How do you measure a year?

I wish I had more time to write these days. My heart and my head have been full with so many things and I feel the need to get them out on paper (or screen). But the needs of a newborn are many, and they are needs I am happy to be busy with, because you don’t always get them with every child. We did our final balloon release of the first year of Arthur heaven-side. I took Adele to the balloon store a final time on his birthday. We went for the big balloon this time. A balloon with balloons on it seemed to be the perfect one. And because it’s been the year of the cupcake for Adele, I got a second balloon. We brought these to Arthur’s birthday party, but we saved these balloons for a final balloon release on his anniversary in heaven.





How do you measure a year? In a child’s first year of life, its usually in pounds and inches, length of hair, steps walked, words spoken, photos taken, and foods eaten. I wonder what those all would have been for Arthur if things hadn’t turned out the way they did.

But our measurements have been different this time around. It’s been in balloons released, pages written, perspective gained, compassion received, friendships formed, relationships deepened, hearts encouraged, minds changed, and lives impacted.

When I think of what I ultimately want for my children, as a follower of Jesus, Arthur is a dream come true – he has arrived safely in the presence of God and he has impacted lives for eternity. His little life influenced a multitude of people to what really matters. While there are certainly things we are missing out on in regards to his physical development, there is so much more we have gained. What a privilege it was to be entrusted with such a life.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. (Psalm 127:3-4 ESV)

I’m not sure how you are experiencing time there, but whatever it is I know it’s wonderful. Happy 1 year in heaven, Arthur Neale Van Sciver!


Arthur’s Birthday Celebration

We around surrounded by some of the best people. People who really get “Weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn.” It is so refreshing. One of the best things someone can do for a parent who has lost a child is to acknowledge their existence, to speak their name. Arthur lived long enough to have a birth date and a death date that didn’t land on the same day. So, to me his birthday is full of happy memories. I woke up yesterday morning ready to celebrate him – and celebrate we did! As the day went on and we gathered together for a little birthday party, and as people showed their anchors and sent off balloons, and as Artie and I received a constant flow of messages, we felt the love we needed as we faced Arthur’s first birthday without him here. For all of that, we say “Thank you!” Thank you all for loving our family so well.

We started the day with birthday cinnamon rolls.

Some friends of mine planned a birthday party and many moms and kids came out for the fun. We had milk and cookies – the nightly treat we indulged ourselves in the week leading up to Arthur’s birth. There were some Christmas crafts for the kiddos and people brought yarn as gifts to be used to make hats for babies with anencephaly. We ended the time with a balloon release, just like we have done every month. Adele had a fun time sharing in our celebration with friends. On our way home, she said, “Can we go to Arthur’s birthday party again?”


And friends from all over wished Arthur a happy birthday. From here in Charlotte, to Florida and California, and even South Africa, here are some of them:


Happy birthday, my sweet Arthur! Clearly, you are SO loved.

On The Night You Were Born

On The Night You Were Born

by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,

“Life will never be the same.”

Because there had never been anyone like you…
ever in the world.

So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

It sailed through the farmland
high on the breeze…

Over the ocean…

And through the trees…

Until everyone heard it
and everyone knew
of the one and only ever you.

Not once had there been such eyes,
such a nose,
such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.



For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born.

You can read my version of Arthur’s birth here.

You can see our Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photos from his birthday here.