Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A little history...

I have thought more about death, life and loss more in these past 7 months then in all of my life.

I remember when I was younger, probably high school age, thinking that dying has to be the most scary feeling in the world and could never comprehend living forever and ever and ever. I believed in God, but I didn't understand His truths and I was too busy living in the here and now to worry myself with it. I always thought that if I was a good person, kind and loving, then He would smile down favorably on me. Those years I felt almost always in a constant turmoil, though. I always had a nagging feeling that how I was living was not how I should be living. I was pretty stubborn, strong willed and selfish with my time then.

In college, I "dabbled" in going to church and attending Campus Crusade for Christ on occasion. I tried to make myself better, but I never wanted to fully give up control over my life. And that was how I saw God and church and His "rules"; it was all control over how I was supposed to live and how I wanted to live. So, instead, I made my own decisions and thought I was doing an ok job at carving out my life. I still felt a nagging sensation when I really thought about my life, though.

Then I got married and had Daniel and all of a sudden, it wasn't about my life anymore. It wasn't all about me, but about a very special little boy who I was now in charge of raising. A little boy who came as such a surprise to me and Ryan. A little boy who would shake my very foundation. I started reconsidering my life. I made the decision to attend a local church that I had always passed by but never really considered until then. It felt as if all of my answers to all of my doubts were found there. I felt new. I gave my life to the Lord shortly after and thought it was all going to be better. Then I missed a few Sundays, and missed a few more. I don't really know why anymore; I'm sure "life" got in the way. Then I was ashamed to go back after having been absent for so long. I started to look for another church; one where I could make a fresh start and hide from my embarrassment. I looked and attended and searched again and then got pregnant with Andrew. (It really took me that long) I was frustrated and mad at myself. Here I was lost and confused and a mother to 3 and I couldn't give them the security I know we needed. All the while, I passed by Dorsett Village everyday.

Eventually, after months of pushing down the feelings I got looking at DVC; feelings of knowing I should be there and not anywhere else, I finally listened and made an appointment to speak to the Pastor. I wasn't about to just walk back in again; I thought I needed to explain. What I didn't know until that day was I needed no explanation at all. It hadn't mattered where I was or what I was doing, but that I was somewhere where I knew I was supposed to be.

I was gently reevaluating myself during those Sundays and the days in-between and found myself walking to the front alter again. To say it was smooth sailing from there on out would be a mistruth. I still had difficulties committing to coming every Sunday. I was tired, pregnant, working nights. I missed days. But, in my home, I could feel a changing heart. I was allowing more of a relationship with God to settle in; more than I had ever before. I was sharing God with my children and Daniel was picking up on it so fast. He enjoyed our nightly prayers and was always in wonderment that God created all things. I knew the truths that were being taught during Sunday School were making their way into my daily life; but I still had some resistance; it was like I just couldn't let go of the little piece of me that thought I could handle it all.

And then Daniel died...

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant, if they watch every cloud, they never harvest
Ecclesiastes 11:4

Sunday, February 26, 2012

To be continued...

I have been wanting to write something for quite some time but could never formulate my thoughts and words to make sense-other than in my head. Today in Sunday school my thoughts were revealed in His word. It's going to take some time to write out and some may even scoff at what I will say, but it's my heart, my feelings over Daniel's death and it is so important that I share it. Look for it over the course of this week because this isn't something I can type during my waking hours in-between work.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Double time

I've been thinking about Daniel doubly this week. I've just had a series of events and thoughts that have occurred and has been making it near impossible to not think about him constantly. I have had a few people ask how I have been doing this week and it makes me wonder if it's that noticeable on my face (which in turn makes me think more) Our ice skating fundraiser for Daniel is coming up next weekend and obviously that makes me think about why we're doing a fundraiser in the first place. We approved the final sketch of Daniel's marker a few days ago. More people are mentioning they are pregnant with their third baby and it makes me a little sad. I feel cheated sometimes. Jake and Andrew have been interacting more together and it's hard not to think how Daniel would have fitted into this brotherly equation. I look at Jake and think he is such a second child through and through and I wonder how he will fit into the "first" brother roll with Andrew. Andrew is starting to get Daniel tendencies and while it isn't completely fair to make comparisons to your kids-Andrew is his own person, of course, just listen to him. He is by far our loudest child with the roundest head :)-Ryan and I see some of the things Daniel did at Andrew's age. And it's noticeable; Jake at 8 months was completely different.
I'm starting to have trouble sleeping again. In fact, I was going to get up last night-rather, early this morning-and write, but I forced myself to stay in bed. Instead, I talked myself through a lot of what I was feeling. All of this is so two sided and conflicting emotions make it harder to sift through. What eventually helped me fall asleep was knowing Daniel and his legacy is here and His promise that I will see Daniel again. It stops the hard ache of missing him. It was really just kind of a downer day yesterday, Ryan totally noticed I was acting strangely, I just didn't realize it until later that night, and I'm praying for a little grace today. I would like to enjoy the day for what it is.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Firstly, a cliff notes version of the history of Lent

