Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Christmas Blessing

Cory and I decided this year that we need to take a break from most of our annual Christmas traditions: decorations in the house; buying and receiving gifts; baking Christmas cookies and spending time watching children become excited for Christmas day. This year, as the pain has been so intense, we are venturing out of town to enjoy the beaches of Mexico.

Before we left for our vacation, this morning we were able to have an ultrasound to check on the health and development of our “BabyTwo” (as Cory calls “it”). We are thrilled to report that BabyTwo looks great and is developing very well.

We were able to see, quite clearly, that we will be having another boy, God willing, in May of 2010. Tears flooded our eyes in excitement, nervousness, and sadness. Excitement, in the thought of loving another child. Sadness, because Micah will not be able to play with his baby brother on this side of earth. Nervousness, of having another boy and the possibility of this baby resembling the likeness of Micah.

I have such a flood of emotions, one of which is feeling terrified to become a mother to another baby boy. I so long for Micah to be here to meet his brother and to watch the two boys grow up playing ball, running after each other and becoming best buddies at only 19 months apart. I pray that having another boy will keep me close to the memories of Micah’s life and will continually be a reminder of the love that I have for my first born. I am so thankful for this new life and that God has blessed us with another child as I know God created me to be a mother to His children.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Micah in the Snow

Tonight, I pictured what my life might be like if Micah was with us during this Christmas season. There are so many things I wanted to do with my son in a Minnesota winter—so many lost experiences that I thought we would share together.

I can picture us heading out together for some time in the snow. I can see him stumbling along in the snow in his snow pants and coat, so bundled up in the cold Minnesota air that one can hardly make out his little eyes and nose. I can feel those little arms embrace me again as we walk the streets of our neighborhood in the dark, taking in the sight of the Christmas lights. I can see his mouth agape as he consumes the sight of each house with Christmas lights, looking at each successive house as it was the only house that ever displayed lights. I can see his little hand raised to catch, with considerable curiosity, some falling white snowflakes.

I can picture us heading down the sledding hill near Lake Nokomis in south Minneapolis. I can hear his shrieks of delight coming from those little lips as we slide down the hill together. I can hear the big, hearty laughter interrupted by the silence that lasts only for that moment after our sled hits a bump in the snow and we fall face-first into the snow together. I can hear the silence only for an instant, until I hear again the sound of more gut-busting laughter. I can feel the cold on his rosy red cheeks after his daddy kept him out in the bitter winter wind far too long.

I can imagine holding Micah in my arms above the rows of onlookers at the Holidazzle parade in downtown Minneapolis together. I can picture the quizzical look on his face as he sits in Santa’s lap, not sure whether to laugh or scream at the old man and his silly red outfit. On the way home, I can see him sleeping in the backseat of our Toyota, tuckered out from all the fresh air and lights, his blonde hat hair shooting in every direction.

On Christmas morning, I can imagine Heather and I taking turns opening our son’s Christmas gifts, curious to determine which of his mother’s bargains he will play with first, only to discover he spends most of the morning playing with the wrapping paper. I can picture him chasing our dog Sadie around in his Christmas outfit, nearly knocking the Christmas tree over on multiple occasions, and getting far too close to the fire in the fireplace. I can feel what he feels like in my arms as he sits and patiently listens to me read the story of how baby Jesus was born in the manger.How we grieve the loss of our son and of our time together. How we mourn the loss of those desired experiences of just being mother to son, father to son. How we hurt so deeply because of the loss of the opportunity to love so unconditionally.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Micah Wessman Foundation

Following Micah's death, Heather and I benefitted from a tremendous support network. So many family members and friends provided us with their love through their prayers as well as other forms of practical assistance. We believe that not everyone who loses a child has (or will have) the same access to this support network.

Last week, we incorporated the Micah Wessman Foundation for the purpose of funding some ideas we have for providing practical assistance to families grieving the death of a young child.

Here is our mission statement:
The Micah Wessman Foundation is a Christ-centered ministry assisting families grieving the death of a young child. The Foundation provides assistance with practical immediate needs of grieving families, logistical and educational resources for their support networks, as well as financial support for those grieving families seeking to benefit from Christ-centered counseling or retreat opportunities.

