Long Road Home

Sunday was the funeral for my baby cousin. I have been procrastinating writing this post because I am not sure how to write it.  My whole life I have wanted to be a writer.  When I was a little girl I would lay on my mother's bed and tell my twin sister stories that I would makeup and my mother would type them out on the computer while I entertained Brianna at nap time.There are pictures of this somewhere I know but I will have to find later.   I am in the process of writing several stories but this will be the first story I have to write the ending on. How do you write and ending to a story who's characters tears and struggles are not just things of my imagination? How do you give the events that have ended this story justice?  I feel like I have used my words... and I have no  more, but still I  must write.
Sunrise on the way to the funeral 
First off I guess I should thank you, Carter, for helping me to find my heart again after so many years. I have just been through so many times that have broken my heart over the last few years that I found myself unable to feel.
I cried so much over the cruelty of others that when someone killed my animals and I found them, I just sat there beside my mom and I looked at her and said that I could no longer cry.
There were no tears left for me to cry. I just sat there void of one more tear.  I found myself stuffing my emotions down deep inside.
I didn't cry when you were born, I hid behind my camera quite well and locked all of the emotions away.  When I got home my mother put on some music and told me to write.  That not allowing myself to feel this would hurt me.  She put on the music and left the room and the wellspring that burst forth from my heart... words that I didn't know were there, tears I didn't know I had, poured out of me.
I wept and could not stop.
But they were cleansing tears...this experience of documenting your amazing life broke down those barriers and brought tears.  You know cousin, you have touched so many lives in your all too short one. You did more in 80 minutes to heal hearts and change lives than others do in their entire life.
You have made us realize that life is so short, and it is too precious to waste on petty things.  On misunderstandings, on times when someone hurt us, times when we hurt others.  On squabbles and arguments, on backbiting and family quarrels and he said she said...
This Carter is a new day.  It is a beginning...

Sunday morning I was again up early (yeah I know it's becoming a habit) and we left on our 3-hour trip  to meet the family at the funeral home and on the way I wrote. I decided to write what I was thinking.

6:00 AM - I can't help but feel totally unprepared for this... Lord, please bring healing to our family. We have been broken so much. Please heal the hearts, hurts held by past wrongs and grief.

Sunday was like embarking on a journey thousands of miles away from where you just were a few days ago. Such a short time but I have grown so much. In four short days, life has changed dramatically.

8:34 AM - It seems so strange the last time we came through here in such a rush. Now, dad is worrying about being way too early.

We were early... sitting at the funeral home wondering what to do.  I call mom on dad's phone.  I tell her we are too early.  She tells us to walk around and pray, we do.
We silently pray ....
We head to the store to buy things for my aunt.  It feels so strange there, so noisy.  Life is just bustling and it seems so wrong.  There are babies everywhere... It breaks my heart.  I now know how mom must feel.  We have more babies in heaven than on earth.
I am at the funeral, my aunt asked me to take photos of everyone.
Snap... Snap.. Snap...
I get up and start snapping photos of sweet moments between friends and family, even strangers that showed up from my cousin's Facebook page "Prayers for Carter".
This time, I cannot hide behind my camera, this time, the tears come freely.  My eyepiece fogs up from my tears and I must wipe it away again and again.
I look at my dad, he is so broken... he too has stuffed his feelings for a long time and I watch him as they are rushing to the surface.
He is weeping ...
but not just for you, my sweet cousin, but for our babies (my siblings) that are with you.  The ones that slipped away silently, unseen and unmourned.  He realized that, and it has hit him hard.  You have become the face of those that have been lost to us... family members whose laughter never bubbled up in our hallways, the ones whose foreheads were never able to be kissed.
He is hurting...
I am glad mom didn't come.

My aunt and cousin are hugging, she motions to me to take the photograph and I know already it will be beautiful.

The sun is kissing them so sweetly and it almost makes me catch my breath.

My cousin's husband wraps his arms around his grieving wife, and I capture the moment.

The sun is so beautiful... such a tender moment captured forever... love... loss... holding on to one another so sweetly.  Bearing up under amazing circumstances... together.

A picture of marriage so beautifully displayed.


After the funeral service at the cemetery, we released 100 balloons. I think it was one of the most beautiful things I have seen. Yesterday we found out that someone had found one of the balloons with a message for Carter two hours away from where we released them.


Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For the week leading up to the funeral, I kept finding this verse every where. 


We went out to eat after the funeral. 

 It was so good to spend time with everyone.  Everyone was talking about family and old times, of  family members passed on... and I was struck by how my dad and his family, they looked like children again talking about it.  
Like orphans left alone in a cruel world, to face it all alone - and my heart broke for them.  

Hebrews 13:5 B 
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”


Please Continue to pray for our family. We still have a very long journey to walk and many lessons to learn. But with Gods help, we will walk it and learn it. 
Carter's story is not over, far from it is only beginning. He has just been carried from here to the mansion that God has been working on for us since he left 2000 years ago. 
He is no longer a little baby that is weak and small but is now made perfect.  He is an imperfect human like we all are that has been translated into perfection and living in that perfect place where there is no more death, no more tears, no more pain.  
What is left is up to us.  What do we do with his life?  Do we allow it to open our eyes and our hearts to all the pettiness that we have made life about or do we open our eyes and truly see...  But his life is not over, no it has just begun. 
Maybe that is why it is so hard to write this. 
Maybe I simply just don't know what to say... 
I am afraid that is all I can say. 
Perhaps it is enough, perhaps not.  
But I have given it my best shot. 
I hope these photos can tell the story better than I can.
Revelations 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


If you missed the first part of this post please visit The Other Side Of The Waiting Room

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Miscarriage, Child Loss, HPE, Family, Trisomy 13, 

1 comment:

  1. My prayers go out to you and your family... May your hearts be healed, although he will never be forgotten. Cynthia

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