I was driving to church this morning and a song came on the radio that had me almost pull over. It was about a boy. Growing up, fist fights, first kisses, football games, driving too fast, etc. It was adorable, predictable, and just about every word made me want to just burst into sobs. I don’t know what George Mason would have been like as he grew old. I don’t know if he would have been shy or outgoing; confident or self conscious; big and loud or small and quiet. I do know, though, what his daddy would have expected from him. And I know that if he was anything like his daddy, he would have had a very large personality and an affinity for football. He would have fallen head over heels in love quickly. He would have a strange collection of something that would mean the world to him. He would be decked out in Black & Gold on Saturdays (despite his mama’s best attempts at making him a Seminole) and Carolina Blue & Black on Sundays. He would take his hat off for eating and he would insist on opening the car door for the women in his life. Those are the things I can know and those are also the things that can make me oh so sad.

We are quickly approaching Thanksgiving without our baby. One of my absolute favorite memories from Audrey Nole’s first year is her first Thanksgiving. She LOVED everything about that day. She ate a ton of food. I think she gained a full pound on Thanksgiving day. There are the most precious pictures of her chowing down on all the wonderful foods that show up just this one time every year. If she could remember, it would probably go down in history as her best day ever; even better than birthday cake. Those memories are flooding my psyche the last couple days  - probably because they are some of my fondest - and they are making this next week seem overwhelmingly hard. I’m so sad and broken over the fact that George Mason won’t get that day. He won’t experience those first tastes of my mama’s stuffing. He won’t be covered in sweet potatoes. But then the realization hits, he’s in the most perfect place with the most delicious feasts and celebrations and its not him who’s missing out… its ME. Its sad for ME to know that he won’t have those moments, but really what I’m sad about is that I don’t get to share those moments with him. There won’t be pictures for his baby book of overstuffed cheeks and a bulging belly. There will just be the pictures from his day; in that awful hospital room with poor lighting, swollen, tear filled eyes, and the most preciously terrible snuggles before he took his last breath and went to be with Jesus.

One of the most comforting things has been knowing that all of this pain and sadness that I’m feeling, that everyone who loves us is feeling, is not being experienced by George Mason. That he is in glory with his Savior. He isn’t knowing the pain of missing me or thanksgiving. He isn’t in physical pain and his body isn’t riddled with brokenness. That is the most perfect gift from my caring Father. Assurance that the pain of this loss is earthly and that eternity didn’t and doesn’t hold tears of sadness for my son. And that while my pain over this last 9 months and for the rest of my life hurts a lot, its not the end of the story; its not even the biggest part of the story. Its just a footnote to the glorious work of the Lord in my life and my son’s life and the lives of everyone who misses George Mason alongside us.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. - Hebrews 12:28-29