My life is new.
My life is new in a completely different way than I had ever anticipated. Instead of experiencing a ‘new’ life together with Sam, Ted and I are living a ‘new’ life without him. We had prepared our hearts for all the joy first time parents experience with their babies. Instead, we trudge forward, moment by moment, not knowing what that’s like.
During Sam’s funeral we asked a dear friend to videotape the service for us. Last night we received the copy. We sat quietly in our office watching through tear-filled eyes, one of the hardest half hours of our life. I held Ted’s hand and we marveled at all of the love. Tony Alstott, the Pastor at Wesley Chapel, again moved us with his words. He closed Sam’s funeral with this thought:
“We are human each and every one of us. And we measure life differently than how God measures life. And we might think that what’s happened here this week is a horrible injustice and that God is a horrible God because we measure life by days, and months and years; and we measure life by accomplishments. But I want to tell you about how God measures life. God measures life by love. That’s how God measures life. God doesn’t measure life by the number of years. God measures life in the quantity of one. We are all given one life and there are no guarantees. Life is fragile and life is a gift. Folks, Sam was given life. And Sam’s measure of love was greater than we can ever imagine. And our love is greater than what we had before. And for that we will always be thankful for Sam Benjamin Newton.”
I’ve had people reach out to me and tell me they’re angry with God. Maybe I haven’t experienced that stage of grief yet but I’m praying I never get there. Each morning I try to focus on the one thing I know to be true; God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again.
Tony shared with us that Sam’s life was a gift. No one knows that better than Ted or me. I recently read, “When you come to the place where you recognize that everyone you love is a gift, it becomes possible to enjoy those gifts – not with an attitude of greed but with one of gratitude.” (Holding on to Hope)
In his sufferings, Job tells his wife, “…Should we accept only good things from God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10) The truth is that Sam was a gift. Ted and I were stewards of our gift from God. That’s our job as parents. A steward is to manage or look after another’s property. Sam was God’s. I can’t be angry that Sam is with his Creator.
I can only respond with my humanly response. I miss my baby. I wanted to experience life with him on earth.
But how precious it is that we get to spend forever with our little boy.
My biggest anxiety moving forward is how each of you responds to me and to Ted. Mostly your response in public. I’m afraid to see someone who doesn’t know Sam was born to God. As a Mama, it’s simply hard to voice. Although my heart is shattered you probably won’t see me without my smile. Please don’t avoid us, not mention our baby or worry about making us cry. We do cry – and that’s okay. Tell us you’re sorry. Tell us you love of us. Most of all, tell us you’re thinking about Sam. Our love is greater than what we had before. And for that we will always be thankful for Sam Benjamin Newton.