Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

Happy One Year Charlie

I will never forget the way your breathing was so labored, right from the start. My heart broke but I held back the sobs so I could be strong for you for as long as you were here. Instead of tears I showered you with kisses, at least in that moment.

I will never forget how tiny you were. You were so fragile.

I will never forget your sweet little cheeks and tiny button nose. I will never forget your tiny fingers wrapped around mine and your eensy toes that barely seemed to have bones inside of them.

I will never forget how it felt to know you were already gone. It happened so fast. I still grieve the fact that it wasn’t me who was holding you in the moment when you slipped away to eternity.

I will never forget how proud Micah and Jocelyn were of you. Micah kept snapping photos with his camera and Jocelyn kept exclaiming, “Beebee! Beebee!” They were big fans of yours.

I will never forget your soft brown hair. “Scant brown hair” your autopsy report called it. That sentence is both endearing and morbid, all at the same time.

I will never forget snuggling you all day until we had to go. I wanted to make a lasting impression of how you felt against my body and in my arms.

I will never forget the words I tried to whisper to you when we left, words that actually choked out as body-shaking sobs because I felt so wretched having to leave the hospital without you. A deep, disgusted sort of wretched.

I will never forget how my throat hurt from those deep, guttural sobs. I could hardly breathe.

I will never forget how the nurse watched me – watched us – as I said goodbye to you and laid your tiny body in the plastic nursery cart. Why didn’t she leave us alone for that moment?

I will never forget the color of the sky as we went home that evening. The most vibrant pink and blue sunset I may have ever seen. It was as if the Lord was telling me, “It’s ok. I’ve got them. Both of them.” My boy and girl in Heaven. I wish I could have absorbed that moment more fully. But my heart felt so raw, so stripped. But I still think of it so often.

I will never forget.

I will never forget, Charlie-man. I miss you every day and wish I could know you, sweet little guy. Until heaven … <3


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  • Brittany - Thinking of you and your precious, loved baby today. Until heaven, Charlie.
    My heart aches with yours, Sarah. <3ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - Thank you so much Brittany <3ReplyCancel

  • Holly Colonna - A stunning tribute for a precious soul.ReplyCancel

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