six months

It was so wonderful to start a new tradition today honoring Owen by random acts of kindness. His six month birthday was the perfect time to start. Instead of waking up with a heavy heart, I woke up excited about doing something out of the ordinary to celebrate Owen. I know so many people continue to pray for us. Today I felt your prayers. Right before my run this morning, I saw this post on instagram.
This sweet woman (who lost her son Aaden a few years ago), is praying for specific women by name who have also lost babies while she trains for a half marathon, which happens to fall on Aaden's sixth birthday. I saw my name written on her arm, and got chills. I'm so thankful for her heart and her prayers. As I was running, I relived my favorite moments of Owen's life in mind. I completely zoned out which made for a very fast first two miles. :)

Later this afternoon I decided to browse an antique mall. When I was checking out, I overheard an employee telling someone that she just lost her granddaughter. I looked over at her, made eye contact with her, and told her that I just lost a baby too. She came over, gave me a hug, and we both started to cry. It was one of those moments that caught me off guard- my tears wouldn't stop. She told me about her granddaughter and how she only lived for two weeks, yet she fulfilled her purpose in those two weeks more than anyone else could have. I told her about Owen and how he did the same in his six weeks. I told her he would have been six months old today, and how we were planing on celebrating his life. It was a short but meaningful few minutes with a stranger that I felt such a huge connection with. I left the store in tears. A mixture of happy and sad tears. I'm thankful for the blessings I continue to experience throughout my grief. 

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in random acts of kindness! I loved seeing pictures flood social media and getting texts through out the day of things people were doing in his honor. There were some great posts! Leaving flowers on someone's doorstep, making a cake for a friend, paying for some's Redbox movie, leaving an extra tip at a restaurant, making breakfast for coworkers, buying a new mom a Starbucks gift card, giving "The Little Engine That Could" (Owen's last book) to a fiend's daughter, leaving money taped on a vending  machine, making granola for another family, buying someone's coffee or breakfast in the drive through, leaving a Duncan Donuts gift card for the employees at the pool shop, passing out cold drinks to people at a hot bus stop, buying a Walmart gift card for an employee who was having a hard day, serving a meal to a large group of people, making a donation to a chapel for parents who have lost children, donating clothes to  a foster child... I'm sure there are more that I'm missing.  

Earlier this week I got a message from a friend. She told me she was talking about heaven with her four-year-old. He was saying that he didn't want to go to heaven because he likes this world just fine. She started telling him all the great things about heaven and why it will be better than here. He then said, "Oh and I can meet baby Owen and see how big and strong he is." It totally made my day. It warms my heart to know that people still remember my sweet boy. 

Happy six months sweet Owen! We love you and miss you every moment of every day. We can't wait to see how big and strong you are in heaven one day! 

random acts of kindness

I'm constantly trying to think of new ways to incorporate Owen into our daily lives. Even though he's not here, he is a huge part of our family. I love when he comes up in conversation. Last week at church, a lady noticed my necklace and asked if it had my children's names on it. I smiled and told her about being Owen's mom. I think about him all the time. I miss him more than words can describe, but I also feel such gratitude for being able to be his mother. The twenty-third day of the month is always a hard one for me, but I'd love to turn those days into days of happiness. We decided to honor Owen's life through random acts of kindness, and we'd love it if you would join us in this! Our plan is to do one random act of kindness on the twenty-third of each month, but you could do it any day you like! Pinterest is full of ideas. It could be paying for someone's meal or coffee behind you in the drive through, making a donation to a charity, doing someone's yard work, leaving quarters taped to a vending machine, dropping off brownies to your neighbors, leaving your mailman a treat, etc. We plan on leaving little notes [link here] so that Owen's story can continue to spread. If you join us with this, take a picture of your random act of kindness and post to #owenthomasparker. We're excited about honoring his life in this new way!