Stevie’s arrival into our family seemed to also birth a softness and selflessness in both the boys. For the first time in their young lives, I watched Wes and Sawyer fill with the overwhelming need to put her happiness and comfort before their own. As a parent, this was the most magical maturation and transformation to witness. Whether they realized it or not, their hearts were learning that a world of love and sacrifice and purpose existed outside of their own personal orbit. She had become their new world and they were happy to revolve around her. Witnessing the world through her eyes gave them the perspective and patience I had been praying they’d experience. When we lost Stevie, I was gutted as I watched both boys build a wall around the patience and gentleness she had unearthed in them. At such a young age, they were faced with the flip side of vulnerability — the risk of immense pain when we give our hearts to others and love big. We’ve spent the last two years tearing down that wall brick by brick, creating opportunities for them to be reminded that loving big is always worth the risk of pain. Building a wall of fear around our love only robs us of the joy available in this life. And all she wants is for us to know a fullness of joy.
I’m grateful for the person I have become since losing her… more accurately, the person I became BECAUSE of losing her. I like this person’s heart better, this person’s faith, this person’s clarity and resolve and empathy and courage and vulnerability and priorities. I hate how I became this version of myself, but I won’t ever take her sacrifice and her life lessons for granted by forgetting to honor this perspective she gifted us, that she continues to gift us.