Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gideon's place

Gideon's place....sounds like an old 1970's tv show.

That is what I have been calling Gideon's burial plot. His "place." I dont know, it just sounds nice to me. Better than saying his "grave". I dont like that at all. I had been trying to come up with what to call his place. And I just started saying "Gideon's place." So that is what stuck for me. Todd has been calling it his "Houston address." Thats pretty funny.

Gideon's memorial marker (headstones are called a memorial marker nowadays) was installed last week and we went and visited his place on Monday. It is the first time Todd and I have gone out there alone together. The past times we have been, other people have been with us. We wanted time, as mommy and daddy to sit where our son's body rests. Todd and I like the cemetery where Gideon is buried (if you ever can really like the place your child is buried), it is truly a peaceful place. Quiet and beautiful. After we parked our car, we slowly walked to Gideon's place, it doesn't need to be marked for me to know where it was, I know the location exactly. As we walk across the grass, past other plots, other baby plots, I spot the newest memorial marker. I take a sharp breath in and a long breath out. We approach in silence. Our eyes fall upon his marker, and we both break down into tears.

It was so hard to walk up to this piece of granite and see "Gideon Mitchell" engraved in it. Permanently. Etched in there forever. So harsh, so beautiful, so much pain. Our son's name in granite. Something I never wanted to see. I never wanted my child to die before me, but it is something I am glad is there now. I am glad we have a space to mark where he is. But it shatters my heart. Seeing his name made his death seem even more final. It made it even more real to us that he truly will not return to us. Just another thing to remind us that we will not be with our son again on this earth....Our son, lying in a casket, feet under the ground, with a place to mark where his body is. Its was too much. We sat with tears streaming down our face and looked at his name and his date for a long time. Todd cried and said "There is no dash, Its so hard. He doesn't get a dash."

I know Gideon isn't actually there, but it was so nice for us to be near where his body lays. To be in close proximity to his shell. I pushed my hand into the dry soil so I could be even closer to him. Even if it was only millimeters closer. I wanted to be as close to my son as possible. I ran my fingers over his name on his headstone, and felt each one of the letters. Todd and I sat right next to his place and we wept.

We miss him so much.

We put some flowers in Gideon's vase and sat next to him. I love these flowers, the colors of them. I wanted them to be exactly what I liked since those were the first flowers that we placed at our son's memorial. I didnt want them to look too girly. But Todd told me that all flowers are girly. Ok Todd, you are right, that's true. But we both agree, that they are beautiful and look gorgeous in our son's vase.

We chose the phrase "our little warrior" to go on his marker for many reasons, the first and the most simple is that Gideon means "warrior." In the Bible, the person Gideon was basically a war general and was in command of his troops. His army of just a few hundred beat the opposing army of thousands and thousands. He was faithful to God, believed in Him, was obedient to Him and fought for Him. There is a lot more to that story though, it is in Judges chapter 6 through 8. We named our Gideon after the biblical Gideon. Another reason we put "our little warrior" was because God spoke to us to tell us that our child would bring many to Him. We prayed that our Gideon would be a warrior for the Lord throughout his life. And that is precisely what Gideon has done and what he is doing.

As Todd and I sat next to Gideon's place, the tears flowed and they flowed heavily. My heart was breaking all over again. I replayed the moments when I held him in my arms just 12 weeks ago. I wanted so badly to be under the ground with Gideon, just so I could be close to him. My sobs came out loudly and Todd silently wept as we grieved the son we love so much. I wanted to kiss him again. I wanted him to be back with us so badly. I started to feel frantic. Like I was teetering on the edge of insanity. My arms were aching to hold him and my spirit was growing weak. Amazingly in that moment, I began to have peace fall over me. I didn't even ask for it, and yet God brought his peace like a soft breeze sweeping through my heart. I did not feel any less sad, but His peace came. I was able to be more calm and we were able to sit, with our hearts bleeding, but sit in silence and bask in God's peace and remember our sweet little boy Gideon.

