Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ice Cream, Swings, and Other Parents

The past few days have been very tough. I keep thinking how horribly wrong it is that I can tell you how much Perry's brain and heart weighed. I read it on the Autopsy, couldn't help but read it. I initially looked at it because I wanted to fill in the last spot for 5 months for his height and weight.

In the middle of all this, I am constantly being reminded that I am not the only Mother who will look at Mother's day this year as something to get through rather than celebrate.

I was given a book called "I Will Carry You", written by a Mom who chose to carry her pregnancy despite a fatal diagnosis. She was able to spend 2 1/2 hours with her child. There were several things that struck me when reading this book. The first was when she was carrying her Daughter and she states that she tried so hard to keep from envisioning her eating ice cream and swinging. If you have followed my blog, you know that the only food I ever gave Perry was a taste of ice cream (and I am grateful for that- I can only imagine how wonderful he thought food must be if ice cream was his first glimpse). And I confess that one of my sorrows is that Perry never got his own swing. My Daughter had a small swing that hangs in the yard with her name on it. When I saw a replica hanging at my Mil's house, I cried for hours, and wanted to take a bat to it. I don't want this swing to exist without HIS name on it. It struck me that I have been given more and at the same time so much less than other mothers. The irony is that the mothers who have not lost a child will not recognize the true extent of the blessings of everyday life. I mourn that I did not make his days more special... At the same time I can not imagine the feeling of holding a living child and knowing that there is no 'use' in imaging a future you will not have. These mothers mourn their children before they leave- is their joy ever full, knowing that the flip side to this joy is the loss coming? I was genuinely happy with my little family. Could I have been happy if I knew what was coming?

Then this shift I think we lost a teenager. I held his Mom in the ambulance and I felt oddly distant. But there was this little voice saying "Hold her, she feels alone". And I knew that today was probably the first day for her in that dream that leaves you screaming at times to wake up, and groaning in other moments, one that you will never wake up from until God allows you to come home to your complete family. The time of scratchy sheets that bring you back to reality in the night, food that gives you no substance but hangs heavy in your stomach like bricks, and flowers that wilt before the scent of your child fades from your house.

Groaning- Have you ever heard that word, perhaps read it in the bible, but have you ever heard one? It is a horrible sound- I heard it only in the voice of patients in bad physical pain before. But how much worse is that low sound when you realize it is coming from you, that your very soul is releasing a little of the pain in a form you can hear?

The one thing that keeps me moving in times like this, is the hope that there is yet good in life for me. That as bad as this groaning of the soul is, that there will come a day I can look back and say "I am glad I kept going. I am so glad I didn't miss this part".

For now I wander through a desolate and rocky wilderness. I am stumblimg through in bare feet, the ground is bloody with my imprints.

But I am beginning to look around instead of staring at my feet, and I see other Mothers and Fathers here. And somewhere in the distance, my Daughter is dancing for joy in some future time, and I have to make it to her to share it with her.

As I try to shuffle forward with perhaps a little direction, I look at these others wandering with me. May God bind all of our feet.

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