Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thinking about Mom

I downloaded my pictures from this past Thanksgiving today. It was good/weird to look through pictures of smiling faces that i loved so much - part of the weirdness for me comes from the fact that some of those extra smiles were for the grandchild, great-grandchild, cousin, etc. they hadn't lost yet. But, I try not play those mind games with myself. What's done is done and the Lord still sits on the throne.
During Thanksgiving I was able to spend the day with my Aunt Kim and cousin Bailie - two people that I love very much. Bailie, since she was born has been more like a little sister then a cousin, my mom baby sat her in our house from age 2 till basically now. They lived right next door all through my highschool years, and we always did everything together - sometimes it annoyed me, just like sisters would feel, but now I look back and what precious memories we have. Time has pressed on and now it's 2007 - Bailie is obviously no longer 2, but a stunning 13 year old right on the verge of exploding into a beautiful, intelligent, lovely young woman. Kim has moved on from her divorce years ago and is now engaged again - life changes, and it has for these two women. Anyway, Thanksgiving day while everyone was bustling around and busy with this and that- I just sat back and watched Kim and Bailie in their mother/daughter roles... and soaked it in. Was I really 13 once? Did my mom and I have that mysterious relationship like I see them having now? I loved watching them pal around. Kim would tickle her, Bailie would sass something smart, Kim would give the "watch it" look, then back to tickling and hugging and loving, only such as mothers and daughters can do. I couldn't take my eyes off of them.

After our large meal, sure enough - they gravitate towards each other and end up goofing off on the couch. Although she won't admit it now - Bailie needs these times with her mom. She needs the joking, laughing, hugging - this is what will mold her into what she is to become. These are the moments that will ground her for life.

Even when I was taking these pictures I could hear her saying "ew, don't take this picture" and so on - but I know that someday she'll see it and it will feel good to see it.

Watching them makes me love my mom more. My mom is amazing. She's intelligent - graduated from college and now working in her chosen medical field. She's wise, patient, understanding, compassionate to people and animals, diligent (honors student), creative - making everything from blankets to clothes to greeting cards. My mom is amazing. When I watch Bailie and Kim it takes me back to being that age, having the on again off again fights about nothing but teenage hormone inspired things, then crying together or going shopping to get away from the boys.

On Nov. 26th when I lost my baby - the first person I called was mom. She cried with me out loud right at her work - she didn't care who was watching or what looks she might get. She hurt with me and for me, and because of that I am healing. It's because of WHO she is that I have become who I am. She has taught me to love, to be patient, to succeed, to be creative, to laugh in the difficult times - and to take everything with the proverbial "grain of salt". Mom and Kim are sisters - Bailie and I are cousins - but it's amazing how close and the same we are. We all have dark brown eyes, brown hair, similar body shapes, identical food tastes, we enjoy the sames jokes and types of entertainment. We are family. When Bailie was a baby I used to pretend she was mine - when she was toddler and we would go somewhere we would pretend she was my baby sister and she loved that game - and I loved it, even if I didn't admit it then.

I'm kind of babbling today - I guess the whole point is, now that I'm 25 it's like the Lord has dumped 100 more reasons to be thankful for my mom - the women who brought me into this world and loves me unconditionally everyday. I love you Marmie - I always will.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And now the precious days

The waiting. Sometimes lately I've felt like I was a character in a movie, that this isn't my reality. I'm simply portraying what could happen to those who love the Lord. My books on grieving say that I would come to this point - and that its healthy. The truth is, I feel wonderful. My body is healing and as far as I know almost back to "normal". Mentally, I feel strong and level headed. I'm thinking clearly and realistically (besides my moments of thinking its all still a nightmere).

I'm calling these weeks my "precious days" because there has been such an intimacy in my life that I've never felt before. I feel so close to my husband. Sometimes we'll have the same thought at the same time and that feels fantastic. I feel so aware of my humanity and as a result feel my need for a savior so strongly. I wake up in the morning aware of my humanity, each time I touch my stomach and remember what is no longer there - in the afternoons when I start to feel down, in the evenings when I forget to cry and its only been a few weeks since I said goodbye to my baby. I'm human, I hurt...but I also heal. What a sweet release to lay it all at my God's feet - that I don't have to bear this alone. What a precious time to be vulnerable, to feel, to ache, to inch that much closer to an understanding - and yet remain far enough away that I still have that hope and expectation.

