Today is your fifth birthday, walkie talkie. I just realized that I haven’t called you that in months. No, I never called you Walker Texas Ranger. I have never even seen that show but it didn’t stop others from asking us about it.
We were going to call you by your middle name, Hayes. Being the first time parents that we were, we consulted others in hopes of them sharing our excitement over your name. A name we had secretly monogramed on a pottery barn pillow, just to see how it looked.
They didn’t love it. So many people. So we kept thinking and daddy suggested Walker. We loved it. Your first name got bumped to the middle and you became, Walker Hayes. The response was much more positive and now we could never imagine calling you anything but .. It is such a beautiful name. We learned our lesson with sharing your name early and kept your brother’s name to ourselves until we knew that we were sold on it.
I remember thinking about your name for months and writing it out over and over again. What would your initials be? What would your three letter monogram look like???
Yes , I did this. I was concerned over this. Would you be made fun with weird shortened nicknames? Did anything gross rhyme with your name?
I guess I should have asked if your name was ever apart of famous tv show that I might have never heard of. .. A friend of mine googled your name to see what came up. A new country music star. She said, “listen to his music to see if he is any good or not. ” The point is, I pinned over your name because it was going to be how everyone remembered you. A name is so important and what an incredible gift it was to choose your name. What an incredible gift it has been to be your mom.
This isn’t the way I’d hoped to celebrate your 5th birthday. You asleep on the couch next to me while I try and find pictures from before you got sick. Your sweet nurse in training who just left after sitting with you for several hours for me to paint and have some respite. But this is where we are.
You lived 3 1/2 years to the fullest and the past 1 1/2 you’ve been trying so hard to get back to life. You are so resilient. You have been through more then I knew possible and yet you keep going. You keep fighting, like this life is worth fighting for. Your purpose here on earth is not done.
I’d always rock you to sleep. People say to just lay babies down and walk out of the room. I couldn’t do that. I tried, you cried. I caved. Your daddy and I would rock you for hours. Reading. Singing. Praying. It lasted until the day you got sick. As you got older, we would lay on the floor waiting until you fell asleep. Reading. Singing. Praying. I prayed for so many things. Your future wife. Your heart. Your character. Your eyelashes. I prayed that God would build you up to be big and strong and used for his Kingdom. I must have prayed that every night for most of your life.
He must have heard me.
This is the last picture I have of you. You would sit here for hours playing with your legos making airplanes. Yes you have a sword in your shirt.
So many children pray for you every night. Children that normally wouldn’t understand what it means to pray for a sick child. How can a child think about such things? Thanking God for trucks and trains and grammy but to call out to heal one of their friends? It’s miraculous.
Walker, there are so many praying for you and asking God to make you better. People we know. A lot of people that we don’t know. Your story has made others change the way they look at their own children. You’ve made people so incredibly thankful for time. Time to be present and enjoy the fleeting joys of having children. Time to focus on the big picture and release the insignificant details. Time to hug those close, tighter.
I don’t know if you hear me. I don’t know if you’ll ever tell me that you “love me so much” or ask me ” how do airplanes actually work?”… I talk to you like you can hear me because I have to. In the same way that I talked when I was 6 months pregnant with you and I taught you how to make a pork roast. Yes, I did that. It will come natural when you are older. I hope you know how much I wish I could take your place. I wish I could take this from you so that you can go and do what five year olds do. You’re five. I can’t even grasp how quickly time has gone.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
I don’t think God had this in His plan for you. I believe that Sin in this world took you from me. I believe that God intended your life for good and joy. I think that until we are reunited with the Lord that I won’t understand why He didn’t protect you from this. But. I do know that he will use your life for good. Your suffering will not be vain. Your life will be a blessing to others and as long as you’re still with us, I will not give up Hope that the seizures will stop and your mind return.
“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit” Romans 5:3-5
Walker, today, I pray that last verse. I pray that “we can’t round up enough containers”… that God will pour out into your life far more then we’ve been waiting for. I pray this year of your life is better. That we can do the things that have been put on hold since July of last year. That you can live more of this life on earth and truly enjoy this side of heaven.