Theodore Rutherford Williams. . .
Many think his life was short. This is true. But, it isn’t as short as many would think.
Since there are only two of us that spent time with him in a close way and since the other person is less than 3 years of age, I feel that I should be the one to tell his story.
That is right; Theodore was able to spend time with his older brother Jack.
They first met in a Petri dish and spent the first five days growing together. Then they “Chilled out” in the freezer at the Ottawa fertility Clinic for a little over 3 months.
Our love for Theodore started long before his Petri dish days. Ryan and I spent actual years talking, imagining, praying, and loving what our intended family was going to look like. We always wanted 3 children and now feel blessed to have them.
After Jack, we thought that Theodore would have been our second child but Patrick had other plans and bumped the line. With that said, Ryan and I went back for our little man as soon as possible. The day we picked him up and he survived the thaw and then was transferred was one of the top days in our life. We felt like he was finally home and our family was complete. But, at the time we didn’t realize this would be the only home he would ever know.
During Theodore’s time at home he made it clear he had a favourite place.
This past summer we spent a fair amount of time at Papineau Lake. Just like all my pregnancies, the first four months meant that I was very sick. But, there was magic in the air at Papineau. I felt good, my sickness was minimal. We truly believe and joked many times it was Theodore’s way of getting us to spend just a little more time there.
Theodore loved to travel. He took his first trip to Thunder Bay to meet his Grandparents who live there; a couple months later he went on an adventure with his Mom and Dad to Charleston, South Carolina; and then he jetted off to spend a week and half in Hawaii! Also, he enjoyed spending a weekend boating on Markin and Poppa Williams’ boat. He attended 3 weddings but, had a personal favourite which was his Uncle Brad and Auntie Anie’s. We danced all night and ate two pogos!! Yah, he loved those pogos with mustard! Don’t judge. If you only had a couple months to live, you too would hit that chip truck and devour a few pogos!!
That is a small picture of the life he lived. But the key to Theodore’s life is that it was one of pure love. His entire life and being was built on love. The blessing, knowing Theodore was going to have a few challenges and a real possibility his life would be short, was that we didn’t take one second for granted.
Theodore taught Ryan and me many lessons and even though we were on the same journey we have come away with different experiences and things we have learned.
Theodore taught me or at least reinforced for me that the job as a Mother is to simply love your children through their personal journeys. The harder their journey, the more love you need to pour into them. Theodore’s life journey was going to be a short one. There was nothing Ryan or I could do to change this and as his Mom my only job was to love him through it.
Theodore taught me a lesson in loving fearlessly. It was a love that was so large it could have been enough for an average life span but we packed into just under 8 short months. This love was unconditional; it wasn’t painful; there was no fear involved; it was love that came from my entire being and was poured into his.
There wasn’t a second of any day that my love wasn’t pouring into him. There wasn’t a kick, roll, or twinge that I didn’t thank him for. Every night as we would go to bed I would envision swaddling him in the softest blanket of white light, kissing his face, telling him “I love you and good night”. Many nights I would smile thinking that if Ryan was the one swaddling him he would say “Theodore consider yourself swaddled” since he would always say it to Jack when he was a baby just before swaddling him at night.
Theodore is a boy who was and will be forever loved. We will never know why his journey had to be so short but, I feel there is no coincidence that he passed from heart related issues, one being his heart was simply too big and that the root of all the lessons he taught was love.
I feel if he were standing where I am right now, not only would he love being at the mic, since he is a Williams after all, but he would tell you that in every situation we all have a choice. We can either choose love or not. He would be encouraging each and every one of us to choose love, and when it feels too hard to make that choice, he would say that it is a sign to pour even more love into it.
Ryan and I are and will be forever grateful for having our time with him even though it was short. He has changed who we are and as a family we are better for it. We will take the lessons we have learned and the teachings that are yet to come and carry them close to our hearts as we continue on with living our beautiful lives. He has given us more than anyone could imagine.
Please remember Theo’s lessons as the days and years go by, they are profound and life changing and yet so simple. Always choose love.
You will notice that we have used an elephant as a symbol for our dear Teddy. Not long before Teddy passed I had a vivid dream that he told me he was an elephant, and he wanted the elephant to be on his pamphlet at his service and on his foot stone. After I woke, I told Ryan and he instantly agreed. I did some reading about the elephant and its symbolic meaning. Once I started reading, it was no shock that it was an elephant he asked for. One page said “Elephants show us that by supporting and loving one another, our own ability to thrive in the physical world is enhanced”. Teddy’s whole journey was about teaching love. Then I read how “They are the embodiment of strength and power”. Teddy survived long after science says he should have.
He survived a birth and had a heartbeat against all odds. Finally, I read about how elephants can symbolize purpose and strength. Theodore was a very old soul wrapped in a very young body and he has given our lives a purpose we didn’t know we were looking for. As we move on with our lives, he has given us the strength to walk forward as a family with love in our hearts. And when one of our family members is feeling weight of our loss we will just fill them with even more love.
We want to thank all of our friends and family for all the love and support we have been given. We love you all and will be forever grateful for your support during this journey. We have a very special thank you that has to go out to the healthcare providers. What was the biggest loss Ryan and I have ever felt was made into the most loving experience because of those who were not healthcare workers that day but compassionate care givers. They filled us with love and strength at the times we felt like ours was fading. They felt the loss we felt and helped us by giving us the love needed to get through it. What they gave us wasn’t just them doing their job, it was so much more and we will be forever grateful for each and every one of them for helping us welcome Theodore into a room and a world full of love. We also need to thank Jenn Munro who captured the most precious fleeting moments of our lives. The pictures she has captured are not only amazingly beautiful, raw, and special, but they are going to be something we will treasure forever. She has given us a gift that is truly invaluable and during the whole process she added to the love that has already been talked about.
Lastly there is my dear friend, and what feels like a sister of the soul, Michelle who has supported us from the days when our intended family was simply something we envisioned and desperately longed for. She has supported us through the journeys of bringing each son into this world and without her. . . Actually I don’t even want to think what any of this would have been without her. She was intended to walk with us each step and I thank God for her being in our lives everyday.
May Theodore never be forgotten.
The song that is going to be played feels like was it written for the journey of being Theodore’s Mom and was played as he enter into this world and into my loving arms.
[Purpose by Justin Bieber]