BEFORE... I MAY HAVE FROWNED UPON THEM SOAKING THEMSELVES AND THEIR CLOTHING, SHOES ETC. TO THE CORE, BUT THESE DAYS WE AREN'T SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF. ACTUALLY IT MADE ME SMILE... I HADN'T TOLD NOT TO:)
ANNA'S SWEET PICTURE OF OUR WHOLE FAMILY... SWEET LITTLE SAMUEL INCLUDED. IT JUST WARMS MY HEART... I AM STILL TRYING TO GET HER TO REALIZE BOYS HAVE BODIES TOO, NOT JUST GIRLS:)
THE BIG BOYS WERE TAUGHT BY THEIR PAPA HOW TO BUILD A FIRE. IT WAS SO NICE TO COZY UP TO IT YESTERDAY MORNING WHEN WE DID OUR HOMESCHOOLING. THEY ARE SUCH BIG HELPERS.
So we are heading out to Houston later this afternoon. Our niece Meaghan is being confirmed Sunday morning, we are so happy it worked out for us to be there for that. Boy, I can't tell you how nice it is to get away. We are all looking forward to it. It will be short but we will be able to see lots of family and friends and we can't wait. I even have a slightly rebellious activity planned with my sweet friend, Greg's cousin Ryane. Are we really going to do it RyRy? The kids want to come with. I am such a bad influence on you:) Do I have the rest of you curious? If we go through with it, there will be pictures to follow at a later date. Anyone who knows me knows I am not the rebellious sort...never have been... so it really isn't that big of a deal, but none the less, big for me:)
Well, I actually made it back to church this week. Not that I haven't been in church, just not my church. My husband has been a gem. Church is supposed to be your sanctuary... honestly, it hasn't been that for me. It has been the hardest part of most weeks. Too many hard things to see, too many hard things to hear, too much, too difficult, sometimes things can set me off and for the sake of my family I have needed to take a break. They deserve better than me in my despairing moments:) The regular sorrow is bad enough.
It was so interesting, I had a sweet, dear lady Shiela who has really reached out to me. She told me she would sit with me and the kids. She is a hospice nurse so I think she gets it completely. She ministers to those who are dying and their families. She came over Sunday and looked at all of the pictures we have of Samuel...color and all. For anyone who has seen color photos of one who has died it is different than the black and white. I have only shared a few, maybe I will share more in the future. She wasn't freaked out, she gets that it can still be a beautiful time to be with someone even if they have already passed away. I loved sharing my son with her. I wish she would have seen him in person.
I didn't even bring it up, but she said sitting with me in church, she heard things in a whole new way. All of the references to death, dying, pregnancy related things, babies. She got it. Now I know most other people don't even blink at it. I know things like that are completely normal to most. I am the one who isn't in a normal situation. But among others who are grieving it is normal, I have talked with them. But when you just delivered a stillborn child who will never take a breath on this earth, and you walk past his ashes everyday in your home, you hear things so differently. Sometimes it is ok, sometimes it stings like nothing you could imagine. That is why I have stayed away. One small step at a time. Having someone sit with me helped.
I also had dinner with two sweet ladies from church this week. It was nice. We even got to play matchmaker for our waiter. Well, not really, but it was funny. He totally wanted our opinion on some other young girl he was waiting on and how to try to get her phone number. Unfortunately it crashed and burned, but it was cute, sweet, and made me laugh. I really enjoyed talking with them over dinner and after. It is so funny how you can tell when someone really wants to know "how you are doing" when they ask or when they are just asking to ask. Does that make sense? I was able to spill it out there and it felt good. Someone told me a story needs a thousand tellings when you are grieving. I think that might be true.
The people at church have really started to reach out. I am not sure where the change has come from, and I don't fault them at all, I understand the uncomfortableness, but let me just say it has been sooooo nice. I can't tell you how many times Greg has said, "did that blond gal come and talk to you after church or the tall man.? (No one specifically, just generic terms here:) I had to keep responding,no. And he would say that they asked about me and he told them they should talk to me... but they didn't. I get it, it is easier to talk with Greg, he certainly is grieving differently than me. That is for a whole other post, but I think I will get to that sometime because I am really curious from other people who have lost a child how their husband took it. Don't get me wrong, I know he misses his son deeply. Greg has been my rock and support.
Ok, enough rambling, I don't want people to think that I am teetering on the edge. I am just being real about the daily struggles of life after losing a child. I told someone recently that there are so many different levels of grief... sadness, deep sorrow, despair, hopelessness, hopefulness, a brighter view of the future. It all ebbs and flows for me anyways. But the sadness is ALWAYS there. And I think I am totally ok with that. I know that may sound strange, but I think that sorrow has made it's home here with me and I am fine with it. It is part of the new me, part of the process of God molding me and making me more of who He wants me to be, through this whole situation. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy all of the other blessings of each day and my family I can. I have had some, throw your head back good laughter, over things my other kids have done. But at the same time, there is sadness that my boy isn't with me, with us to enjoy it all too.
I even had a thought the other day, a really neat, good one, I know it was from the Lord, (Sorry, that wasn't a very Lutheran thing to say:) it was just a glimpse of the future... then of course it left me and I was left feeling pretty sad for where I am at right now. But I knew that on the other side of the intense pain and sorrow (I know it will always be there to some degree) that I would look back with a deep richness in my heart for all I have learned from my sweet Samuel and his short time with me. I know I will look back and know that God will have worked good. It is weird, my heart is so broken, yet so full. I don't think that I was a shallow person before, I have always wanted to know people, truly know them. But now there is such a sensitivity in my heart for others and what they are going through. I feel like my life is already richer, how can it not be? I had that sweet boy as a part of my life for 9 months.
This was going to be a quick we are headed out of town post... One more thing, I was invited by a lady at church to a bible study with some women from our church. I am really looking forward to it and to getting to know them. Ahhhh, another answer to prayer. That is so nice to see, I know He answers... but it isn't always the answer I am looking for and that always takes a little getting used to.
Now I am off to do a bit of school with the kids, feed them, and clean the house. Did I tell you what great kids I have... the bathrooms are cleaned and the car is mostly packed. I am blessed indeed.
I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering. Isaiah 48:10
I am normally not one to read the message, but for some reason I loved the way this was worded...
Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat-- I am Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Luke 9:23-24