If you were here, there would be bedtime stories, popsicles, lots of snuggles, tickle fights, nature walks, and bits of playdough stuck to the floor. I’d hold your hand at the zoo as we tried to spot the grizzly bear, and watch you splash in the waterworks at the children’s museum. Thomas or tea parties. Dinos or dollies. Undoubtedly you’d have your Daddy’s dimples and my little button nose, and if you were here, I’d smother them both with kisses every chance I had. I’d relish that glint in your eye as you pedaled your tricycle for the first time and jump for joy as you learned to write your name. We’d make chocolate chip cookies, and I’d let you lick the beater every time. If you were here, there would be endless games of Candyland, extra bubbly baths, and lots of sprinkler runs. I’d say yes to the extra cupcake, let you play with the stickers, and not let the toothpaste on the bathroom counter upset me. If you were here we’d clean up less and play more. When you wanted my attention, I’d put down my laptop and look you square in your beautiful eyes. If you asked me to play, I wouldn’t be too busy. Laundry could wait. So could emails, blog posts, and the next chapter in my book. Social media would have nothing on you little one. If you were here, I’d fill up my world with you..studying your small little hands, the sound of your laugh, and the way your forehead would wrinkle when you were deep in thought. I’d recognize that you are not a chore, an obligation, or a hindrance to my freedom. If you were here, I’d thank God EVERY DAY for the perfect gift He’d blessed me with. I would be grateful for every moment you were with me…even on the bad days…even on the really bad days. I would cherish you, adore you, and love you whole-heartedly.

But baby, you’re not here. God chose to take you before you were born. I’ve asked Him “why?” so many times. Why my baby? Why you? I’ve spent so many nights dreaming about you…wondering what you would look like….what would make you smile…and wishing you were here. If you were here, I would tuck five precious kids into bed each night, have ten little hands to hold, and love our family of seven. But you’re in Heaven, and I’m down here….missing you like crazy, and finally understanding part of the “why.” Because Holden, while you’re not here, your brothers and sisters are. And while I long to be with you, God has given me four other children….and you, sweet baby…you’re my inspiration. You are my reminder to hold on. To love a little more. To fret a little less. To do all of the things I long to do with you….with THEM…the babies that are here. And as I hold you in my heart, instead of my arms, your spirit that left me too soon will guide me…..reminding me to cherish the ones that are here….encouraging me to spend time with them the way I long to with you…..to hold them a little longer….to say yes as often as I can….to be okay with the messes…..to PLAY….to give my full attention….to make time…the time I DO have with those who are here. I will try to make every day with them, the way I wish I could for you, if you were here.


*This post is dedicated to Holden Lindner, who would have been born on September 19th, 2009. We love and miss you, and know that you are with Jesus. You may not be here, but one day, we will be there…with you.