I don't know why you're not here this week to celebrate your second birthday.
I refuse to say that you "would have been" two years old this week. You are...because you live. You may not dwell with us here on planet Earth, but you are alive just the same. Honestly, I don't know what that exactly looks like. Your being alive in Glory, I mean.
I don't know why some, like you, are chosen to spend every moment of their lives in Heaven, while some are chosen to endure the Earth for 70 or 80 years.
I don't know what you look like now.
I know that you never sprouted wings and that you are not an angel. Want to know a secret, Noah? I hate it when people say that you are an angel, looking down on us from heaven. Shh...don't tell anyone, because Gigi tries to be nice, and not start a fight. But I know that angels are completely separate beings, and that you are not an angel.
Do babies grow in Heaven? Grow beautiful? Are you still a babe in arms, or have you grown into a toddler? How many words do you know? Do you play with the other children? Is Jesus sweeter and more beautiful than I could ever imagine?
I wish you could let me know, Mister Man. What I do know is that you are alive in Glory. Today and forevermore. Right now we can only imagine, and see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now we know only in part; then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known. That's what St. Paul said. Have you met him yet?
I wish that you could tell me that you are so happy.
I wish you could once -- just once -- tell your Mama and Daddy how much you miss them, how much you love them, and how much you can't wait to see them.
How absolutely worth it, it will all be.
You can be so proud of Mommy and Daddy, Mister Man. They miss you so much, and there is not a single, solitary moment that they don't wish you were here. You could not be loved one ounce more than you are. They love Jesus, and they trust Him with you. They long for the day that they will see you with their own eyes, and hold you in their arms. Would you ask Jesus to give them some extra measures of grace and strength this week? Would you ask Him to draw very close, and comfort them in those times when not having you is so incredibly hard? They are strong because Jesus gives them His strength. They are a beautiful example of faith and trust to all who know them.
I miss not seeing you do two-year old things. What I'm really missing today is another secret I want to tell you. Shh..don't tell anyone. When your sisters, Ashton and Evie, and your cousin Brooklyn were born, and all those other folks were chatting all around the room, I held them in my arms and welcomed them to our world by telling them that they were awesome, mighty, beautiful women of God. I whispered those words over and over again in their little ears. No one could hear but the girls and Gigi. I told them how much Jesus loved them. I had planned to do the same with you. I could not wait to hold you close and whisper those words in your ear. You are a mighty, strong, bold, courageous man of God. You are a man after God's own heart. Jesus loves you so, so much. That's what I would have told you. Today, you know that Love more than Gigi does. You know it up close and personal. You can see Him, you can smell Him, you can feel Him. Is it beyond amazing, Mister Man? I bet it's more than we can ever think or imagine, right? Tell me...oh, how I wish you could.
But for now...
I will keep kissing your picture. You have the sweetest little mouth. And guess what? Your new baby sister, Evie...she has your chin. She looks like you!
But, I want you to understand this, Mister Man...There is only one you. Evie is not a replacement. She is an addition to your sweet family, a family in which you are a treasured member. You are not forgotten.
Only one you...only one Noah.
You will never be replaced.
God did not replace.
For now, I can only imagine.
Until my faith becomes my eyes.
I miss you. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I look at your picture so often. Some days, I can't look. It's too much to bear...some days.
But other days, I look, and touch your cheek, and kiss those lips, and smile.
I smile because I know that you are safe in the Father's care. I smile because Jesus has promised that you are with Him. I know that you have never once felt pain. I know that every need is met, and that you want for nothing. I smile that because you are, our world is a better place. I would really rather be holding you in my arms today, but I trust the One who holds you in His. But there are many days that I cry. I cry...hard. Something will just remind me of you, out of the blue. I look at your picture...a lot. You are so, so handsome, Mister Man. You are a man after God's own heart. You are mighty, bold, strong and courageous. Gigi loves you just as much as any grandmother's heart could. Gigi loves you so much today, and every day.
Oh, how can one heart hurt so badly, yet rejoice so completely, all at the same time?
Jesus promised that in all things, He works for the good of those who love Him. I love Him so! I'm counting on that promise. I'm holding Him to His Word.
Happy, happy, second birthday, Mister Man.
I want to say so much more, but there are just no other words.
Maybe Jesus can read my heart to you, along with this letter.
I can only keep imagining, until I fully see.
Imagining, maybe this?