Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday

Larsons 1st Birthday Celebration Video from Corie O'Brien on Vimeo.
be sure to turn off the music below. Sit back and enjoy his wonderful life! Thanks for sharing our journey with us.

Dear Larson,
It’s hard to believe that it has already been almost a year that we have had to say hello and good-bye. It just will never be enough time. I loved you before I knew you…before you twisted and turned in my womb. I loved you when they said you were “not compatible” with life. I knew you were a gift from God given specifically for our family.

When you arrived your sisters and brothers were so excited to hold you. Emma was devastated when we called to say you had died. She told me later that she thought you would live for “at least a year!” She so hoped for that. She really wanted to bring you home and take care of you no matter what you were like.

It has been hard planning your first birthday. I’ve never had to plan a birthday without my little one here. So we are doing the best we can to make it a special day even though you won’t be there. You little friend Brees will certainly miss you. We thought we would see you grow up together. But just like your sister and brothers, her mommy and daddy are telling her all about you. She would have definitely been at your party if you were here.

Anyway, your sister is so excited to get her ears pierced…Grammie says it your gift to her seeing as she was not suppose to get them done until she was 16. We now know though that we don’t know how long we have. You really have shown us the fragility of life. So for your sister Emma…she gets a gift she has always desired and one that will remind her often of the gift we were given in you.

Your brothers love to pull out the clothes you wore and remember just how tiny you were. We often wonder what you will be like when we see you again. And trust me…mommy is teaching your sister and brothers ALL about Jesus. We know you are with Him right now and learning all about Him. I continue to tell them to trust in Jesus so they will see you too and learn with you.

I can’t begin to tell you what this year has been like. I am sure you don’t want me to have so many tears…but I just can’t keep them in much. Then come less frequent…but I don’t mind them when they come. Some people have a hard time knowing what to say. I just wish they would say your name. Like any mommy…I am proud of you. Maybe not of your first smile, your first steps or your first words, but I am still proud of who you are to your family.

You are one brave little boy for us. With many babies with your condition they probably would not have made it all. With a lung and/or heart condition and nothing pass your brain stem…well you defeated many odds. You cried when you came out and you screamed life to the doctors who thought we should deliver early to keep you from suffering. Well you should no signs of suffering…for that was a big concern. You seized often in the womb and stopped suffering, but you definitely didn’t show it while you were here.

I have never felt such love in that room we had you in. From doctors and family and friends. The love was intense because we knew we had limited time. But you were so patient and you let everyone hold you. What a fighter you were…born alive…lived passed delivery (which was a miracle because your heart rate was in the 30’s) and God gave us the gift of 23 hours. I know people try to make us feel better and tell us at least we had 23 hours, but that is not what we wanted. We desired you for a long time and when we found out we were pregnant we didn’t ask for 23 hours.

This year has really tested me little buddy. In my patience, my love, my faith, my desires, my hopes and my dreams. You see this was not our plan. I really thought I trust the Lord that He plans our ways. It sure is easy to say it when everything is going the way you want it. Easy to say its Gods will because you like His will. But when things are not as you wanted, you feel desperate, depressed and down. Well then that’s when the rubber meets the road. I had to wonder if God is a good God? Did He really want this to happen? Does He make mistakes?

This year has been the hardest and the best all at the same time. I have met some amazing new know their children in Heaven. I couldn't imagine not having them during this time. What a gift God gave me in two who began this road 15 months before me and one who is walking it at the same time. Its helped me to open my eyes to Gods blessing...whether big or small. On that note, we have also had friends we have known a long time who are still are friends. Seems strange I'm sure. You think everyone just embraces you however, but really its amazing that they have been so patient. This really has changed us sweet boy...but I'm ok with that. I'm learning to live with the new me and not try to go back to who I was.

Your life was a perfect gift to test me in areas I felt so strong in. I really did say "my children are not my own". I thought I gave all of you to the Lord. Sure is easy in word…in deed is a whole other story.

Even today I wonder what is ahead of me. Will I see restoration the same way that others have? My biggest prayer has been that Jesus would be enough for me. That I don’t need, nor deserve anything else, and that I can still say God is good. I find myself hoping for a healing like none other, but I also know my healing will look different from others. Maybe by nothing more…no gifts/blessing from God. Maybe my healing will simply be in that my gifts and blessing are defined by God and not by me.

I can tell you this son,if the Lord desires to give you and your siblings another sibling, in whatever means, it will NEVER be a replacement or a means of healing. You are your own little man...your own life to be honored. For God is so clear that He makes each and everyone of us perfect in His eyes. Psalm 139 is very clear. You are perfect. As we celebrate your birthday on Right to Life day each year, we will always remember that you were perfect and you had a right to life. You made your mark loud and clear. You were life and now you get to enjoy eternal life with your Father in Heaven. There will never be another like you!

That all being said. Larson… I can say that I DO with all my heart still believe in the same good God I did before. The same God that created me is the same God who made you. He DID NOT make a mistake. I know He loves you and I know He loves me.

He gives and He takes away and doesn’t always give another something tangible back. I know the one thing He will not take is His Son. The promise of eternal joy in Christ will never be taken no matter what I feel like day to day. I will step out into each day praying for trust in Christ, not in myself, and to be willing and able to following Him until I am reunited with you and I hear the words…”well done good and faithful servant”

So it is with a very heavy heart that we celebrate a birthday of a little boy. Its not the perfect birthday I planned for your sister and brothers…but it will be your perfect celebration. Of a life well lived but cut to far short…for me anyway! We don’t worry about you…you are having the best birthday ever. I’m even a little jealous! I love you little buddy! Have a great birthday with Jesus!


