sunshowers…

May 8, 2011

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fall like rain…

December 31, 2010

my day started with someone knocking at the door about 9:00 this morning bearing flowers and words of love from a dear friend.  beautiful, vibrant flowers.  knowing that others are remembering me and mine today is a very sweet balm to my wounded soul.  I have another friend who had dropped off a box of little gifts secretly, 10 days ago, to help ease the week or so building up to luke’s birthday.  (same friend who did that last year too)  it may sound a little silly, but it really does help.  the gifts are simple… a box of tea, a notebook, candy, a book, kleenex… but, and maybe this is because my love language is gifts,  these little things mean a great deal.  each one is wrapped nicely and has a verse that kind of goes with the gift.  I love the gifts, the friend, the thought behind it all.

about 10:00, brian left to go pick up all the balloons.  he brought home balloons and a few long-stemmed roses.  they smell so sweet.  we all wrote little messages on them and then headed outside to let them go.  it is so fun to let balloons go.  something you never really get to do and are often warned against.  they all look so lovely floating away.  next year I think we’ll get more.

after letting them all go, we headed out to champps for lunch, just like we do for everyone else’s birthday.  that was nice too. 

……………………………………………………………….

 

………………………………………………………………..

when we got home, there was another delivery.  white roses and evergreens with a snowflake in the middle from my parents.  it has  such a lovely piney scent and is one of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve ever received. 

all these wonderful things, along with… cards in the mail, emails, FB messages, texts, hugs, thoughts, prayers and concerns… really carried me through the day.  I understand that it has been 2 years since the most traumatic experience of my life was coming to a close, but at the same time that just seems impossible.  that seems to have happened just yesterday.  I still hurt, I still want him, I still think of him all the time.

as we were driving off to lunch, a song by jeremy camp started as if by cue.  it was the song, I still believe.  part of the lyrics say,

“but it’s now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain”

and I closed my eyes and leaned my head back and thought, yes… this is what is happening… all these gifts, all the concern from my friends… this is God, working through them to bring me some sort of peace.  and as His grace falls like rain, it really is washing away my pain.  thank you so much to all of you who were part of the comfort and joy today that was falling like rain all about me and mine.

remember…

December 16, 2010

as I pull my winter jammies out and put on the striped pair from gap, I remember that I was wearing these jammies as brian and I toured the NICU and looked at the other little one pound babies and got all the info on where we would be moved to when we finally delivered…

as I soak in the tub, I remember how I used to sit in the tub for some very long stretches just staring at all the miscellaneous bottles of soap, shampoo, lotion, cleanser and such paying especially close detail to the net ounces of each product and debating about whether luke weighed more or less than these multi=colored bottles scattered around my tub…

as I stare out the window and watch the pretty little snowflakes fall, I remember how it seemed like it was snowing every time I would leave yet another ultrasound or test or dr appointment for luke…

as I buy a size 14 shirt for dawson at gap kids and think about how next year I’ll be shopping adult sizes for this kid, I remember how many years I spent cruising the sale rack at baby gap and how I had just bought the cutest ‘little monkey’ shirt for luke just two years ago…

as I hang various snowflake ornaments all about our christmas tree and house… … … I remember.

if you want me to…

September 30, 2010

bible study has started.  I’m excited about studying Isaiah this year with good friends, in a new location.  I’ve got a close friend by my side in my discussion group that, sadly, and yet, thankfully, knows my pain.  I feel like I’ve made a few steps forward in this grieving process that is taking way  longer than I want it to.  and somehow, I still almost ended up throwing my hands up and walking out, planning  to never return.  let me tell you about the ‘somehow’.

after a pleasant morning of being thankful for being in this study, thankful to see a flood of new women coming to bible study, thankful for the men who volunteer to get all these women into the parking lot in an orderly fashion, (no really… I am super thankful for them), thankful for the friendly greeter, thankful for the amazing sound of these many voices lifted together in praise, thankful for the tried and true friend who smiles as I walk in to sit by her…  I feel like I get a couple swift upper cuts as I sit down, not guarding myself in any way.  the first of which is the new pregnant lady who sits to my left, which stung a little , but not as bad as before.  the second blow was the one that really took my breath away and caused me to stumble.  the one that caused my body temp to rise and all that queasiness to stir and the desire to run kick in.  the new girl across from me, who looked vaguely familiar, was the same women who happened to be in my house last summer for a bible study.  the one who threw me for a loop at that time as well.  all because she has a little 2-year-old boy named luke. 

