by Ryan Chase
During our first pregnancy, we were overjoyed to learn we were having twin boys. My dreams of fatherhood suddenly doubled as I imagined holding a baby in each arm, watching them learn to walk side by side, wrestling with them on the floor, and coaching their soccer teams.
Subsequent ultrasounds, however, showed that our boys had congenital birth defects. When they were born with crooked joints and extreme muscle weakness, they were immediately intubated. In an instant, a thousand dreams of fatherhood died.
Instead of the life we hoped for, we were plunged into round-the-clock intensive care. Three years later we would plant the perishable seed of our son Isaac’s body in a twenty-square-foot plot of dirt at a cemetery called Woodlawn.
When I visit Isaac’s gravesite, waves of sadness often wash over me. I grieve the brevity of his life. I lament that he hasn’t been here to enjoy new experiences with his twin brother Caleb. Then I look at the empty plot we own next to Isaac’s and I dread the day when Caleb will join his brother.