Micah’s joy

Micah toddles into my room in the morning after his brother lets him out of his. He crawls up on my bed and nestles under the covers next to me. First he wants tucked in just right and then he wants to nurse. Except after 18 months there really isn’t that much left and he can’t sit still so it isn’t very comfortable. But for 18 months, we have spent the first moments of the morning together like this and that is comfortable. No matter how hard so many of those morning have been, there was always this . . .

Micah begins to fuss. For as much as he wants to nurse, he is also hungry.

“Do you want some kefir?” I ask.

And he drops down off my bed and runs to the kitchen. He dances and claps as I prepare the kefir for the morning and hand him a glass. He drinks it and smiles up at me with a kefir mustache and a kefir beard and kefir dribbling down his stomach . . .

Micah looks in a box of peeping, fuzzy goslings and squeals with delight. He leans close to look, holding his hands together. He is trying hard to not touch while he waits for someone to hold one close to him and help him pet. He leans his cheek against the top of the goslings head and his eyes sparkle . . .

Micah stands in the middle of the gym floor, watching the mass of children run and play. He’s a little overwhelmed with all the activity, but curious, too, and he wants to explore. I watch as he walks a little further away. Someone smiles at him and he turns to look for me. I am there and his whole face lights up as he runs back to me, arms held high, waiting to be swept back up in my arms . . .

Micah climbs up behind his sister on the computer chair while everyone is getting ready to watch Lost in Space. He doesn’t really get the whole show watching thing. He’d rather be redistributing my dishes about the house. Except he wants to do whatever they are doing and right now they are getting ready to watch a show. He gobbles his sister’s back and she laughs.

“You shouldn’t eat your sister!” Bug says.

And then everyone is laughing and Micah is laughing so hard he is having a hard time gobbling . . .

Micah looks at me . . . and he smiles.

And every smile is a treasured gift. A ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. A breath of fresh air on a hot summer’s afternoon.

Because last year, I was so scared. I was scared that I cried too much and laughed too seldom. I was scared of the effect so much grief would have on such a young baby. I was scared of what he would go through growing up in the shadow of a brother he barely met and never really knew.

I was scared I was going to ruin him.

But when he looks at me, he smiles.

And I’m not so scared anymore.



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Big deep breath – you beautiful mommy, you. πŸ™‚ You’ve held on, you’ve keep moving, you’ve endured long enough to see….Micah’s joy. πŸ™‚ And that must be such a gift (of joy) to you in return! (())


Oh I can not tell you how the happy tears flowed when I read, “And I’m not so scared anymore.” {{{HUGS!!!}}}

Wendy Cathcart
Dana, this gives me something to hang my heart and hope on…I am on the other end of the spectrum as my mom died 10 days ago. Do I cry too much? Is grief overwhelming me? Was this preventable? Too many questions without answers…and in the meantime I learn to hold myself together on the outside (most of the time) but inside I am a big ball of mushy grief with tears spilling over at the least provocation. I *want* to be 5 years down the road in this grief process because it hurts and is exhausting…but that’s not how… Read more »

Thank you, Holly and Rae. He is such a sweet little guy. πŸ™‚

Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss. And it does hurt. I think it’s supposed to. (Seems obvious, but enough people have told me that I shouldn’t hurt and shouldn’t grieve because I know he’s in a better place, but while that helps and gives hope, it doesn’t change the fact that I miss him and I hurt.) But Christ, too, cried at Lazarus’ funeral and that is the kind of God we worship. I don’t feel like I’m on the other side of this, either. But I am managing better and it isn’t quite so overwhelming all of… Read more »
I Live in an Antbed

Oh, the Faithfulness of our Father! What incredible Love that drives out the fear and brings healing. We continue to pray for you. I’m so thankful your heart is lighter.

Troy Eckhardt

I think we’re less scared, too. Except if you count the fear of returning to “normal” – or maybe better said, the feeling of betrayal that comes with grief morphing into something less acute. I don’t know. I’s a very odd process, isn’t it?


Michelle Bartholomew

I’m so happy for you, Dana. I felt relief when you posted about not being scared. I think you are surrounded by love and by Christ and He will bring you through all things. You are a dear, dear friend to me and my family. It is so good to hear about you being lifted higher and higher and smiling more and more. Love you, Dana!

Sonya Vande Velde

Dana, I am so glad you see and feel Micah’s joy! He is a balm to your hurting heart. God bless you. This was a beautiful post and is already giving others encouragement.
Love you!

Tiggy's Dad
Parent’s often think long and hard about their children’s names. Mattias Ryker was ‘Gift of God – Strength’. That night he hung on as if God was saying ‘I’ll give you what you need.” I, John was able to get from work to the hospital, see the children, Dana and I got to the second hospital where we were able to say good-bye, together. He was strong. After the accident Dana would sit around, absent, how could one possibly described? Yet, in the background there was a little fuss, a little coo. From the darkness Dana had to pick Micah… Read more »

Tiggy’s Dad and Dana–I have no words…this is beautiful.

Thank you.

Kara @ The Chuppies

I love this one Dana.
His smile.
The joy.
The ducklings πŸ™‚
Our hard-anniversary was just last week…
But joy and thankfulness and fear-removed won out.
Praise God.
Always feel a heart-connection with you in these posts…

Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight

Joy and redemption and hope and heartbreak.
We are not home, and yet so grateful for the glimpses of heaven in the here and now!


As I feel kicks from my womb from first child since our nine-yr-old’s death this post brings much encourgament. Even simply knowing of this baby’s coming has forced a much needed return from grief parenting back to a more focused version towards the other children. What acute grief does to mothering is undeniable but as I was reminded, part of God’s plan even for these children. So thankful for grace, healing, children’s resilience and “Micah’s”. Hugs!

Andrew Wetzel (@CircleReader)

You’ve given me a deep πŸ™‚ also, Dana.


Thank you for including that wonderful photo of your kids with the ducklings. BEAUTIFUL!

Courtney Jones

I really love “you shouldn’t eat your sister” – I think I have told that to my son a few times too – it puts a smile on my face every time.


Love, love, love this post. How beautiful is his joy? Freely given to you!

Praying for you all, especially Bear.


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