… … …

and I guess the thing that upsets me isn’t so much about losing luke as it is about the hurt and betrayal I feel from God himself.  I mean really.  come on.  here I am, trying to draw near, making an effort to study His word, spending my time being thankful and this is what I get?!  a slap in the face?!…  (that’s what it feels like anyway)

well, I stayed in the class.  I couldn’t focus very well for the first half, but I recovered more quickly than usual.  I stumbled, but I didn’t fall.  I caught my footing and was able to move along.  I was still wondering why though…….   still feeling a little hurt…  there has to be a reason….  but what on earth could it possibly be….

after all of that, I got in my van and headed for home, still wondering, but not as upset and remembering that God loves me and that I’ve got a long way to go and that even though this refining is a terribly painful process, the alternative  is much worse.  I trust that the path that He has me on is the one that will bring me home and bring Him the most glory in the process.  I throw out a quick pray to, ‘please help me here’, as I turn on the radio …. …. and when I do, the song from luke’s funeral was on. … …  … and the way I took it was… … …  ‘I haven’t forgotten.  I’m on your side.’ … … … and I really listened to the  lyrics again… for the first time in a long time… .. and I fully agreed with every word.  and I was able to say wholeheartedly, ‘I will walk through the valley, if you want me to.’

everyday…

July 31, 2010

so you know when people who have lost someone say, ‘I think of them everyday.’?  I used to think that was probably a bit of an exaggeration… now I know that it is not.  I do actually think of luke everyday.  absolutely everyday.  sometimes it seems like I think of him all day long.  I think of him when I do a head count of kids in the van.  I think of him when I see pregnant women, little babies and toddlers.  there are a whole bunch of words that trip me up… like the name luke, anything about pregnancy, anything about death, anything about suffering.  I think of him when I hear songs on the radio, songs about Heaven, songs about loss, songs about suffering.  I think of him whenever we have to drive by my OBs office.

even though I still think about luke everyday,  it has gotten easier.  I don’t necessarily cry when I hear his name.  I can mention him and his life and feel pride and joy instead of just anguish.  I am proud to be the mother of 4.  I do almost always cry when I hear songs on the radio… but that was true before.

I’m not sure why I am mentioning this… maybe just to let you know that people who have lost a dear sweet someone probably do think of them everyday.  if you see someone and wonder how they are, or where they are in their grief… go ahead and ask.  tell them that you still remember that person too.  tell them you remember them at certain times or when you hear certain songs.  I’m guessing they would be happy to hear they aren’t the only one that still remembers or thinks of that certain special someone.

one and a half…

July 1, 2010

well… luke would be one and a half.  we would be having a little half birthday party for him just like we do for all the kids.

but we’re not.  instead, I just went to  bed and cried about it.  I want my baby.  here I am with empty arms… just as much today as back in december when he died.  the reminders are always right there.  yesterday, I found this dump truck and monster truck in a crock while brian and I were cleaning and sorting.  they were dawson’s.  I had been saving them… now what do I do with them?

this all started about 3 days ago when dawson asked me how we would have luke’s half birthday when there is no june 31.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  I wonder how often dawson thinks of him…

the kids were gone for 3 days.  they stayed with a very dear friend who helps us so much.  she is the only one who has ever voluntarily taken all 3 of them for an extended amount of time… being overnight.  having them gone is nice because brian and I are able to get so much more done, but having them gone also leaves a lot of quiet.  there aren’t any distractions.  and honestly, I think I survive by the distraction right now.  the reality of my life is very heavy.  the road looks very long, very hard … … …

anyway.  I suppose it is good to have to stop and face it.  to look around at how it is, how it is going to be.  to slow down and miss my baby…  to cry over his loss… to realize how much work a disabled child is… to cry over the death of all the dreams I had for him…

