We are writing these letters near the one year anniversary of Tucker's death. They are from mom and dad and represent what we'd want to say to him.
First, from Dad.
Tucker, I am still in awe of the impact you had in only about 3 years on this earth. I pray I can have that kind of impact during my life. I miss coming home from work and you greeting me with "You back daddy". The tears still come very easy to me as I watch your videos and even as I type this. I pray if you are watching from Heaven that you are proud of your daddy and what we have done for your website, your memorial service, and all the memories we are trying to preserve of you. I just want you to be proud of me. I miss you so much. As I see other boys growing up, doing the things you would be doing, it makes me sad. I wonder what you are doing in Heaven. You are still very much in our thoughts, and we remember you when we are doing our daily activities. I have your crib out in my "Big Barn", and sometimes I just stand by it and break down. I have prayed many times for a vision of you in Heaven, and I will continue to. I am sorry daddy wasn't there to tuck you in the night you died. I have very few memories of that day as it was very hectic at work. I feel like you went to Heaven without me saying good-bye. I pray you will meet me at the gates of Heaven and say "You back daddy". I pray you will be my guide showing me around heaven and all the wondeful things you have been doing up there. I miss you more than words can express. I would happily have taken your place if I could. Daddy is the protector of the family and I somehow feel I let you down, but I lean on God never leaving or forsaking us. The creator of the universe is a lot smarter and wiser than me, and someday I'll get to see his whole plan for your life and what it meant. Until then, I am sure you are having a great time in Heaven and that if you can see us on earth, I pray you are proud of your daddy. I am so proud of you.
My dearest Tuck Tuck! I miss you and love you every second. Your absence seems greater than your presence, and your presence was BIG! Your death has shown me how great and vast my love for you really is. Grief is a risk for loving much. I know you are so perfect in Heaven, and would never want to come back to this sin stained world. You are perfect and happy. My grief is selfish, yet God made us emotional beings. I try to "imagine" you in Heaven and I just can't. I do wonder often if you can see us from Heaven. If yes, I know you'd be happy with our grieving and memories of you. I am thankful that you are with Jesus. My prayers were answered. I prayed for you, beginning in my womb, that I would raise you in a life that would glorify God and that you'd spend eternity with HIM. In writing this, I have pondered in my heart what I would say to you if I could. I decided that I desire no words, but rather long embraces, snuggles, and kisses. I want to love-on you like never before. I want to smell and touch your hair. To hear your laugh and your voice again. To rock you with your binky and taggie in use. To hear you talk to me with your many words of endearment and care. Since you moved to heaven, a lot has changed. I don't care about things like I used to, and feel left empty in things of this world. Time has not functioned correctly. It seems like many years ago I held you in my arms, but just a month since we found your empty body. So much has changed this past year. A year already! The firsts have passed without you here, and your 3rd Birthday! I daily think "what would Tucker look like now"? Just today, I wondered, "I bet Tuck would be swimming in this pool without help at 3 1/2 if he was here!" Your little brother was born in July. We named him after you, Isaac Tucker. I pray he can grow up with a sense of who you are, meet you in Heaven, and that all your brothers can play for eternity. Your big brothers miss you terribly, and it has been difficult to watch them grieve for you so differently. The Lord has sustained me through this valley of death. Although I have tasted the deep, penetrating sting of death; I have experienced Christ like never before. God has rubbed his loving, healing salve over the wounds of my heart. I have much to be thankful for. I speak of you, and God's faithfulness as often as the Lord leads me. You are part of my story. My life is much richer and wonderful for the many chapters of Tucker. There is a special "Tucker-Shaped" hole in my heart that is just yours. The hole is filled with so many blessings and memories of what you are to me. I am a changed woman, wife, and mommy because of you. I now embrace the miracle and blessing of babies like never before, and pray I can fulfill my highest calling as wife and mommy in a special way. I now long for Heaven. I look forward to seeing how God is working this short life of yours, all together for His good. I can't wait to get to heaven and hope to hear you say, "You back? You okay? O-tay Mom! Yes-Mom!" I am so thankful and blessed to be your mommy. I love you always, every second. Your one and only, Mommy.
From the boys.
As the one year anniversary of Tucker's death approached, we asked the boys to tell us what they would say to Tucker if they could see him today. Ving said he would say "Hey Tucker, how's it going in Heaven?" He would also say "You back? You back?". He would also ask him if everything is really all gold in Heaven. Hunter said he would ask him if he needs any help with anything. Hunter would love to help with anything. "If he needs any help wtih anything, I would do it for him". Hunter would also ask him if there are any games he would like to play. "If anybody wants to play against him I'll help him so he can win. If he wants to play against me, I'll do bad so he can win". "If he is going any place where he needs shoes, I'll help him put them on because I can tie shoes now."
Here are some things we have collected over the past year that they said. Right after Tucker died, Ving was worried atht Hunter would turn purple and die. He didn't even want to sleep in the same area with him. Both our boys saw Tucker in his state that morning, which was a very vivid picture. At Valentine's day that year, Ving made Tucker a Valentine, then made a fort and hid the Valentine in a box inside the fort. The boys were also concerned with how we'd get all Tucker's clothes to him. Also, how would he eat? He doesn't know how to cook. After the memorial service, the boys drew many nice pictures of Tucker. Ving also drew pictures of two people standing over a body lying on the ground, reminding us he saw what happened. Ving also wrote a story about Tucker for his first ever writing project in school. Hunter wanted to wear Tucker's yellow snow suit after he died. He also wanted to sleep in his crib. Hunter would tell us Tucker stories in the week after Tucker's death to make Mom and Dad feel better. Hunter really wanted to do Tucker's job of setting the napkins at the table now that Tucker wasn't here to do it. Hunter insisted on watching Narnia twice after seeing it. When questioned, he told us he loved the part where the brother died and then came back to life. While in the basement working out with Daddy, Hunter all of a sudden started crying. He said he really missed Tucker. Only time we have seen either of them "break down". Hunter really grieved the loss of being Tucker's big brother. Hunter would help him get dressed and ready in the morning. Hunter was wondering if Tucker could watch Dora in Heaven. Both of his brothers really loved Tucker and continue to miss him.