I decided to keep on writing articles for Daddy's work newsletter. Here is the latest article. Thank you, Kathy, for allowing me to continue on with this, and for EVERYTHING else you've done for us.
He smiled at me again. My whole world felt complete when that tiny baby would give me that goofy grin. He had even started to giggle at times. Nothing in this world is better than listening to that little guy giggle. It told us that he was enjoying his life…and really, that’s all we ever really wanted. He had a lot of struggles, but the most important thing was that he enjoy his life. It was amazing to see him start to reach out for toys, and grab anything he could. He was fascinated with the way he could make those little hands work. He had started to actually play with his brother and sister. His favorite game was to spy on their playing, and when they would come close to include him, he’d roll the opposite way. It was his own adorable version of Peek-A-Boo. It’s amazing how we take those little things for granted with our healthy babies, but for babies like Carter….those feats were like climbing mountains.
Carter was making improvements in his Physical Therapy, but you could see that he was getting so very frustrated with his little body. He wanted to be able to roll around, and crawl, and sit up. He had been learning how to lift his head, and he would get angry when it wouldn’t stay up like he wanted. He was learning how to bear weight through his legs, and would do so for as long as he could. Unfortunately, his sick body would eventually win out over his spirit. He would get exhausted after only sitting for a couple of minutes, but he would keep trying. He never ever quit trying.
When I think about the life of my sweet baby, it is easy to compare him to a butterfly. All of that time in the hospital, and the time up until his first birthday, it is like he was a little caterpillar. Just feeding, getting bigger, growing stronger, until it was time for him to form his little cocoon. I hadn‘t noticed it before, but I did see that change in Carter around his birthday. He most certainly formed his cocoon. This is when the frustration really set in, and his spirit began to grow tired. We were in the middle of preparing for his next surgery that we thought would help him with some of his struggles. We had no idea that our world would come crashing down on us…or maybe we did. Of course we had bad feelings about it, but we thought that the only way Carter would get better was to go ahead with it. So, we began our walk through the fire. We thought that the surgery was going to help our little guy bust out of that tiny cocoon, and we were right….just not in the way we wanted. Carter grew his little butterfly wings and took flight.
Ironically, we had some pet caterpillars arrive in the mail on the very day of his surgery. During the time in the hospital we watched them grow until they finally formed their tiny cocoons. We could easily see the comparison between these butterflies and Carter, so it wasn’t at all surprising when the butterflies finally hatched on the very day of our baby’s funeral. Just like these butterflies, Carter was finally free. He was soaring high taking pieces of ourselves with him, and leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.