Life was so perfect. We had our dream house, a wonderful marriage and a beautiful little girl, Kendall. On December 12, 2002 our perfect life was made complete. After a troublesome pregnancy we were given a wonderful surprise- our son, Kolton Riley (named after his grandfather).

He was a beautiful baby, perfect in every way. He had fat cheeks, blonde hair & blue eyes and just loved to be held. We knew Kolton was our last child- because of difficult pregnancies that cause health problems. I have just about every complication know to pregnancy- but my babies are so very beautiful. We didn’t know he would be a boy- so it was a wonderful surprise. We now had a precious little girl and a beautiful baby boy–Our life was perfect.

Those 3 weeks and 4 days were great– We were tired; especially me because Kolton just loved to be awake most of the night–eating. He gained 3 pounds in those 3 weeks…he loved mommy’s milk!!

January 5th, 2003 was a perfect day– It was a gorgeous, sunny day– We all went out to eat lunch and then spent the day at the zoo. It was a great family day. That night, we went to bed in our usual place (on the couch) so he could eat when he wanted. Kolton didn’t like his bassinet, so he slept next to me, cradled in my arm. He nursed at 3:30am and we went back to sleep. When I woke up at 6:15am, he was gone.

I don’t know what told me something was wrong, but it did. I got up and he was lying next to me; he looked like he was sleeping so peacefully. His eyes were closed, he was warm, and his skin so beautiful and pink. Within seconds I knew my perfect world was crashing down. I screamed out for his daddy, he came in & called 9-1-1. They were there within minutes. I had started CPR (being a pediatric nurse came in handy; but it was also a bad thing, I knew too much). During CPR, I opened Kolton’s little eyes- and it was then that I knew he was gone. Daddy was optimistic- the mommy part of me was optimistic as well–It seemed like a really bad dream. I have never prayed so hard. Each breath I gave to him may as well been my last–I know babies die, but not MY baby.

I continued CPR in the ambulance while they got everything ready- then we rode to the hospital—everyone was so kind, but I knew.… I told his grandma Sharon that we really needed a miracle at this point- and I prayed we would get it. The ER doctor & staff worked very hard on him. I know now, looking back, that they couldn’t do anything- but I appreciate their efforts. His pediatrician, who is also my boss, never left our side. He prayed with us, he held Kolton when we just couldn’t, he hand carried him to the morgue and told him goodbye. I can honestly say it was the worst day of our lives…So many lost hopes and dreams

Kendall loves her baby brother so dearly- She still asks when is he going to come back from Heaven. She says how she misses him and longs for him. We send balloons to Heaven so he can play with them (He has quite a collection). She has dreamed about Kolton and she is so very excited when she wakes up …I am not sure if it is a dream, or if he just comes to visit her to help her understand that he is OK. She told us, after a dream, that he was in Jesus’ hands- she saw him. We all know Kolton is in the best hands anyone could be in- God’s hands.

Dear precious Kolton,

It has only been a short time since you left us- but we have great comfort knowing where you are. You will never hurt, you will never want for anything, feel pain, heartache or have to live with the problems and worries of this world we live in. Everything you know is so beautiful and perfect that we cannot even imagine. We will see you and hold you again one day- WE KNOW THAT and it brings us peace.

We will never forget you- you will forever be with us…we planted a tree in your honor so we can watch it grow. Near it is a garden stone that reads…”Don’t cry because it’s over…smile because it happened” I try to do just that- we are so blessed for the joy and happiness you brought to our lives in those 3 short weeks…I know God has a plan for us all and He will reveal it with time–We may never understand why- but with God on our side and in our hearts we will smile because you happened and try not to cry because it’s over.

We will love you forever,

Mommy, Daddy and Kendall
– Traci Standifer

Glory Babies Group: Tyler