For the last couple of days I was traveling with my sister and her family. We drove from Oklahoma all the way to Wyoming, with a couple point-of-interest stops along the way.
|(No toddlers were harmed in the making of this picture)|
My beautiful niece Bristol was a champ, especially the first day. This was the happy grin that I saw for most of the day.
Thursday started off as a bad day. Bristol woke up really early and screamed and cried for the longest time. We finally got on the road and she slept for a while, then woke up and screamed and cried. Then we ate icky food and played in smelly play-places in McDonald's, only to get some more screaming and crying in an hour or two later.
We weren't far from our destination when it happened. My sister said, "I need to go to the bathroom. Now." So she did, and we didn't think it was strange at all, cause.... well.... she was pregnant.
But then she came back out to the car and said, "Okay. We need to get to a hospital. I'm bleeding." And my heart sunk, and I think I knew it then, but I still hoped. And this couldn't happen. Not to us. Not when things were so perfect.
We were 40 miles away from the nearest hospital, and my brother-in-law booked it. He drove 90 mph most of the way. I think I can remember every moment. My desperate prayers, trying to hold in the tears, telling myself that bleeding was normal, my nephew's okay.
My parents and younger sister met us there. I took care of Bristol in the waiting room for a while while we waited to hear what was wrong. It felt like forever. I remember every single painful moment from the car ride and the hospital. It was like slow motion. And then my mom came out of the room and said the words I most wanted not to hear.
And my heart just broke, and I realized in that moment how much I loved him. Even though I didn't know him. I never saw a smile, heard a giggle, cradled him in my arms, but I loved him.
It surprises me now how very real the situation was to me. Usually when stuff like that happens, you have that blessed ability to be unable to comprehend that something like that had really just happened. But I knew it had, I felt every moment.
I'll never hold my first nephew. I'll never kiss him. I'll never get to know him and see him grow into a man of God. But I think I'll always love him. Because this hurts. A lot.
Gideon Boden is gone. And I miss him more than I ever thought I could miss a person I've never met.
Please pray for my family. Pray for Bristol, as she's seen very little of Mommy and Daddy the last couple days, and will not see much more of them for the next few days. Pray for Tracy and Jon, as they are grieving the loss of their son. Pray for Tracy's recovery, as this has taken a toll on her body. And mostly, pray that through this we will choose to seek comfort in the only place comfort can be found. We need Jesus, and this is just another reminder.
This is hard. But my Jesus is still good.