by Grettel Loney
March 13, 1999
I am writing this journal so that I may never forget the wonderful moments we are sharing every day. You are now 20 months old. I wish I’d have started sooner, but nonetheless, I’m glad to finally get started.
Let me tell you, first of all, how precious you are. You are such a sweet and friendly little boy. You say “hi” and “bye” to anyone and everyone. You make so many people happy when we go out. I am proud to be your mommy. Let’s see, where do I start?
The first thing that comes to mind is that you love your books. That is a big understatement. You are so attached to your books! Every single night it seems since you were just a few weeks old, we’ve enjoyed looking at your books, you’ve enjoyed turning the pages, and I’ve enjoyed pointing out what all the different things are. I may be biased, but I think you are quite smart! You know so many words. It stems directly from your love of books. Every night you must go to bed with two things: a stuffed animal (preferably your white Beanie Baby bear) and a book (preferably the one called Jesus and the Children with the handle). If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, or in the morning, you say, “Boo?” and that means you need your book to hold onto…
April 24, 1999
My dearest little buddy, I love you so much. You bring so much joy to my life. You are now almost 22 months old. Wow! Time flies! You are growing so fast.
You, let me tell you, are quite a handful. You are trying to climb everything in sight. I must keep an eye on your constantly!
You can answer “How old are you?” by holding up your finger and saying, “Paish.” Guess that means one!
July 26, 1999
My dear and precious Bryant: You are now two! I love you more than I could ever tell you. I love your spontaneous kisses with all my heart! You are singing a lot more words that can be understood. My favorites: “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, and “I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in My Heart”. You make me smile throughout the day, every day.
January 1, 2000
I’m looking at the date I’ve just written, and it seems so so strange. I wonder when you’ll read these words? I know how much I loved and still love my Mami. She’s been in heaven two years now. She was a precious mom to me… I can’t wait to see her again. I hope I can be here for you a long, long time… but, rest assured that no matter how long we are together on this earth, we will be forever together in God’s presence someday. I love you, Bryant.
June 9, 2000
My sweet baby—I should say big boy, as you are almost three—oh, how I love you! As I write, you are napping on my bed. You are beautiful! You just opened up your eyes and asked me, “What [are] you doing?” and I said, “I’m writing to you.” I smiled. You smiled back and closed your eyes. You look so peaceful. I wish I could keep you so innocent and happy forever. But, unfortunately, someday soon you’ll grow up and experience hurts, heartaches, and pain. I am not worried, though, as I know our God will always, always, always be with you to guide you, to protect you, love you, and care for you.
I sit here trying to think of words that might adequately describe my feelings, my emotions about you/toward you, and my vocabulary fails me. There is nothing more beautiful than this love I feel for you. It is the most unconditional love I’ve ever felt. It’s so pure because you can’t do anything for me. Just being you is all I need. I love you, my precious son.
June 9, 2005
My sweet boy, you are almost eight years old. You asked me a little while ago to tell you a story of when you were a baby. I said I could read you some stories. So I got out this journal and just read to you every single entry. You told me several times, “I’m so touched!” What a sensitive child!
You still love to read, and even more exciting, you are now writing your own stories! You are such a great brother to Gracie. You are “Baya” to her. She loves you so much.
May 21, 2009
You’re now a 6th grader at Carver, a magnet and truly wonderful school. I got a call last week from one of your teachers. I was told you were being awarded a “Wildcat Award”—given to the top 6th graders of the year. This year, eight were chosen out of 300 students. Your teacher told me it wasn’t just based on academics, but on being well-rounded and liked by your teachers and peers.
To me this award was much more than a nice plaque with your name and what the school meant by honoring you with it. To me it was symbolic of all that you’ve been through in the last few years… and how God has helped you every step of the way. As your momma, I wanted so badly to protect you from heartache, hurts and tears. But dang it—not possible. I’ve seen and shed many tears with you the past few years. Through my divorce, leaving our home to live in a small apartment, a new school, a new town. Then me getting re-married. Once again, a new school, new friends and more changes. Then seeing me go through multiple back surgeries.
It hasn’t been easy for us… but just as God’s been with me every single day… He’s been there with and for you. I could hardly contain myself as your name was called to receive your award. God has been so good to us. Life certainly has a way of throwing us curveballs. But through the dark days, the unsettling feelings of not understanding what is going on in our life or what will happen next… God is with us.
July 22, 2011
My sweet Bryant, you are now 14 years old. You’re going to be a freshman this fall at Booker T. This past year at Carver, you completely thrived! Once again, you were chosen as Wildcat of the Year. I’ve always said you make me look good. Thank you!
August 16, 2015
Tomorrow is a day I’ve known was coming for years. But nothing could really prepare me for it. My heart is sad; fresh tears are in my eyes. You’re moving to the University of Tulsa tomorrow. Just across town, but I’m such a sap! You’re 18. So young, yet so grown up. Your bed has a tub on it with the last of your things. The SUV is loaded with your new fridge and the rest of your belongings. A piece of my heart feels like it’s packed in there too.
I’m going to miss you every single day. I will be praying for you like never before. For wisdom, for godly friends, for awesome experiences, for great professors who will inspire and challenge you to be your best.
I’m so proud of the kind, sweet young man you are. I’m so thankful God entrusted me to raise you. I’m so thankful for you, my firstborn, my sweet boy. Truly God is good.
Grettel Loney is a wife and Momma to Bryant—almost 20, and Gracie—14. She loves to play the guitar, read, and be involved in her church, First United Methodist in downtown Tulsa. She is the main editor for the918. Her greatest desire is to point others to the love and the power of the Almighty. You can get to know her better on Facebook at Grettel Loney.