The Foundation's mission statement is executed by providing the following forms of practical assistance:
(1) Care baskets to the family, which include items of practical assistance, such as day-to-day living necessities, gift cards to local restaurants and grocery stores, and books and audio media;
(2) Lists of local families, Christian counselors, and Bible-based churches who are able and willing to provide Christ-centered spiritual counsel and support;
(3) Logistical backup support and Biblical counsel to those individuals and groups seeking guidance on providing support to grieving families; and
(4) Scholarships to allow grieving families to attend Christ-centered grief retreats, such as Smile Again Ministries in Cross Lake, Minnesota.

The Foundation will be funded, in part, by some of the memorial contributions provided to us following Micah's death. While we don't know where the Lord will direct us in our ministry in the coming years, we believe that this Foundation will help us to honor Micah's memory.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank you friends- from Heather

I wanted to write a post to thank you for all of your prayers and ongoing support of us. I can’t even put into words what these past 4 ½ months have been like for us. It has been the worst, unimaginable nightmare. To face this challenge everyday has been the hardest thing in our lives.

At times it feels as though friends and family think that our pain is subsiding and that we have “moved on.” The pain we face has not changed. We continue to cry often and wonder how we are going to make it through the day or even the next couple of hours. I continue to pray my daily prayer for God to help me through the day –to somehow carry me through this seemingly insurmountable suffering so I can function to some degree of normalcy. Attempting to function normally is what Cory and I now call our “new normal”. There are days that I feel so numb and broken that I can’t even do the simplest tasks.

I am so grateful for the friends who continue to call, to email and to check in to see how we are doing. It means so much to us to know that people care and continue to think and pray for us. Cory and I often feel isolated by our grief as many people don’t know how to communicate with us or support us. We have learned that this is common and normal as most people don’t know how to treat people who have lost a love one. Most people, quite naturally, do not like to see anyone hurting, crying or experiencing the pain that we are dealing with. However, no one can take away our pain. Our pain is real and is constant. Our pain does NOT deepen if other people bring up Micah or our grieving; it is with us all the time. It is helpful to talk about Micah and not to forget him. He is our son and we want to remember every moment that we have spent with him. It brings us joy to share with our friends and family our memories of his life and our time together as a family. I would encourage anyone not to be afraid of our tears and pain but to embrace it and help us to remember. Thank you all for helping us through this long journey, we continue to need our friends and family to hold us up and to encourage us daily.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Favorite Picture

Here is one of our favorite pictures of Micah, taken about this time last year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This post is by one of Micah's grandparents-- Grandpa "Big Popi" Wessman.

It's the first holiday season since Micah's home going and I have asked myself, "can I have a thankful heart this season?" How can I be thankful when four months ago I watched helplessly as my grandson died? How can I be thankful when I watched as my kids went through such extreme anguish and sorrow?

Over the past four months I have focused significant time (at least for me) on reading. I have read numerous Bible passages. I have read several books, including "Grace Disguised" and "If God is Good." I have learned in this journey that everyone responds differently to grief. And one's emotions and thoughts can change from day to day.

Recognizing these realities, I share the following:
As I read through Job I related, in small part, Job's laments but was humbled and left in awe as I read God's response. I have gained a greater appreciation for the power and holiness of God.
As I read "Grace Disguised," I am struck with the reality that one has choices to make during periods of suffering. One can choose to grow from the experience or retreat from the experience. But one makes choices either for good or bad.
As I read "If God is Good," the trials we endure give us opportunity for growth. The author makes the following convicting statement, "Virtually everyone who has suffered little in life is shallow, unmotivated, self-absorbed, and lacking in character. You know it and so do I. And yet we do everything we can to avoid challenges, both to our children and to ourselves. If we succeed in our avoidance, we'll develop in ourselves and our children the sort of character we least admire." That was me. I prayed for comfort, not only for myself but also for my family. I did not ask for nor desired this journey of loss but in God's sovereignty I have this opportunity for growth of character.

In recent weeks God's spirit of peace has been especially close and powerful. He has given me a clearer perspective on life, not just this earthly life but that of our life to come.

So am I thankful? Yes. Not one of happiness, but grateful for God's power, His sovereignty, His presence, His strength and His providing me this unique opportunity for growth.

November 22, 2009