Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Our Little Cowboy

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I wanted to get some nice photos of Aaron Jr. in these cowboy clothes before they were too small. When I was pregnant, Aaron and I stayed in this motel on our way home from California where we had just helped Rob & Kaily move. In the motel room, there was this framed picture on the wall of a little child in a cowboy hat and overalls standing by a barn door. Even though we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl yet, I told Aaron that I wanted to take a photo of our child in cowboy clothes by a barn and enlarge it and frame it and hang it on our wall. Well, this isn't a barn, it is a shed in our backyard... but Aaron painted it red just a few months ago, so this is where I wanted these photos to be taken. I even waited to get Aaron Jr.'s hair cut until after these were taken because Aaron talked about how he wanted Aaron Jr.'s hair just long enough that his curls could flip out under his hat.
So, I borrowed my brother's nice camera and went with my friend, Shauna, down to take these photos. I took a lot of them, but these are the ones that are my favorites.

Aaron Jr.'s Clothing and where it came from:
Cowboy hat: Aaron's mom
Plaid flannel shirt: Aaron
Black leather vest: Aaron (before we found out if we were having a boy or a girl)
Bolo tie: Aaron's
Cowhide coat: Rob & Kaily
Rope: Aaron
Levi jeans: my sister, Karey
Cowboy boots: Me (at a thrift store near where we live, what a bargain)
Belt: Aaron (just a couple of weeks before he passed away)

It was cold that day and Aaron Jr. braved the weather like a champ. He has gotten used to the idea of putting on his cowboy clothes. He actually enjoys putting them on now. But, I think it is time to retire a few of the items. They are a little too small now. But we will save them for when Aaron Jr. has a son.

I was sitting in the kitchen today and Aaron Jr. ran to me crying and pointing to his right foot. When he got to me, he said he had hurt his foot (in his language) and he held it up a bit. I asked him if I could kiss it better, so he held it up and I lifted it up. After I kissed his foot, I said "all better" and he ran away smiling and laughing ready to play again.
After he ran away, the thought entered my mind that he has a lot of trust in me. He was hurt and he truly believed that me kissing his foot and telling him it was all better took all of his pain away. He believed it and he let the pain be taken. He believed it because he trusted me.

As I sat there, I realized that it is the same for us, as children of our Father in Heaven. Heavenly Father makes promises to us and it is up to us to put our trust in Him and believe.
The difference in these two scenarios is us... not Heavenly Father. Because we don't have the kind of faith that a child has, it is more difficult for us to put our trust in Him than it is for our child to put their trust in us.

Heavenly Father loves me just as I love Aaron Jr. He wants me to be happy just as I want Aaron Jr. to be happy. He doesn't like to see me hurting just as I don't like to see Aaron Jr. hurting. He is there ready to take my pain away just as I am there ready to take Aaron Jr.'s pain away... as much as I can anyway. Aaron Jr. trusts that I can do that for him... it is up to me to trust that my Father in Heaven can do that for me.
It is easier said than done, but we are promised that if we put our trust in Him, He will guide us down the path that will bring us joy.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

It IS easier said than done. I still struggle to go to sleep at night. I still have lots of moments where I am completely uncomfortable no matter where I am or what I am doing. Right now, I feel like I don't have a place in the world, like I don't belong anywhere. I struggle through each day trying to smile, but feeling so much sorrow inside.
So many people have mentioned to me that I am courageous and that I am a strong person... but, I don't feel courageous. In fact, I am scared to death for what my future holds for me in this life. And as far as being strong... I feel like I am collapsing from the inside out. So, any strength I am receiving has to be the Lord sustaining me through this trial. The moments when reality hits me, I feel like I am getting kicked in the stomach and the wind is knocked out of me. In those moments, I have to push reality aside to even function. The pain is still so deep... but I am trying.

This is where trust comes in. I do trust that my pain can be taken away, that is why I pray each night for peace and comfort. It is just so hard to hand it all over at once. I pray each night that Aaron is all right and that he is happy. I do have moments of peace and comfort and those moments are blessings from my Father in Heaven. Aaron Jr. brings me smiles and laughter each day. He is such a blessing in my life. I believe that it is through him that I am being given a lot of my moments of peace and comfort. I am truly grateful for him.