Gideon's name is written in that granite until time on this earth ends, however there is another place where my son's name is written permanently, and in that place, his name is truly permanent; it cannot be broken and cannot crumble like his headstone will. My son's name is in the Book of Life. No one can erase that. I realize that the Book of Life is a metaphorical book, not a literal book one can look through. But it means that God knows who belongs to Him and who doesn't. And I know that my son is His. For eternity.

"All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are Mine."--Revelation 3:5


wilkeliza said...

Thank you for sharing this moment with the world. The first time you to your special person's "place" is always the hardest. I'll never forget the first time I saw my mom's name in granite. You're right that it solidifies it all. I am overjoyed that God is granting you peace. Your journey is easier when you let the emotions flow because if gives God the opportunity to bring your peace. If you act like this never happened then God can not come to your rescue. When you face it head on God is standing there ready to hold you when the hurt comes. You say you and Todd prayed that Gideon would be a warrior for God. I can already tell you he is. It is amazing how a little boy I never knew could so deeply affect me. Sometimes when I come here I don't know how to put into words my response because I can read and feel the hurt. I hate that you had to lose Gideon. I can't imagine the pain but know he will never be forgotten and he will always be your little warrior for God. I have prayed more for you and Todd then I have prayed in a long time. I continue to lift you up and keep you in my thoughts.

Bill said...

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”... What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, la man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved [Stormy & Todd], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Cor 15:35-58

Hold on to hope! We love y'all and will continue praying for you.

Stormy said...

Thank you so much. You are so right, it is easier when you let yourself feel your feelings. When you let God rescue you, when you let Him come to you and allow Him to hold you. Thank you for sharing with me how much Gideon has had an effect on you. That means more to me than you could ever know. Knowing that people, that you have been touched by his life is so wonderful to me because it is evidence that God does what he says he will do. I know he always does, but it is so encouraging to see it. Thank you for continually praying for us. It means so very much to me. I love you.

Bill, hank you for sharing those verses with me. I read 1 Cor 15: 12-28 just a couple of days ago, but I didn't make it to these verses. Thank you. I am sitting here with the Holy Spirit speaking straight to me through these verses. It still amazes me, after belonging to the Lord for 14 years, how His word speaks to me. And it is incredible how much these verses mean to me in light of Gideon's death. How much more they mean to me. How much more tangible these verses are. Before I would read this and believe it, but now I truly absorb it, I soak in these verses, this Truth....God has changed so much in me and Todd the past 12 weeks. I have never been this close to Him. The way I see everything is changed. I am so thankful that what is sown is perishable but what is raised in imperishable!!! Thank you Jesus! I love these verses, thank you. And I will not be moved. I will cling and hold onto the Lord and trust Him.
Thank you so much, I cant wait for Todd to get home so I can have him read this.
I love you.

D L McCarragher said...


Thank you for sharing your heart-wrenching story of courage and love. Little Gideon was indeed a mighty warrior and his memory will be a tribute to your steadfast belief in the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus in the Last Day.

My good friend and her husband had two children when they were told their new baby would not live after birth. They had also lost another baby to a miscarriage. They chose to deliver him at 30 wks and they and the children held him for 8 hrs. before he passed into the arms of Jesus. They have since had two more healthy children - but that little boys memory is such an important part of their family to this day. They have photos w/ him that are displayed in their home and they acknowledge his birthday each year.

They hold on to the knowledge that they will indeed be reunited with him in heaven and thank God for the precious time they had with him on earth.

My prayers are with you both for God's grace and love to envelope and comfort you in the days ahead.
Little Gideon will always be a part of your lives in spirit and in memory. Thank God for His new mercies daily - great is His Faithfulness...

Stormy said...

Thank you so much for this encouragement. So very much. Gideon's life and death have totally changed how I view everything, especially the resurrection.

I believe that he is in eternity and he will be embodied again and we will be reunited with him.

Gideon's life is such a huge part of our life. He is and will always be our first born son. We, like your friends, have pictures up of him and we talk about him openly with everyone.

Thank you so much...great is his faithfulness.