On Monday, Ledger woke up crying in the middle of the night.
Pat said he'd take care of it, and returned a few seconds later, saying Ledger had thrown up several times. For the next couple of hours, Ledger constantly threw up, and twice all over Pat.
After we stripped his bedding, cleaned the floor, and established a system, I sent Pat to bed, and stayed up rocking Ledger.
From day one, Ledger refused to sleep anywhere other than his crib. Only on rare occasions has he fallen asleep in public. And before Monday night, I couldn't have told you the last time he slept in my arms. So I took advantage, and enjoyed holding him, rocking him, and watching him fall in and out of sleep.
While I was staring at his sweet little face, images of Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) with his older sister flashed back, and left me feeling incredibly anxious. I couldn't believe how much Ledger looked like Preslee, wearing only a diaper, wrapped in his favorite blanket. I kept thinking he was finally asleep, when he'd wake up crying, just to throw up again. And while I struggled thinking about his older sister's last week of life, I suddenly felt Preslee in the room next to us. Ledger did as well, and I watched his little body relax, fall asleep and he slept peacefully for the rest of the night.
I sat there for a long time, with both of my kids next to me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, thinking about how differently life turned out for us. Instead of having a 3 year old asleep in bed, Preslee was busy comforting her little brother and mom in the middle of the night.
This isn't our first experience with Preslee, and we've seen many blessings stem from having her in heaven. Today, we live in a world, where many people don't believe in God, or in life after death. And last night I couldn't help but realize the many tender mercies we've been given as a family. We know God exists, along with His son Jesus Christ, who continually stays by our side.
We can testify that our relationship with Preslee did not end at the time of her death.
We've had many sacred and humbling experiences with her during the past two years which have changed us forever.
So I don't know why we were surprised when we pulled in to the cemetery on Sunday evening, and Ledger walked right up to the headstone, touched Preslee's picture, almost reverently babbled a few words, and then gave her a hug. I don't know why I'm often surprised to see the way he lights up every time we show him pictures or videos of his older sister. Monday night I realized he knows her, and will continue to know her. And I'm beginning to think in many ways, he will probably have a stronger relationship with her than if she would have been able to stay.
"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." - Joseph B Wirthlin
I'm beginning to realize this is just the beginning.