In the two years since losing Ruth, it has been hard to imagine any good thing coming after.
But one week ago Saturday, you did.
Nothing will ever fill the hole the death of your older sister left in our hearts. No one will ever laugh the way she did. Or bring smiles to the faces of everyone around her without uttering a word. No one will fill her place in our family. Or cause us to forget the morning we woke up and realized she was gone.
We will always have six children but only five to hold. Only five to watch mature into adults as they find and express their God-given gifts, what brings Him and them and everyone around them the most joy.
When your father and I welcomed your oldest brother more than sixteen years ago, we had the ambitious hopes of all new parents along with the blissful, narcotic-like ignorance of how quickly a life can go wrong, of how quickly it can be taken away. Now, as I nurse you, no anesthesia can numb the knowledge of how quickly joy can turn into deep, overwhelming pain.
And it makes me afraid, knowing how full of sorrow life is, how nothing is guaranteed. Not the next day. Not the next breath.
And so I find myself studying with extra awe and care each eyelash, each curled fist, each rise and fall of your little chest.
And I pray that you will know your gifts and use your life to express them.
As was said of your namesake who lived in a time when people had forgotten the words of God:
“He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses,
which the Lord God of Israel had given;
and the king granted him all of his requests
because the hand of the Lord was upon him…
For Ezra set his heart to study the law of the Lord,
and to practice it,
and to teach his statutes,” Ezra 7:6 and 10.
Little son, my little Ezra, may each and every day of your life be so blessed.