words won’t come…

December 31, 2013

all this … hurt, sorrow…  confusion has been rolling around in my head for days.  days.  not the raw, burning pain from years ago.  something different.  something I really want to get out of my head and into words on paper, daring to hope that the act of sitting and searching for the right words will alleviate the busyness…  the scatter of what is in my head.

but the words don’t come.

I read another chapter of Heaven, another piece of the Problem of Pain,  another book on suffering.  so many, many good things in there. so much that I believe, so much that I am betting ALL THAT I AM on.

but the words don’t come.

laughter comes so much easier than it did 5 years ago… 4 years ago… 3 years ago.  the kids bring me joy and my friends make me laugh ’till my sides ache and happiness turns liquid and comes right out my eyes and down my cheeks. …  I know peace.  I know peace that is beyond my understanding. … I love the moment. all the little moments.  I try so hard to take it all in because I know that tomorrow it could be gone.  whether another of my babes, or the man I love or my sister in Christ or any. one. of my family and friends could be taken Home in an instant.  the heart attack, the stroke, the car accident, the allergic reaction, the cancer, … …  the lungs that just can not take in one more breath.  and I want to have this mad dash of words to apply to the broken hearts, even my own … a healing balm, a cooling compress … all strung together quickly with sound theology, deep compassion and a solid measure of tears that express “I know” .. “I understand”.

but the words don’t come.

so often there are not words.  there just are no words for the deep and aching pains of this world.  and some how trying to fix it all with words often ends with saying the wrong words.  the words that were meant to help actually hurt.  they add  little slivers to the all ready bleeding and broken heart.  … I know this.  I have heard these words.  … … but I just can’t keep my mind from scrambling to have something to say. … and I read, and I wonder, and I pray, and I stare off into nothing, and I sleep on the couch, and I read, and I still long for the words to come.  and then… I read it, I hear it, I see it.

“Jesus wept.”

… … …

“Jesus wept.”

He came to his friends.  He hurt too. and for awhile, He just wept.  He didn’t tease them for crying.  He didn’t say there is nothing to worry about here.  He didn’t just storm in and fix it all in that moment and laugh at their sorrow.  He just wept with them.  Even knowing that Lazarus would soon enough walk among them again.  He was just there with them, weeping.  Maybe this is the way to handle these things.  Maybe being present for the trails, being His Presence in the wake of the tragic, just. being. there.  is enough.  maybe allowing others to be His Comfort, His Healing, His Love is enough.  Being present is the present.  the knowing look from a friend, a long embrace, a quick text of ‘thinking of you’, a card, a flower.  maybe this is why the words won’t come.  they aren’t as needed as we think. a friend sitting with us and crying too is sometimes just what is needed.


no reason to cry…

October 11, 2009


as I stomp off to the garage, holding back the tears, I try to figure out why I am so emotional.  why does it seem like everything is going wrong today?  I have no patience and I just want to lay in bed and sob.  I tell myself that I have no reason to be so emotional… I have no reason to cry.  no sooner than I thought that to myself, the other side of me… the honest side, said, ‘oh yes you do.’.

it seems like I am thinking about luke all the time.  all these fast approaching 1 year anniversaries feel like they could overtake me at any moment.  a year ago we still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl but we were about to find out.  a year ago we thought everything was fine but we were about to find out that it wasn’t.  a year ago the kids were so excited to have a new baby in the house but now they wonder why God would take our baby straight to heaven.  a year ago I was happy… but now… I am not.

there are little reminders all around.  his blanket still gets moved from room to room.  gabrielle still talks about him like he is here.  I just took a sharps container down from on top of the refrigerator that was full of my old needles from the shots I had to take during the pregnancy.

and then there are other things.  things like getting ready to take a family picture without all of the family present.  the first snow, which came so quickly.  I wasn’t ready.  I was hoping  this would be a year of little snowfall.  I was hoping because, every single snowflake makes me think of him.  I can’t even tell you how much I dread to see the snow falling so softly from the sky.  and there are absolutely no words to explain how I fear those remarkably beautiful snowfalls where you can actually see the fine details of each individual, awe inspiring snowflake.

I will still hope that the coming months will not be as bad as I imagine.  that all those 1 year anniversaries will come and go and not drop me to my knees.  that somehow peace that transcends all understanding will carry me through.  that somehow I might find joy in the coming season…. or at least that joy will find me.