I am not Catholic. But I am Christian and I think every Christian can agree that Jesus did truly go out into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, was tested by Satan and persevered because he had the Spirit of God within him-sustaining him. During this season, Lent is used as a period of prayer, spiritual growth, recognition of what Jesus means in your life and focus on what His resurrection means. (At least, that is how I feel about Lent) So, this season I am participating in Lent. It still seems so trivial in the grand scheme of things; I am only giving up 40 days of no candy, cookies, cake or ice cream (and for anyone that knows me, knows I love sweets-a lot) and Jesus gave His life for me, but I am hoping at the end of this, I come out more spiritually mature, stronger from fighting temptation and closer to God. Cake, cookies, candy and ice cream are obviously not the same as Satan, but it is still a huge temptation in my life and one that I fight daily. I am hoping by persevering through this temptation, I can grow stronger with others.


I have realized that finishing this at 1:00 am when I started yesterday afternoon caused major writers block, but you get my gist. 2 days and going strong :)

Dreamt about Daniel again that other night. It was weird. End of days stuff but we were meeting in a European apartment, I was trying to find Ryan and others, and all the while I was asking Daniel how he got to Heaven. He mentioned a bright light, angels helping him fly and seeing me praying on the floor. Yeah, you go ahead and decipher all of that. It's heavy.


Monday, February 20, 2012


It was 7 months yesterday. I handled it pretty well because I was mostly asleep for all of it. I worked Saturday into Sunday and never had to write the date down so it never dawned on me it had turned from 18 into 19. I did think about Daniel on my way home, but that is par for my day. He isn't ever far from any of my thoughts. I came home, fell asleep and didn't fully wake up until Ryan came home. We got the boys from my parents, ate dinner, came home, and pretty much fell back asleep. It wasn't until I woke at midnight that I hit this realization. Of course, that got my mind flowing and I had to take a Melatonin to fall back asleep.

I've never enjoyed thinking of his anniversary (duh) but to not think of it feels empty. I think it's hard to try and describe to someone who has never experienced losing a child-or close loved one for that matter-what this really feels like. I'm honestly sitting here feeling a little dumbstruck.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bitter and sweet

I noticed the other day that I rarely have pictures of myself since I am the one behind the lens often. It's because of that, that I do not have a picture of myself and all 3 of my boys and that makes me so sad. I now know all too well what it means to wait until tomorrow what I can surely do that day. But that isn't really what I meant to write about. I took this picture of me and my men while we were playing in Andrew's room. I'm sure this is take 52 or something else outrageous. Andrew is sorta blinking because of the flash and Jake is doubling up on the thumb sucking. My boys at their best :) Because I do not have many pictures of myself, I tend to probably be a little more critical when I am in them. Of course I love that I captured play time with Jake and Andrew but the more I looked at me, the more I ached for the girl in the picture. I am 26 years old, and oftentimes I have to remind myself that I really am that young. What most people experience over their lifetime, I have in 5 short years. I have had a full time career, married and birthed 3 beautiful boys, become a homeowner and experienced the loss of a child. Where I once had bright sparkling eyes and a face full of fun, I now notice a grin that can't quite reach the corners of my mouth and eyes that have seen too much. A heart that sometimes weighs so heavy in my chest. As the 7 month "anniversary" is approaching, these thoughts are becoming more prevalent in my mind. I wonder when this moment to moment living will get better...times surely does not heal all wounds, but time, I know, will help ease hurt. Where I am now as opposed to where I was in the weeks after Daniel's death is substantial, but I know this journey is still early.

