Monday, January 23, 2012

Love them like Jesus

What do you do when someone you love is hurting? What do you say when you can't even imagine the depth of pain?

You do whatever it takes to ensure they know they are supported. You hold their hand as they cry. You hug them so tight that they know you won't let them break into a million pieces. You sit in silence. You cry with them. You pray more than you have probably ever prayed before.

You don't have to say anything in particular. You've heard it before and it's true. There is nothing you can say to make it better. You say, "I love you." You tell them how many prayers are being lifted.

You try and understand where they are coming from. Even though you can't, you try.

Quite simply, you love them like Jesus.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where I belong

Song to a Lost Lamb
Tiny boy, three months premature,
delivered in rushing waves
yet born in silence:

you are an unblinking image
or your daddy - damp, soft curls
and fingertips
like petals from withered
pink rosebuds.

As I cradle your body
 in my hot, wet arms,
I, inhaling air for two,
must sing to you declaring
you are cherished

now and for all days
as much as any
warm and breathing child.
Susan Terris
from the book Baby Blessings by June Cotner

 My sweet, beautiful, perfect baby boy. You never drew a breath. You never let out a cry. You never looked into my eyes. But...

I tested positive for pregnancy. I watched and listened to your heart beat. I watched you dance and jump around in many ultrasounds. I caught a glimpse of your precious face. I learned you were a boy and watched your daddy light up. I planned. I dreamed. I fell more and more in love. And then...

I labored. I fought. I delivered. I gave birth to you, my sleeping son. 

You forever changed me. You forever changed my world. Your force is so powerful that you literally stopped my world from spinning. You forever changed the landscape of my life.

Some days are easier than others. Every moment is learning to live again. Every breath is my determination to share you and to do my best to further God's message.

There is only one who can truly know the depth of my pain, the depth of my love. And that is because he has gone before me. He has sat back and watched his son sacrificed for the greater good. He has watched as others diminished and pushed aside his son and his importance. He has survived the storm and is currently leading me through my own.

In the book of Malachi 3:3, God is compared to a refiner. A refiner who sits in front of the fire and carefully watches over his silver. Who molds it and makes sure the heat never gets to be too much. For if he looked away for even a second it would be ruined. Someone who knows his project has reached perfection when he can see his own reflection.

These days are hard. These days seem to be surrounded by flames. And yet, I know that God is there. Watching out for me. Ensuring my safety. Waiting to see his reflection in me.

In this journey there are moments of sadness, moments of darkness, moments of unbearable pain. There are also moments of peace, comfort and I am beginning to understand this new joy. All of these moments are wrapped up in grief. Grief because I am left here to live without my son. Not because, Aidan is in heaven. He is wrapped in the ultimate glory. He is perfectly safe.

Aidan will always be apart of me. With every new twist and turn, he will be there. Nothing in my life will ever be mutually exclusive of Aidan. I can only hope for patience and understanding. I know that the rest of the world has continued to move on. Mine has been forever changed. I will forever think of Aidan and know that I have seen a glimpse of what God wants to see in all of us. Handing your child to God will do that to you.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


January 14th. A big day. An important day. The day that signaled the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

The day that never got to be, but turned into something else.

It was supposed to have been all about Aidan. It was supposed to be his entry into the world. A day in which Aidan lived.

Instead, it was a day about our lives without Aidan. A day more about the hopes and dreams that will not get to be. 

It was about more than just Aidan. It was about Evan and I. The decisions we have made since Aidan's birth and the direction our lives are headed. A day to acknowledge our loss and to be reminded of those who have lost before us and unfortunately, those who will lose after us. 

So, in my true form. I went a bit overboard. I got butterflies for the other babies. I got flowers and more flowers, a big pinwheel and balloons for Aidan. 

There are orange, yellow and green ones scattered throughout the cemetery. It turned out to be quite a scavenger hunt that added some humor and excitement to the celebration.

We each had a single carnation and one by one we placed them on Aidan. I managed to get a picture of everyone except my mom (she went first so I wasn't quick enough.)

Our group turned out to be quite large and so very special. Aidan had grandparents, a great-grandparent, aunts, uncles, aunties, friends, pastor, and even his friend Jo. All people who love him and have literally carried me through.

We then wrote messages to Aidan and sent the balloons heaven-bound. The wind was fierce so I wasn't able to get pictures.

BUT, that's what best friends are for. My beloved Boyd's got to bring Savannah home on Saturday. They managed to find the time to send A some balloons from Searcy and sent me not just a pic, but a video!

We took down the Christmas at A's spot and added some sunshine yellow tulips and a special elephant his Auntie Courtney made him.

It was tough day, but it was spent honoring and cherishing our blessed Aidan. There were the warmest most sincere hugs, some tears and lots of love. More love than I could have ever asked for.