Each night I lay awake in silence - each night I ask the same questions - I think the same thoughts -I toss and turn until finally I recite some scripture about trust then drift off. The bad dreams are gone, the soaked pillow is no more, the holding onto Brad until I cried myself asleep is over. And I think to myself "how is this possible"? How has my mourning changed to Joy already - part of me wants the tears back, it felt so good to mourn because it made it real. Why do I feel so strong already? Why do I feel like I'm getting "over" this?

Yesterday in Sunday school we did a word study on the word "trust". I wasn't anxious to look it up because that means I would have to hear it again... trust. Trust - "to enjoy confidence", "faith", "assurance in....". Do you understand that the Lord IS hearing my prayers. Do you understand, could you relate to knowing what the "peace that passes all understanding" feels like?

I was convicted the other day, my first conviction post-miscarriage. It hit me hard, and I wasn't ready for it, but that never matters no matter how you feel. Paul challenged people in 1 Cor to not grieve as those who have no hope. WOW. I...Have...Hope. It may not be the hope that I'll have children and it may not be the hope that my every want and desire will be met - but I have Hope in eternity. I haven't swallowed it quite yet - but I'm still chewing.

Last night before Brad dozed off we had a moment of pillow talk. I have come to treasure those few moments before he falls asleep - where I can ask all of my theological questions and pour out every ounce of confusion on him. He's so calm. He's so sure. I value my husband and I value his wisdom. Knowing that God intended these late night conversations - I value him even more now. Every night I ask him, but last night I asked in a new way - searching, almost.

"Bradley", I say, "God tells us to ask without doubting". "yes" Brad says. "Bradley", I say again, "he also tells us to delight in him and that he WILL give us the desire of our hearts". "yep" he says again. "Bradley, I'm asking without doubting and delighting in him. Will he give us a family?" Silence. Then all too soon... I realize it's not for him to answer. And I realize...he's falling asleep. Father God - I know you see my heart and my desires. Lord, I feel like I'm begging. I DO have hope! Hope in heaven, hope in a changed life, hope in a family someday...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Glorious New Creation

We'll never know if it was a little girl or precious boy, we'll never know if the eyes were dark brown like me or sky blue like Bradley's. We'll never tickle its tiny toes or kiss its perfect cheeks. I'll never look over every body part to reassure myself that everything is in place and wonderful. We won't smell the new baby smell or feel the exhaustion from this baby and sleepless nights comforting a new cry. My baby, the one I carried these last 10 weeks will never call me mommy here on earth. Monday, Nov. 26th will be burnt into my mind as I remember sitting in that drab colored office, feeling numb and angry and forgotten as the doctor told me my baby was dead - or medically speaking "we aren't finding a heart beat". We sobbed, we cried out, we held on to each other. Then... we laughed. We laughed because no matter what our hope is built on something else, and we knew from the moment of that horrible news... that God was doing something. Something big... it HAD to be big in order for the Lord to take the very thing that we wanted more then anything. I wanted... Brad wanted... our parents wanted... While millions of women are killing their babies - we were grieving for one we couldn't hold on to tight enough. The thought makes me sick.

Grief. Sorrow. Pain. Sadness. Vulnerable. Angry. Frustrated. Numb. Excited. What should we think and what should we feel? Prayer. meditation. sleep. And then... THE WORD OF GOD reminded me, even though I didn't want to hear it and sometimes I still battle.

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind."

Then... "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days...for the child shall die one hundred years old..."

I don't want to believe. I believe. I don't want to accept. I accept. I don't want to cry anymore. I cry. Talk to my sisters, talk to my mom, talk to my husband. Talk... to God? Pour out my heart, pour out my tears. God IS Good. Though I don't see it now, I KNOW it.

"Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence oh Lord, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me THE JOY of my salvation...."