Saturday, May 28, 2011

This Side.

It's been a while.
Eight years this September since my life went in a direction I never imagined it would.
Eight years...

Over that time, I have had about every emotion, every feeling a person could have (and then some). And even through all the suffering and pain, I have come out stronger and better on this side.

I truly believe that every person that I have met- every small interaction (be it a small conversation with a stranger or an email with someone I will never meet) has somehow changed me- in one way or another- formed me. Every single event has brought me to this moment and who I am right now- as I type these words.

And because I am writing this on my "Pause" blog, it would make sense that I talk about that person- that moment- that helped me realize that each person- each moment- has a lasting impression- no matter how long that person was in your life-
It may be just a moment-and yet that moment will change your life~ forever.

I remember being at the cross road- and just like Robert Frost wondering which path I would take but being in such a fog- probably not able to make much of a choice one way or another- probably forging a new path entirely- on my hands and knees...

Recently at a support meeting, I met a new mom. A young mom- just 19. She had just lost her baby- the feelings were so raw- so new. She was there with her mom and her daughter's father and my heart broke as her mother questioned aloud, "WHY?" "Why would God do this? There is no purpose? There is no reason."

I felt the heaviness- and recognized my old friend, despair. I wanted to reach out and somehow tell them- tell them all- hang on! It will get better!!! But I didn't dare. I remember those were the words I hated most- "It will get better 'in time.'" Will it?

The truth is- it did, and it does- but not the way the phrase makes it seem- I learned to live with it- deal with it- and see the blessings in spite of it. So in that moment, I prayed and searched for some way to let this broken family know that it does get better- it can get better- and you can find purpose...

I looked in the mother's eye and shared my story...

15 months after I lost my Andrew, I had a little girl. A healthy little girl who was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I experienced a delivery as it "should be" and even commented on how bright the operating room was (such a foolish thing I realize now since of course the operating room when I delivered Andrew and Jonasen was equally bright- but had a dimness about it to me...)

We went home with our (now) babies and after a few weeks, my daughter started crying... and crying... and crying... and nothing would soothe her. We walked miles of floor with her. We took her on drives. We put her in her swing next to a running vacuum to drown out her cries. Nothing helped. I felt like a failure. I could not soothe this little babe. I was doing something wrong but try as I may, nothing worked. I was exhausted and frustrated and heartbroken. Perhaps I was not cut out for this. This was too much. Perhaps I wasn't meant for "babies".

It was in those moments that I would walk with her- pat her on the back and whisper in her ear, "It will be OK. I will outlast you. I know what it's like not to have a crying baby. I know what it's like not to have a crying baby. I know what it's like not to have a crying baby."

It was in those moments that I realized that anyone who said they would never shake a baby, never had one.
I told them this story.
I looked her mother in the eye. Perhaps the next time- your daughter will walk a floor like I did and she will tell her baby, "I know what it's like." And it will make a difference.

I don't think that I would have shaken my daughter had Andrew been here (truthfully my daughter would not probably be here had Andrew been here). But I do know that it was Andrew's life and death that got me through those painful nights- who gave me patience- who helped me realize...

I am thankful for my laundry, because I have clothes to clean.
I am thankful for my aching back, because I have a garden to tend.
I am thankful for my busy schedule, because I have children filling it up.
I am thankful for tears, because I had someone to love.
I am thankful for a boy who left, because he left me this~

You can look at others and think that their grass is greener.
But I've looked around- I've seen their side- and I know- though there are loads of weeds- and patches of dirt around me, I wouldn't change a thing!

The grass is greener right where I stand.

I don't know if I would have seen this side, had it not been for that moment- that brief moment when I held him in my arms- held him close to my heart and said goodbye-
For now.

(Thank you Geoff for reminding me of my "quote" on facebook- this is the story that reminds me that THIS side- the one that I am on, will forever and always be as green as I make it- and it is beautiful!)

10 comments:

  1. I needed this today. Thank you. xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post! I strongly believe that God puts people in our lives at a particular moment because we need them. We may not know it or why, but He does. I know that our stories are different, but I can see myself in your second and third paragraphs. (As always)Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! We lost one of our twins shortly before before birth 10 years ago. We now have a 3 month old how for weeks has been crying, a lot! I have often told others as I bounce, rock, sway, pat, etc a screaming baby is a living baby. If he is crying he is ALIVE. Like you, these thoughts are getting me through this phase in our life. Our daughter, 10 years after her death, is helping me get through each day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always love reading your posts here on Moments of Pause. My heart always comes away with a better understanding of love that only a baby lost mother can feel. I have been through things in my life that have broken me (nothing compared to the loss of a child) and I know that I wouldn't have the feelings I now have it my heart if it were not for those experience. ((HUGS))

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post is beautiful. Knowing what it is like not to have a crying baby does change how you view the world and how tolerant you can be of other difficulties that life puts in your way.

    This post reminded me of something I read in a book recently 'scars do not form on the dead', it reminded me of J who has a lot of NICU scars. But I am thankful for them, because it means she is alive. xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. this brought me to tears. thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I so agree. Having Carleigh die has changed the way I parent and has made me more thankful for so many moments, even the not so good ones because the alternative is much worse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This post is beautiful. Knowing what it is like not to have a crying baby does change how you view the world and how tolerant you can be of other difficulties that life puts in your way.

    This post reminded me of something I read in a book recently 'scars do not form on the dead', it reminded me of J who has a lot of NICU scars. But I am thankful for them, because it means she is alive. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. I needed this today. Thank you. xo

    ReplyDelete

Your thoughts?