Comfort and Joy

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will
give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13

Saturday, September 10, 2011

4 years

4 years ago today I met the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
He was perfect to me.  Everything about him was perfect.  He had the most precious nose, gorgeous eyes, kissable cheeks and I was in awe that the Lord had given him to me. P9100052
I couldn't wait to hold him, nurse him, snuggle with him but instead, the Lord had other plans.
He was whisked away from us because he was breathing fast.  They thought it was because he was a wimpy white boy that was a little early and needed some help with his lungs.
I wish that had been the case but instead, the Lord had other plans. P9100010
We were told in the middle of the night by a disheveled looking doctor that he thought our son was going to die.  We went to sleep thinking he needed a little lung support to being awoken with the news that our son was barely hanging on.
Le Bonheur PediFlight team transported him to Le Bonheur where they hoped with all the right equipment and medicine, his life could be saved. We went in less than 12 hours from the best moment of our lives, to the worst.
I still thought he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Only a mother can see her son that sick and that swollen, and still think he's beautiful.P9130074
There was so much equipment and machines and medicine that it was all so overwhelming. Our little 6 lb. 9 ounce baby was hooked up to so many things. P9140075
We had faith...that is all we had. We had to cling to the Lord because there was nothing else to cling too. It was the only thing keeping us standing. Each day was heartbreaking because each day brought so much bad news but we still had faith.
There were some good days here and there and I did whatever it took to be the mother I knew I was supposed to be. It didn't look like the mother I had envisioned because he wasn't home with me snuggling with me, being held by me, being nursed by me but instead he was laying in hospital bed where I rubbed his face, held his hand, sang to him, gave him oral care, and gave him sponge baths. Those things were so important to me because it made me feel like a mother. P9170085
We did everything to make his stay the best it could be. Brought in blankets and lovies that we slept with so he could have our smell on them. Changed his bedding every night to match, look pretty, and be nice and clean.
I saw David become a man that only God could make him be. He was his protector, his advocate, and his father.
We grew up quickly over night. We no longer felt like kids just breezing through life.  We now were making decisions that no parent should ever have to make.PA120132
We met some of the most amazing people while walking through this journey.  People who are still in our lives and inspire us daily.
The day he opened his eyes and looked at me was one of the happiest days of my life. PA130148
He was still the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. PA140154
We spent many days and nights where I just held him. I didn't care that my legs and bottom went numb and that the world was going on without me. I had my precious son in my arms where he belonged. PA150003
I fell more in love with David every day. PA180030_1
We had some really great days in a row where we really did have hope that we would one day take him home. We weren't naive in thinking he wouldn't have a lot of things going on but we were ok with that and willing to do whatever it took.
Our last good day was Halloween. The next day I knew he was taking a turn for the worse but no one could figure out what was wrong.
I was woken up Friday morning, November 2 by David who was at the hospital, that he was not doing well. His lungs were failing. I knew at that moment that this was the end. PB040067
We never left his side in those last 3 days. We barely ate or drank just so we wouldn't have to use the restroom and leave him. He gave us 3 beautiful days with him. 3 days of making sure he knew how very loved he was and how very proud of him we were. PB040072
On November 4, 2007, a little past 10 at night, Robert Forrest Spence died in our arms. He went straight from our arms to his Heavenly Father's arms. PB040066
God had big plans for our little guy. They weren't the plans we would have picked for him but his 55 days of life brought more glory to his Heavenly Father than I had in my 27 years of life. PA230046
Forrest was a miracle in every aspect. God used his life to change me, refine me, and mold me into the woman he wants me to be. I am still a sinner and far off from the woman God wants me to be but God used Forrest to re-examine my life and how I wanted to live it.

Forrest, I am so proud of you. I am so proud to be your mommy. I am so proud of the 55 days you lived on this earth.  I am so proud of your legacy and how it lives on each family the Fund ministers too.  My heart aches with the desire to see you again and hold you again. It seems so far away until I see you again but what a blessing to know I will spend eternity with you. I love you sweet boy. Forever and always...Happy 4th Birthday.


Deborah Mast said...

Happy 4th Birthday to Forrest! He is always in our hearts. We love you all.
Aunt Deborah & Uncle Jack

ashleywheatley said...

So sweet, I'm praying for you dear friend! Your
An amazing mother and inspiration!

EBW said...

What a beautiful, sweet post.

Jess Cudzilo said...

So so so beautiful. Grateful to know you will be with Forrest again and forever!

Linda Miller said...

Your GG loves and misses you so much. I never got to hold you but those days I spent with you in the hospital were so precious to me. The impact of your life has helped so many people through your beautiful parents and the foundation they set up in your memory. I couldn't understand for a long time why God took you as one of his little Angels, but seeing all the lives you have helped made me understand that this was his plan. I also want to say that Forrest has the most amazing family. He would be so proud to be a part of their lives.I love you and miss you. GG

peterwinterburn said...

Thank you for telling the story and including all the pictures of precious Forrest. I tearfully read your posts and am so encouraged by you and David. God bless you. Happy 4th b-day little Forrest!!

Laura Sessions said... to you all. What great parents you two are! Praying for y'all today. Happy 4th Birthday, Forrest.

Lauren said...

brittany, what a beautiful beautiful boy. i never met him, & still i love him. i imagine this is the case with 100s, 1000s of others. what an impact this special boy has on so many lives. i can not wait to meet forrest one day. what a glorious image for me of heaven & what is waiting. i can only imagine how thrilling this is for you. you are such a beautiful mother & david is a tremendous father. i love you guys, & i can feel that little guy smiling at his 2 amazing parents now. what a precious boy. happy birthday forrest! you are loved by so many.

Heather and Suzanne said...

You have no idea the inspiration you are to so many people. I kept up with your blog daily (as did my whole office at the time and my husband's as well) we prayed for you and for your angel baby every single day, I actually still pray for your family every morning. You touched our lives with your amazing faith. Thank you for that, it has been such an example to so many, and when we had some dark days of our own after my son was born, I could only have hoped to have the grace you did.
Suzanne, Clay, Murphy and Madden Culpepper

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday dear Forrest! We know that Jesus LOVES children SO SO much, and you must be having an amazing party in heaven. We still grieve for your parents and their earthly loss. We remember your birthday every year and how your life has blessed so many people. Much love and strength to your parents and brothers who still walk this earthly road. Be strong and courageous. Run and do not grow weary, walk and do not be faint, for the Lord lifts you up on His wings. Thank you Brittany for helping us remember Forrest's life through your beautiful pictures and blog. We love and miss you so much,

Bethany & John

Ruth said...

Love you and praying for you!

The Rohman Family said...

Happy Birthday, Forrest! Isn't it amazing that Forrest still touches so many people today?!? Such a short time here in his earthly body, but he continues to bless hearts and lives from his special seat on Jesus' lap.

Kathy said...

Brit - You and Spence were always amazing to me - Forrest is a direct reflection of you and God's amazing love! Love you guys!


The Robinsons said...

love y'all. big.
-the robs