Nineteen Months & Twenty-Eight Days

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

I’ve had nearly twenty months to prepare and yet I’m still not sure what to write. I’ve felt some self-imposed pressure to come up with the perfect words to describe what today means and how it feels; after all, I’ve been able to describe everything else fairly well, so why not this?

I’m rarely speechless (don’t laugh), but with this I am and I can’t explain why.

Today, December 22, marks the day that Isaiah and Caleb have now lived longer than Tori. My babies have now outlived my baby. They are 19 months and 28 days old today.

And I don’t know how to put words to what today means, perhaps because it’s simply not supposed to be this way and my mind doesn’t know how to process this. Our brains aren’t wired to lose a child, to outlive your baby.

I don’t even know what emotion I feel. It’s not grief, it’s not joy, it just…is.

I recently shared this dilemma with a new friend, and when she looked at me her eyes spoke volumes and I knew that she understood. She shared with me that she, at 28, has already outlived her mother (a woman who chose to allow her baby to live despite a rare and serious cancer diagnosis during pregnancy that would claim her life when this new friend was just eight months old). She told me that when that day came she didn’t know how to process it, that it was surreal.

She said that it’s not something anyone can understand unless they’ve lived it.
And I believe that. 
She also said that it’s okay to not say anything or to be able to put it into words, even for a writer. Her reassurance and understanding meant a great deal to me and relieved some of the pressure.

Our second and third children have now lived longer than our first, and it’s strange.

The day Tori went to Heaven (at nineteen months and twenty-seven days of age) she could barely breathe on her own. She could not swallow, move, communicate, play, talk, laugh, or smile. She was merely a shell of who she had once been.


Today, at nineteen months and twenty-eight days of age, the boys can walk/run, they can communicate with us (via sign and words). They have distinct personalities and interests and express their opinions. They can laugh – and make each other laugh – and play. They can eat by mouth and choose when to eat or drink. They are healthy, strong, growing little men.

If nothing else, today is a bittersweet reminder that this world is not our home, and I wouldn’t want it to be. Heaven will be more than worth the wait, and I will get to hold my Tori again.

This is not the most profound blog post I’ve ever written, but I didn’t want the day to go by without writing something. If I ever figure out how to adequately describe how this makes me feel, I will write again. But, for now, I will cherish my children and thank the Lord for all three of them. ❤

6 thoughts on “Nineteen Months & Twenty-Eight Days

  1. Lesa.. you inspire me beyond words. I’ve followed you for over five years, and you never cease to amaze and inspire me. God is using you in so many beautiful ways.
    Denise Bayer

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I chanced upon your post ( on Quora. It led me to your blog.
    This particular post helped me to grieve my grandfather’s passing. He died in December 2019. I was very close to him.

    He was an atheist and I’m a Christian but that didn’t put a wedge in our relationship. He didn’t want us to feel sad or cry because of him passing. His mantra: life goes on, no matter what happens.
    For awhile, life went on. But now that I’m back at work after maternity leave, I’m feeling a sense of emptiness somewhere. He would call me regularly to check-in on me, my husband, my daughter and in-laws, while I was at work. The calls gradually reduced during the months that led up to his death. Now, I will have to adjust to the new normal.

    When he passed, I was sad but at peace because I fulfilled his final wishes:
    1. Visit his birthplace in Guangdong Province, China (I’m from Singapore) with my husband and daughter. My parents came along to help us maintain sanity. Prior to that, I travelled with him (only us) to Hong Kong in 2009. The old man also crashed my honeymoon in 2014. It was another trip to Hong Kong.
    2. Ensure his body is donated to medical research upon death.

    You don’t know how much this grieving granddaughter needed to read this.
    Thank you for sharing your life.

    Liked by 1 person

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