My Dear Nathan,
As I write this letter, you are laying next to me in my bed softly cooing at a shadow cast by the headboard. I’ve sat here staring at you for a while with a blank screen before me, wondering how I could possibly express the depths of my love for you and the sorrow I carry for what you do not know you have lost.
A son newly born is meant to be held in the arms of a father beaming with pride and joy. You were never able to have that. You’ll never hear your daddy’s voice singing you lullabies, or laugh at his ridiculous antics. You won’t learn from him how to dribble a basketball or talk about which superhero is the best. You won’t be able to witness his faith or receive his prayers for you. You won’t ever get the chance to hear him tell you that he’s proud of you or how much he loves you. And that breaks my heart. Your daddy knew how to love and he would have loved you well.
He often spoke of the things he would do with you before you even existed. He would walk down the toy aisle and pick up a nerf gun or batman action figure and say, “When we have a son, we are definitely getting him this!” He would have been so excited to meet you and get to know the person you will become.
You deserve to be born into a whole family, but we are broken. A large piece of us is missing. While you were conceived in love, I carried you in sorrow. Even as I wept in despair, I prayed that you would be spared the physical effects of my grief. And thankfully, it seems you have. You are already so free with your smiles. In my deepest darkness, God has brought me light through you. And now that you are here I am overwhelmed by my love for you.
I see in your eyes that you carry within you great tenderness and compassion. These traits are not weaknesses. Only the strongest of men can be gentle and I see a gentle heart in you. You, my son, will be a warrior poet, a gift that is in your blood. When I prayed for your name, God gave me this verse, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)” You are a light, and the greatest darkness cannot conquer even the smallest flame.
My son, I need you to know that I love you completely. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to love you well when I first found out that your little life resided within me. But those fears were unfounded. You are a most precious gift. Each time I hold you in my arms and look at your face I am reminded that you were sent to me from God, the last gift of your father.
I am far from a perfect mother. I’m still struggling in this journey, but I promise to do my best for you and your big sister. I can never make up for what we have lost, but I will do everything in my power to help you know the daddy that would have adored you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
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All of the images in this blog were taken by the wonderfully talented Angela Demsick. Check out her website and her Facebook page
Erica, this is beautiful. I can’t imagine going through pregnancy and childbirth without my husband but what an amazing gift Nathan is! You are a very strong woman.
Thank you for sharing your story. My husband passed in September when I was 6 weeks pregnant. I’m honestly not looking forward to labor in 10 weeks without my best friend holding my hand. Your words give me strength.