DSCF3150 I’ve been back home in Indiana visiting family for just over a week now. It has been an incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating trip for me so far. One of the most important aspects of visiting home, for me, is being able to visit Rowan’s quiet place which is only about 2 miles from my parents’ home. It wasn’t a difficult choice to have Ro’s spot be in Indiana, what with the moving around we will do over the duration of Chris’ Naval career. While we carry our special boy in our hearts always, and we believe he is with God in Heaven, there is still comfort in visiting that quiet place where his delicate body was laid to rest. One of my requirements at the time was to be able to touch his marble stone. This is our first visit back since last fall when we picked up Lucy girl, so touching the stone was a little more challenging now that I’m carrying our little Bub, who visited his big brother’s special place for the first time. Visiting Rowan is such an emotional event for me, perhaps more so because I don’t get as many opportunities to go there since we live about 14 hours away.

I walked toward the building with the new life stirring inside of me, and it was even more emotional than I had imagined it would be. Tears streamed from my eyes as I said, “Bubby, I want you to meet your big brother.” And then images of my two boys playing together, something I’ll never experience, came flooding into my mind. It was overwhelming. There have been other instances when the reality of carrying our rainbow hit me square between the eyes: going through Rowan’s blankets and clothing to determine what would be his only and what would be shared, re-reading a book I used to read to my belly when he was there, hearing John Denver’s ‘Sunshine on my Shoulders’ to name a few. But this moment, the moment my two boys shared physical space in such close proximity (relatively speaking), is one I’m still processing, hoping for peace and understanding to wash over me to replace the initial sadness I felt.

As I sat down to write this post, I began to wonder about the various ways we will be introducing our second son to his big brother. How will we best be able to help him understand the story of Rowan? It is my heart’s desire that this baby understand how intertwined their stories and lives truly are; that he grow up with an earnest love for his big brother, and that he will find his own ways to celebrate and honor Rowan.

In trying to collect these varied thoughts, and make sense of them and what lies ahead, perhaps you would be willing to share your experience of visiting your child(ren)’s quiet place for the first time while carrying your rainbow. What was the experience like for you? What thoughts, imaginings, or hopes for the future did it stir within you?

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