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

brian and I had a great time together.  we got a lot of work done around here.  cleaning, weeding, planting… different gardens around the house filled with bleeding hearts, bittersweet, baby’s breath, coleus and forget me nots…  and although I am physically tired from the manual labor of the last few days and my eyes are red and puffy from crying, I feel okay.  I lean on Christ to be my comforter and strength.  I will not go about as those who do not have hope.  I will hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for he who has promised eternal life is faithful.  I will fix my eyes on Christ and remember that he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I will do my best to consider these trials pure joy, knowing that the testing of my faith will produce perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I will remember that this life of mine is but a mist.

Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love  him.  …   James 1:12 

the work of mourning…

April 6, 2010

this really is work.  just when I feel I’m getting a little ahead, a little more balanced… getting my feet under me.  I get brought back down.

I want to just reach a point when I’m okay.  like, ‘whew~ glad that’s over.  time to move on.’  I guess I’m realizing that isn’t going to happen.  even when things get better, they will never be the same… they will never be like they were ‘before luke’.  I will never not have this wound, this scar.  my heart will never go back to what it was before… just like the stretch marks on my belly will never disappear.  they fade… but they are never gone.

whatever it is that has brought me down this time, has really brought me low.  the grief is like the ebb and flow of the sea… I get carried in, towards the land… I start to get my feet under me…  I start to feel like I’m going to be able to walk right out of these dark waters and then the ebb comes.  it pulls me back, it pulls me down.  I still try to walk forward in the shifting sand, but the water gets deeper and darker and I can’t fight against it…  then my legs are swept out from under me and I get pulled down.

this is work.  the rise and fall of the waters never stop.  I’m always either being pushed toward shore or pulled back to the sea.

I do believe that there will be a day when the lows aren’t so low.  all the space of this sorrow will be able to hold joy.  I’m just tired of waiting for that day. … … …  I want to make it come to me.  I want to do it myself.  I want to decide that this is enough and I’m going to be fine now.  it isn’t working out that way.

it’s such a complicated grief to lose a child… a new-baby… a long waited for, hoped for, prayed about baby.  it is so wrong.  just so … … not the natural order of things.

I think I’m going back to the beginning.  I’m regressing whether I want to or not… it is where the ebb is taking me right now.  I think I need to read some books on infant loss.  I need to hear others stories from other people and hear how they are coping, how they handle it when the pregnant lady is in line in front of them… what do they do when the person in the exam room next to them is listening to their babies’ heart beat with the doppler thing that goes woosh, woosh, woosh…  I layed in that hospital for days with a 24-hour monitor on making that same sound… always in my face these things… always in my face.

tonight I’m just thankful for the few friends who dare stay close to me through this.  there is a line from a book that I think says it best…

grandy found that most people can tolerate only a cup of someone else’s tear soup.  the giant bowl, where grandy could repeatedly share her sadness in great detail, was left for a few willing friends.

so true…  thank you dear friends.  thanks for sticking it out with me, for allowing me time to be sad when the waters pull back down.  you are a great blessing in my life.

…………………………………………………………………………….

this book that I love is called “Tear Soup” by Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen.  I would highly recommend it to anyone dealing with loss… all different kinds of loss.

one of one thousand…

March 5, 2010

our pastor often says that God is doing a thousand things in every one thing.  I’ve just recently found out one of the things He has been doing in and through the brief life and death of my sweet baby boy.  here’s the story…

Hey Jenifer,

I just wanted to let you know about the wide ripples that Luke has inspired in the world. 

I’d been a photographer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for a year when I was called to meet your family on what had to be the most precious and painful night–New Years Eve when Luke came into the world for a tiny spell and went right back up to Heaven.

