Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Normal

Today I am pondering. Am I back to normal? I had a very normal weekned. I spent the weekend with friends. I enjoyed conversation, shopping, and going out to eat. These are some of my very favorite normal things to do. I don't get to do them often so it was nice to get away. I think the "getting away" is what got me to thinking about normal once again.

And I guess most people in my life would like to hear me say I am experiencing normal again. It sounds confusing to me. It is like things have gotten back to "normal" as if any "non normal" never really existed. I am looking at the calendar and feeling the heat of summer and I remember. It was about a year ago that I learned that I was pregnant with Seth. Yet now in "normal" I feel like I am trying to convince myself that he even existed at all. It feels strange as if I made the whole experience up. I know I have lived through a whole year since last summer. I know my children had birthdays and went to school. Yet, it was as if I was never really pregnant. I have nothing to show of it. I am not holding a baby and my body does not look it remembers a baby had grown inside recently.

So I ponder normal. Does being back to normal mean I am moving beyond the grief? I can agree that "normal" feels less sad and less dramatic. But I am not sure where Seth fits into normal. He is becoming the son I once knew, but my memories of him just stop. I was sharing pictures of him this weekend. And I was caught off guard by my own reaction to the pictures. I don't spend everday studying the pictures like I did in the beginning. I looked at them with with fresh eyes, normal eyes. He didn't look the same to me. I realized as I was staring at the pictures that I do not know anything NEW about him. Everything I will ever know about my son I already know. There will never be a new memory of him.

How I do I carry him forward with me?  I know he is gone and there is something about letting go that brings some sort of freedom. Yet, I also want a part of him to always be with me. Something that fills in the void in my mind and heart that only the memory of him can alter.

I can't just move forward without bringing him with me. He is my son.  My heart heard his heartbeat and can remember the precious sound. My body felt his movements and my mind can recall the motion. Yet, when people look at me both those who know me and those who don't they don't see him anymore. He isn't physically available to them. He isn't physically available to me. Seth is still my son. He is one of my children. I hate this thought of feeling like he didn't exist. I lived an entire year and one of the greater highlights of the year seems like a figment of my imagination. 

Can I really go back to normal? Or is it that normal is coming back to me? Giving me the permission to live as I continue to adjust to what really happened. I was pregnant with a baby. He was my son.  I named him Seth. He died. It made me really sad. And getting back to normal is perhaps learning to live with "only a memory" of something incredible that really happened and choosing to look for more joy again.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letters to Heaven

Dear Seth,

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you that three months is a very long time to be without you.  I would tell you that I wish I could hug and kiss you all over to make up for all the time away.  Yet, I imagine you are quite settled into your the routine of your life in heaven.  It must be wonderful there.

I think I can see your face sometimes as I look at your siblings. There is always a hint of you there.  And I know this will sound really silly, but when your daddy is wearing carmex on his lips I have to stop and stare.  You clearly had your daddy's lips.   I wish I could watch you blow bubbles or raspberries with those sweet lips. 

If I could write a letter to heaven I would insist that God tell me all about what you are doing there.  It doesn't feel right to be your mommy yet not know what you are doing at all times.  I find myself struggling between what I would be doing if your were here and trying hard to imagine how wonderful life is for you in heaven. 

I have been praying, asking God to help me undestand more about heaven so I can imagine you there.  It is strange to think you know so much about it and I can't even comprehend it.   I remembered this verse in Zephaniah 3:17 this week and I thought of you. 

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” 

Could this be what it is like in heaven?  I am trying to imagine the Lord with you.  I try to picture what it looks like for Jesus to be taking great delight in you.  I don't think you cry in heaven, but I wonder what it sounds like for the Lord to quiet you with His love.  And oh how beautiful it must be for Him to rejoice over you with His singing.  I can't help but wonder if Jesus sings a silly song to you like Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink.  Natalie and Lydia were singing this song to Caleb and Adam just the other night.  They have heard me sing this to all of my little ones.  I wish I would have sang it you.  If I could write a letter to heaven I would ask Jesus to sing it to you just one time for me. 

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you how I read that our life on earth is just like a blink of an eye when compared to eternity.  I would say I wish I wouldn't have blinked while you were here.  But that I have hope that when I hold you again it will feel as if you were only apart while I blinked my eye.  I blink my eye trying to imagine. 

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.


Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink
Skinna Marinky Do
I love you

Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink
Skinna Marinky Do
I love you

I love you in the morning
and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
underneath the moon.....

Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink
Skinna Marinky Do
I love you

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cracks Filled With Gold

Busted!  Cracked!  Broken! 

My older son brings me the laptop computer to show me the busted screen.  He had thrown something at it and now I stare in disbelief at what used to be a computer screen.  Now it looked as if a baseball had been thrown at it.  I stare at the crack in the center of the screen and see the shattering reaching out to the edge of the screen. 

I sit and cry as I look at the screen but I don't completely understand why.

I take a look at my nook laying safely on my bed and a crack across bottom of the screen catches my eye.  Not sure how it happened.  But it is broken.

I try hard to focus on the words remaining, but there is no way to read a book with a crack covering the next line. 

I walk into my bathroom and I realize the medicine cabinet mirror is cracked.  Someone in this house is guilty of breaking it, but no one tells me. 

I stare in the mirror and I see a distorted view of myself staring back at me. 

I am beginning to think it is fitting to see cracked items as I walk around my house.  It is as if I am seeing a reflection of my broken heart.  My heart is shattered.  It has been hit with a curve ball. It is cracked.  It has been stepped on by death.  I can't physically see it but I am quite sure it looks like the cracks I see as I look at the computer screen and the mirror and the nook. These items are all replaceable.  How do I fix my broken heart?

