You would have turned 5 years old today…

This sweet little boy, around what would have been our Scotland’s age, walked alongside Tom and I last year in Endinburgh, Scotland. Stopping when we stopped as his family walked ahead. We were hiking to the top of the summit to release our son’s ashes. It was as if he knew I needed the strength and support to carry me through.

Maybe you would have been a blonde with blue eyes like your big brother.

Or maybe you would have had brown hair and eyes like your sisters.

Maybe you would have requested a dinosaur themed birthday party.

Or maybe it would have been construction, some superhero or lego theme.

Maybe you would have been a Mets and Patriots fan like your dad.

Or maybe you would have rooted for the go go White Sox like me.

Maybe you would have freckles, or as we call them “Angel Kisses”, sprinkled around your nose.

Or maybe you would have a crooked smile like me or a contagious belly laugh like Barbara, Tommy & Katie.

I’m sorry I don’t always tell people about you… 

People often ask me “how many kids do you have?”

I say 3 instead of 4. It tugs at my heart every time. It feels like a lie.

My answer is often because I’m worried about the person asking…

I worry sharing losing you will be more than what they asked for…

I worry people will pull away from me because they don’t know what to say.

And selfishly, I desperately need the support and kindness of others.

A book publisher recently passed on my book proposal, only validating my worry…
“No one will buy a book about child loss. It’s too sad, people won’t read it.”

This definitely does not stop me from having your story shared. Maybe just not with that publisher.There are far too many mothers suffering in silence and our story is for them.

Your life and spirit play such an important part of our family, our story.

Your siblings include you in every prayer and every family portrait, often with a halo or wings floating alongside of us. 

Your Godmother’s windchime hangs in your garden in our backyard, singing along during water play, imaginary play, every birthday party…a gentle reminder you are there with us.

Your Uncle Tony’s engraved stone in his yard acts as a memorial stone for our Chicago family.

Your dad honors you every day with committing to being the most incredible, dedicated, hands-on dad to your brother and sisters. He’s pretty fantastic.

This was taken 5 years ago today, on what would have been your due date. Your brother, sister, dad and I walked in love along the ocean in a Love Walk for Scotland to honor you.

Me? I keep you forever in my heart and in an engraved ring or necklace, in a book and prayer at bedtime, in a song, in every silent tear alone in the car or closet, in every comforting embrace, in every cuddle wishing that I could wrap you in my arms too.


As my favorite children’s book, Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman would say…

“You are my angel, my darling, my star. And my love will find you wherever you are.”

Happy 5th Birthday in Heaven my sweet, precious Scotland!

You are loved.



Lucy Riles

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  1. Geri says:

    Oh sister my heart is breaking ! Sending hugs and kisses to you. Thank you for sharing and written so beautifully. Scotland will always be in my heart 💙🧢🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    1. Carolyn De Vishlin says:

      Oh my word. My son would have been 5 years old on July 25th 2019 as well!!! My son was 6 and a half days old when he died. I feel absolutely everything you feel. And then some xxx

    2. Celine Kaleta says:

      My sweet Lucy. We weren’t that close when we played in the league together, but watching you grow with Tommy, seeing your amazing family and your awesome career both as a web blogger and a mom has been such a journey. Thank you for always sharing your experience with us, letting us into your heart, allowing yourself to be vulnerable so those of us who need the strength can share yours. You are amazing and wonderful person. I’m proud to say I know to others. Yea I know Lucy, she used to come play softball in her cowgirl hat and a charming smile.

  2. Kevin says:

    I tell people i have 2 kids, but i wear a star for each on a pendant…8 stars and nobody asks about the other 6

  3. Kathy says:

    I have lost 8 total, only 2 I got 5o hold before saying goodbye. I finally uave my rainbow baby who has the energy and attitude for all 8! My heart aches for you. I too remember them on their “birthdays” nd have tattoos of little feet which I am going to try to incorporate sis some how. I would have read your book. In our fertility treatment I needed to know I wasn’t alone bc men cant grieve or feel like we do. I would have read your words that would have tugged at my heart the eay you did today. You, your angel baby and family are with us in thoughts and prayers! Stay string and thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  4. James says:

    So sorry i wont say i cam feel your pain but I recently lost a grandson to suicide. He would have turned 16 a couple months ago so i do kinda feel your pain my thoughts are with much love mamn

  5. Edward from Ont, Ca says:

    That was beautiful! And insightful! My heart pours out for you on this memorable day. Prayers. Rest well baby Scotland.

  6. Adrienne says:

    I would have read your book too. For us, it’s been 12 years this November. Our little girl would have been 11 around the end of April or beginning or May this year. I don’t always talk about her, but it’s gotten a little easier in the last couple of years.
    Love and light to you, sister. It will always hurt, but it does get easier with time.

  7. Barbara says:

    Oh Sister! I love you so much! I love my nephew Scotland , he is forever a part of my heart.
    I will read this book when it is complete….so keep writing, pour your heart into every word.
    So proud of you!

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