Your session was the first I had ever photographed with siblings and your three older children just broke my heart.  Punkin kept asking questions like, “Will he have a birthday cake in Heaven? Will he stay small or will be grow up? Will Jesus be at his birthday party?” Dawson was crying huge tears and Cole was doing great at posing according to all my instructions…

I saw all the people in the room and realized how much everyone was waiting to welcome this new little life, how much your kids were looking forward to a little brother… and I recognized the look in your eyes.

My heart was breaking because: as much as the families that I photograph are grateful for the images I make, I only get called when a child has passed or is going to pass away immediately…

I hated that I couldn’t save anyone from this pain.  One day I saw the website for charity:water.  The website stopped me with the statement:

Every day 4,500 children die from diseases related to dirty water.

This is a totally preventable death. The website went on to explain that $20 gives one person clean water for 20 years!  Is there anything that you can buy for $20 that would do more good? 

Also clean water just hit me… I’m in Minnesota where we have clean frozen water on the ground outside, in our taps, in my shower… I use clean water all day and don’t think a thing about it.  I imagined what life, health care, food would all look life if the water wasn’t safe to drink.  How could you keep a baby clean and healthy?

I decided to build a well. I couldn’t save Luke or the other aprox. 20 babies I’d met through nilmdts, but I could save potentially hundreds more by giving them clean water.

I asked my friends and family to help me- and in September 2009, three months ahead of schedule, I’d finished fund-raising. 

My parents live next door to Jon Acuff, a popular blogger of www.stuffchristianslike.net He’s a good friend of mine and what we like to call “Internet Famous” 🙂  He said, “If Wendy can build a well, I can build a school!”  He contacted Samaritan’s Purse and found a project in Vietnam.  A kindergarten.  His daughter L.E. had been working on his heart and he had begun to imagine what it’s like for L.E.- aged kids around the world who don’t have schools… (I think when something’s God-inspired, it comes at you from all directions…)

The well was $5,000 the school was $30,000.  It took me nine months.  Jon raised the money for the school in 18 HOURS.  It was so successful that he decided to do a second school.  Two weeks later $60,000 was raised for two kindergartens in Vietnam.

So now a village will have clean water, two hundred kindergartners will have a school with teachers, books and love….

My friends and Jon’s readers weren’t uncaring people, it’s just that normal folks need to be inspired to act. 

God touched me through your family to do something about children dying.

I know it’s cold comfort, and nothing is worth not having Luke in your arms now on Earth, but look what a tiny life did!  I hope when you think of all the smiles that two schools and a clean water well will bring…. In a few years these projects will literally touch a thousand lives, that’s a lot of change for good all because of one tiny little guy in Minnesota.

I think of you and your family so often, I was in despair over the deaths of infants, but meeting your family inspired me to act. Jenifer, I has an enormous amount of love for your family in my heart.  People have asked me why I chose to build a well… I tell them about Luke who couldn’t be saved and the numerous children who could all because we chose to care.

I think that caring for a person’s basic needs is exactly what God’s love is all about uncomplicated and immediate.

With gratitude and love,

Wendy

this is healing balm to my broken heart.  maybe one day in Heaven, luke and I will meet a brother or sister in Christ from vietnam or china and be told the story of how hearing the gospel changed their lives and saved their soul… all because of a well or a school.  thanks so much for sharing this story wendy. 

please be encouraged that God is at work in every part of your life… doing a thousand things.  pass this along so that others may be encouraged as well.

much love to you~
jenifer

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

pizza…

February 20, 2010

what should we do for supper?

how ’bout pizza?

sure.  I’ll call over and order it.

dailing… answering… ‘papa murphy’s, this is luke.  can I interest you in some cheesy bread or cookie dough?’

umm… … … … … … … … click.

you’re gonna have to order it.

