls tonight as they sleep..."
I've said it that way since it was only you and your big sister.
You're still here with us, in our everyday life.

Your picture sits in the bathroom, right beside the toothbrushes.
Your pacifier sits in the bathroom cupboard.
And another picture sits on my bedroom windowsill, right next to your bear [urn].
We talk about you, we think about, and we love you.

Oceana knows that you are with Jesus.
But she tells me almost every day ... "I miss Joshua!" and usually sniffles and cries a few times a week about you not being here.
She thinks you are in the clouds. It's hard for her to understand that's not where Heaven is.
But she knows Heaven, angels, and Jesus are all in the same place with Joshua and the baby from Mommy's tummy.

Time has made missing you easier and harder.
As time goes on, the pain becomes less acute.
But as time goes on, I see how much I'm missing.
With each glance at a nearly-3-year-old, I realize I'm missing out on so much more.
I'm missing skinned knees, potty training, grubby fingers, and muddy shoes.
I'm missing a little boy who's hopelessly devoted to his Momma - until Daddy walks in the door.
I'm missing watching a little boy learn how to hold a hammer.
I'm missing boys toys. There's a lot of pink around here.
I'm missing a train themed birthday party. Or spiders. Or football.
You'll have some cupcakes today, but I don't have any special decorations.
I'll do my best to make them look like "manly cupcakes", though I'm not sure what that means.
Last night we went to the store to buy ingredients for your birthday cupcakes.
Oceana chose carrot cake. I made sure we bought silver cupcake liners, no pink liners for your birthday party.
And we bought you blue candles. :)

It snowed today. It's the first snow that has covered the grass since we've arrived back in the USA.
Your sisters will get to play in the snow, for the first time ever, on your 3rd birthday.
I think that's a pretty good birthday party, Joshua.
I wish you were here too.

Joshua, I wish with all my heart that the outcome had been different.
That you had survived.
That you hadn't had such a severe problem.
But you did. And that's okay. I miss you.
I wish you were here so I could try to grab you as you ran past me this morning.
I wish I could snag you by the arm, hoist you into my lap and say,
"Happy Birthday Joshua! Do you know you're 3 today? We're going to make cupcakes this morning! Just for you!"
I wish your sisters were excited about giving you birthday presents.
They are excited to send you your birthday balloon.
It's floating on the kitchen ceiling right now, waiting to come to you on your birthday.
Daddy's working all day today and Saturday, so watch for your balloon on Sunday, okay?
Gramma and PopPop wanted to send you the balloon too, so they'll be there.
Nana and Baboo sent you a balloon yesterday, from the spot we sent you balloons on your 1st and 2nd birthdays.

Joshua, on your birthday, I love you.
I miss you.

And I grieve, with hope.

"We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true."

Thank you to all of you who have read Joshua's story. Thank you for loving him with us. And thank you for telling me that you love him, because it means the world to me, to know that I am not the only one marked by my little boy. That my life was not the only one changed by such a small, special boy. You have my heart my blog-family. You have no idea.


  1. Remembering Joshua today. Near my house there's a road called "Joshua's Way", and every time I see it, it makes me think of your boy.

  2. Oh Sus... I'm weeping. One day, I'll give you the biggest freaking hug of your life.

    Loving you fiercely...

  3. He is so beautiful! Happy Birthday Joshua Matthew!

  4. Happy Birthday beautiful boy, we'll love you forever and always

  5. I forgot how much like his mama he looked.

    I know you have one foot in heaven, all the time...and you're right, that's OK.

    Grieving/rejoicing with you today, Susie.

  6. thinking and praying for you today and though I know your mama heart still aches for him and your last little one, I can almost see a special little birthday party in heaven today as Joshua gets to have his birthday with a sibling-

  7. My prayers are with all of you today. Reading your beautiful words I couldnt help but cry and be thankful that you and Matt shared Joshua's journey with us. Today I hope you find comfort in knowing that he is running around heaven's streets with his little brother/sister and will continue to do so until the day you guys are able to join them :)

  8. I wish all of those precious things you long for, for you too. If wishes were enough...

    Enjoy the cupcakes and revel in the memories. I'm thinking of you and Matt and Oceana today and praying that happiness and hope will override the sorrow.

  9. Happy Birthday Joshua! You've been in mine and my family's prayers since you began this journey, and today is no different. You are an incredible woman.

  10. Thinking about you and praying for you and your family today. My heart breaks for your loss.

  11. I remember him often, and think of you daily. happy birthday Joshua.

  12. Happy birthday, Joshua! You are missed, sweet boy. Give your baby brother or sister a hug for mom and dad, too.

  13. Happy birthday, sweet Joshua. I remember checking in on you every single day and being amazed by your sweetness and strength. Your life shined with God's glory and your legacy does, too. Praying for your sweet family today, birthday boy. ;)

  14. Happy Birthday to your sweet Joshua..

    Remembering with you.

    God's blessings.


  15. Tears in my eyes reading your beautiful words. I think of little Joshua and pray for your family. What an awesome mom you are!

  16. Happy Birthday to your sweet little boy! And thanks for having the courage to share his story.

  17. There are some things I look forward to in heaven... specific things that maybe others don't share with me.

    One of them is seeing you there, with your children all by your side. I want to meet Joshua, and hear him tell about the life he lived - a life that knew such beautiful love.

    I doubt we'll meet before then. But even so, you are a beautiful person and I feel so blessed to have watched you walk this journey.

    It seems like only yesterday I stumbled across your blog in a quest for stories about IVF (don't have ANY idea what that has to do with you and Matt, but hey...). I was riveted by the way you loved your son... the way you showed him and the rest of the world what love actually looks like.

  18. Thinking about your and your family today. Take care of yourself.

  19. I just caught up to this on the blog, and it has made me leave the room mid post to hug my own soon to be little three year old boy. Suzie, you truly are a special woman, and are raising quite a beautiful family. May God Bless on the days that seem harder than others. You are an inspiration!

  20. I remember reading your story when Joshua was born...but have not seen your blog since then. I saw the link on another blog. Joshua is/was beautiful! I know anniversaries are hard. Holidays too. Bittersweet. Our 2 1/2 yr old son died April 3rd 2008 after a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia. Jonathan (another strong old testament name!) was a surprise domestic newborn adoption. He was the sprinkles on the frosting of our cupcake of regrets for a single day we had him with us. We had waited for a Down Syndrome child for so long but never thought it would ever happen. I know how much you miss Joshua and what an incredible gift he is to you! May God bless you in eacg and every way you remember your sweet boy and in living your life for His glory ...the One who gifted you with precious Joshua