Monday, August 18, 2014

School Days

It's back to school time and it was hard to get my sleepy self out of bed this morning. I made it though and packed the girls lunches, made sure they had breakfast, fixed Shelby's hair and miraculously remembered to pray and take a picture. It wasn't until I neared the door of the primary school that I was reminded of what was missing from the picture. A sweet boy, escorted by his parents, had a kindergarten mat under his arm. I suddenly felt like I had a boa constrictor around my chest. My eyes became hot and wet. Oh but there was no time for that. Suck it up. It's about Shelby right now. It's her first day of first grade. The kindergarten line, the anxious faces, the Boohoo breakfast, the moms boohooing, sweet friends knowing how I feel and being wise enough not to let on so I can make it out of the school without activating one of these land mines. Oh my sweet sweet Jeffrey. I know you would've been so brave, so big and smart, so ready. Maybe you would've wanted me to linger for a few minutes while you got settled in your new class or maybe I would have just done that for me. I am sure I would have gone home to an empty house and cried that all my babies were growing up. But, oh how I would trade that over not experiencing it at all; over the wondering. I made it almost to the gas station before the first tear escaped and rolled down my cheek and contained the rest until I got to the cemetery. There's a baby to be fed, and a house to be cleaned, supper to fix and exciting first day stories to be told. But, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I love you, how desperately I miss you and to allow myself to imagine how it would be if you were here. The LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away: Blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21 You would think sometimes that would be hard to hear, harder to accept. And sometimes, just for a second, my rebellious selfish self will scoff and feel self pity. But then those sweet words of truth take root, gently humble me and remind me that the Lord is in control, that He is always good, and that you are there with Him. And that is so much better than first days of kindergarten. One day closer, sweet boy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Humbled, hopeful, heartbroken. The new normal.

I've been so lonesome for you lately. It's hard to think that you would soon turn five, we would be registering you for kindergarten or at least contemplating it. Maybe I would choose to have my baby at home with me for one more year. I know you would be quite the little gentleman, a hard worker and handsome as ever just like your daddy. I've always wondered if you would've kept that blonde hair. Emily would be excited to not be the only one with a strange hair color. I'm pretty sure those beautiful blue eyes were there to stay. I wonder if Jesus took you to save you from the heartaches this world had in store or if he just needed you for a higher purpose in heaven. Our family is so different without you. We don't often talk about you together but your absence had left us all profoundly changed. Humbled, hopeful, heartbroken. I figure my thoughts of you have gotten about as far apart as they ever will, and that leaves me settled in this new life as I continue on without you. Sometimes you pass through my heart but I suppress the thoughts to hold back the pain. Other times I go looking for the pain in desperation to feel close to you if only for a moment. I long to summon the memories of the way you looked, sounded, smelled and felt in my arms. And those memories leave me not only desiring to know who you'd be if you were here, but also who you are in heaven. I know I could not even comprehend and all my pondering is in vain.  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORDFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 Loving and missing you until we are together again!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

....but the flesh is weak

"The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41b

 My flesh is especially weak today. My heart is heavy with longing to hold you. I know you wouldn't want to come back, but I would love for all of my praying friends to tell Jesus there is an emergency down here and He needs to send you back to take care of it. Seems silly, but I can't convince myself it's impossible.

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it." Matthew 21:22

"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Matthew 17:20

I love you, buddy! I can't wait for that day!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jeffrey!

 Despite keeping busy, it was much harder than I expected. It's hard not to reflect on a child's birthday how much they have changed from the year before. So, for me, I can't help but just imagine....everything. Would he still have blond hair? Or would it have started turning dark like Ashley and Shelby's? Would it have all fallen out and turned black like Jeff's or red like Emily's =O!? Would he be potty trained? Would he have a full vocabulary? Would he love the outdoors? What would be his favorite food or toy or cartoon? There is so much I didn't get to know about him... and of course won't. So most days I just picture him as my 17 month old blond hair blue eyed boy. He loved bread dipped in ranch, yogurt, cheese and was very good with a spoon. He would give me an earful if Shelby was mistreating him, but would mostly tolerate it. He loved to put his little hands around my neck and drink his milk with a little evaporated milk added for fat and flavor. =) I weep for the misadventures he and Shelby never had and selfishly for this Mama who will never see her boy grow up.

Sometimes I feel weak. I feel like I shouldn't still hurt so bad after so long. I've lost so many others including my Mom, Pepa, and Sharla who I thought hung the moon. But nothing compares. I'm not just one to sit around in a pity party. And, normally I get through the day pretty well. But, let me tell you it just sucks!!! There is NOTHING that compares to losing a child. He was supposed to be in my life for the rest of my life. That was my commitment to him as his mother. That was my expectation. I am not one to deal well with "changed plans." And this is the ULTIMATE changed plan and I'm just not ever going to get over it. Part of me struggles with that and thinks if I were just a little stronger... Then I look around at some wonderful STRONG people that have lost children.... Like the Stahmans. I'm still as amazed every time I see one of them as I was the day they walked in my door after Jeffrey died. I just remember thinking. There they are, after all these years and they are alive and healthy and (half-way) sane! ;) They've made it and I can too! But they still cry, they still miss their babies and mourn the milestones, they still wonder who those boys would have been. After 18 years!!!!! And so many others who are part of this sorry club. We will always hurt, but we are all strong even when we feel weak. If we weren't we wouldn't have made it this far. So that is my self talk for the day! Took me all day to work through that!
I will mention a couple of "ironic" things that happened today for those of you that may believe in "signs" of some sort. My first pang of sadness hit while I was in the car this morning in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot. As I quickly dismissed it, I heard the words on the radio from a JJ Heller song
"I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands"

Then as I got in the car with some balloons to send Jeffrey's birthday wishes off on, "Fly to Jesus" was on the radio.