now that june is getting under way, there seems to be a new set of troubles following me around … so that would be 2 little black rain clouds.  instead of wondering where we would be right now if things had gone different with luke I am starting to remember where I was last year at this time.  like, a year ago I was just pregnant with luke.  technically anyway.  you know how they go off the first day of your last period.  a year ago my period was just starting, we were at my brother’s for the weekend to celebrate his birthday.  I remember it well as all my periods are very memorable.  : ( 

anyway … so now I have a sense of dread of all the anniversary dates that will be coming up that I’d rather not remember.  … the trip up north, or the conception tour as brian and I fondly call it … walking out to into our kitchen, early in the morning, with the little pee stick in my hand, to ask cathy, who was standing at the sink still in her jammies,  if she thought that looked like a ‘plus’ to her, while they were here over the 4th of july … talking to my mom on the phone about it as I watered the flowers and was happy to know she was worried about me and my health and yet excited for a new grandbaby …  getting 4 pairs of monkey pajamas at the end of july to surprise the kids with the big news … heading off to camp in august feeling sick and tired … the ultrasound at 20 weeks where we were so excited to find out if it was a boy or a girl, but only found out the baby was measuring  a little small and we need to have a level 2 ultrasound done shortly … finding out it was a boy right before our annual halloween party and my weekend up north with kathleen and jackie … finding out things didn’t look good, and they didn’t expect him to make to thanksgiving … grieving … spending every monday and thursday of november and december at southdale hospital for ultrasounds, doplars, and other screenings …  more greiving … being pregnant over christmas and just hoping beyond all reason that this would be the miracle we wanted, the one we prayed for, the one we deserved, the one that would make so many people see the awesomeness of our God and bring many sons to glory …  being in the hospital after christmas … being wheeled into the operating room on new years eve, while many friends had gathered in the waiting room to pray, and pray and pray … … … … … … … .. .

how will I make it through ???  how do I go through these days with empty arms and a head full of memories and what ifs ???  how do I celebrate all the new babies that were born to dear friends and famliy without my black rain clouds raining on them ???  how do I find joy in all this grief ???


I lift my eyes up to the hills –

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip-

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Isreal will neither slumber or sleep.

The LORD watches over you-

the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm-

he will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going,

 both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121

today’s the day…

May 18, 2009

there they sit.  my anklet and toe ring.  still in the little bag from the hospital, complete with my name and room number on the sticker.  they’ve been sitting there since the day we came home without a baby.

let me take you back~

I’m laying on a very thin surgery table in a very cold room.  there are a good number of doctors all scrambling around me, more than usual since this is a teaching hospital.  there is also a neonatal team waiting in one corner.  I can’t even begin to describe the emotions, the thoughts flying through my mind.  (I can feel my pulse increasing, my temperature rising and the queasiness right before you throw up coming on now, just remembering it.)

there is some kind of checklist and time chart being shouted out.  a nurse is counting towels and tools.  the anesthiesiologist is a kind older man telling me to breath deep and another nurse is patting my hand. 

‘she’s got an anklet on.’  I hear someone say.  ‘and a toe ring.’  (I know I said I would take them off, but that was a no.)  now a nurse, who I think was assigned to follow me through the whole process, says she’ll take them.  I don’t know who took them off.  they got bagged and tagged like some kind of evidence or something.

back to present day~

the bag got tossed on my dresser as my hospital bag got unpacked.  there they sit.  I see them everyday.  I pick them up and read my name and room number.  I debate about getting them out.  the whole scene replays in my mind………  and then I put it back down. not today, I think.  I can’t open that little baggie today.  It still has the same air in it that held all this tension, all these emotions … the only air that luke breathed.



this morning when I was getting dressed, I thought, ‘today’s the day.’.  I held the bag for awhile. (took a picture of it … I don’t know why)  then I got out my anklet and put it on.

the bag is still on my dresser with my toe ring in it.  I have no plans of moving it.  one thing at a time.  the anklet itself was a big step.

dawson turns 10 018

mom got it right…

May 4, 2009

I watched my neice last week.  thursday thru sunday.  to do this I had to meet my brother in a small town half way inbetween here and there, which would be … around minneapolis, mn and around sioux city, ia.  when we met on sunday to get lauren back to her daddy and mama, my mom had sent ‘a project for the kids’ with my brother to give to me.  (my parents live around sioux city too)

my brother gave me a flat box with 4 little green planters in it.  they each had a tag with a name on it.  cole, dawson, gabrielle and… luke.  it caught me off guard.  I hesitated.  I couldn’t look at them to long.  I just shut the trunk and kept on going about the other business at hand.

those 4 little green planters stayed in my thoughts the rest of the day.

today, gabrielle wanted to plant her little seeds right away.  so we got them out and started working on hers.  of course she has a hundred questions about luke.  ‘why did meme send one for luke?’ being one of the first.  I had to think for a minute, or rather gather my thoughts and how to respond. … … … well … … … there are 4 kids.  after thinking about what I said, I realize I am right.  I do have 4 kids.  my mom knows this.  even though it made me temporarily sad, it is far better to have her remember luke too than it would be for her to not remember him … like it didn’t happen, like she’s trying to forget and doesn’t want to remind me. 

as I go along on this path through grief, that I would rather not be on, I find all these little things out.  it is far better to have people, not just my mom, remember luke than it is to have people treat me like ‘normal’.  I just had a funeral for my 4th child … not even 4 months ago!!  even though bringing up luke also brings a good chance of making me sad or making me cry, not asking hurts much more.  the odds are I’m thinking about him anyway.  I’m sad anyway.  I might cry anyway.  it is kind of like the day we didn’t get any more sympathy cards.  it was very hard, very sad.  even though I don’t want to be getting sympathy cards, the fact that people are thinking of me and are feeling bad for me helps to lighten the load, helps me get by.  now I have to wonder … is anyone thinking about me … does anyone remember what just happened … don’t they see this cloud of sorrow that follows me around … all the time.  I understand that people are uncomfortable, this is an uncomfortable situation, but ignoring it doesn’t help me.