I dreamed of Daniel last night. I remember as I was getting ready for bed last night, I asked to have a dream about him. I have dreamt of him only 3 times since July, 2 where he was hurt and I couldn't fix him and once when he was so proud he pooped on the potty (that one made me smile). Last night I was in a park, lush with greenery, and I was talking to a man (could never see his face) and he asked me if I wanted to see Daniel, but I could only for a short while. Daniel appeared sitting on a rock and I ran to him and scooped him up. I could see he was wearing a red sweatshirt and grey sweatpants and his hair was in need of a haircut (like always :) and I could see his little boy toes. I could feel me hug him so tight. I don't remember what we talked about but I do remember he was happy, but he said he missed me. I asked him if he wanted to hold Andrew and he did. We walked towards Andrew sitting on a couch (not really sure how that got there in a park) and he sat down next to him. In typical almost 8 month old fashion, it was a little hard to hold Andrew because he wanted to sit on his own. But Daniel was near him. I woke shortly after that. I think it may have been my best sleep since July.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wings part 2

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect going in to the meeting yesterday. I wasn't sure what my part was going to be in all of this. I only knew that I was supposed to be there. Going in I was fearful that I wasn't going to have the time to work full time, mother full time, be a wife full time and fit in volunteering. But, then again, that shouldn't be a worry I need to carry. And I kept telling myself that; I am meant to be a part of Wings, my world is shaping me to be a part of this palliative care program.

I met with the head director of BJC's hospice and it was a very informational meeting. The perinatal program has been in use for some years but there just hasn't been a lot of people on board to make it as beneficial as it could be. They are currently looking for new ways to rebuild the program and get fresh perspective. Cue me. In the coming month, we will be meeting with a high risk obstetrician, the director, hospice coordinators and nurses to brainstorm. I always thought my perfect job was to be a labor and delivery nurse; never would I have thought it was grooming me to be part of something so much bigger. I feel renewed with my job. Believe me, this is an answer to prayer; I wasn't sure if working in a hospital was for me anymore but working where I am is exactly what is needed right now.

And it was reassuring that I stared my meeting with a handshake and left with a hug.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:6-8

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why has this taken me a week to write?

We picked out your name and your nursery colors. We picked out the clothes you would wear and what type of diapers we would use. We picked out your toys and your books. We picked out the food you could eat and the carseats that would keep you safe. We have picked out your toddler bedding and planned outings that you would enjoy. Last week, we picked out your marker.

It's been something I have been dreading for some time. It's the final decision that wraps up the end (of this life at least) Ryan and I picked a day when the boys would be occupied so we would have time to choose. It goes without saying we've never had the chance to pick out a marker and it wasn't something I wanted to preplan ahead of time. That day all I was banking on was a prayer that had graced my lips. "Lord, please go before us and make this an easy decision". He had already given me a foundation-a supportive husband and some great people at the cemetery. And that day was not a disappointment. As Ryan and I flipped through the pages offering different options, the weight of this decision was starting to press down on me-and then we saw the heart markers. It was so simple, but it spoke of everything that little boy meant to me-and to Ryan. It was perfectly unique to our situation as not many, if any, of the markers were heart shaped at the cemetery. It felt right picking that out and it will be nice to have a final marker and not a temporary one resting at Daniel's spot.

Of course, the Lord in all his glory went a step further and gave us a wonderful evening too. My day was a little darkened by all the decisions we had to make so we decided to call up friends and go out to eat. It was wonderful. It felt so nice to laugh and watch all the kids experience their first hibachi grill. Even if Jake was not a fan of the fire up close. But what made this outing especially sweet (and if you haven't noticed I don't typically write about Ryan; he's super personal and I know would not want our private life posted, but I have to share this) was Ryan's laughter. His deep, from the gut, happiness. It's been awhile since I've seen him give in to that. God, it was so nice to see that, thank you for that evening.

In other news, we got an offer on the house that week too! Praise God! It's only been on the market since the 17th of January. Now, just putting my faith in God that our mortgage company works with us and we have no bumps in the road and this sale moves quickly.

Andrew also learned to officially clap last week and has been doing constantly since. It is so funny to watch. That kid is awesome.

Oh! And my first meeting with Wings is tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing what I can do to be a part of this awesome program!