September 15, 2015
I’ve been relatively silent over the past 2 years.
We wanted your story told. We needed our world to know about you. We wanted to chronicle each moment of your brief life – from the first heartbeat to the last.
But that is such a small part of your story Keller. Your story is still being told. You are still doing mighty and incredible things 3 years later. So much more of your story needs to be told.
I think I’m finally ready to tell part 2 of your amazing life Keller Norman.
Last year I couldn’t even bring myself to write on your 2nd birthday.
I’ve mentioned the mental health demons I battled head on during Keller’s pregnancy. After our Zoe was born the demons returned with fury. I sank. Depression, OCD, Panic, & Anxiety nearly buried me.
I do NOT say this lightly when I say, it was the darkest time in my life.
I groped for a light I couldn’t find. I clenched my fists and held on as tight as I knew how while being bloodied and beaten by demons. I searched for an ounce of hope that eventually the day wouldn’t end with me begging, broken, and desperate. Most days I couldn’t find the hope. I cried openly and often. My mom lived with us for nearly 3 months. I lived in constant panic. I wanted to hide. For months there was not a moment that I did want to sprint as quickly as I could and hide under something dark, heavy, and secure. Nothing felt safe. Nothing felt the same. Nothing felt good. I only held on so tirelessly because those who had found their way out of the darkness assured me deliverance would come. I only held on because I had seen God’s love break through the black of death first hand. I couldn’t see the light then. Sometimes I waivered in believing the dawn would come. Slowly the sky faded from black to blue. The blue melted into reds and purples and oranges and yellows. The sun rose. It always does. It always will. It’s ok if you can’t see the sunrise right now. It’s a tunnel – not a cave.
This year – I can write. Happy 3rd birthday baby boy! The sun has risen!
God has worked through the hands of so many to bring me to this place of rich, deep, genuine joy. Your big sister Mary just started Kindergarten and is absolutely thriving. Praise God! We continue to cover each school day in prayer and I am just so confident His light will shine through the darkness. Your little sister Zoe is starting to walk and talk, and I just KNOW you would love, love, love playing with her. I miss you. We all miss you. Mary talks about you the most. She never forgets you in family drawings. She always draws you and Jesus together in the sky. I like that she always draws Jesus in our family too. She is excited about you turning 3, and maybe starting preschool in Heaven? We think it would be AMAZING if Jesus was your preschool teacher. I mean – I’ve known Him for a while – maybe I can pray in a request ;).
Your Dad and I miss you all the time.
We have met so many new people in the past 3 years. We miss you most when people ask how many children we have. That question never gets easier. I never don’t stumble over my answer. Your Dad and I both wish we could boldly and confidently say “We have got a boy in Heaven, and his name is Keller, and we REALLY love and miss him”. But that’s hard. Sometimes it’s easier than other times. Sometimes it’s just a perfunctory response to the cashier, “Yup, these are our two girls.” It hurts every time because it means you aren’t here. It means for a short time you were, and now you are not. The question always puts a sort of burden on my heart. We are selfish. We really want you. We want our son. We want a 3 year old boy running around with his goofball 5 & 1 year old sisters.
But the really cool thing is that while our arms ache to scoop you up, hug you tight, and read you bedtime stories in your monster footed jammies – in so many ways – you ARE here. You are still living. You are with Jesus. You are doing incredible work here. It blows our minds how much goodness God has created through your tiny and perfect life.
We love you so much and we want the world to know that you are our son – but we are so thrilled that you are and forever will be His son.
We can’t wait to see you both in full glory. The day we are all born again to the fullness this world desperately lacks. The best birthday.
Happy 3rd Birthday Keller!
September 15, 2015
You are so beautiful, Bella. Thank you for your braveness in publishing this birthday note to sweet Keller, for telling your story and for sharing him with us. He is so loved and so, so missed! I so wish I could know him. I can’t wait to know him one day, in all the beautiful glory of Heaven. Until that day, I just praise Jesus for giving Keller such a strong momma, and for the distinct privilege it is to know him through her. Love you so much, Bella.