I plan to enter another post on my holiday, but I felt that this should be separate.
In 2005 I was working at the preschool in the afternoons in a toddler class. There was one child in particular who wormed his way right into my heart. He had adorable, brown, curly hair and a smile that lit up the room. You couldn't help but love this little guy. He was as sweet as could be. On July 4th of that year, I was at home spending the holiday with my family when we got a call from the church prayer chain that he was in the hospital, and it wasn't looking good. Soon after, we received another call that he had passed away. It was just a virus, a stupid, common virus, but it had attacked his heart. There was nothing that could have been done for him. A year and a half old and he was gone. I'm not sure that I've ever known pain like what I went through at that time. I've lost loved ones before, but never like this. Never a small child...so sudden, so unexpected. The week after that is kind of a blur. I remember that being at work was horrible. Everything reminded me of him. His blankets were there, and they smelled like him. I remember crying a lot. I dreaded going to his funeral and seeing his tiny body in the casket. His parents had asked me to sing for the service, but I knew I couldn't hold it together long enough to make it through a song. I sobbed all the way through the service and then cried more at the grave site. I remember telling my mom that I couldn't imagine ever being happy again. It just wasn't right. He was so young...so precious. And if I was in that much agony, what must his parents be going through? I can't even begin to imagine.
Life goes on though. No matter how much it feels like it cannot or should not, it does. The funeral must have brought me some kind of closure. As hard as it was to see that tiny body, I think it helped me. I started to cry less every day. I started to laugh and enjoy life again. I remember feeling a little guilty about that sometimes, but I know it was right. It has to be that way. We cannot stay tied up in the pain of the past. We must go on with life because life keeps going on. He has a little sister now. I had her in my class this past year. She has his curly hair and his talent for sneaking into your heart.
Little Cole, you are loved and missed and remembered. I know that you are with Jesus and that someday we will see you again.