Some of you may have noticed the button to the right that says "Remembering Ayden". I hope those of you who don't know Ayden's story, have wondered to yourself who Ayden is. I say "is" not "was", because Ayden truly is alive, moreso than any one of us is at this moment. If you are curious about his and his family's story, go to http://thejonesfamily52009.blogspot.com/. Lindsay and Jeremy, Ayden's parents, have been godly examples to us during our years of knowing them. I have just felt impressed to share my story and a few pictures of Ayden. You may not have known Ayden, but you will by the time you have read this blog:)
The Joneses and the Sams got married on the same day! We were married an hour earlier, so we always joke that we have "more experience". This of course is hardly the case. A few years passed, and as most couples do, the talks turned to children. Patrick and I were still in the waiting phase and didn't feel like our time to become parents was yet with us. However, before we knew it, we were sitting in the Olive Garden with Lindsay and Jeremy. We were eating lunch, and I noticed that she ordered a water instead of tea or coke. I'm not sure why, but I immediately wondered why this was the case. Before the meal was over, they had announced that they were expecting a baby! We were so happy for them. When Patrick and I got in the car, I turned to him and said that I was feeling a little like we were out of the loop. Almost all of our friends were pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Of course, we told ourselves this was not a reason to have a baby, but I tucked the thought away in my little mind and heart.
Not too long after, little Ayden was born. We took dinner to this new family of three, and I was so scared to even hold him. I have not been around many newborns, so I just oohed and aahed from afar:) Lindsay looked radiant and beautiful. I still remind her that she had not a drop of sweat on her face, and her hair was perfect. You should really look at our post-labor pictures side by side, and you will see the stark contrast. I looked like I had been working in a field all day, then doused with water:)
Now when we watched movies or went out to eat, little Ayden was right along with us. We went to Sapparis with the new family, and he didn't make a sound during the whole performance of food-making. I think we went to Your Perfect Cake after that and got some yummy individual slices:) It was here that I held little Ayden for the first time, and I was so nervous. Such a sweetie, and I eventually felt more comfortable! Good thing, because little did we know, we found out we were expecting, too.
When Patrick and I found out we were having a boy, too, I couldn't wait to share playdates. How much fun to have two boys close in age with parents that are good friends?
The months passed, and I became very pregnant. I was working in clinic, and Patrick called me with news that I will never forget. It is interesting the way we remember where we were, what we were wearing, and how we felt when we hear news that moves us. It could be joyous news or heart-wrenching news. This was heart-wrenching. I fell apart, and the pain that I felt from the core of my being was hard to handle. This made it all the more painful to know that what I felt was only a miniscule portion compared to the pain Lindsay and Jeremy were feeling. Ayden had been called home, and the earthly reason was SIDS. Patrick and I struggled to understand why, and I can't deny that I questioned God and still question today.
We went to the funeral, and Ayden's precious face in pictures surrounded Lindsay, Jeremy, and the family. Although in mourning, I felt renewed to know that Ayden was sitting on Jesus' lap, with no pain, suffering, or tears. It is we who weep. I remember very clearly Jeremy talking about how Ayden was a gift. They both stated many times that he was always God's. God had given, and God had taken him home. Do we praise him in the hard times, too?
A song was played that I absolutely love. It was entitled "Come to Jesus". If you are interested in hearing it, I strongly recommend listening. It is so special, and it is comforting to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_4g8_e16dc
Patrick and I left the service broken. We had a little one still growing inside me, and now we had fears that we had not entertained before. However, in a strange way, we felt peace because we knew no matter what we did, as long as we followed Jesus and loved Jonah as the gift he is, that we have done all we could do. He is entrusted to our care for however long his Father sees fit.
I share all of this, because although you may not have known Ayden here on earth, you will know him! How wonderful to know that there is eternal life, and that good-byes don't exist. I say this in the hopes that those who read this blog do know Jesus as their Savior.
Please pray for our friends, and cherish each day with your loved ones. Also, remember Ayden. He was and is a joy. I know one day Jonah and he will meet. I can see them now playing football in a big open field. Each time you read this blog and see Ayden's face, I pray you remember what is important in life. I pray you don't focus on the trivial things that don't matter.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
A little nervous with a newborn!
All smiles with baby Ayden
Patrick and Ayden
The Jones and Sams Family