A couple of other very appropriate and timely events occurred and I can only attribute it to all of my wonderful friends and family who I know covered us in prayer all day. He still answers them! Even when it's just flat not the way we want Him to.
"Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still"

We love you madly and miss you desperately Jeffrey!!!!
That's just something that I am going to accept as an everyday truth from now on. It takes too much energy to pretend I don't and stuff it all down. When I am weak, He is strong! And I'd rather exude His strength than my own any day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 I wish I could just be someone else for a day, someone who has not felt the loss, the pain, someone who isn't haunted. Even if I could just be me....before. It's no wonder in history the timeline uses B.C. and A.D. as a measurement. As much as losing Jeffrey has changed me and I find myself referring to before and after to gauge events, certainly Christ before, during, and after are gains and losses much greater and  important to all mankind. I had a dream about Jeffrey about a week ago. I dreamed I put him in daycare and after an extended period of time, I thought what am I doing! Here I am just sitting at home and I miss him!!! So I went to pick him up and they couldn't find him and I began to panic. Just then, they found him in one of the rooms and he came running and wrapped his little arms around my neck. It was beautiful. As I was checking him out he ran off to play and when I went to gather him to leave I only got to see him from behind as I was going towards him before I woke up. For a moment after waking, I was disoriented and all was right. I was relieved that I hadn't really left him at daycare and that he was safe here with me and then I came to myself and realized all was not right at all. What a miserable day that was. Carrying around tears ready to burst at every moment. But at the same time, it was wonderful to feel so close to him, to have seen and felt every part of him just as he was. To renew the memories that have faded.  I don't pretend to think I am the only human on earth suffering or that my sufferings outweigh anyone else's. To each man, his pain is the worst. And I don't pretend to think because I have been dealt such a blow that my suffering is over...quite the contrary.

Love Me Tender

I just stopped by the cemetery to make sure everything looked the way it should (as is my custom). Maybe a clue I shouldn't have was the giddy gleefulness I've had all morning. Apparently I'm not overly happy, just overly emotional. I'm a wreck now. Funny, or not so much, how I can think I'm fine and then I am just overcome with deep longing for Jeffrey to be near to me. Making sure all of his Valentine's Day decor is in order (which it wasn't)  made me realize her wasn't here to love on this Valentine's Day. My little man....permanently 17 months old in my mind. I can't even imagine what he would be like today. I will just always remember that wobbly walk, the fluffy cheeks, the beautiful soft blond hair. Which then takes me back to him there lifeless that morning. I wish I would have just held him and never let go. I wish I would have squeezed him so tight and pleaded with God so hard that He would have had to send him back to me. ...I wish I would have at least kept a lock of his hair to stroke, sometimes I even think I could have had him pickled or stuffed. Crazy I know....desperate....which reminds me I guess it is desperately time to throw out his diapers.  It seems each day I have less of him. The memories fade, material things deteriorate....moth and rust do destroy and the enemy comes to steal. Life is so fleeting. Stuff is so unimportant. Busyness, I think, is the new root of all evil. It keeps us from what is truly important. Each other. Our loved ones. Serving each other, loving each other Serving and loving God. This Valentine's Day, I know we are supposed to live with no regrets and love like there's no tomorrow, but when your lost love is the regret of the past it becomes so confusing . The rules seem different and obscure. It's like a chronic disease that is always there, but just flares up here and there with no warning. Along with the pain, I still recognize that I am still so blessed with a beautiful family, wonderful friends and regardless of what else comes good or bad a God who loves me just as I am, broken and flawed and sinful, that no one can ever take away. I just pray Lord, you would give Jeffrey a big hug and kiss from me and tell him I miss him and I will be there real soon even though I know on that day, as much as I think it will matter now, it won't matter at all. It will be You I want to see. Jeffrey will be secondary. Lord help me to keep it secondary here too. Let me not be overwhelmed. Let my perspective not be flawed. If I can continually discipline myself to put You first here, the rest will come. Where would I be without You???? I'm certain I wouldn't be at all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And to Imagine That God Gave His Son Willingly 2-1-11

 And to imagine that God gave his son willingly. I've come to think God thought the birth of Jesus more tragic than His death for in death He came home. And home is where my sweet baby is today. Although my heart longs for him desperately, I would not truly wish him out of the arms of Jesus and back into this world of sin. "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:23  David speaking here has rejoined now with his precious son and one day we will rejoin with Jeffrey as well if we keep our faith in the Lord.