As I was putting up my 3’ tree yesterday afternoon, I strolled down memory lane to the first Christmas tree I had. The year was 1983; it was my first Christmas in my first apartment. My mom bought the tree for me at a yard sale for $3. My tree this year was one I had for sale in my own garage sale back in August…for $3; it didn’t sell. So, yesterday I went out to my garage and tore open the never opened box from Walmart…boasting $9.94 in large print on its front. I began to think about some other firsts.
Kyle was my firstborn and to be my one and only. In the hospital, after a breastfeeding, both of us falling asleep together for the first time, my perfect boy snuggled in the crook of my arm. And when he first rolled over, I heard a noise in his room at 2:00 a.m. and went to investigate. He was only 2 months old, but I had already developed mother ears. I peeked around the corner into his crib, saw he’d rolled over onto his stomach and was pushing himself up with his arms, looking up at me. I squealed with delight, saying to him, “you rolled over, didn’t you?!” It would’ve been on Facebook, friends. I remember when his first tooth came in or rather when I realized it was in. I had my finger in his mouth in Walmart, giving him something to gnaw on when suddenly pain shot up my finger. There wasn’t just one tooth popping through, there were two! And then his first Christmas, first birthday, first steps…so many firsts.
Then my firstborn, my one and only, died. And there were firsts, again. It will be permanently etched in my mind when I was first told. And when I first had to tell that first person, my sister, my boy was gone. There was that first night at home, hearing sounds from upstairs, sounds as if my boy was still up there in his room piddling around like he often did into the early morning hours. Oh, how I miss those sounds. Then that first trip to the grocery store where I had to consciously stop myself from looking for his usual items to put in my cart, such as two gallons of milk. His first birthday in heaven…. that was a really hard first. Slipping the ring, that contained some of his ashes, onto my finger for the first time. And yesterday, the first Thanksgiving without my one and only…so many firsts.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 ESV (emphases mine)