11-6-05 ~ 7-21-09
This picture was taken just 2 days before I held in my arms for the very last time and it is one of my absolute favorites. He had just had his hair cut ‘like a soldier’ and looks way beyond his 3 1/2 years with it. Will was named after his 2 grandpa’s, his granddad that had passed before he was born, William and my dad Joseph.
He has 2 older brothers who he ADORED and a 2 baby sisters,one who is just a year and half younger than him & another who was born after he passed. He loved his siblings something fierce.
He loved all things boy.. he was actually ahead of his time, Star Wars and Ninja Turtles, which hadn’t quite made their comeback yet in 2008-09, were some of his favorite things. He liked Thomas the train, Lightning McQueen, playing the Wii and being outside and adventurous. He was obsessed with my dad whom he called ‘papa’.
I have so many fond and detailed memories which I am forever grateful for. Some days those memories seem to make this loss that much greater and unbearable but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Will LOVED Jesus. I don’t say that lightly. This boy dreamt of Jesus from the moment this mama of his finally got him into a church and began following Him herself! I loved to listen to his dreams each morning, some of which also included great adventures to the beach where he was the pilot of the plane flying us all to the beach.. or flying military planes as a soldier.
There is one dream in particular that will forever be imprinted on my heart and mind, it occurred just a few months before he went Home. I went in to check on him one morning to find him laying in bed grinning from ear to ear (and his little left eye squinted as it always did when he was smiling from the heart), and he excitedly began telling me of his dream.
He told me that he was in Heaven with Jesus and the way he described it sounded Heavenly. He said he was flying around and told me how nice Jesus was. I listened with a full heart knowing this sweet boy of mine had discovered the most important thing at his young age… Jesus, his Savior. Will was the definition of the child-like faith the bible talks about. As he was sharing about all the awesomeness in his dream he paused for minute and his face got real concerned and serious and he asked me with his head tilted slightly ‘mom.. you will come to Heaven with me and be with me and Jesus too, right?’
”YES!!!’, I assured him. ‘I will be there way before you, so you will come and join me one day and we will be together forever’.
I will never forget the ornery look on his face after I finished that sentence. He looked at me as almost to show he knew something that I didn’t.
*I don’t share this story to instill fear in anyone who has a child who has dreams about Jesus or talks about Heaven ect… So if you are applying this to your own life and child, please just stop right now and tell fear to pack it’s bags cuz you aren’t going down that treacherous and deceptive path!*
I started a journal after Will passed that I wrote any and everything I could remember about him in. The way he pronounced words, the way he would stutter when his brain was working way too fast for his mouth to spill forth the proper words. His favorite foods, friends and toys. His favorite song ‘Soldier in the Lord’s army’, he would march and sing that heck out of that song. He loved the Doodlebops, does anyone remember that show? He always wanted to be Moe in the bathtub and have me dump a bucket on his head while saying “don’t pull the rope’.
This boy lit up a room. He had a sparkle in his eye and love in his heart like I’ve never seen, people would approach us constantly to comment on how beautiful he was. I actually lit up like a Christmas tree each time I would see him after church service was over and I would be picking him up from his class. The boy was my world.
He had wild side like most boys do and could do flips and cart wheels like a pro! I will never forget the time that he and his little sidekick sister, Maria decided to sneak behind the Christmas tree and ‘paint the walls’ with gorilla glue. Yes, I said gorilla glue. Or the time they thought their little fabric Pottery Barn chairs would look nicer with mustard finger paint all over them.
We frequented the public swimming pool and if a kid would try to take a toy from his little sister it was OVER. He defended and protected her like something I have never seen! She even bit him on the cheek once, like HARD bite and he just sat there and smiled for me to take a picture to send to his dad at work.
I am forever impacted by this boy of mine and forever grateful for the 3 1/2 years I had with him. I have too many questions to list as to why he had to leave me so soon, but I imagine when the day comes it will all fade away as I embrace my son again in the presence of our Savior, knowing that we will forever be together without a worry in the world. Until that day I will do my best to walk by Faith, child-like faith, and love life and people and Jesus like Will did.