Saturday, March 2, 2013

Parke Henry...

This post is hard, but I'm ready to document these moments before I forget. We are feeling your prayers bathing over our family, and we are so grateful for that. Parke was a special, special baby. I am so grateful to God that he gave him to us...even if just for a little while. I am so honored that I was chosen to be Parke's mama. He changed our lives in such an amazing way, and he will forever be my baby. 

Our last days with Parke were extremely precious, peaceful, and a time that I will never ever forget. 
Parke was on oxygen most of the time, so we didn't leave the house at all. It was wonderful to just snuggle up with our family of 5 and enjoy each other. Parke was comfortable the entire time, but sleepy throughout. I loved it when he would open his eyes and make contact with mine. He knew it was getting close, and he just seemed so at peace.

My grandparents were over on Wednesday, and we were able to get a few family pictures on the couch. They didn't go perfectly with our wild munchkins, but the pictures and memories they will bring my heart are absolutely perfect in every way.  

Parke continued to be "over-loved" throughout his last day on earth. He was SO loved by Landry and Collier, and I'm so glad we will have pictures to show them and talk to them about their relationship as they get bigger. Collier started saying "bru-ber" on Wednesday.  

When the kids went to bed Wednesday night, Micah spent some alone time with Parke on the couch while I visited with an old friend. He needed that time with his son, and I am so glad he got it. 
We went to bed late and stayed up until around 2:00 crying, admiring Parke's features, and just soaking up his presence. We read scripture to him, sang some of our favorite songs, and prayed for God to go ahead and take him. His breathing was very labored, and even though he seemed comfortable, we were ready for him to be fully healed. He hadn't had any fluid intake in 24 hours, and we knew that there would not be "normalcy" for him at that point. 
The scripture that stood out that we kept reading to him over and over was, 
1 Peter 5:10 "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." 

We got a little bit of sleep that night snuggled up with our boy. He made it through to the morning, and we got up early and started the process we went through the night before all over again. Pictures, sweet stories, scripture, songs. I snapped this picture of sweet Parke that morning around 7:00. Does he not look just amazingly peaceful and beautiful? He even seems to have a little grin on his face. I will cherish this picture, always! He had to know how much we loved him!

I kept struggling to understand why God was having him hold on. Why things couldn't happen quickly and without any struggling on Parke's part. God kept reminding me that his timing is perfect, and there is a reason for every second he has planned.
Landry woke up before Collier that morning, and we were able to bring her down and let her spend a few special moments with her baby brother. The minutes were PRECIOUS and I broke down and cried as she left the room knowing that God intended for those moments to happen. I will be doing an entire post about those few minutes because I want her to be able to look back and experience it all over again. It was amazing. 

At this point in the morning, we were still just a family of 5 hanging out together. Our sweet babysitter offered to come play with the kids that morning, and I was hesitant to say yes the day before. We love our mornings as a family, and we like to move slow when Micah is home. I thought about it and decided maybe 9:00 would be a good time for her to come. I'm so glad she did because she was in the room with us as we knew Parke was in his last seconds. She took the kids immediately so that Micah and I could be alone with Parke. 

I held him in my arms, staring into his face as he took his last breaths. Micah and I hugged him closely and told him over and over how much we loved him. We sang to him and rocked him tightly as he passed directly into the arms of Jesus. We knew immediately when he wasn't here any longer, but there was a resounding peace in our home. An amazing feeling of knowing we were covered in prayer and God was present with us. 

That is all I can handle to share for now.

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