I’ve been looking forward to this year’s IE Walk to Remember for all the babies gone too soon. To hear someone speak of my baby as a precious, loved, and missed life brings peace to my mama heart.

Last night during my last scroll through Instagram before falling asleep, I came across Forever Footprint’s post of the 2018 Baby Memorial Wall. I zoomed in to find my baby.

Baby Rodriguez

Listed among hundreds of other precious names… and I lost it. I laid in my bed, silently sobbing so as to not wake up my infant. My heart ached so deeply for everything we were supposed to have and do with our first baby. I just lost it.

I closed my tired eyes and whispered up to the ceiling, “Our second memorial wall my baby. I can’t wait to hear your name and collect your white rose.”

But we didn’t make it…

I woke up very late this morning after we were up quite a bit in the middle of the night with the baby. My husband dressed the big boys while I quickly showered and fed the baby.

I must have moved him around too quickly after eating, because the second my husband placed him in his car seat, he vomited everywhere. Soaked himself and his car seat.  My husband stripped the car seat bare, and started the washing machine. I stripped the baby bare, and started the bath. With the clock ticking, I had to come to terms with the fact that my family wasn’t going to make it to the memorial service and walk.

The guilt set in. This was an event I promised I’d do for my baby. I would come alongside other families to remember, honor, dream, hope, and walk. And we missed it.

I immediately felt like I failed Baby Rod. I broke my promise. I can’t give Baby Rod hugs and kisses. I can only give promises, and I didn’t even do that right. I spent the majority of my day feeling absolutely crushed.

But I kept reading messages from my loved ones over again.

These came in before the walk started:

So sorry I’m not able to make it to the walk today!! Thinking of you and sending you big hugs and lots of love today.

Good morning Ali and Steven! A walk to remember… we love you Baby Rod. Always holding a special place in our hearts until we meet one day in heaven.

God is taking care of Baby Rod until momma gets there. 

And these came after we didn’t make it:

Any walk will be just fine. It’s what we hold in our hearts that matters. 

It’s ok, Ally. Things happen. We all know the love you have in your heart. 

I slowly started to feel peace reenter my heart. God reminded me that he loves through the actions of others. He knew how desperately I needed his love today, and made sure I felt it through those sweet, thoughtful messages from my family.

I wish we made it to the event. Instead, we packed up the kids and took a walk of our own. With the baby sleeping peacefully in the stroller and the toddlers running wild and free, I felt Baby Rod’s absence so strongly.

My precious baby, Mommy, Daddy, and brothers still walked the steps you’ll never get to today. We walked them with love and longing in our hearts. Next year, I’m going to do my best to walk those steps with the Forever Footprints family, to hear your name called out with love, to see it pinned to the memory rope, to collect your white rose. But if life throws us another curve ball before next year’s event, my promise to you is that I’ll always walk in remembrance of you. At special events like the IE Walk to Remember or down the street or at the park or circles in the house. Because that is what you deserve. I love you. I love you. I love you.

God, please hug my baby extra tight for me. Thank you for the love of my family members today. May you please bless them as they have blessed me.

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