so here’s my advice to everyone, because this will apply to you at some point if it doesn’t right now.  if you’ve ever thought, should I mention ‘it’, whatever the ‘it’ may be, you probably should.  if they don’t want to talk about ‘it’, they will probably say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it’.  if you thought, maybe it’s to late to send a sympathy card, it’s not.  you might be the one that keeps the ‘last day of cards’ from coming.  if you were going to mention only the 3 kids, don’t.  mention all 4.

mom got it right.  she remembered I had 4 kids.  she sent 4 little green planters even though she was probably not sure if she should mention it and even though she knew it would probably make me sad.  even though I was temporarily sad, I found joy in remembering luke on this beautiful spring day as I planted seeds.  I would have been thinking of him anyway. 

 thanks mom~blog-0011

polar opposites

February 3, 2009

once again i find myself at both ends of emotion. 

while we were at church sunday, we sang a song about dancing in heaven.  i was overwhelmed.  i could easliy, clearly see myself dancing with my big strong son…luke.  laughing, twirling, absolutely filled with joy.  the world melted away for those 3 minutes or so.  i opened my eyes, wiped the tears of joy away and had peace for a bit.

while i was at the doctor today, the nurse asked if i was ‘nursing’ the baby.  i was overwhelmed.  i stared at her blankly as my temperature rose and hot tears ran down my face.  anger, desperation, absolute hurt.  my world came crashing down on me.  i closed my eyes, wiped the tears of anguish away and just hurt for a bit.

and this is how it goes.  one moment to the next.  never knowing when or where or who or how, things will make me feel. sheer joy, utter despair……   always hope.

3 weeks ago

January 21, 2009

i don’t have the words for this…  i don’t know that i should even try… 

3 weeks ago, luke was born.  just a tiny little boy, yet perfectly formed.  i saw him alive for just a moment.  i wiped his little brow with my thumb.  he was all warm and pink.  then…

they took  him to the NICU.  his lungs were just not mature enough.  his lungs could not hold his breath.  after 80 minutes here with us he went HOME.  HOME….  i want to go too.  oh, to not hurt….  what is that like… when will the trumpet sound… face

the weaver

January 18, 2009

My life is but a weaving

Between my Lord and me,

I cannot choose the colors

He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow,

And I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper

And I , the underside.

Not ’till the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly

Shall God unroll the canvas

And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

In the Weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern he has planned.


Author Unknown

going public

January 18, 2009

we, brian and i, went out to do some errands tonight without the kids.  it is hard to go out.  besides it still hurts from the physical part of having a cesearean, it hurts emotionally too.  everything, everywhere makes me think of luke.  the elevator doors open and there’s a couple holding their little boy… why do i have to buy a book about ‘how to explain heaven to kids’? …. have the radio on?  forget it!  ….did we have to go in the mall entrance that is right by ‘motherhood’ maternity? 

all these people coming and going, laughing and carrying on as though nothing has happened.  can’t they see?  didn’t they hear?

i returned an outfit that we had gotten as a gift.  i was afraid they would ask why i was bringing it back.  how would i break it to them?  they would be so sad.  i didn’t want to talk about it. …..  they didn’t even ask.  they just issued a credit and moved on.  then i was sad.

why blog

January 17, 2009

me-025well…  there’s not a good way to introduce myself, not at the moment.  i can’t possibly tell you all about me in one conversation.  there’s to much… to much hurt, to much love, to many friends, to much laughter, to many tears.  let me start with where i am ‘right now’.  the rest will unfold over the course of time.

i’ve just lost a baby.  16 days ago.  my fourth child.  a little boy named luke.  he was delivered early, 30 weeks, and was small for his age.  the doctors thought his lungs would be okay.  our friends, family even people we don’t know had been praying for 10 weeks.  but his lungs were not mature enough to hold his breath….  he died after only 80 minutes.

 i can’t sleep.  i just cry.  it is so wrong to lose a baby.  every thought about him i could possibly have floods my mind as soon as the lights are out and i lay down.  he looked like his daddy.  his brother was so excited to be the ‘big’ brother.  i should be nursing.  that little cry.  the way newborns smell.  the way they stretch their backs and make that little face.  on and on and on and on……. why, why

so, my method of coping at the moment is to stay up late.  as late as i can.  like 1 or so.  then i am so tired i can’t think as much.  i crawl in bed and actually fall asleep.  it has worked the last few nights.  what can i do while i’m just trying to stay up?  this i guess.  i’m going to try anyway.  work on my typing.  computer knowledge.  sentence structure.  i don’t know.  as long as it is not thinking.