Posts tagged ‘moving forward’

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.

June 10, 2014

I haven’t posted in a while.

I haven’t written in a while.  There are many reasons why.  One, our lives have been so turned up side down with a new little one.  Yes, Joseph Michael–whose name means “God will increase; who is like God?–made his way into the world in early March.  Two, I wanted to announce it in grand fashion, yet, at the same time, I wanted to keep everything to myself.  Three, what do I say?  Will I repeat myself? Joseph’s birth brought up many past struggles.  Four, will it matter?  I am a rain poet.  My writing, my blogging, is designed to help me get through the tough stuff and to stay honest, open, and transparent (H.O.T.) in this world of fake smiles and breaking hearts.  I want to glorify the LORD, always, in all I say and do.  I fail miserably at times.  In fact, my Bible reading and devotional time has been sorely lacking in the past four months or so.  How do I point everyone to Him when I haven’t been keeping focused on Him myself?  Five, it is hard for me to sit down and write the good stuff.  And, thankfully, there has been so much “good stuff!”

But, here goes.  In December, my family had the opportunity to participate in a research study about how parents help their children grieve the loss of a sibling.   Through that study, I realized that I wanted a huge juxtaposition from Jedidiah’s birth for our new baby.  Whereas, anyone and everyone was welcome to join us for Jedidiah’s labor, delivery, and few hours together, with Joseph I asked everyone, including my own mother and children, to stay away as Jim and I welcomed this new little one to our family.  I see other mamas invite in their family, and I felt selfish and rude, yet I needed to begin this little one’s life focused on him and him alone.  Ever try getting out of your own way?!

And, quite honestly, I had no idea how I would react.  I have had five unmedicated births, and with three of them now, I am a screamer.  Not the whole time, mind you, just during pushing.  (Guess what?  It helps.   But, I digress.)  Knowing that each birth is unique (and unmedicated childbirth is tough enough), I didn’t want an audience this time.  I just didn’t know how I was going to be able to get through another birth after giving birth to my little man and losing him.  I didn’t want anyone around to see me lose it if I lost it.  I didn’t want their opinions, their sympathy, their looks to each other from across the room, their sighs, their tears, or their joy, their elation, their praises when I might be feeling the opposite of them.  I was selfish.

With all my other deliveries, I remember minute details; it is kinda creepy.  With Joseph, my husband tells me he was rubbing my back through most of the last two hours.  I do not remember it.  Labor with Joseph was prayer after prayer after prayer with every contraction except one.  One contraction in five hours was the only time I was not falling at the feet of our LORD.  Why? Well, one reason… labor hurts. 🙂  But, also, because I could not possibly have gotten through bringing this sweet blessing into the world without the LORD holding me as He always has.  Would I be able to give birth or would I just give up?

In a way, I did give up.  I just let contraction after contraction wave over me even though I was complete.  I was spent, and I didn’t want to face my inadequacy of possibility not being “over my grief.”  God had shown me His love and His power and His glory, and, now, He had blessed me again with another son.  I should be focused and strong.  And, I was, but what if I wasn’t at the moment it was needed?  I overthink things, and I just couldn’t think, feel, or move anymore.

So, the LORD made sure that Joseph needed my focus (he was decelling–sp??) and He made sure that I realized that I just couldn’t do this alone.  My doctor, my husband, and the technician were there helping me stay focused and strong to bring Joseph into the world without emergency surgery.

I needed to be led through the birthing process; I had to return to the step-by-step process of the details of delivery.

I need to be led to the glory and refreshment of God’s Word;  I need to return to the step-by-step process of spiritual disciplines and deepening relationship with the Creator of the universe, the Creator of my heart.

November 18, 2013

Baby clothes

With a new baby boy on the way, I am trying to prepare my heart for baby clothes. Baby clothes? Yes, baby clothes. Walking by the baby section of a store was excruciatingly painful for many months after Jedidiah’s death, but that is not to what I am referring. The only baby clothes we have left from our many blessings are the few that I purchased just in case Jedidiah lived for a few days. I didn’t want to have to run out to the store or worry about getting new clothes washed before he could wear them. Now that we know that Baby is a boy, I can put those clothes on Baby instead of Jedidiah. While there are emotions there, it isn’t bad. The outfit that I am scared, yes, scared, to prepare for Baby is the cute little blue outfit that all of my boys have worn.

You see, after Jedidiah’s bath, we put him in that outfit. He didn’t wear anything else until after his death. I placed that outfit on our front table after Jedidiah died, and when we got ready for his memorial celebration, I placed it in a shadow box. I remember picking it up, and his sweet, sweet smell surrounding me. I placed it lovingly in the shadow box frame with plans to put pictures of each of the boys in that outfit inside the frame, too. I couldn’t find the pictures in time for the celebration, so it just held the empty outfit; it seemed fitting in a way since I was empty—empty in so many ways.

Now, I need to take the outfit out of its shadow box—a shadow box that is not hanging but lying covered in a drawer because of the pain instead of joy that it brings me. I obviously don’t have to put the outfit on Baby. I’m sure no one would care, but each of my sons have worn it, and I don’t want that to change. And, through time and God’s healing ways, I know in my heart that He will restore the precious, positive, wonderful memories instead of the thoughts of emptiness.

But, I am scared–scared that maybe a bit of Jedidiah’s smell will still be there but even more scared that it won’t be.

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