Friday, November 30, 2012

Etched On My Heart

There are pivotal moments in your life that change you in an instant, and in that moment you are forever changed.  For me, those moments are:
  • the moment I committed my life to my Lord and Savior 
  • the moment I said "I do"
  • the moment I became a mom 
  • my baby's last breath 
If I were to meet you on the street for the first time, my second "moment" would be obvious by the ring on my finger and most likely the man who's arm I am hanging on.  I pray my first "moment" would be evident to you by the end of our conversation.  But, you see, my last two moments would go unnoticed.  You would leave our conversation not knowing a HUGE part of who I am.
My struggle with how to handle being changed (socially and emotionally) by Thatcher can be read in a much more eloquent post entitled "What's a Mommy To Do?"  If I figure out how to link that post to this one, I will insert it here What's a mommy to do.  If I don't figure it out, you can go find it yourself... sorry, I do not possess the gift of tech savviness.
Thatcher has changed me for forever and I have struggled since day 1 without him with how to show that he has altered my life.  The morning after Thatcher took his last breath, after I posted "What's a Mommy To Do?"  I looked up at my husband and family who were scattered all over the floor in our bedroom (side note: they weren't supposed to be there.  Eric and I set up our bedroom to be our "safe place" for us to retreat to when we felt overwhelmed and wanted to get away from people but my family would just follow me. It would start with someone popping his/her head in to check on me then they would trickle in one by one ... they never seem to follow the rules!  Don't tell them, but I don't mind, I have some really precious memories from those days with them littered on our bedroom floor.)  I looked up and said "I am getting a tattoo. I am absolutely getting a tattoo"  It may seem silly to you, but I needed a permanent, physical change to mirror the change in my heart.  And what is more is more permanent than a tattoo?  Eric smiled through tears and agreed that he had been thinking the same thing ...  and one by one my family members agreed that they needed a tattoo as well :) Although, my dad's said tattoo got smaller as the days passed from "THATCHER CALEB" to "LION" to "GRR" then he settled on getting a dot of courage.
Two weeks passed and Eric and I were out at dinner for my birthday when we landed on the discussion how God used Thatcher to change our lives.  We asked you all how he changed yours but Eric and I had yet to put into words how exactly Thatcher changed us.  I thought for a minute then began to explain that from the day I saw THE 2 pink lines God began to urge me to trust Him.  With a miscarriage the month before, God emphasized my faith did not belong in HCG or progesterone numbers, or even ultrasounds but in Him.  God and God alone was going to take care of this baby growing inside of me.  My need to trust in Him alone was magnified when we found out that Thatcher had major brain issues and even more when we were in the hospital.   God also used Thatcher to teach me how to have courage through Him.  Taking a stand against doctors and nurses, having to find my own voice and know what/who to listen to was hard, especially so when you are a people pleaser like myself.  Looking back there were confrontations I had to have, challenges we had to face, endless nights in the Ronald McDonald House, unspeakable things I would not have been able to face had they not been for my son.  God used Thatcher to take my heart captive and show me how to Trust and take Courage in Him.  As I said these things aloud to Eric, I realized these attributes God used Thatcher to teach me were also my sweet baby boy's Initials: Thatcher Caleb, Trust Courage, T C.  I knew without a doubt that was what I wanted as my tattoo.  A physical, and permanent reminder of how God forever changed my life and who He used.  So, last Monday, my sister, brother, Eric and myself put our words into action and got our tattoos!

 Here's my tattoo... 
just replace the unmade bed with a beautiful professional background

All 4 tattoos! 
Top left: Eric's, it says "trust and take courage" in Hebrew. 
Top Right: mine
Bottom left: Robin's 
Bottom Right: Nate's, it's a face of a lion with the words "Thatcher, Caleb, Trust, Courage" hidden in it

The sweet people who came out to be apart/support us! (minus Eric who was getting his tattoo during the picture, and Robin who was taking it)

 Here's a better picture of Eric's

So, if we happen to run into each other at the gas station or grocery store and you see a little ink peaking out above my shoe, just pretend you didn't read this blog post and feel free to ask me about it.  Because I would LOVE to share with you about the amazing little baby that changed my life! 

~ Whit


  1. As always, incredibly well-written. I was really hoping your mom got a tattoo! And I'd love to see a close up of your Dad's "dot" of courage. :)

    Someone told me recently that we must always believe that God's best is ahead of us. Sometimes I find that incredibly hard to believe, because so much good is behind me. But trusting Him, trusting His plan, His ways, though they are not anything like mine, allows me to look forward to the future that He holds for me, in front of me.

    You keep trudging, and trusting.

  2. Explains some things I was wondering about. Rocky at a tattoo parlor. I have wondered on many occasions why someone had a particular tat and what the story was. Yours has such special meanings for you and will tell a great story to others. I look forward to seeing your tattoo. And Rocky's dot!!!!

  3. Such a beautiful post, Whitney! Thank you for letting us in to see things through your eyes, helping those of us who haven't experienced the loss of a child hear your heart about the longing to be recognized as a mother. I love that you have a tattoo that will now always be a generator of moments for you to share about your precious Thatcher and how he changed so many lives. Simply beautiful!

  4. Sorry, let me clarify... Rocky was planning on getting a "dot of courage" then the tattoo artist told him it would cost $65, so dad said he would settle for a sharpie dot

  5. That is such a neat way to remember your son! There is a permeant place in your heart but now there is an outward remembrance as well! I continue to be inspired by your strength and faith and remember Thatcher always! Thank you for continuing to share!

  6. You don't know me but God brought me to your blog a long time ago. You have an amazing amount of courage. I so wish that I could meet you and be able to ask you about your tattoo. I would LOVE to hear about your sweet baby Thatcher. Thank you for trusting God and for not giving up on Him even when you felt betrayed.
    Karlin, from Houston