Isaiah 65 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people, my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune, for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them”
I first studied these words in detail after the death of our first daughter, Reagan. I poured over them, relishing in the truths and promises of the Lord. I found so much comfort in knowing more about my eternity, and my entire perspective on life was altered. I never imagined I would be reading them again after experiencing the same loss. Never thought I would find myself in this place again, saying goodbye all too soon to a child I loved so dearly.
I first laid eyes on Lucas in January and, amidst the craziness and distractions of raising 3 other little ones, I loved him in an instant. He was such a happy boy on all our ultrasounds – we watched him smile, watched him wave, watched him suck this thumb. He was always active, never quite wanting to be still for his pictures, very much like his older brothers. When we found out we were having a boy, we were shocked. I had been so sure he was going to be a girl. But oh, we were excited. And we immediately started planning how we would do life with another Savant boy running around in our home.
We dreamt about how Lucas would fit into our crazy, messy life. It certainly would have been an entertaining place to grow up, with older brothers who are wild, carefree, and loud, who love to play and laugh and sing. I could see Lucas following around behind them, wanting so badly to be a big boy just like them. And I could totally see them plowing right over him, knocking him down. But I would have been right there to kiss away the tears and make his boo boos all better. Hannah would have been a great big sister, once she got over her jealously of not being the baby anymore. She came to every appointment with me, watching the screen intently, learning to say “baby” for the first time. Andrew was excited to have a 3rd boy, to complete his golf foursome, to coach his baseball team, to teach him how to be a man. And me? Well, I was just ready to care for him. To love him, give him kisses, rock him to sleep. I didn’t want anything more than to just be his mommy and all the daily tasks that went with that. I wanted to see him play in the woods, to zoom trucks around the house, to build the most intricate train track, to stack Legos and form tall towers or whatever his imagination could think up. I wanted to dance with him in the kitchen when he was still too little to stand, to jump around and be silly to some of my favorite songs, and to hold him at night when he just needed his mommy.
But God had different plans for Lucas. And, though I can’t wrap my head around the why, that I can’t understand His will and His plan, I am so grateful for the time I had with my son. I’m thankful for the quiet moments in the middle of the night when he would kick so hard, grateful for the way he’d wake me up by pounding on my bladder. And I love that we got so many ultrasound pictures, that our ultrasound tech was kind and let us see him for longer than was needed for the measurements, that we have pictures of him smiling, that I saw him suck his thumb, and he waved to us. These are precious moments I will treasure.
On the morning of June 9, I woke uneasy. And I couldn’t find a heartbeat on the Doppler. As we headed to the hospital, I prayed that I was wrong, that I was overreacting, that our sweet boy was fine. God chose to answer those prayers in a different way than I had hoped. As I saw the image of our son, still, on the ultrasound, I broke. We broke. And our sweet boy, Lucas Robert Savant, was born the following morning at 4:41 am. He weighed 14.8 ounces and was 11.5 inches long. He was perfect. He was fearfully and wonderfully made, beautiful. I think he looked the most like Warren, but I could see all my other children in his sweet little face. He had Reagan’s big pouty lips, Dean’s upturned nose, Hannah’s full cheeks, and Warren’s eyes, eyebrows, and chin. I wonder what he would have looked like when he laughed – would his nose crinkle a bit like mine and Hannah’s? Would his eyes pour with tears like Dean’s when he got sad? I hate that I will not know the answer to these questions any time soon; that I have to watch my other children grow up knowing our family is incomplete, knowing they have an older sister and baby brother that are but a memory to them.
Having faced this before, we knew our time was limited, that we had a few hours to create a lifetime of memories. I loved my morning with Lucas. I’m so thankful he was born in the quiet hours of the morning to give us some time together. I took in his face, memorizing each little detail. I read him some new books, rocking him in our chair, kissed his forehead, and sang him a lullaby. All these normal things parents get to do with their children, only I knew I would never do them again this side of heaven.
But that is where Isaiah 65 comes in. I don’t get to those things with Lucas here, in my timing, in my will. BUT, I get an eternity with Lucas, filled with Joy and wonder as we worship our Creator. There will be no weeping or crying. Infants will not die. And I will be reunited with the children I lost. We will get to see them laugh and smile. We’ll watch them dancing on streets of gold. We’ll run and play ball, and explore God’s creation. And as we walk through the pearly gates into heaven, Lucas can run to us with his tiny perfect feet and embrace us for the first time. Oh, what a moment that will be. Lucas is loved perfectly now by the God who created him. He is well cared for, longing for nothing. Never will he experience the pain and heartbreak this world brings. He went straight into the arms of Jesus. Today, I am resting in that, in where my son is, in our eternity together.
We also chose to share a slide show of Lucas, sharing most all of our pictures of him and how we spent our time.