Kenzie said...

Thinking of your precious family this week as well. I honestly can't believe it's been a year... It's so hard and yet there is such peace knowing that they are spending their first birthday's in the the presence of the Lord. Love you girl and praying for your heart!


Devon said...

beautifully written....with tears in my eyes my heart hurts for you. i know how much you miss your son. i know that heartache....

praying for you and so thankful i have you to walk this journey with.

hope my blake and ethan are throwing larson a HUGE birthday celebration....

((hugs)) sweet friend....

my3sons said...

What a beautiful tribute for your sons 1st Birthday. Your family is just beautiful. I'm so sorry you had to lose your child. I am also a mother and pray for your heart to heal. God doesn't make mistakes, it is just hard to live with sometimes.

Emily said...

Happy Birthday to you, precious Larson! I'm praying for you, dear Corie, and I hope this day was gentle for you.

Sara said...

Corie it was so so nice talking with you the other day. Thank you for that encouragement you gave to me just by calling:) You are right God is still good! I thank God for you and that you reached out to me a couple of months ago when I was so new on this journey. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you through the next few days. I pray you have a special day as you celebrate and remember Larson for the sweet, precious, beautiful gift that he is to you and your family. God's peace!

TCM said...

Oh this is precious! I love you friend and am thinking of you and your sweet family during this time! Happy Birthday Larson, I love you little warrior!

Sara said...

Ok Corie I didn't watch the video before I commented before. Your video was just beautiful. I loved seeing your precious children with Larson. The love you all have for him is so crystal clear and evident in those pictures. I love it. It blessed me to see the precious time you spent with him. I am picturing my sweet Samuel and Larson celebrating his birthday together:)

Laura said...

So beautiful...I miss him too! Praying for your sweet heart...for Jesus to meet you in a whole new way this year. I know you have embraced all the hard times this year as well as the good. I love who you are and who you are becoming. Hold your head up sweet mama...Larson is so proud of you. I want you to hear Jesus say to you, "Well done". You are doing this well.

We will be celebrating Larson this week too. I'm so glad he came...for 23 hours. What a treasure.

Love you,

lemsmom said...

What an amazing video! I'm not sure I will ever understand your strength and your capacity to go on. I will be thinking of Larson, up above, and the rest of you on the 22nd.

Anonymous said...

There aren't words to express how incredibly special your video of Larson was to watch, my dear friend. Thank you for sharing it with me. My heart aches for you and I read your blog in amazement of your strength, your faith, your courage -- you are amazing. I love you.


Alyssa said...

so beautiful. i love your letter to Larson...what a precious offering of your heart. thanks for sharing this with encourages me as i miss our Sydney to remember that God does not make mistakes...and that He is good. Always. praying for you, sweet friend, as you celebrate Larson's special day!

Adrienne said...

Corie Corie Corie... I can barely type through the tears.... what a beautiful video celebrating Larson's life. Your blog is just incredible and if I can figure out how to become a "member" I'll do that! We will pray for you especially this week that His grace will carry you through the tender moments and memories... Love you Adrienne

mrsrubly said...

i am praying for you..happy first birthday have indeed changed the lives of many. what such a sweet letter to your son. it just made me want to brake down into tears. praying for you.

boltefamily said...

I have been thinking of Larson all week. He and Asher were just a month apart...exactly I think. I am sorry it took me so long to all honesty I came here several times and could not get through what you wrote without beginning my "ugly" cry. Finally this morning in the quietness while the kids were still asleep I was able to read and be blessed by Larson and your sweet words as his mommy. I know this is so hard Corie and I want you to know that I love you and am so thankful for Larson and we will be celebrating with you.

Melissa Seltzer said...

Corie I love your letter to your sweet little boy... Your words are so beautiful.. Happy Birthday Larson!! We love and miss you.. Melissa

Anonymous said...

Dear Corie and your beautiful family ,I learned of Larson from a wonderful friend, your sister Jodie. Larson has touched people you have not even meet. He is in a very special place with so much love all around him. Your faith is such an inspiration to me. May God bless you all, you are in my prayers always. Roberta.

Lisa Weir said...

Corie, I loved Larson's birthday video. It captured such poignant family moments. Thank you for sharing those special times with us. I believe Larson's life is a gift to all of us! He reminds me what a precious gift life is and to be truly thankful for every moment that God blesses us with. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love always,

Anonymous said...

I hope you guys know how much we love you. I prayed for you all day today, I can only imagine how hard today was. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts.
Love, Hattie OBrien (and Brendon too)

Kenzie said...


Thinking of you so much on this precious day of his birthday... wow, how memories can flood back to the surface all of a sudden. I love you and hope the day has been gentle. I have a total peace about tomorrow... God is good and faithful- like always. Love you.


zanesmommy said...

Been thinking and praying for you lots today. I hope you felt God's grace and peace. I love you!

Happy Birthday Larson.


Amber said... are amazing. Even on the days you don't feel it. You are. I shed more than one tear...remembering your sweet Larson. He is beautiful.
My thoughts are with you, friend.

Auntie Em said...

Dear Corie:

I am amazed as I read the testimony of your faith during your pregnancy and this past year. I found you on the string of pearls. My family and I are walking a similar road. I am pregnant wit conjoined twin girls, Anna and Emma. They are not expected to live beyond March 20 (my 34th week) if they make it that far. I am amazed too how similar our emotions are. Sometimes I feel very alone, and it helped me to read your thoughts. Thank you again for ministering to my heart.

Your sister in Christ,
Paige Wright