Sunday, June 2, 2013

Avery John Notgrass 1/26/11-6/2/12

It's a beautiful day outside today. The sun is shining brightly,
giving us light and beauty to see. But there are clouds in the
sky today too. It seems so fitting. Today is beautiful in heaven,
where all is bright and joyful, where there are no tears. But today
there is tears and heartache, painful and joyful memories for the
Notgrass family. We rejoice today that Avery is not suffering, that
he is so loved and wrapped safe in his Savior's arms. But today
we also weep, reflect on, ache, and remember the terrible loss
of no longer having him here with us. Someday we will see him
again and what a joyful day that will be, but right now we miss
him and cling to the memories we have of him. I looked outside
and saw how the weather looked before I did this first section
of this blog post.

I can't believe it. Today marks one year since little Avery went
to be with Jesus for eternity. We wanted to head down to
Tennessee when it happened, to be there for John and Audra
and the rest of the family, but we weren't able to. I remember
praying throughout the day and most of the night, and listening
for updates. It was so sad and more scary when Audra posted "Only a
miracle can save Avery now. Pray that God will let us keep him!"
It still feels like it was only 2 months ago. I'm thankful we got to meet Avery in person.
 He was a delight. Jesus surely had His blessings poured out on that little guy. He was
such a happy little thing, such a "smiley" as I used to call him.
It has been very difficult on John and Audra losing so many children,
but especially after one of them did get to be with them for a while.
I'm so thankful God gave Henry to them, that is a great flood of mercy
to them, but the great loss they've suffered is still so painful and will
continue to be there. The loss is evident, it can't be denied. But it is
my hope that God will help ease the aches in their hearts by giving
them more children to raise to be serve Him, if that is in His plan.

I expect John and Audra are going to have mixed emotions and
sadness for a very long time. They lost a child, their own flesh and
blood, and it wasn't very long ago that it occurred, and the heartache
and questions are still so very fresh. With God's help and promises
they will get through it. The ache is still there. But the memories and
love God gave them for Avery and their other little ones will remain
etched in their hearts forever.
When Lazarus died, (John 11) even though Jesus knew He was going
to raise him from the dead, though He knew the outcome was going
to be joyful and wondrous, He still cried and He still was touched
with compassion and felt the hurt of Mary and Martha. He knew
it wasn't easy for them, and it still made Him sad too.

Avery is no longer here. He is in heaven where he will be safe
forever. But his memory is still here, so is our loss of him. I
still will miss not being able to take pictures of him and share
them with family and friends as he grew up through the years into
a young man.

"When all we have left of someone is our memories of them, then
we must keep those memories close."

A couple things I'd like to say for John and Audra. One, they loved
their little boy and I saw them invest so much in him which they are
trying to do even more so with Henry.
Another thing," their relationship with him hasn't ended. It's been
interrupted, and someday it will be completely restored to them".
And they have that to rejoice in, hope in, and cling to.
Quotation by Randy Alcorn

"Hurting goes away. Love? Never! Love is one of the greatest gifts
the good Lord gave us. Don't waste it-not for a moment!"
-Kezia Horn in Little House on the Prairie

"I've heard many people say who've lost a loved one, that in some ways
it's like learning to live with an amputation. You do heal, but you're never
the same." -Courageous

August 1, 2009 when John and Audra announced they were expecting Melody.

Avery in the drivers' seat with Daddy 
Lil' Pumpkin



Here's a little poem for Avery, his little brother, and babies all around. Leona has this book
and George loves it.

Mommy's Little Lovebug

"You're my little lovebug, 
My cuddly kangaroo;
My lovey-dovey stinker winker bear
Yes, that's you!

You're my silly willy
My busy little bee,
You're everything that's wonderful to me!

You're my precious little lovebug,
But most of all, you're God's sweetest gift of love!"

John, Audra, and Henry,
We love you very much! May God bless you and heal you and may you 
glorify His holy name in all that you do! 

I love these last three pictures of him. "Smiley"
Precious baby boy

"...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good
work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"
Philippians 1:6


  1. What a beautiful post and a lovely tribute. x

  2. Rebecca.. you're a very thoughtful person, and wrote a lovely post. I'm sure the Notgrass' will find comfort in your words.

    Any updates on your father? Hope he's doing better.

  3. If I may ask, who is Melody?


  4. Melody Hope was their first baby. She was stillborn when Audra was 5 months pregnant with her. That was very,very,very hard on them.

  5. Rebecca, thank you for such a beautiful tribute to our precious little man. I loved seeing all the pictures and remembering his wonderful little ways. We miss him terribly and can't wait to see him again in Heaven. Much love to you, my friend. <3