Friday, December 18, 2009

Just for tonight...

Is it because it's December?
Is it because his name is all over my tree?
Is it because all the talk of angels? Of joy?

This December has been going so fast.
A new babe at home and my children fighting illness.
Presents to wrap- cards to sign-
Going so fast.
No time to pause-

Until today.
I was at his kindergarten party-
Watching him make crafts and eat treats amongst his friends.
I was there-
snapping pictures of his party-

When I left.

I could see him.
The outline of him-
Near his brother-
Stringing beads on an ornament that would go on our tree.
Stringing beads.

How I wanted to focus though-
to see his face-
but all I saw was a shadow-
a shadow of him-
a dream.

What had made me go there?

As I snapped my picture, I saw my son.
Sandwiched between two boys-
two boys-
wearing the same thing-
the same hair-
the same eyes-
the same last name-
two boys-

I took this picture of him- of him between them- and my mind was far away from the reality of the room I was in.

The rawness of when I first learned that Jonasen was in a class with twin boys has worn off. I can look at them- I watched them interact and I wondered what it would have been like... what it should have been like...
I watched their father helping one and I desperately wanted to go to him- to tell him- Jonasen was a twin- he was a twin- I had twins too- I had them- I had him- I did-

Slow motion-
My fog-
My black and white-
Only his outline-

I sat there with a heavy heart- hidden by my plastic smile-
No one knew-
No one knew I had gone there-
To where I had him-
in my dreams.

I miss you sweet Andrew. I'm missing you tonight.

I'm looking at the mantle and wishing you had a stocking to fill.
I'm looking at the tree and wishing you had ornaments with your face sewn between pieces of felt.
I'm looking to the heavens and although I feel peace and I know you are safe...
I look to your heaven and I dream
and wonder
and wish
Wish you were here with me... just for tonight-
in my arms.
I love you my sweet boy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Curveball

My prayer.
Andrew's Story.
My curveball.

This blog began when I was asked to talk about my curveball.
About my baby.
About the day my baby died.
About the journey this curveball has set me on.

I was asked to share my story with my church congregation and after I did, I felt the memories come rushing back. I paused and so was born this blog.

To hear where it began, my voice, my story, you can hear the sermon here.

Praying for you this season.
Praying for families all over the world that are missing someone this season.
Knowing how cold it can feel.
You are not alone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One more stocking-

As a teacher I chose to go back to work one week before the holidays. To ease myself back into reality- Answer the questions of curious second graders- I was ready.
It was good.
I needed to be back.

They asked me about him- His name- What he looked like- Was I sad-
And I answered their questions and answering them felt so pure and real. They were not afraid to mention his name or ask what was on their minds. They didn't tip-toe around my fragile heart in fear that I may shatter right there in front of them- or wonder what they should or shouldn't say- they just said it.

And I was thankful. It was December and life had gone on. It had been three months... But it was the first Christmas and my return just before this major holiday drew attention to that.
That first Christmas-

But the children asked. And I could answer with a pure heart. A heart growing with each question they asked- each time they spoke his name- I could feel myself becoming lighter- I was going to make it.

And then a coworker came into my classroom while my students were having a snack and enjoying talking to one another about what they wanted for Christmas. She welcomed me back put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I just keep thinking that when you look up at your mantle you must wish there were just one more stocking up there..."

Though I felt a sort of shock and horror at the honesty of her statement-
-students not far from where I stood-
I swallowed, looked her in the eye and said, "Yes. Yes I do."

I am still amazed that she said it.
I am still amazed I found a voice to answer her.

I kept seeing my mantle-
Three stockings
And one giant hole where one should have been-
She was right.

One more stocking.
One more stocking should have been up there.

Sure I could have hung one more stocking- but why? All I had to put in it were dreams and hopes and to see an empty stocking- empty dreams- empty hopes... with his name...
Well- that broke my heart too.

I look at my mantle now and it is full- I am full-

And yet I wonder
What it would have looked like-
What Christmas could have looked like-
With just one more stocking-

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Therapy

It became my therapy.
There came a time I think that others were tired of hearing me.
I know it.
But I still needed to talk, and monthly meetings were not enough.

It was my therapy.
My pen.
In those days I took his journal with me to his garden. I wrote him there.
In those days I would write in the nights, curled in a chair in my home. I wrote him there.
I wrote, and I wrote.
And those letters- composed in journals- became my therapy.
My release-

I knew he would never read them, the letters, but the moment they left my pen it was as if I spoke them, as if he heard and that made me feel better. I could write and write and write and he was never tired of hearing about how I loved him, how I missed him, how I wished he were here.

Oh how I wish he were here.

On his last birthday- his sixth birthday- I took his journals with me.
And I read.
I read through tears as I remembered the words. I remembered where I was.
My anger.
My guilt.
My pain.
So many, many pages and I could see myself.
Remember myself.
On all the hills and valleys of this journey I find myself on.

Now my pen has changed. I write him here. I write of him here.
And sometimes I find myself going back and reading what I had said, where I was on that night...
And I read your stories.
Your Therapy-
Where you were that night.
And I wonder where you are now.
And I hope you are well.

And to my fellow bloggers, I turned my blog into a book so I can go back and read it. If you are interested in doing the same to your blog follow this link. Thanks for writing!