It's been awhile since I've updated. Life has been pretty busy with various illnesses, school, work and other regular life activities. Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving has passed, and now December is upon us. This is a time of year that is especially rough for us. With Gabriel's birthday to start the month, then Christmas which is always a tough time - remembering that we don't get to celebrate with him, and then the new year (which lets face it, can be a bit scary), it can be rough.
Gabriel's birthday is in 1 week. He'd be 3 years old now. It's unbelievable that it's been nearly 3 years since I held our first son. It's been nearly 3 years since I stared at his perfect little face. I can't believe how fast the 3 years has gone by, but I guess in a growing family time goes quickly. So much has changed. Our lives have been in a whirlwind, but soon I hope it will slow down so we can enjoy life a little more. I just feel like things are constantly changing, constantly happening and the world keeps spinning faster and faster. Eventually it starts to feel a bit out of control. In those moments I know I can go to the cemetery and be near Gabriel, where the world is quiet once more and everything seems to stand still - only for a moment in time.
Just in time for Gabriel's 3rd birthday, I've decided to volunteer my time with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They are the organization filled with volunteer photographers who go out to take photos for families who have lost a child. They are the organization that connected me with a photographer who captured every second of Gabriel's short life and many moments after. Surprisingly to start out, I will not be taking photos. I will be volunteering my time in the community, recruiting, connecting families with photographers and making sure hospitals have all the tools they need to offer this service to families. After I've worked on my low light photography skills I will eventually move into being a photographer for them, just not yet. I hope to be in that place before Gabriel's 4th birthday. Tomorrow I will meet with the recruiter to get everything set up and going. It's taken 3 years to get to a place where I can finally give back. It isn't easy knowing the field I'll be volunteering in and the situations I may face. In my heart though, I know it's what I need to do. I have wanted to help for so long, and now I'm finally able to. And eventually, I'll be able to use my photography skills to benefit these families even more.
Evelyn is growing up so fast, I can't blink these days or I might miss something. She mentions Gabriel sometimes. Most recently we were all hanging out on the couch and Evelyn was scared. Derrick explained that she has angels watching over her and she doesn't need to be scared, Evelyn's response, ever so innocently was "Like Gabriel?". Yup like Gabriel *cue tears*. I nearly lost it whens she said it. It was an emotional time, her realizing that Gabriel is an angel and lives with Jesus, and she's starting to understand what that means. It's always interesting to me to hear her speak of him and the way she understands him. It'll be more interesting to hear how the boys view him, as Evelyn and the boys have very different relationships with him.
This time of year, Gabriel is always on my mind. I never forget him and I know he is with me all the time. Thinking of him and who he would be consumes my heart and mind, I will never stop thinking of him and loving him.