It’s really been a busy summer. I have been craving a good writing session to sit down and just let it all out … every emotion put on paper. Rarely will you find me voicing to many of my feelings out loud so it’s therapeutic for me to spill out the lonely cloud of grief and share this journey that we are on. But it seems like lately every time I sit down and try to put my mind on paper I just can’t. My thoughts are all over the place and what hits the paper is next too nothing.
As the weekend approaches I felt like it was time I spill it. No agenda or story in my post but just let my mind settle and let it spill out. It’s been almost 2 years since we lost Nate. It still feels like he was just here yesterday at times and at other times it feels longer. But no matter the time that passes, the emotions may change but the pain still stays the same. We miss Nate.
Last week, I found myself sitting in the boys room just looking around. I was sorting through clothes and prepping for fall. As I sat on the edge of the bed, I found myself kneeled in front of the boys dresser which still has Nate’s clothes neatly folded in the bottom 2 drawers that are decorated with stickers from him. Just before school started 2 years ago I had gone through the closet and each drawer to sort and fold every article of clothing they owned. Most things within the house have moved. Some of Nate’s things have been put up to be sure they aren’t touched, some have been played with daily, others like his clothes have been untouched. As I sat on the floor, I found myself with his drawers open, sifting through his clothes, smiling at his favorite shirts, and tearing up as I leaned in to take a deep breath of the smell of Nate. In those moments he feels so close. Like he’s hugging me and knows I’m in pain but telling me it’s going to be okay. I miss you, Nate.
How did I get here? To this place two years later…
School has begun. It was hard to send Drew off to school because, selfishly, I just love having him home. But harder than that is to see all the children Nate’s age growing… they are off to second grade now. 2nd grade. The grade Drew was in when he lost his brother and our lives changes forever. The grade Nate would be in now. In my mind, Nate is 5 heading off to Kindergarten. He still loves monster trucks, dirt, and all things outside. He still says “nake” instead of “snake” because he so adorably still hadn’t picked up the s sound. He still draws people with the arms and legs sticking from the circle of a head. He still draws trucks on every picture. He still occasionally writes his name with a backwards N. In my mind, he still leaves his scooter and bike on the front sidewalk to step over with an assortment of hotwheels and monster trucks through the yard as well. He was still small enough to curl into my lap for an afternoon cartoon as he nodded off on a lazy afternoon. It’s the way my mind has him etched in. But as I watch his friends grow…. it’s really hard to imagine what Nate would be. We don’t know. I wish we knew. Oh, how we miss you Nate.
Two years ago, our lives changed in an instant.
Two years ago, our lives changed forever.
Two years ago, we lost our son Nate.
Two years ago, God took over in the midst of darkness and allowed us to shine.
Two years ago we asked for donations for a playground in lieu of flowers.
Two years ago that goal of a playground became a mission for our family.
Two years ago the motto of Go Out Be Great was etched onto us and took on more meaning than being just a motto. It gets us through days that otherwise we’d crawl back in bed. It’s challenged me to work harder, fight harder, love harder, and be a better person.
Two years for The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation have passed. A foundation built in Nate’s memory. A foundation I am very proud of but a foundation name that still stuns my mind when someone asks “Who is Nathan Chris Baker”? I am honored to say, “Nathan is my son”… but the formulating the words… “who passed away in 2012″ are not easy to say. It will never be easy to say.
Two years ago the dreams we had for our family changed forever. Two years ago we let go of dreams. Two years ago we began to build new dreams.
Some moments, some days, even some weeks I look back and wonder how did I make it through? How did I find the moments of joy, how did I find the strength to smile, how did I keep putting one foot in front of the other? When grief gets the best of me I have to take a step back and remember the promise I made two years ago. I promised to honor Nate and I promised in my darkest moments to keep faith and follow my heart through this journey. I promised to let this light shine for us, for Nate, and for God. It isn’t easy but when I let myself hand it over to God, the burden is lifted, and I find peace.
Go Out. Be Great. For Nate.
All My Love,