I just can not get over his round cheeks, precious little lips and his sweet sweet face. Man, how God created him... it just doesn't seem possible that he wasn't meant to stay on this earth longer for us to enjoy:)
I mentioned back a bit that I was on the Advisory Board for MEND, my infant loss support group. We are having our fundraising Bunco Bash in about 2 1/2 weeks. So we have been trying to get donations of prizes from different restaurants,, stores etc... I know this may sound crazy... but I have actually enjoyed it... and I think the reason is that I have been able to tell Samuel's story over and over and over again... Of course with that sometimes comes some awkwardness but also with it has come many loving replies, even some sharing their own stories of their daughter's stillbirth 13 years ago... still hurting this long after... I TOTALLY get that.
I am so very thankful for the healing that the Lord has done in my heart. Honestly if I look back to a year ago... anticipating Samuel's first birthday in Heaven... my heart hurt constantly... truly constantly, there was just pain in my chest continually. Some say the 2nd year is harder after a loss because the fog is gone. Thank God that hasn't been the case for me... but let me tell you I grieved so deeply and intensely that first year, I think I did exactly what the Lord's plan for my grief journey was. And oh... my .... did it hurt, like crazy hurt I never knew was possible. Now as I think of meeting my precious little boy 22 mos. ago, my heart is filled with many different emotions. ( I am sure some think it is crazy that I am still posting about him... but that precious Samuel was a LIFE CHANGER for me, and of course I would still post about something so HUGE in my life)
Tonight when I was going for a walk with Jojo and Hope, Jojo said, "Mama, I miss Samuel." I asked him, if he thought about him sometimes. His response was, "All the time mommy, you can't see it on the outside of me, on my skin, but on the inside, my heart is really sad." I could not believe it... I thought that was pretty deep and insightful for a 5 year old... and it made my heart really hurt for him. I have to tell you that when I shared that story with Greg when we went for a walk later... I got complete silence as my reply... I had to ask if he heard me. He of course said yes, and I replied with, aaaannnnddd? I don't think he appreciated that real much... and I am sure the neighbor had to wonder as he was having a cigarette why we were were walking in the pitch dark and I was crying and saying, " Please, it isn't over for me yet, I need to know that he still matters to you, I need to know if you think of him." Let me tell you even now, almost 2 years later it is not easy to navigate the roads of grief with your spouse when you grieve so incredibly differently.
So 2 years later... my hope has always been for the day that I can remember my son with joy... and I can say that there are times that I do remember him with happiness in my heart, just love for him. But I have to be honest in saying that there are also times that the waves of grief hit me just as hard as if it happened last week. The questions still come. The tears still come easily. The pain is just as intense and deep and crushing. I am sometimes shocked by that... that it can truly hurt just like it did almost 2 years ago... but the truth is, it does. Praise God that those times don't last as long... like days and weeks like they used to... but maybe hours. It is strange but sometimes I almost welcome those times... As bizarre as it sounds I love thinking on my son.... remembering my 5 hours with him outside of me... but it hurts that is for-sure.
Even this past weekend I was overcome numerous time by the grace of God. At one point at the Women of Faith Conference we were singing a Chris Tomlin song... Sing Sing Sing, Make Music With The Heavens... it just hit me... I am singing, praising God with all of Heaven including my son. Man, can I tell you, that I just can't wait to do it in person with him:) I was over an over again so grateful to be able to look back on the very worst and thank God that He helped me survive that. Really sometimes when I am brought back to the worst, I can't even believe the details, the trauma of it all really happened to us. I know we have survived the worst of it and can even look back with joy but it is still hard... the Grief journey is hard no matter how you cut it! My deepest desire is still that the Lord would use the precious, all too short, (in my eyes:) life of my Samuel to touch others with HIS love.
It is a constant surrendering to the Lord's plan for me... is there great joy? Yes... we feel so blessed to have this new little one on the way... and so blessed that Hope is finally ours forever. But that does not take away the hurt that is still there for Samuel. Just because there has been some great things happening for us... those painful places in our hearts still exist. It is a delicate dance between grief or sorrow and joy. There are certainly more joy filled moments in our days than there used to be, but Samuel is NEVER far from my mind. And sometimes I can't help but get a little mad that people don't get that, understand that, or you can tell from their expressions that they think there is something not normal with you. Yeah, I guess it isn't normal to have your baby die inside of you... but the grieving for as long as it takes is normal.
So I guess these days, as I look to 2 years... 2 whole year with out my son on earth with me... my missing is growing... I just miss him being here with us as we had hoped and all that would mean for our lives... Jojo would have a almost 2 year old brother to romp around with, not sadness on the inside. I miss my old life.... I miss the relationships I used to have with some people... I miss it all. Knowing all I had with him was that short time... I miss not being able to smell him, feel his fuzzy hair on his cheeks... miss seeing him run on those crooked toes he had (just like his papa).
But I guess, the one good thing is that I am almost 2 years closer to seeing him again... and spending eternity with my Savior and our whole family together... Oh how I long for that day...
I have so much to share about how this new pregnancy is going and my feelings that are swirling around because of that:) I will try to post soon about that... but I didn't want to get to long winded.