I want my baby back…

February 1, 2010

I have no intention of writing this ‘well’.  I am just going to let it out before I burst.  don’t expect formalities, complete sentences or any other thoughtful writing…

I WANT MY BABY BACK!  I’ve been standing pacing in the kitchen.  watching the most beautiful snow.  the kind where you can see each perfect little flake.  I so love the snowflakes.  it doesn’t happen with every snow… there are just those few times over the wintery months when weather conditions are right and we get to see each sweet flake fall from the hand of the Maker.  of course, they are making me think of my baby.  his tiny perfect form… and how quickly he was gone.  just like each of these little wonders that I keep trying to hold on to.  I mean that literally.  I’ve been out there in the cold at least 3 times in the last 45 minutes.  I want to scoop them up and bring them in so I can stare at them.  of course, I’ve done this too and they melt very quickly once they get in the 70 degree house. 

somehow, being close to the snowflakes makes me feel close to luke.  I want to go lay on the deck.  I want to curl up on my side and pull as many snowflakes as I can up to my chest.  I want to fill my hands and press my face into them.  I want to kiss them and hold them as I sway and wonder…

what on earth do the neighbors think?  I keep going in and out.  I’m taking pictures in the dark.  I just stand there with my face to the sky… crying.  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … my life was all ready unfair.

there is just such a bittersweetness to watching the beautiful snow.  I’ve always loved snowflakes.  this didn’t start with luke.  I’ve always been awed by their perfectness, their tinyness, their … everything.  now… there is a deep deep anguish that sits right beside the wonder.  it causes an actual  physical ache in my heart.

how full of creative genius is the air in which these are generated!  I should hardly admire more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat.  … Thoreau

luke…

January 16, 2010

can you even believe those perfect toes?!?!  I’m still amazed at how perfectly formed he was.

anyway, a little more about luke.  born at 30 weeks, luke lived a brief 80 minutes here on this earth.  he was then quickly ushered into what no eye has seen or no ear has heard… Heaven.  although we had him for such a short time, we had a lifetime full of emotion with him.  we had joy  in knowing that we should be so blessed as to have 1 more.  we had sorrow  in knowing that he ‘probably wouldn’t make it’ to thanksgiving.  we had triumph  when he was still alive after christmas.  we had anxiety  in never knowing if we’d see his heart beating at the every other day ultrasounds.  we had pride  in knowing that he was a fighter.  we had fear.  we had worry.  we had relieve.  we had heartbreak.  we had confusion.  we had suffering.  we had love.

we had joy.

I still walk paths of grief over losing him… my 4th little monkey of our brood.  I still have a uncomprehendable ache in my arms to hold him.  but I have found through this suffering a peace that is beyond understanding.  I have experienced a deep love from fellow believers who come alongside me.  and even though I would say I had a pretty good eternity mindset, I now have a very solid one.  I’m just killing time until I get to the other side… that makes a lot of things in this world not really matter.  like material possessions, false relationships, my hair, my weight, my house, my car, my job, the dishes, the laundry… the list goes on.  I could let any of it go.  of course, after having to say, ‘let him go. about my very own child… what could I possibly want to hold on to? 

God has taught me so much… and I continue to learn.

happy birthday baby…

January 3, 2010

happy birthday baby, I wish that you were here.

I’d help you blow 1 candle out and sing and clap and cheer.

I imagine your pudgy legs and how you’d rub your eyes…

a tired face and ‘I want my mom!’ coming thru your sighs.

I miss the scent a home can have when filled with a baby boy… … …

but somehow

this deep sorrow…

has also brought deep joy.

I know a calming peace that I can not understand.

it quenches my deepest longings like streams thru dry parched land.

I’ll be with you someday… although I don’t know when.

I’ll hold you tight, and kiss goodnight, your warm sweet baby skin.

we’ll be together always. and dance and laugh and sing.

there in the very presence of Christ… our Lord and King.

………………………………………………………

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. … Psalm 30:11-12

oh sweet snowflake…

January 1, 2010

oh sweet snowflake

how I waited for you…

hoping and praying

since way back in june.

I waited thru summer

and then autumn too.

the months seemed so long

yet the days were so few.

and then in an instant

 you were actually mine. 

 I could hold you and touch you,

God’s perfect design.

Although you were tiny

no detail was missed.