I was intrigued when I saw this picture of a cracked bowl that has been restored with gold. Yes gold.

It reminded me of the potential of my broken heart.  Could I ever fill in the cracks with the preciousness of gold?  I wonder just how much gold it would take to fill up the cracks.  Gold is expensive.  I wouldn't have enough money to fill up it with such a precious metal.  Then again there is nothing in this world that is as precious as my son Seth.  I may not know as much about him as I like but he is my child.  He like each of my children hold a specicalness in my heart.  So in a sense when compared to purchasing gold he is priceless.

Yet I have hope.  I have hope in a God who has access to the "gold of heaven" to touch up my heart and fill in the cracks. If my heart has cracks filled with gold, the gold that only God can provide won't it be restored? It will still tell of the damage I have suffered yet look more beautiful.   If I allow Him the opportunity to heal my brokeness won't I come out of this more beautiful? Won't my God be even more Beautiful?

Today, I still feel incredibly broken even after 3 months. I have moments that look and feel like joy.  Yet, I am still sad. I don't even know how to describe the strangeness of what if feels like to feel joy and feel grief all at the same time.  It doesn't make sense that they both can reside inside of me and yet they do.   

Yes, I am healing.  I am finding my way.  It is discouraging at times because I want to know what I am going to look like and how I will feel over time.  I get impatient.  I get worried about what my future holds.  Yet God's promises for the brokenhearted are true.  He feels closer to me than ever before.  He stands by me and holds my hand as I look at Him with confusion and keep asking him a thousand different ways "why".  He doesn't answer but keeps calming me enough to help me move to the next level.  This is His way. He is fixing my broken heart. And to picture that He might actually fill the cracks with something as precious as gold to make my heart beautiful again is amazing to me. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Bitter Better Battle

There is a Dr. Suess book about called a The Butter Battle Book. I remember hearing the story awhile ago. I don't remember all of the details, but the title has inspired me.

Here is my version of it and I will call it

The Bitter Better Battle

There was once was a mother who thought she had it all. She knew she was blessed beyond measure. She had 5 little ones who all called her mommy. She didn't think it could get any better.

Then she found out she was going to have another baby. Oh yes, she thought. This is better. She would now be the mommy to 6 wondeful children. She was filled with joy.

This mommy began planning her life with her 6 children in mind. And it was true. Being a mommy to 6 would be so much better. She couldn't wait.

She loved the reactions she would get when buying baby things with her belly all big. Six children, really? Oh yes should would smile with glee. Six children is better.

She just assumed life was better. She walked or waddled rather for 9 incredible months with a better attitude. She never knew that soon her life would be consumed with bitter. And then it happened.

The mommy arrived at the hospital to be told it was too late. Her precious baby, her sixth child had died. Had it been but a dream? Her sixth beautiful baby could not stay long. He was destined for other things. He would live in heaven. But wait she said...he is my child. I am a Mommy to six children. You can't take him away and leave me with only five. The mommy couldn't believe it. She couldn't even bear it. Losing her baby made her feel sad and disappointed and lonely and yes it tasted Bitter.

She had now tasted bitter. Better would never taste as sweet again. And so the Bitter Better Battle began.

Her heart was broken and her body was numb. Everyone kept telling her it would get better. But all she felt was bitter.

She heard another mother who knew her pain say that you had to choose "Die bitter or Die thankful. There is no in between."

The mother knew this to be true but she felt stuck in between. There was a Battle between Bitter and Better.

How could life ever be better again? She knew what better was going to be. She hadn't just imagined it for 9 months but had felt it, dreamed of it, carried it, even touched it. It was better and she loved the taste of it.

She did not like the taste of bitter. She didn't like it's foreign taste. She had never tasted anything so foul. But how could she possibly be better after such a loss. How would she even recognize the taste of better? Nothing made sense anymore. She was not the same person she was before. She knew more than she wanted to know about what it was like to love so much and to lose so hard.

Bitter or Better? She knew the choice was hers. She could choose bitter. It was up to her. She felt tempted. She felt she had a right to remain bitter. She would lay awake at night and feel the pain and remember the taste. The night was dark and the morning was so far away. And she learned quickly that the sun would rise but it would not return her joy. It only blinded her and insisted that she get up again. It taunted her to walk around pretending she was better, but inside she knew she was bitter.

But one day when she was thinking of her precious baby boy and she had a glimpse of this baby she had every right to call her own. She remembered what she was trying to forget. He was beautiful. She loved him with all her heart. And with that it occurred to her that her baby boy was everything sweet, not bitter. He brought her joy in those 39 weeks. She didn't want the way it eneded to cloud her taste buds and be bitter. She was honored to be chosen to be his mommy. He was beautiful. And beautiful is always Better.

She now knew the path she would choose. She would choose Better. She is better because she is a mommy to 6 children. She is better because she gave each of her babies life and love. She is better because she has loved each of them with her whole heart. She is better as she has been able to dance around and learn about life with her children. She is better because she still has the privilege to hold her other five children in her arms. She is better because she knows this is all temporary. She will hold her baby again.

She is better because she is being Held by her Savior as she tries to stand up again to walk through this path of sorrow and grief. She is bettter because despite the tremendous pain she carries around in her heart she is still living. And someday as she keeps choosing better she will taste the sweet again. At least this is her hope.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  Psalm 34:8