An Interview with my daughter April about her son Caleb

Referring to the hours and days right after his birth...

"It was in those moments when I was all by myself in the room not knowing if I was going to have a baby the next day or what the next days were going to bring. I was just so heavy inside. … I really am a light person inside [and] to feel that much anguish was really overwhelming to me because it was the first time in my whole life that I can say that I was honestly just anguishing in my heart, I was really really sad.

I remember telling my mom on the phone that night when she called to check on me that every single cell in my body was sad. It didn’t matter to me if he had a perfect body it didn’t matter if he was going to require a lot of care, I just wanted my son, I wanted him close to me.

After I hung up from my mom, who I’m closer to than almost anyone in the world, I remember thinking, "There’s nobody in the whole world who knows what I’m feeling right now, even the people that love me the very most don’t know how much I’m hurting inside; it’s too big."

An hour later a friend in the ward called me and said, "I thought you might want to know what was said in the prayer in sacrament meeting today..."

A gentleman in the ward had been praying over the pulpit and he asked Heavenly Father to comfort us because He knew what it was like to lose a son. Just hearing that touched my heart so deeply-to be flooded with that realization that He knew, He knew what I was going through because He had lost a son for all of our sake. I remember feeling like my burden could be shared with somebody because He knew. As I was thinking about that that night I was also overcome with the realization that it wasn’t just my Heavenly Father who knew but also my older brother, that son who knew. I have such a vivid picture in my mind of the Savior in the garden having a personal moment for me in Caleb’s story.

I realized the power of the atonement at that time wasn’t just for sin, not just for mistakes, not for our disappointments and our worries - all of those things, but also for our heartaches, the things that make us sad. That’s the first time that I really realized that the atonement isn’t just the sadness that we feel for our sins and our mistakes, but it is for our worries, and our heartaches, and our despairing and anguishing moments. That brought me comfort to know that I had my Older Brother on one side and my Father on the other side that knew exactly how I felt and that was enough. It was enough to know that somebody knew how I was feeling.

How does your sense of the eternities effect your understanding of what goes on beyond this life? How do your beliefs support you?

My testimony has deepened in the atonement and in the love of our Father in Heaven and in the Savior in knowing that with certainty that our Savior has overcome death. So on those days that I feel worried, 'what if Caleb dies, and how will I be if I can’t have him here with me on the earth because I love him so much,' I am so grateful for the knowledge that death is not the end and the Savior Jesus Christ has overcome death and that is joyful. I’m so grateful know that though Him my family can be together forever. And for me that’s not just a nice statement to put on my wall or embroider on a pillowcase, but it really is at the core of my testimony; through him our families can be together forever. That’s a big part of our life here on the earth.

[I'm] thankful to have the knowledge that Caleb is tied to us eternally. Through the Savior his physical challenges will be healed and he will have all of the wonderful opportunities that we all have to have a body that works the right way and to feel joy in that way.

I have never felt that in Caleb’s experience on the earth that he feels sad about his body. I know that he is joyful to have a body even though it has challenges and some things about his body don’t work quite the same way our bodies do. I’ve never felt that I should be sad about that. I love to take care of that sweet little body. I just think that he is so beautiful.

I have always felt really secure that this is a part of our family’s eternal story. That Caleb coming to our family with his sweet little body is a part of our eternal story as a family and that it is significant for our family. It is a blessing for our family and that the tender parts that come with it; contemplating if we’ll have to mourn Caleb at some time or if we’ll have to be missing him sooner than we would have hoped.

We really really felt joyful that Caleb coming the way he came is a part of our family story. Even though there are sad parts that come in mortality, ultimately the big picture for are family are joyful. The parts that are sad are just limited to mortality.

It’s easy to take life for granted until you’re really faced how fragile life can be.

Realizing how precious every minute is has made every minute count for me. Caleb has taught me to find joy in every day. Caleb radiates with love and light. Even though he can’t speak with words his little spirit just speaks volumes about what it means to love.

My favorite moments with Caleb are quiet moments in our rocking chair together. When I’m holding him on my lap I just feel like we have the best conversations, we don’t even ever use words. It makes me think that that’s how we must speak to each other in heaven because it’s just a pure communication that’s heart to heart. It doesn’t get confused, it doesn’t get limited in language, it’s just straight from the heart.

Something that really stands out in my mind is that in those first few weeks that we were at home with him we really tried to be positive and cheerful and hopeful. Even though doctors were telling us the worst we still never wanted to not be hopeful.

It’s never living in denial to live a hopeful life.

The medical world would look at me and think that I was a mother in denial but I was just a mother that was choosing hope.

What would you miss most about Caleb…

His presence. His presence and the essence of who he is; the spirit that he has with him. There are also little Mom things that I would miss; the power of his spirit, the essence of who he is, and the sweetness of heaven that comes with him. I have a reassurance in my heart that because Caleb is a part of our eternal family that if he weren’t with us Heavenly Father would still allow his essence to be with us and his spirit to shine for us.

When he gives you something extra tender he also blesses you with some really tender mercies.

He knew what He was asking, because He knows what it’s like to lose a son He doesn’t ask it lightly.

Heavenly Father understands that loss is one of the hardest things on the earth.

Even having an eternal perspective we still anguish over losing the people that we love.

We are all going to experience that at some point in our lives; whether it’s as a mother losing your children or losing your mother. I know that Heavenly Father knows that that’s one of the hardest things he asks of us during mortality. I have peace in my heart know that if He knows that that of course during that time He will be there.

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1 comment:

shirlgirl said...

April is so eloquent in her feelings. Thank you for sharing this interview with her about sweet Caleb and how she felt before he was born and afterwards. She is a wonderful Mom and gave her son so much wonderful care and love as did the rest of the family. He certainly was a seven-year miracle.