I gave you my love

with 1 simple kiss.

then you were gone…

back to where you came from.

the Heavens above,

God’s glorious kingdom.

I still love you snowflake,

and I’ll see you again…

when this life is over

and a new one begins.

……………

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God himself is with men, and he will live with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from there eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:1-4

 

I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this for days…  it isn’t coming to me.  not in some nice story type fashion anyway.  nothing fancy, just me pouring out some words.  so here it goes.

after much deliberation we’ve decided we will go out for lunch tomorrow to celebrate luke’s life.  that is what the kids kept picking on a regular basis, and I guess it makes sense.  we go out to eat for everyone else’s birthday.  after that we are going to go get some balloons.  a lot of balloons.  all shades of blue.  we’re going to write little notes and messages, probably lots of luke 12:31, and then let them all go.  we’re sending them up to heaven if you will.  maybe this is silly… I don’t know.  maybe it’s just as okay as any other thing that we could think of.  anyway… that’s the plan.

now here is my special request.  I’d love for you  to send a balloon too.  I’d love to have a picture of you sending the balloon.  I don’t care if it is today, tomorrow, next week or even in may when you happen to see some balloons for sale.  it is just a little something that says I’m thinking of you.  I can’t wait to meet luke.  don’t feel obligated.  really.  I know this isn’t everyone’s kind of thing.  that’s okay.  I just wanted to extend the invite to those of you who might want to participate.

much love to you my friends… who continue to love me, carry me, calm me and encourage me.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without you.  without you and a good deal of grace.

~

you can send the pics to matthews5@q.com  … thanks again.  I’ll post them to share.

another day down…

December 23, 2009

well, here it is bedtime again.  I made it through another day.  there were a few moments that tripped me up, but I did all right.  honestly, I thought of the little gifts of love that were waiting for me at home and it helped a good deal. 

the first tough spot of the day was while I was helping at the kindergarten Christmas party.  I was helping with the snowman darts, just sitting on the floor and talking with all the little people when this little blondie came skipping around the corner.  I thought he was a cutie.  as I was thinking of how cute he was in his little  dark blue track and field sweat suit, one of the other little boys said, ‘hey luke.’. … … …  I glazed over and forgot where I was and what I was doing.  I wanted to pick him up and just hold him and cry, which would have been really wierd for him and may cause my name to get scratched off the volunteer list.  so I held back.  I stared as he played and then he was off to the next activity.  it took me a few minutes, but I gathered myself and finished my round of darts.

one of the other tricky moments was tonight when we were eating supper.  we were playing a game of ‘raise your hand if’.  someone said, raise your hand if you have brown hair.  cole and I raised our hands.  then gabrielle said, raise your hand if you have blonde hair.  then she said we win.  raise your hand if you’re a girl.  raise your hand if you’re a boy.  dawson says, ‘boys win.  we have four.  daddy, cole, me and luke.’  brian just looks at me across the table… his eyes hurt for my hurt, I can tell.

finally home, with the kids in bed, I decide to open another present.  it is a book.  I love books!  a devotional called, ‘streams in the desert’.  one I’ve heard of but don’t own.  I’m excited to have it and to read it daily.  part of my trying to be more orderly and to go to Him first thing in the morning.  yeah!  thanks.

I’d like to get to the point where His goodness does not surprise me.  I don’t know why it does.  how He uses others to do His work.  how He always shows up at the exactly right moment.  but, like all the other Israelites roaming in the desert, I seem to forgot the sweet manna that was provided me just yesterday.  the perfect amount to carry me through that particular day.  another prayer for me to add to the list.

so, here we are, another day down, another lesson revisited.  I’m thankful again for the bits of love that helped me through.

 … …

oh. and I forgot to mention that each package has a verse on it.  today’s verse was…

Not to us, o Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

Psalm 115:1

a gift…

December 16, 2009

 

a little gift I received tonight from brian’s mom…

I love it.  it’s hard to find words about it though…  not really a gift I want to be getting.  but then, I do appreciate that others remember luke too.

