In Noah Dean's short 10 years on this earth I confirmed many dates and times for him. From dentist and doctor appointments, playdates, practices and, as many parents know, the list is endless. After his death we had to cancel many of those that were already scheduled out in advance (me being the planner I am.) Then we went on to make and confirm different types of appointments. From a time to pick out his casket, the service, his headstone, even reviewing investigative reports and meeting with experts to find out what in the world happened that day and now we still meet to find out what we can do to make sure no one else suffers a tragedy like what we experienced on July 4, 2012.
Today I confirmed yet another appointment. The date and time for his headstone to be installed. Yes, that is an option to be able to watch it go up. I think I dealt with all the administrative parts of it for so, so long, the emotional part hit me when I saw the number and heard the words, "we have the monument ready for Noah."
I felt like I didn't even blink and he was gone. My child was taken way too soon.
Parents, don't take it for granted. Don't be frustrated when they cling to you and you can't get on with your day. They didn't ask to be brought into this world.
Don't roll your eyes when the school calls you with a sick child and it interrupts your work day. Let your child know that THEY are not the interruption. Your work day is.
Find out what they enjoy and immerse yourself in it. Ask questions, get down on the floor and play. There are a lot of things I learned about Noah and what he liked AFTER he died. Irony at its finest.
Encourage them and help them better their skills. Strengthen what they are good at so they won't feel as incompetent when their weaknesses come up.
Find the good in life. From the simple things of bird watching to delivering food and fellowship to a shut in. Teach them empathy and compassion for others and the world we live in.
Don't take a single second for granted. From rushing out the door in the morning, to the last goodbye as you drop them off at school to kissing their forehead goodnight and telling them, truly looking them square in the eye, how very much you love them and how you are blessed God allowed them to be in your life.