My hands opened while my heart broke
When I woke up four years ago today, I didn’t know that it would be the last few hours that my life on earth would feel whole.
I didn’t know that the picture I took of Anders, Linnea, and Rachel the night before would be the last one of him as we had known him for 11 months.
I didn’t know that our busy morning routine would be the last memories I had with Anders.
I didn’t know that the product designed to keep him safe while riding in the car to daycare would also be the contributing factor to his death.
I didn’t know that instead of picking out presents for his first birthday, that we’d be picking out a burial plot and headstone instead.
But, I also didn’t know that after receiving the news that Anders wasn’t going to make it that we’d experience the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.
I also didn’t know that thousands of people all over the United States would watch Anders’ funeral and hear the Gospel presented.
I also didn’t know that God would grant us a miracle only a few weeks later when Rachel found out she was pregnant with Elias.
I also didn’t know that we’d each have countless opportunities to minister to others also walking through child loss.
I also didn’t know that our faith would grow in the trials as God continues to work in us to love him more.
So today, as we remember the day Anders was left in his car seat for a nap on the floor at daycare, I pray that everyone with young kids takes safe sleep seriously.
We followed safe sleep procedures every time our twins went to sleep.
We knew that a nap in a car seat outside a base was potentially dangerous.
We only let our kids sleep in their crib, bassinet, or Pack ‘n’ Play with no toys, blankets, or crib bumpers.
We didn’t use swings or Rock ‘n Play devices to get our kids to fall asleep.
We always took them out of their car seat after arriving back home, even if they were asleep.
And yet our son died a preventable sleep-related death.
I know that it can be frustrating as a parent when little ones struggle to go to sleep, but I also know from experience that it is more difficult picking out a headstone for your child than any "inconveniences" that come with following the A-B-Cs of safe sleep.
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