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The Most Precious Gifts

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December 2013

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May 2008 at the wedding of CharlesAnna and Jonathan Williams
Our Christmas card picture for December 2009
December 2008, was the last time I was able to have a Christmas card with my entire family’s picture on it.  In May of 2009, my son, Walker suffered a fatal accident while kayaking on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama, near Auburn University where he was a senior majoring in Forestry and Land Development.  It was graduation weekend.  Walker was lost at the river from Friday noon til 10:32 on the following Sunday morning, which also happened to be Mother’s Day.  {continue reading after the break…}
I can’t dig out the actual card from 2008, but the picture above was the one used.  It was  taken at my niece’s wedding the weekend before the accident.  This photo been moved from computer to computer ,so  the quality isn’t the best, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.  As you see from the group photo below taken at our family cabin this past Thanksgiving, my immediate family is huge.  The picture above of my family was taken out of the “group family “picture taken at the wedding.  My family was the only family  that stood altogether for the photo, which allowed us to be removed from the group photo to make our family picture. If you look closely at the picture, you will see a crown and cross over Walker’s shoulder.  Originally my sister in law, was in the picture, but  she was photoshopped out to allow our family picture. Once she was removed, the paraments, with the cross and crown, were what were behind her.  It was one of many confirmations for me. 
The weekend we searched for Walker was one of the worst times of my life, but God was fateful.  He was there every step of the way and placed the perfect people in my path to guide me every step of the search.  The events of that weekend will forever be etched in my mind.  The details are too involved to go into on a blog, but they reveal a well laid plan.  God was in my life before the accident, but through blind faith.  I never in my wildest dreams, believed I would witness his power first hand, the way I did that weekend.   
 I have been very open about losing my son, but I have never shared one aspect of losing him that is both bittersweet and awe inspiring at the same time.  Each year when we approach the birth of Christ, I like many mothers, think about the birth of my own children, especially Walker’s birth.  
I had a 24+ hour labor with him.  I eventually gave birth to a baby boy whose head was bruised and swollen from being in the birth canal too long, before being born by emergency c-section.  Still I thought he was beautiful and perfect.  I never dreamed on that day that he would only be on this earth for 22 years.  I sometimes think about what I would have done differently, had I known my time with him would be so short.  The one thing I know I would have done is spend more time with him, but you can’t go back.  The last words Walker spoke to me face to face were “mom, you are too busy”.   I think about that a lot.   Take time and spend with your children so there are no regrets.
While I am sharing my heart with you I must tell you that losing Walker made me realize even more, about Christ’s love for me.  I lost Walker by accident, but God gave his son willingly, so that we could be forgiven for our sins.  I never understood the magnitude of his gift until I lost my own son.  Through much grieving and soul searching I evidentially realized that Walker was on loan to me, just like my other three children.  Our children are gifts from God.  We never know how long we will have them.  Not just as Christmas, but all year, we should treasure our children. As I get older, I also value the gift of my parents, and family.    I am blessed to have a large family who was there for me the weekend of my greatest need.    To have family by your side in your time of need is a beautiful gift.  This Christmas I am thankful for all the gifts God continually bestows on me.
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Our family at the cabin on Thanksgiving Day 2013
 Every year since loosing Walker, I have an angel on my Christmas Card to represent his presence.  This year I chose a star( first photo).   Walker’s presence will always be felt,  though we can’t see him or touch him.  
Here’s hoping you experience the magic of the Christmas Season and the love of Christ!
Whether you have children or not, you have gifts that have been given you, make sure you take time to be grateful for those gifts.
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