25 January, 2010

the first gavin.

Since a lot of you little sweeties have emailed
recently having experienced the loss of a sibling,
I thought you
might be interested in reading this.

I was looking for something on the bloggity today
and came across this instead.

Just in case you're curious,
"the first Gavin" died unexpectedly in his sleep
on June 17, 2007.

He died of "natural causes"
at 21 years old.

I know.

I should NEVER have named
my son Gavin.

To all you lonely brothers and sisters out there:
I am so sorry.
My heart is FILLED with compassion for you,
and my prayers rise continually in your behalf.

As one of my sweet forever friends wrote
to me today:

"While your heart is healing,
I am praying."

and I really am.

I love you.

*Treasured picture by Heather.


liko said...

i absolutely love this picture!!! i've seen it on the older post, but it makes me happy.

Kristine said...

This picture captures so much!

Erin Jane said...

i still miss him every singly day! Natalie, I have wanted to say so much to you these last few weeks... but there are no words suitable just this - I love you.

Heather said...

That really was one of the best trips EVER! Gavin was probably one of the funnest people to be around EVER!

Unknown said...

This is like THE best picture EVER. Srsly. BEST.

Erika said...

sending you so much love.


Kahilau said...

I follow your blog like I have nothing better to do. I MARVEL at your strength and cant get enough. How amazing are you? Thank you for just sharing what is deep inside. I learn so much. Mahalo!

Chelsea said...

I don't know you (although I wish I did), you don't know me. I just saw a link to your sweet blog through a friend of mine in Utah who was friends with a co-worker of one of your cousins friends... and here I am. Deeply touched, and so entranced in reading your entire blog, from day 1. I long to be as articulate, as strong, as faithful, as SURE as you are. I am touched by your words, and as few and far between as my prayers have been lately they have all been for you and your sweet family. I hope you know how many people, strangers, are reading your blog and getting inspiration from it. It seems selfish to be getting so much from your blog, while you suffer. But, from what I've read so far, I'm guessing that will put a smile on your face.

Laura said...

That is an absolutely beautiful photo. It captures so much joy and love and the fact that you guys must have had an absolute blast together. My prayers continue for you and your family. And like others have said before me - your words suck people in and make them want to read every post you've ever written. I've found myself doing the same, even just today. God bless you for writing through your pain, and for in turn helping others in the process.

Scott & Tami said...

Rock Star = Natalie Norton

Seriously, you are as popular as a Rock Star....and I'm glad because your words change people for the better...the more people who know you the better. And I know this blog is helping you heal like it helped when Gavin (brother) passed away...and continues to help. It helps heal you and it helps heal everyone reading it....thank you for sharing...Rocker-Nat(I couldn't think of a better rockstar name...I know, I'm lame).

Tracy said...

You and your brother look so happy, I'm glad you have wonderful memories of your time together before he passed. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers!

Dawn B said...

Oh, how I smiled when I saw this! I e-mailed you before about my brother Chris (I also named by oldest son after him), and this picture touched my heart. My brother was a fun loving, crazy, and caring person who I miss terribly. I might try to find a picture of the both of us and post it. I can SO tell that you two were very close!

Janine Benedict said...

Natalie... I see this picture of you and Gavin and do you know what I see? I see the same spirit that is captured when you photograph your darling boys. Your boys have the same light in their eyes, the same joie de vivre. They are carrying little bits of him inside them.

Sara LaClaire said...

as i sit here reading in tears at the beauty of your blog all i can think to comment is THANK YOU. you are a woman of gratitude and truly have a beautiful countenance :D

Nichole said...

Oh my gosh!! That is just how my husband's dear cousin passed away a few years ago. He was 19. He had Diabetes, but they said it was from natural causes. I had never before heard of that with someone so young. Very sorry for your losses. My heart is with you.

OMI said...

Nat, I read every single word on your blogs. EVERY.SINGLE.WORD. and I'm still cheering for you, I still pray for you and still crying with you. I miss you. I laugh. LOVE YOU GUYS so MUCH!

Megan and Keli'i said...

He looks like Cardon to me, at least in that awesome photo he does. Love you Norton fam.

Brady and Rachel said...

That picture is AWESOME!!! Love it. He's watching out for little gavin now. Best friends! Grateful in many ways that God took Jake and Gavin (your brother) in ways that leave no doubt that he needed them on another mission away from this earth. Brings a lot of peace for our family, and hope it does for yours too. As well as baby gavin, he also left on terms that leaves no doubt the Lord needed him home. Just in a different way (he was too young to be vaccinated for Pertussis).

Sabrina said...

We named our son after my husband's older brother that died suddenly in a car wreck in 1998. He was 26. It's hard for my husband's parents to say my son's name sometimes. While I think it's a wonderful tribute, it's also very hard for the family. I'm not sure I would do it again if I had it to do over. Hugs to you. My husband struggles at every family gathering and everytime someone says "Oh, so there's 3 boys in your family?" - it doesn't seem to ever get easier.

Natalie. said...


OH! I totally relate to all of that. #1 when Gav was born everyone (including me) had a difficult time calling him by his name. We called him "baby gavin" and that helped. But we couldn't have done that FOREVER. :) #2 I HATE it when people say to me, "oh wow! 3 boys!" I have this inner struggle. I WANT to say "no I have 4" but then I have to get into THAT discussion (because the kids won't leave it at that) so. . .it's a daily struggle.

Annie Link said...

Do you have any clue how wonderful it is for a mother to see her kids love each other SO much?!!
What a pair you were.
I still practically pee my pants when I even think about the night we did those ear wax smoking cone things.
(or should I have said PEE my pants?)
Miss that gray shirt
Miss that beautiful body in it.
Miss you two together.
Hate answering the 'how many kids' question.
LOVE that you named your baby Gavin.
Sorry for long comment.

Lied. Another photo request.
this NEEDS to be on my wall. call me.

Tasha said...

I have lost 2 brothers at a young age. When I was 13 my 9 year old brother died in a house fire. When I was 19 my fourteen year old brother died tragically from a gunshot wound. I combined their names together to name my son, Kyler (Kyle and Tyler). I think it was a wonderful tribute to your brother to name your son Gavin! Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts. I am deeply moved by the stories of your life.

Tanya said...

i am moved by your words, natalie. You are such an inspiration...

I stopped reading your blog for awhile because I had lost my internet access at home. I was surprised at how soooooo many things had happened in that 1 month...I prayed and cried with you and your family..hoping and hoping that things would turn out better...

Thank you for sharing ALL of this...you touch my heart..be strong. I will continue to pray for you and your family...SMILE :) much love!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Natalie,

I still remember the good ol' TVA days when my hubby and I would be arguing and yelling at each other every night b/c we were both young and stupid and trying to learn to live with each other.........while you, Richie, and your little boy would be jammin' to "I'm a little star shining brightly, smiling for the whole world to see, i can do and say, happy things each day, for I know Heav'nly Father loves me."
You truly are a star shining brightly. You and Richie are such a power couple! Thank you for sharing your story.
My baby sister passed away unexpectedly in 07 as well and I never fully recovered from that. After reading your story, I've realized that I have no room to question or complain. Your campaign on behalf of baby Gavin is a tribute not only to his perfect little soul but to his namesake. You've made a difference in our lives and I thank you for that. Our prayers are with you and yours.

Keep shining....

Your neighbors then and now (well "now" indirectly).