R: Mommy, be a good helper. Put these toys away.
(talking to the dog) Simon, smile!
Mommy, he's smiling!
Simon, say cheese!
Mommy, he's not cheesing!
Less than a week after Reese died, a beautiful little boy named Holden, from Snyder, Texas, joined her in Heaven. I didn't know her then but Holden's mom, Sarah, became a Hope mom just four days after I did.
I wish I could remember how I initially ran across Sarah's blog but I don't. Or maybe she found me? I do remember that another Hope mom I know encouraged me to find others whose babies had gone to Heaven around the same time, as it's helpful to be able to connect with someone who is going through some of the same emotions and challenges around the same time you are. So that is when I went out on a search for other moms and somehow Sarah and I found each other. Now, as we travel this journey together, it feels like I have known Sarah forever, as well as several other Hope moms for whom I feel so much love for now and am so grateful. Although it may sound trite, I thank God for the Internet because, without it, I would never have met any of these amazing women.
Tonight I want to write about a gift that Sarah and her family has given to our family. Just a few short weeks ago, Sarah and her husband started Holden Uganda, to honor and remember their son Holden. Sarah's original goal through Holden Uganda was to raise enough money to build nine clean water drinking wells in Uganda, representing the nine months that Holden lived on earth. They also very generously offered to dedicate those nine wells to nine other babies who were born into Heaven. What an amazing and selfless gift.
I am so thrilled to share that Well #7 is going to be built in Reese's name and the money is already raised! In fact, in just 4.5 weeks, Holden Uganda raised enough money for nine wells and it continues to grow. Sarah and her family are truly amazing and inspirational and have brought so much joy and peace to so many different families, including ours. We are in awe of what they have been able to do in such a short period of time and how much of a positive difference Holden has made in this world ... and will continue to make.
I have learned so many things through Reese's death. I have learned that there are many, many generous, compassionate and loving people in this world. I have learned that even the people who are only with us for very short periods of time - months, weeks, hours - can make an impact that is felt around the world. I've learned that no one is spared the pain and heartache that our life on Earth will bring, but we can all find some peace and strength from each other if we are open to it.
From our family to the Erwin family - thank you for showing us how far love can reach and how much love can heal. We will be forever grateful.
To all my family and friends, if you are interested in donating to Holden Uganda, please visit the website here. If you prefer, you can donate by texting the word "water" to 48510. Thank you in advance!
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26