I really like the look of complete peace on the boy’s face.  it’s comforting.  to force myself to remember that he is not stressed.  not upset.  not crying for his mama.  wondering when she’s gonna get there.  (well, maybe he is wondering when I’m gonna get there… but more in an excited way)  he is at peace.  that makes me feel a little more at peace.  a little.

if I knew…

December 8, 2009

if I knew then that the days left were so few, I wouldn’t have prayed so hard for them to be over. 

 if  I knew I was really going to lose him, I would’ve stayed awake longer feeling him turn this way and that.

if I knew brian would never get to carry him back to bed after he finally fell asleep, I would have had him read to him and sing to him and talk with him and tell him ‘hang on big guy’ one more time.

if I knew that what seemed like the longest days of my life would be over so fast, I would have tried to appreciate the gift that they were more.

if I knew I was only going to have minutes, I would have kept him to myself instead of having him spend them in the NICU.

if I knew so few friends would get to hold him, I would’ve made sure you were there.

if I knew how much the few pictures we have would mean, I would have had a thousand more.

if I knew…

just this week…

November 6, 2009

just this week, I’ve heard the kids talking about luke, been asked about luke and thought about luke everyday.

while we were in the van coming home from school, I called punkin ‘thing 3’.  dawson said something about cole being thing 1, he would be thing 2 and ‘guess who is thing 4?’ …  luke of course.

gabrielle says to me after I drop off dawson for school in the morning,  ‘mom, you wouldn’t be so lonely if we still had luke would you?’.

the insurance lady on the phone is asking me all of the kids birthdays as we are going through some deductible issues and she goes right down the list.  cole.  dawson. gabrielle. luke……….  she actually asked me for his birthday.  it caught me off guard for a couple seconds and then I was able to say 12-31-08.  it very well may be the first and last time that happens.  he is listed on our insurance for this year, but he won’t be next year.  very mixed emotions….  it was nice to run down the list of kids and their birthdays and yet, of course… bittersweet.

another afternoon in the van, and punkin says, ‘I wonder what luke is having for lunch today in Heaven…’.

and so it goes.  10 months later.  he is still with us everyday.  it comes up all the time.  someone says something.  gabrielle is doing some size comparison that ALWAYS leads to how big luke is, was or might be now.  as much as it stings, I think it would be worse if no one was saying anything at all.  because even if the kids aren’t thinking and saying things, I am. … … …  everyday.  … … … just like if he were here and I was carrying around his little not able to walk yet, pudgy, sneezing self.  all dressed in some little soft coat with bear ears sown on to the hood and little brown bear slippers with bells in the toes so we can hear him kick and wiggle and crawl all around the house chasing the cat. … … … 

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I carry him still…. every moment. 

you might think she looked good.  she sounded good.  she smiles…………..  you don’t realize I’m not paying that close of attention.  I’ll forget what you told me, if I heard it at all and I’ll have to ask again later.  I was really thinking about him most of the time. … … … and that was just this week.

 

I can’t do this…

October 7, 2009

I went to bsf today.  my first real class since gabrielle has had mono for the last 2 weeks and then some.  it didn’t go so well.  I was afraid of that.

first off, it is wednesday.  40 weeks ago today, I delivered luke.  needless to say wednesdays rank 7th out of my favorite days.  I can forget it is wednesday.  I know I can.  I did, a few times over the summer.  but going back into bsf today brought the day of the week front and center.  of course it doesn’t help that a good deal of these 300 or so women know my story.   they give me ‘the look’ or pat my back or just come up and hug me.  all of which is well intended and appreciated… and yet very hard.

as I got into class, and sat down next to the women who is due in december, and welcomed the mom of a new baby and heard why the other mom of a new baby couldn’t be here, I could feel that old familiar ‘run’ sensation creeping in.  I tried to push it down and just carry on.  it wasn’t working.  even when I tried to just keep my head down and not really look or listen to all that was going on around me, it was border line.  then the final blow.  our leader asks us for our answer to, ‘what have you done lately to prove that you believe in Jesus?’.  the answer that I have written down, is about luke.  about how I couldn’t have delivered him if I didn’t believe that there is more than this… more than the here and now.  I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t know  that I will see him again.  of course, I can’t read my answer, because it is making me cry just to read it.  … … … and then the other women start giving their answers.  like, ‘when I have someone over I leave KTIS on, instead of changing the channel.’ and ‘on my FB status, under religion, I put christian and some verses.’

