Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Fourth Month

I got back from a call and this was the message on facebook from my husband:

"I turned around today and Paiden had rolled up in a blanket on the floor, and was shoving it in his mouth. When you get home all of the small blankets will be in a bag in the attic. I did not throw them away. You can take them down in a year. "

This month sucks. His crib is bare and the only time blankets are used is for tummy time. Flashbacks are in full swing. The fourth month is when babies are clumsily reaching new milestones, like laughing or rolling over. It is also the last month we would share with Perry and not even a full month at that.

As I held Paiden on the fourth I remembered a fourth two years ago with a newborn baby. I remember holding him in the scrapbook/ card making room of the house we were visiting. I remember holding him on the back porch in the shade while Emily swam... I remember someone talking about SIDS with fear. I can still remember holding him in my lap, hands over his ears as the men set off fireworks. The grass was itchy and Emily was sitting next to Violet on her blanket.

How was I to know that my sweet baby had already lived almost a fourth of his life? That time was marching on to an unimaginable time of absence. That I would soon feel emotional pain so raw and heavy that before this I never knew I could feel this bad and yet still somehow survive.

I held Paiden today and was afraid it was the last time I'd see him. I hate all the horrible thoughts like wondering if I dress him in an outfit if it is the last he will wear. I just want Perry back and this nightmare to end.

Meanwhile on babycenter all the Moms are pretty much congratulating themselves on being out of the danger zone because their babies can roll over.

I wish that were me...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Before and After


Not getting to continue a path to promotion/ Realizing that the bags you placed over your child's belongings to preserve the smell were deodorant (and this was the last chance you had to smell him).

The family that lives in a car/ The parents who are jealous of the family in the car because they have all of their children.

Good Friends:
Go out and share good times with you/ Are the ones at your house before the ambulance leaves and stay through the worst times.

Crying Babies:
Emotions between tired and frustrated/ Relief and thankfulness.

A floaty place with clouds, streets of gold, and a vague benevolent God/ An acceptance of God as being complex beyond our comprehension and the only possibility of reunion. The gold is the presence of the body of Christ- those that we love. The décor really doesn't matter.

These are a few of my definitions that have changed. I realize life looks different. It is not all bad, but not all the deep meaningful warm fuzzies that you get from some loss blogs that avoid the ugly. I find myself captivated at times by the smallest things- the pollen on a bees legs or the fuzz behind a newborn's ears. I appreciate time in moments but realize the sum of our life is brief; We are vapor. I feel intense pain never imagined but recognize that loss is only possible because of being given great blessings. Before I wanted a sense of belonging- I worked to help them by volunteering (but that didn't seem enough) and now I find myself tied to a community because a part of me is buried there. The old families in our area accept us now because we are rooted to their church/ area in a way that most newcomers are not. Our son rests next to their parents and grandparents, he lies close to their brothers, sisters, and grandsons that never got to grow up. While I may have put out the fire in their field before, I only became tied to a name after they delivered a casserole to me. I have witnessed both intense unintentional cruelty and the beauty of empathy, from close family and strangers. Instead of being asked "Who is your Daddy?", I have become Perry's (the little baby's) Mom. To some who know only the tragedy that is a sad title, to me it is something beautiful because he is a sweet soul. Treasure lies in people now. I'd give it all up if God would let me trade years of my life for his.

I guess if I had to sum it up I would say that you do not fully appreciate life or other people until you realize we all die. You lose the safety of the naïve, life becomes scary but more beautiful. Great pain is like great fortune- you will either learn from it or squander life further. It will magnify what was there before. You see the cracks and beauty in yourself and others. You will grow closer or further from God as you question him, his existence, and his nature. It is the fire in the kiln, the reason why it is better to be in a house of mourning than of rejoicing. But it is never easy.