Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's cold here.
Today I strapped on my shoes, bundled up, put my music in my ears and went for a walk. I love going walking. The fresh air- the time I spend with myself. Time with my thoughts. Time with God. Most of my 'moments of pause' happen when I am walking. Today was no different.

Recently I read something that stuck with me.
"Not everything happens for a reason."
It made me sad. And yet I understood it.

What reason is there for suffering? What reason is there for the death of a child? What reason is there for hope and then having it snatched from you- right beyond your grasp? There are so many things that I do not know the reason for.

I think that the quote was right. Not everything happens for a reason...

But then again... It can...

I could have chosen to take my feelings of loss and despair and keep them to myself. I could have chosen to deny Andrew's existence- most of the people I know now would have no idea that I had a son- that I lost a son- even my children would not know had I chosen to keep this pain to myself.

And I did ponder it... though only for a moment... Would it be easier if Joe never knew he had a twin? But then what about his birth certificate? What about those pictures of me pregnant- with two full term babies...

And yet I had a choice. I could have kept it. I could have 'crossed those bridges' when they came. I could have chosen to deal with "it" in other ways.

But I didn't.

The night that Andrew was born- the moment I kissed him that last time and turned away as they took him from me- that silent night- I knew. I made a promise. I would give this reason. I would say his name so that everyone I knew would hear it. I would not forget that baby. And I wouldn't let you. I decided to give it reason- though at the time I had no idea what that reason would be- how it would look- what it was.

Isn't that life?
We choose what to give reason to and what not to? We can choose to hold on to pain- or to let it go. We can choose to share our grief with others- or keep it to ourselves. We can choose to say their names- or simply feel them in our hearts. And it is our choices that make us who we are and how we choose to impact others.

No. Not everything has to happen for a reason. But he did. He happened. And because of him...

I know pain.
I know love.
I know forgiveness.
I know grace.
I know peace. True peace.

Because of him...
Twins are born before their (40 week) due dates.
Families who have lost a twin will have a picture of their twins together.
Parents in this journey will be able to meet someone who has been there and can walk with them through this.

Because of him...
I have three other children who would not be here.

Because of him...
I am wiser.
I am kinder.
I am more patient.

Because of him I have met some of the most amazing people who have walked this earth. People I would not have known, had I not chosen to share him.

Because of him...
I am a better wife.
A better mother.
A better teacher.
A better friend.

Make reason.
Give meaning to the life that has changed yours.
Don't keep it to yourself.

Over my years, the reasons keep coming and I can share a smile with heaven knowing I got that from them. Do I miss them? Yes. Do I think about them still? EVERY day.

But 'tis the season to give.
And today I give you my reason.
My reason for living and moving and waking up each morning.
They have shaped me and made me who I am and- though a work in progress- I will embrace it.
And give it reason.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Baby.

It was a baby who was sent to save the world.
It was a baby who was sent to save my world.
Sometimes no words need to be spoken.
Sometimes it is the actions that speak louder.
Wishing you peace and strength this season.

To watch this on YouTube, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The First Christmas

For many this will be the first Christmas.
The First Christmas without their mother.
Their Father.
Their Brother.
Their Sister.
Their Friend.
Their Child.

Perhaps the person they are missing has been gone for months- time for the outside world to go back to 'business as usual'- back to 'life as we know it'- back to 'normal'.

But for most of those people- the first Christmas will be anything but normal.

It may be the anxiety of wondering what they will feel on that first Christmas. The hole left from the person who was for so long- a part of the gatherings- or the person who was dreamt of- who would be there amidst wrappings and laughter- the first Christmas.

For me that first Christmas happened only months after he was gone. I hardly felt like celebrating but I went through the motions. I felt I had to. After all, I had much to be thankful for- there would be one more stocking added to our mantle... but I had wanted two.


I hardly knew how to feel- happy- sad- blessed- cursed- And though I tried to get a grip on my emotions, I look back now- eight Christmases later- and I wonder why. Why did I have to 'understand'- why did I have to try to 'feel' something- for hadn't I learned- even in those few months that had aged me more than all my year's previous, that feelings are not right or wrong- they simply are?

A man approached my husband recently. His wife had lost a baby. As my husband was telling me the story I winced when he said, "It was early- only ten weeks or so..." And instead of jumping on what he had said- sharing with him that it does not matter 'how long' I simply asked, "What did he say?"

"He said that they had lost the baby a while ago and that he had recalled us losing a baby(E). When I asked how he was doing, how she was doing, he said, 'She's getting better. I think she'll get over it soon.' to which I replied, 'Really? I don't think I'll ever be 'over it'."

And so I got to thinking... what makes us so different? What makes one grieve a lifetime and another's world start suddenly spinning again?

I don't know.

But I do know that though you may not see it. There is a chance- that that first Christmas- and perhaps even that eighth Christmas- they may be thinking- wondering- dreaming of what it should have been like- what it could have been like-

That First Christmas.

Thinking of you on your First Christmas- your 91st Christmas- and all those Christmases in between- missing them.