Mommy remembers the day we walked through Babyland to pick your spot. Mommy saw row after row of tiny headstones. Most had remnants of overgrown greenery, unkept flowers, and faded bows. Small baby dolls and toy cars lined some of the headstones. Others had beautiful fresh flowers. Never before had I known that cemeteries have a special place for babies. Many of the babies in the Georgetown Cemetery were just days old when they passed. Some were over a year. A few were as old as you, but not many. Mommy can remember thinking about all those mothers and their brokenness.
That day Mommy and Daddy agreed on a space right in front of a holly tree. It could be seen from the road and had plenty of space around it for flowers. It seemed like the perfect spot...if there could be a perfect spot.
A few days before your funeral, Mommy remembers thinking about all those babies from Babyland. Mommy imagined all those babies in heaven. Mommy thought of you being there all by yourself. No mommy, no daddy, and none of your friends. For some strange reason Mommy hoped you would have someone to play with when you were there. Mommy imagined Jesus greeting you with a hug and a smile but then becoming busy with all those others he would be welcoming to his kingdom.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
Tied with pink ribbon to the stems of daisies, this was the verse that Mommy and Daddy's friends and family included. At the conclusion of your funeral, the children of our family and friends stepped away from your spot to place pink daisies on the markers of all the babies in Babyland. It didn't take long for them to run out. Mommy and Daddy returned the next day with more daisies to finish the job.
With this small gesture, Mommy's hope was that somehow you might make friends with all those sweet babies that had passed before you.
It wasn't long before the funeral flowers that had been left at your spot began to wilt. Soon after, Mommy and Daddy placed a statue of an angel in the place where your marker would one day be. Daddy came to your spot every single morning to tend to the grass and have quiet time with you. He planted pink flowers and Mommy made you pink bows. On Sundays Mommy and Daddy would get fresh donuts and milk and come sit with you under the holly tree. With all the attention, your spot had grown to have the most beautiful pink blooms and green grass. When the seasons changed, so did the theme of your flowers and ribbons. Your spot was always well manicured. Mommy and Daddy made a promise to ourselves that your spot would always look nice so that you would always feel loved.
Layne at Kaden's Spot ~ Spring 2013
As the days turned to months and months turned to years, things changed.
It's been almost five years now since we picked that spot for you. And with each passing year Mommy and Daddy feel less tied to it. We used to think that was where you were, and that was where we needed to be, too. With the passing time, we have come to see that the spot we once sat at each day and week on end is just that, a spot. We know you are with us, even if we are not there. We carry you with us everyday.
Usually when people visit your spot now, they see a small headstone with remnants of overgrown greenery, unkept flowers, and a faded bow. To them, it might seem sad. Unmanicured. For Mommy and Daddy, it's a sign of healing.
Just as it did back then, Mommy's heart goes out to all the mothers who have their babies' names engraved on markers in Babyland.
Love you, miss you, and think of you always my sweet Kaden Layne.