Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love For Our Little Guy

"A mother's love begins when new life is stirring inside...when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she will never be alone."

Dear Branson,
Happy Valentines Day little buddy! On this day when we take extra time to express our affection to those we love most, you and daddy were at the top of my list! It's hard to put into words the intense love I have for you...I am continually amazed that my heart has the ability to expand in such a way! Through the heartache, sorrow, and pain of having to say "goodbye" to you so soon, daddy and I have grown so much...we have lost...we have gained. But, perhaps the greatest thing we've gained is a deeper, stronger love for each other; an intense, unconditional love for you; and a humbled heart full of gratitude and love for the Savior.

From the moment that we discovered you would be joining our family I began to love you. Actually, I think I have loved you my whole the idea of you and the hope I always had of being a mother! I'll never forget the first time I felt you stir inside me...what an incredible thing! Suddenly you became so real...and my love continued to increase. Our favorite thing to do was cuddle with each other on the couch and together, feel you kick and stretch. Sometimes at night we would just lie in bed, feeling you move, and marvel together at how we could love someone so much that we hadn't even met.

We tried to enjoy the moments we shared with you, as we decorated your nursery, picked out your little outfits, planned for your arrival, and as we dreamed about what life with you would be like. As soon as we finished your nursery, daddy and I would go in their every night. I would sit in the rocker and daddy next to me on the floor. He would read to you from one of the many books we had for you, and then most nights we would sing to you. We talked to you, and daddy loved to kiss my belly! Every night we prayed for you. We prayed that you would be well and healthy. That you would know of our love for you, and that we could prepare to be the best parents possible for you.

The day we met you was the most incredible day of our lives. It was filled with moments of great sorrow and heartache, but having your spirit there with us that day was special, unforgettable! I couldn't get over how beautifully perfect you were in every way! You had the cutest stinkin toes I've ever seen, the longest little fingers, a perfect nose, the cutest round were cuter than I ever imagined possible! I have to admit, that you did take after mommy a lot, but as I study your pictures each day, I can see daddy within you too.

Oh, Branson, I'm glad you were there with us in spirit so you could see the smile on daddy's face. He was so proud to have a son. He held you with tender loving arms, and looked upon you with loving eyes. He got to weigh you, bathe you, dress you, and take your hand and foot prints. He even got to lay down and snuggle with you (something he'd wanted to do for a long time). Daddy just kept saying, "isn't he just perfect Nat?"

I pray that I'll never forget how it felt to you hold you in my arms. It felt so right. I tried to soak up ever imprint your every feature on my mind and in my heart. I loved playing with your little fingers and caressing your little toes. I even got to give you your first hair cut! I loved showing you off to your grandparents and even a few friends who stopped by to see you. I couldn't have been any prouder.

Daddy and your grandpas got to give you a name and blessing...It was incredible. The words daddy spoke were inspired and brought peace to my heart. You were called on a special mission and we knew you wanted to valiantly return. What more could we ask for than a son who was pure enough, special enough to be called back without having to endure the mortal trials of this earth? Daddy told you that it was okay for you to leave us, and shortly after that we felt a change in the room as your spirit said goodbye.

Daddy and I had some special time alone with you where we talked with you, had our first family prayer together, and showered you with hugs and kisses. The hardest moment for us was preparing to let you go...physically and spiritually. I'll never forget the last kiss I placed upon your forehead, and the instant empty feeling I got as daddy took you one last time from my arms. I watched as he walked across the room to hand you over to the nurse. He paused and gave you one last kiss and said "I love you Branson." I couldn't believe that this was the last moment I would see you in this life.

Our love and appreciation for your life has only grown since that day. We miss you more than there are words to express, but we move forward in the knowledge that you're ours for eternity and that someday...sooner than we know...we'll be with you again. Oh how I look forward to that day...that embrace!

We continue to pray for your every night. We pray that the you'll feel of the love we have for you, that you will be blessed to perform your special mission, and that we can do all in our power to make it back to you. We pray that there might be times when you can visit us, and we cherish the times when we feel your spirit near.

But you already know these things don't you've always known that this was your plan. You've been with us during these special moments, and you've shared in this love as well! We take comfort in the fact that you were with us as we celebrated your conception, planned for your arrival, rejoiced in your birth, and as we grieve in your passing.

Our life will never be the same because of the marks you have left on our hearts, and the change that has occurred in our souls. Thank you for the beautiful things you've taught us. Thank you for the love you have shared with us. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your plan. Thank you for being our son.

Sending You All My Love,


Loretta Valenta said...

So beautiful Natalie. I love the pictures that you have of Branson -- they are gorgeous! Thank you again for sharing your heart.

Leesa said...

You dont know me, but i came across your blog and i am SO touched by your love and strength! I am just sobbing at my computer at the WONDERFUL way you are able to pour your heart out! You are an AMAZING person and even though i do not know you i have the HIGHEST respect and admiration for you! I pray that peace will be with you! Thank you for touching our lives and allowing us to feel the spirit. You are AMAZING!!

Jensen Family said...

You probably don't know me either. I am Patsy Daniels sister-in-law. I met you the day that your Mom hosted a baby shower for Keri Daniels. I look at your blog page frequently. I can't even imagine what you go thru daily. Your words touch me so deeply everyday. I sob whenever I read your blog. You have such an amazing testimony and knowledge of the gospel. I only hope that I can have that same testimony and knowledge someday. You and your husband are amazing people and I wish you all the peace and comfort in your life. Thank you so much for touching more lives than you will ever know.

Lindsay said...

What a beautiful letter to our sweet sweet boy. The pictures are beautiful and the words are equally beautiful. I love writing letters to Gavin. It makes me feel connected to him. I like to think our sweet boys can hear us. You are beautiful.I am thinking about you!

Jackie A. said...

Dear Natalie;
Each time I read a new posting that you have done I am sure it is the most beautiful yet and the most amazing and awesome and touching one that I've read....and I cry and cry through each one. This one is so beautiful that it merits no comment from me other than AMEN and thank you so much for sharing with your amazing talent of putting it down into words that we can all read and be so totally moved and humbled by.
My Love, Mom

Kim Call said...

You are such a wonderful mother, Natalie. I know the angels in heaven are recording your words and one day your children will call you blessed for all your love and sacrifice. Till then I hope you can feel of our love and admiration for you and our desire to help and support. I thought of Branson and you as I put Valentine's on the kids pillows and watched each one sleeping - maybe he left his Valentine for you as you slept that night. I know he remembers his mommy and daddy and his heart is with you both, as are ours. Love, mom

Michelle said...

Natalie, this post took my breath away. I'm crying as I write this comment. Thank you for bringing back memories of the very real joy it was to hold my angel-son on the precious day of his birth. I have been caught up in the sadness for so long, I had almost forgotten how excited I was that morning knowing I would get to see him! Your sharing these memories helped me remember how adorable my baby was and how peaceful I felt holding him. Your love for Branson is such a beautiful thing, and he is so blessed to have you for his mother!