Posts tagged ‘memories’

October 27, 2015

Memory explosion

As I rubbed cocoa butter on my dry, cracked hands, I was reminded of the day we received Jedidiah’s diagnosis. As many of you have read before, one of the first things Jim did when we met up after I received the call from the doctor was to massage my cracked, bleeding hands with lotion. It has been almost 5 years since that day. I have had many times of hurting, dry hands. I wonder why tonight the memory exploded?

I wrote those above words ten days ago just before bed. Just a day before my “rainbow” baby and I both got sick, and I spent four days constantly monitoring his temperature (which was higher than any of my other kids ever, for longer than any of them had had a fever, too), wondering if he was going to be ok and if I was doing everything I was supposed to do to take care of him. The fear that grips when one of my boys is ill or out-of-touch is different now since losing Jedidiah. The fear threatens to explode just as my memories do, and the fear is paralyzing.

I don’t have time for the fear. Not because I am busy but because I am busy living! I need to live for my husband, for my earthly children, for Jedidiah, but mostly for myself.

I need to live, so

I welcome the memories.

I welcome the tears.

I welcome the triumphs,

and I reject the fears.

I need to love, so

I love out loud.

I love with hope.

I love with abandon,

and I reject the fears.

If you have lost a little one, may the memories some day bring you joy, but for now, if you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. But, please, please, work hard and work long to reject the fears.

May God bless and keep you.

October 8, 2013

Scattered thoughts

18 plus 2

Approximately three years ago, on the 8th of a month, I was 18 weeks plus 2 days pregnant waiting to go in for my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Today, on the 8th of October, I am 18 plus 2; we go tomorrow for the mid-way ultrasound. I have not really felt little one moving inside me, yet this morning as I sit, reflect, and type, I have felt flutters throughout these minutes that can only be our little one. After being excited, sick and exhausted for the first 13 weeks, I have missed Jedidiah more in the last 5 weeks than I realized I could at this stage. All tests and the confirmation ultrasound have been normal and good, so it is not fear of a bad outcome that provokes me to thoughtfulness. It is simply that Jedidiah would be two and half today had he lived. I have lived without him for two and a half years. It doesn’t seem possible; it seems like yesterday and it seems like a lifetime ago. I have probably typed that before and will probably do so again.

Loving another

I remember my family reminiscing about my uncle who passed away long before I was born. My uncle’s widow sat next to her husband as she shared memories along with everyone else. At one point, she began to cry, clearly missing him and hurting. It was her husband, the man who would have never been in her life had my uncle lived, who reached over and held her as she sobbed. I have never forgotten his love, his sacrifice, or her grief. I was only a child.

Now, as a mother who has lost a child, I wonder about loving another little one. Jedidiah was my youngest, or would have been. I truly do not believe we would have had another child had he lived. Can I love him or her as I do Jedidiah?
When I was pregnant the second time, I wondered about loving any child the way I loved my first son. But, of course, as has been said through the centuries… the love multiplies, not divides. (Oh, if the same could be said for time, but, alas, I digress.) As soon as my second son arrived, I understood. So, while logically and experientially I understand that this is my child, and I will love him or her unconditionally and overwhelmingly as I have all my children, I still wonder.

April 8, 2013

Happy 2nd birthday, Jedidiah!

I had a wonderful opportunity to speak at a women’s Bible study during their testimonial series earlier this year.  I was able to write down my testimony from the past three and a half years.  During that time, I wept and I laughed.  I remembered magnificent and dreadful moments that had gotten concealed in the passage of time.

Grief does not go away.  It doesn’t even change.  Jedidiah is my son.  It is as true today as it was two years ago, yet as life marches forward; new babies are born to friends, weekly activities overtake birthdays, and those physically present before us become the ones we pour into.  The passage of time will bring new awareness, new understanding, new needs, and new loves.  But, it does not change grief.

Encarta’s definition of grief is “intense sorrow…great sadness, especially as a result of a death.”  No, grief does not change.   Not for me.  In any moment I can feel the intensity of the loss of my son.  I can feel my arms empty.  I can feel my heart heavy.  I can’t specifically recall his smell, yet I know that it was sweet and strong.  The passage of time will take away memories, will lessen the ability to stay caught in the moment of death, will give fresh perspective, will reveal God’s purpose, will bring comfort.

While the grief itself will not change, the process of grieving does.  The passage of time will force change.  I am so thankful for my moments with Jedidiah, and I am thankful for the last two years.  God uses the passage of time to reveal His bigger plan, His greater purpose.  I can become a blubbering mess in 2.2 seconds and reenter my grief at any time, but God holds me tight and loves me and shows me “why” and “what now.”  So, I don’t most of the time, not now.  I choose what I think about, focus on, and do with what I have.  Everyone must as time passes—whether they have lost a child or another loved one, or even if they are simply having a rough time in life.

So, today we honor Jedidiah by moving on with life.  His brother gets his braces off, and all of his brothers will be at Scouts this evening.  And, today we honor Jedidiah by stopping to think of him in specific ways.  His father took the day off to be close by my side; we will take cookies to the team at Vanderbilt, we will cook dinner for friends with a new baby, and we will bake a cake to celebrate his life.

My many thanks to those of you who have been aware of his birthday and have taken the time to reach out to me, letting me know that he has not been forgotten by you.

May God shine upon you today, and reveal His immense and marvelous love.

December 8, 2012

2 years ago… the ultrasound that started it all.

Two years ago today, my life turned upside down. We received the news that our baby boy had many medical problems, most likely attributed to trisomy 13.

Oh, I miss him. I miss feeling him move just slightly in me (he was never overly active… he must have needed to save his energy for his precious 63660 seconds seeing his papa and brothers and family and friends, too).

I looked today for his ultrasound pictures from that day. I had forgotten that the ultrasound tech never gave them to us. We didn’t get his picture for six more days at the echo ultrasound for his heart. Yet, I can still picture in my mind the image of what we thought was him sucking his thumb. I can still see Johnny over in the corner saying, “Boy, the baby has a big nose.” I can still see the purple on the screen of the second ultrasound of that day (we had four and the amnio, which I never thought I would have ever consented to). I still feel Dr. Felix giving me a hug before delivering the news. I still hear her saying, “Best case scenario…worst case scenario.” I still picture the high risk OB and her tech who stayed late to give us some answers.

And, although I lost it for a while, I still have hope. God has brought me through every tear, every lost hair, every sleepless night. He has wrapped His loving arms around me and displayed His awesome love and power with, in, and through all the people who continue to support us.

And, in other ways He comforts me. Earlier this week, I read an article that discussed how researchers have shown that women will sometimes have male cells in their blood stream. That can only come from having carried a little boy in their womb. I find some comfort in the thought that a small piece of him may continue to live in me.

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