Thursday, April 18, 2013

If We Could Talk

If we could talk, I would tell you that the ache of missing you is still there. 
The intensity fluctuates, but it's ever present.  I miss you.  Every day.

If we could talk, I would tell you that sometimes I see little boys with dark hair and sweet smiles and I wonder.  Would you look like them?     

If we could talk, I would tell you that I can't erase doctor visits and ultrasound appointments from my phone's calendar, even though the memory is full.  It hurts to let go of anything related to you, because I had to let go of you.

If we could talk, I would tell you that when I see little blue birds I think about you.  They remind me that God takes care of us.  His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over you and me. 

If we could talk, I would tell you that your sister's presence in my life is like a healing balm on my wounds.  And even though she is here, I never forget that you are not.  You are irreplaceable.

If we could talk, I would tell you that losing you was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  When I have flashbacks of saying goodbye to you, I gasp.  Memories of your death make me cry, but memories of your life make me smile.

If we could talk, I would tell you that sometimes I struggle with guilt.  I question if feeling happy with your sister means I've left you behind.  But I realize that when we made the decision to try to have another baby, we were choosing to let our hearts love again...and love is always the right choice.

If we could talk, the most important thing I would say is I love you.  Always.      

Friday, March 15, 2013

Two Words

Praying challenges me.

I have found that putting expectations on myself during prayer is almost always counterproductive.  Whenever I make goals for the length and frequency of my prayers, I always fall short.  I have realized that making strict rules for my prayer life shifts my focus away from God, which doesn't make sense.

Sometimes my words to God are few, but He draws me near anyway.  I don't think He counts my words or the number of times I pray.  Instead, I believe He listens to my heart...the joys and the sorrows in my soul.

When William was first diagnosed, my shock and sadness was disorienting.
All I could pray was, Carry me.

After William died, I was broken and weary.
The only words I could find were, Help me.

During my pregnancy with my daughter, the fear was overwhelming.
I pleaded with God, Protect her

When I hold my daughter in my arms as the sun is just beginning to rise,
I whisper, Thank you

Pouring your heart out to God can mean hours of praying...
but sometimes two words are enough.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I have taken a long retreat from writing in this public space.  I have done a lot of writing in my head and in my heart, but have not felt inclined to share it.  The past year was one full of grief, love, fear, and hope.  I think I just felt too vulnerable to share many of my feelings out loud.

I have spent a lot of time pondering specific verses in Ecclesiastes 3 about time.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven...
A time to cry and a time to laugh...
A time to grieve and a time to dance...
A time to tear and a time to mend...
A time to be quiet and a time to speak...
God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. 
(verses 1, 4, 7, and 11)

Our openness about our beautiful and heartbreaking journey with William brought our family a level of love and support we could never have imagined.  It is very clear to me that the time that I carried William was a time to speak.  After we said goodbye, I needed time to be quiet.

To grieve.  To cry.  To mend.

As the months passed after William died, I found that grief takes various shapes and forms.  I had trouble making decisions, being productive, and being emotionally available to the people in my life.

I would go to the grocery store and stand in front of the shelf as the minutes passed.  What kind of pasta should I buy?  What package of paper towels is the best deal?  I had so much trouble making simple decisions.

I would sit at the kitchen table with a long list of people to thank for the kindness, donations, meals, and gifts we had received from so many.  I would hold the pen in my hand and try to find the words to write.  My sadness felt paralyzing.  I just could not complete simple tasks.

I could not go to certain social gatherings, especially baby showers.  I wanted so much to be there for the friends and the family I loved, but it was just so hard to be emotionally available when I was in so much pain. 

When we decided to move forward with attempting to have another child, I was fragile.  Losing William left my heart wounded and sore.  When we received the miraculous news that our second IVF had worked and I was once again pregnant, fear and hope overcame me.

I was still grieving so heavily, but in the quiet moments I found myself whispering to God, Is my time to dance coming?   Is it time to laugh again?

Time continued to pass and I found that I noticed the sun again.  I felt the warmth of hope and the promise of happiness returning.  The waters of grief began to recede.  I felt less and less like I was drowning and gasping for air.  It didn't hurt to breathe anymore.

It is now over a year since I held William...since I handed him over at the hospital, knowing I would never see him again on this side of Heaven...since I knelt in the grass at the cemetery wondering if I could truly go on without him here with me.  And although the tears are falling as I write this, I can often speak of him without tears.  In fact, I often speak of him with a smile now.

God has used the love of our friends and family, the birth of our daughter, and the passage of time to methodically mend the scattered pieces of my heart.  I'm able to see the beauty of the seasons I've lived through.

My season with William, my season of grief...the long season of pregnancy with our daughter, her days as a newborn...there has been beauty all along.  Sometimes painful beauty, the kind that refines.  Sometimes beauty filled with joy and dreams fulfilled.

But God has truly made everything beautiful in its time.

Time will continue on, and there will surely be many seasons of joys and sorrows to come...but right now, I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness for this season.

It is time to laugh.  It is time to dance.