I'm sure if you are reading this, you have figured out that music plays a huge part in my life. There are moments when the only thing that calms my heart and spirit is the simple melodies and heartfelt lyrics. I've got a new favorite at the moment. "Carry me to the Cross" by Kutless. The album comes out in February and I CANNOT wait. It is the perfect song for this journey. It is the perfect song for the past few days. I have cried more tears than I have in a long time. I have been hit with a lot of emotions. Yet, still I have made it. I am embracing what is to come.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Joy and Broken

Em is my best friend. She is the one I want to tell everything too.
For years, I have prayed. Yesterday, I stood in the hallway of a hospital and literally looked at God's love and an answered prayer. I first laid eyes on Savannah Brooke.
And the first thing I thought was "oh, she looks like Em. She has her nose." Unless you were sitting in yet another labor and delivery unit four months ago, that means nothing. But, between two best friends, it was everything. Because when Em first laid eyes on Aidan, those were her words.

A lot of people have asked why I went. Taking out the million other reasons, that one right there is it. She was able to come to the hospital and hold my hand, my monitor and then Aidan. She didn't pity me. She wasn't afraid it was contagious. She held my son and saw that he looked like me. She embraced his worth and has carried him with her throughout the rest of her pregnancy. We never dreamed we would be pregnant together. We planned so much once we were given that gift. And while it is never like we ever imagined, we are still momma's. And we love those babies for all that they are.
You can't really tell, but she already has her fingers laced together. Such a princess already!

Being there with Emily and Matt was such an amazing thing to share with them. Literally watching someone else's dream come true was so hopeful. The tenderness that everyone shared with me. The love that was poured over Aidan and I was pure grace. There are no words to describe what I was watching. I was so excited for them. I was anxious to hold her. I was anxious to hug Em. I was witnessing what almost was for me.

I have a picture of Emily and I with Aidan. And now I have a picture of Emily and I with Savannah. And though you cannot see him, Aidan is there too.

It was a day much bigger than me. It was a day no words can describe. It was a day of equal parts joy and brokenness. So intertwined you couldn't tell them apart. You couldn't tell where one ended and the other began.

Much like Em, Savannah, Aidan and I.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who but you

Too little too late, his time has come and gone
Is that what they say when I walk by?
I’ve got a little more grey, my steps are slow and long
And the promise you’ve made fades in the moonlight

I see a star; You see the Milky Way
I see one man counting sand
But you see generations

Who, but You, would ever choose
To dream Your dream in me?
Tell me who, but You, would dare me to
Believe what I can’t see
Who, but You?

You’d think by now, it wouldn’t bother me
The hush from the crowd when I walk by
And you’d think somehow, I’d let my heart believe
It’s time to let go of lullabies

I see a star; You see a galaxy
There’s just one hope, just one way
These arms will not stay empty

Who, but You, would ever choose
To dream Your dream in me?
Tell me who, but You, would dare me to
Believe what I can’t see
Who, but You?

So call me crazy, call me a fool
You alone can do the things You promised to
You are Yahweh, I’m just a man
I’m counting tiny grains of sand
Placing every promise in Your hand

Who, but You, would ever choose
To dream Your dream in me?
Tell me who, but You, would dare me to
Believe what I can’t see
Who, but You?

Great and mighty God, I believe, I believe You
Keeper of the stars, I believe, I believe You

Only God could have gotten me this far. Only God can carry me through this week. Only God will be able to get me through what is to come.

He alone knows my broken heart. He alone knows my joy. He alone knows that some days are sheer determination.

Tonight my world shifted and I was unprepared. Tomorrow I have planned for sweet Savannah's arrival. Saturday I cannot begin to prepare for. Because Saturday is a day all about my hopes and dreams. The ones that are shattered.

Saturday is the day that I will stand still. Amidst all of the chaos. Amidst all of my brokenness and acknowledge that while the rest of the world kept spinning, mine stopped.

Saturday will be for all the parents who have stood in my place. Who on what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives, instead stand honoring a child that has left aching arms, tear filled eyes and broken hearts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

Aidan Thomas,

My sweet boy. Happy four months.

The fourth day of the month will always tug at me. I spend it remembering you.

How hard we all fought to keep you. How patient I was. How hopeful we were becoming. How quickly you were gone to be with Jesus. How much you were loved as we passed you around and you were showered with kisses. How there were moments that were exactly like I'd imagined they be. How there were moments I still can't imagine happening.

In these past four months, I have experienced so much. I have done so much. All because of you. All because you were born four months early. You were born in September. You were supposed to have been born next week. This is the reality I cannot get a grip on.

You have been gone almost as long as I carried you.

I'm beginning to learn a lesson. A big lesson. The hardest lesson one will ever have to learn.

Accepting that you aren't and never were mine. You are God's child. He entrusted you to me. I carried you so that his purpose can be carried further. I carried you, but you are his.

01/04/12 Sunset at 5:38 p.m.
So, in this month. On this day. I celebrate you. I look for his beauty. I praise God. Because he chose me to carry you. Both in my womb and in my heart. So, you see I will always carry you. And one day, I will hold you again, for that is his promise to me.

Endless love,
Your Momma

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