… … …

I can’t do this.  I am so not where they are.  those things are good.  and those things are important.  congratulations for making those steps, but … that is not where I am.  and  to listen to it all sounds so ridiculous, that I want to scream and go running from the building.

I didn’t.  I held together.  eyes full of tears.  I got upstairs to lecture as quickly as I could without talking to anyone or making eye contact and then someone hugged me. … … and then there was someone behind her waiting to hug me.  it was too much.  I broke down.

I don’t really know what to do.  I feel like I’m falling apart.  I want to be at bible study, I’ve always loved going so much and now…  I’d rather stay home.  it isn’t the study part as much as the where and when and who.  what to do, what to do. 

one of the things I read today as we were sitting in lecture was about Jesus changing simon’s name to peter.  it said that Jesus named him not for what he was but for what, by God’s grace, he would become.  that’s wonderful.  it gives me hope.  the other thing I heard was about how God uses people and circumstance to draw people to Jesus.  like andrew and philip.  this also gives me hope.  it makes it easier to accept that I am so small and just can’t understand the big broad plan that God has in mind.  by His grace I will become something, I will bring others into the fold.  that’s my prayer for now, that’s what I’m going to go with as I try to figure out my place in bible study.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen.

Jude 24,25

echo…

September 30, 2009

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there’s my baby.  laying across the table trying to be so brave.  all in all I would say it went pretty well.  she was brave.  the tech didn’t really see anything. 

 oddly enough, these things don’t usually bother me to much.  I’m guessing it is because I’ve been through a fair amount of hospital stuff with my kids.  I’m just not the mom that cries when the baby gets an immunization shot.  it just isn’t that big of a deal… in the grand scheme of things.  the harder part of the day turned out to be, of course, luke stuff.  the whole time I was looking at the sonogram machine all I could think about was the many times we would sit and watch luke’s heart beating.  how we measured every little beat.  how I feared the day I would lay there on the table and there would be no heartbeat.  and of course, gabrielle had a full conversation with the tech about how she has 3 brothers really.  2 in 5th grade and one in heaven.  ‘my mom had a baby this winter, but he died.’

 … … sigh … …  what am I supposed to say? 

 thankfully the tech was a very nice guy and just talked along with her.  he asked what the baby’s name was.  and told her how nice of a name luke is.  he said his family was just like her family.  2 boys and then a girl and 1 more boy.  he handled it well.  I should send a letter.  I probably will.  anyway, he was a blessing for just being normal.  for not clamming up and remaining silent the rest of the time.  for not turning to me and going, ‘ohh… I’m so sorry.  what happened?, if you don’t mind if I ask.’ 

punkin seemed to be better during the day and then about 5 she crashed again.  her fever went up to 103, under her arm.  she couldn’t stay awake.  her eyes are just soo red.  she has a hard time breathing.  I feel so bad for her.  she looks so pitiful.  so little lying there.  I just want to fix it.  I just want an answer.  maybe tomorrow will be the day.  the fever will break.  the doctor will have an answer.  my little sparkler will get some of her fire back.

I’d like to say let’s just pray and she’ll get better.  we just need to have faith.  but I’ve been through the fire with the faith and believing and healing thing a few times and I know that it isn’t that simple.  of course I still pray, but I’m prepared to take whatever comes.  whatever the answer might be, I’m okay with it and I’ve finally come to a place where I know, I KNOW,  her healing or not healing is not dependant on my faith.  that in and of itself is a great blessing and lightens my burden immensely.  I hope that you would know this too.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this has happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’

John 9:1-3

she’s still wondering why the guy rubbed ‘jello’ all over her.  : )