Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Smith

April 29 would have been Smith Randle Bailey’s 1st birthday. Our sweet baby boy came and left too soon and we will forever be changed. He was born April 29, 2010 at 3:14 AM. He weighed only 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 ½ inches long. Although his birth and short life was filled with confusion, tears, fear, pain and grief, it was also sweet, beautiful and deeply profound.

Up until 3 weeks ago, I thought Jon and I would spend Smith’s birthday together laying low at our house. We probably wouldn’t get out of our pj’s. We would eat in and would only leave to visit the cemetery.

But this special, sacred day surprised me.

It was unexpected.

I never would have thought that on Smith’s 1st birthday I would be holding and kissing his baby brother.

The day was bitter sweet. It was filled with the hope of life and pain of death. We held Gray extra tight and longed for the day when he can come home even more desperately. To bring our baby home from the hospital will be a first.  Later we grieved at Smith’s grave, remembering the 12 days we spent with him and the impact he made and continues to make in our hearts and lives.

Smith’s birthday found my heart bursting with love and drowning in sorrow.

I have two beautiful boys. One I can touch, kiss, smell and snuggle, the other I can only cherish, remember, close my eyes and dream about. One on earth. One in heaven.

I have two beautiful boys.

Both were fearfully and wonderfully made. Both were precious gifts from God. Both have challenged me more than I could have imagined. They have challenged my faith, my marriage, my relationships, my body, my soul. They have challenged everything I’ve known, believed, thought and felt. They have changed me.

They have changed me. And as I remembered Smith and honored the day of his birth, I was torn between gratitude and grief. Torn between giving thanks for his life and being fiercely angry about his early birth and death. Torn between shouting that God is good and why God…why?

Then I saw it. Standing at my baby’s grave, I saw the verse we had chosen for his headstone. Cut into the granite it reads:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”   Romans 8:18

Jesus had great plans for Smith’s short life. Where there is grief, there is glory.

In one year, I have welcomed two baby boys into this world. There must be something about the month of April. Smith was due in August and Gray in June, but they both made their entrance in April…brothers!

Happy 1st Birthday Smith! You are deeply treasured and loved. We miss you.


  1. beautiful words, Kori. Your strength as a mother amazes me.

  2. Kori, I am a friend of Lyrics. I have followed your journey and grieved through the loss of your son Smith, and celebrated the birth of his brother. Your post was beautiful and eloquent. I pray that Gray can come home soon --- hang in there. My daughter spent 7 weeks in the NICU and I know how tough that is. Looking forward to the post that you guys are all reunited at home. Blessings.

  3. Kori...beautiful...moved me to tears. I am grieving with you and rejoicing with you.

  4. You are an amazing woman of faith, and an extraordinary mother. Your boys are lucky!

  5. you are amazing. i loved reading this (through tears ;-) and can't wait to see pics of your baby gray going home soon. saying a prayer of thankfulness and comfort for your sweet family right now.

    -kinsey (i read brooke's blog...i went to baylor and share mutual baylor friends with her :-)

  6. that's really awesome, kori. thanks for sharing.