We love and miss you, Aaron...

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Emma-Kate Castricum said...


your words are so beautiful and so raw and touching at times they almost hurt to read.

The pictures of little Aaron are truely gorgeous. Although not with you physically I have no doubt Aaron's so proud of you and that wonderful little boy you created together. I hope deep deep down you know your Aaron's always with you and watching over you. I believe he is.
Hugs from the other side of the world.


Christa said...

Such cute pictures of little Aaron. I LOVE the very last one. He looks adorable. The curls coming out of his hat are the best. Aaron would love the pictures. He's such a miniature Aaron. I'm so glad they resemble eachother so much.

I totally think you should have him wear his cowboy clothes on Sat. Plus it gives you another reason to get him all dressed up in them!!

Seesalou said...

leslie. the pictures turned out beautiful. what a tough little kid. all of us can only try to imagine how it would be to feel the things you are describing. so be patient with us as we try. i am so sorry and hope that each day brings with it just one more smile. i pray that the people in your life will only bring you more love & comfort.

Mindy said...

I loved your pictures! You are a great photographer, and little Aaron is a great subject!

I loved your thoughts on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are told to become like a child, and your example is such a clear one of our need to become more childlike... more trusting.

I love you, Leslie. You are blessing my life, and the life of so many others with your thoughts.

Kristi said...

I have been waiting for another blog to know how things are going. I guess a phone call would work, but it isn't easy to know how you feel and be able to say those things over the phone. I love the analogy of parent and child. I think of that relationship with us as the child, a lot.
We are so anxious for you guys to come up.
I love the pictures. They are so adorable.
I love and miss you guys.

Jenn said...

Having my Mother die of cancer when I was 2 years old was heart breaking for our family. I do not remember her now that i'm grown but my father saved many things that were hers. One was a sweater. I cherish the things that I have. Especially the pictures. Don't ever be afraid to share stories and such with Aaron Jr. Although it may rip your heart out doing it, it is something that he will need and crave. Everyone wants to feel connected somehow. xox Jennie

Sadie Joy said...

I love seeing those pictures of your little cowboy. what a beautiful boy, I see Aaron in him. Its a blessing to be able to see the inspiration in this impossible tragety, a beautiful son, the parallels with Gods love. Aarons life will always be inspiration for our own. You will always be able to see Aaron in your son. He is missed profoundly.
s. joy

An Australian Belle said...

Hi Leslie,

Those photos of Aaron Jnr are delicious. Great job!

I wish I could say or do something to ease your pain, but I know that I can't. Just know that I am thinking of you and that I care.



Karey said...

Leslie, Little Aaron looks so cute. I love the pictures against the red background.

These moments when you have insights like the trusting Heavenly Father one you describe here, surely come from the Spirit and are little gifts from a loving Heavenly Father to remind you of his role and his desire for your happiness. Keep them in your mind.

Remember, Leslie, that peace and happiness come from filling your life with love. Be sure you allow those that love you most to be there for you--even if it is hard.

I love you.

Lorianne said...

I loved this entry on your blog. Aaron Jr looks so cute and yes, Aaron would have loved everything about these pictures! How cute that he painted the shed red and it looks like a big red barn.
I also loved the feelings you shared. Aaron will always be missed, but neither he nor the Lord want you to be unhappy. You have been left with the gift of a son who needs you and your love.
I know the Lord will bless you to get through and help you as you will allow Him to. We love you so much.

Joann said...

I honestly can't say which of those pictures is my favorite! They are all so adorable. He is the cutest cowboy I have seen!

It is amazing what our Father does for you in your time of need. I know you don't feel strong, but you are. Everyone around you can see it, and Aaron can, too. You are a strength, not only to Aaron Jr. but to me and I am sure many others as well. I am praying for you and little Aaron always.

Vicki said...

I love the pictures of Aaron Jr.! He's so cute as a cowboy! And thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Love you lots!

Brenda said...

I love those cowboy pictures! What a treasure! Always keeping you in my prayers.