Last night we went to a support group meeting for parents who have lost a child. We have been a part of this organization since Isaac died and it is an amazing group of people. It is great to go and share with others who truly understand. Some are walking ahead of us and some behind and yet it is amazing to have perspectives from the entire journey of grief.
We had not intended to go last night but found out that they were going to talk about the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep organization. This is the organization of amazing photographers who donate their time to take pictures for families enduring infant loss. We are the first family in our area to use the organization and wanted to be able to share the impact our photographer had on our hearts.
One of my greatest regrets with Isaac was that I only had 7 pictures of him. I was praying not to have to walk that road again, but if that was the path God chose I wanted to have more tangible memories of our son. Memories fade and pictures are such a great way to bring back images of an important event and our children's births certainly qualify! I am a huge picture person and so having the pictures Kenny took for us has been such a comfort at a time when not much comforts me. He was so caring and flexible and really captured the day on film in a way I hadn't even dreamed of.
So, we wanted to share that experience with others hoping that if we get the word out about this organization families will no longer have to cling to a few or even no pictures of their child. And we went. I wasn't sure I was ready to do that just yet but figured if anyone would understand it would be this fine group of people. I was right. But I have to say I am still somewhat surprised at how well I did. I am not sure if I am still in shock or just numb, but I was not the basket case I had imagined myself to be. I spoke of Asher and shared his story and how NILMDTS had touched our lives and hearts and of course got teary but never lost it. I was able to smile and talk of the love Asher brought to us and how thankful I am that God chose us to be his parents.
I am sure it will sound silly but as we drove home I felt guilty that I hadn't cried more...I mean a mom who just lost her son two weeks ago should probably be a wreck, so did this mean I wasn't grieving him or that my heart was healed, or that I didn't care? Obviously not, but I still felt guilty. I mean I think the toughest thing for me about being around other people right now is wondering what their expectations for me are.
As I am around others and they see me smile and laugh, will they think I have forgotten or that I am in a crazy state of denial? If I cry will they feel uncomfortable because they feel I may just fall completely to pieces at any moment? I know I should not be so concerned about what others are thinking. I know how deep my love for all of my boys is and how much I miss Isaac and Asher. I also know that though I miss them, I will see them again and they are in a far better place and will never know the pain and misery of this world.
I wonder about the many friends and family who don't call...is it because they think we went off the deep end? or is it simply that they don't know what to say or do? I am assuming it is the latter of the two and I want to say this...If you are thinking of calling, CALL! If I don't feel like talking, I won't answer the phone, and that does happen sometimes, but I have caller ID and it is good to know you called anyhow. Please know you don't have to have any magic words for me. If you have questions about Asher or how we are doing please just be open with us and ask. I have found that it makes me feel so much better and willing to talk when the person I am talking with is just open and honest and not feeling uncomfortable. If you ask something I am not comfortable with I will tell you. (though I cannot even think of what that might be, as I am an open book most of the time!)
So, please continue to pray for us as we continue on the healing journey. Right now we are contemplating taking a vacation this coming week as Howard has off and we feel that it would be good for us to get away from the distractions of home and just get to be together as a family, yet aren't sure that that is a wise decision especially financially. So please pray that we make a decision that will help us to heal and enjoy each other whether it is at home or somewhere else.
Words are never enough, but thank you all for praying, sending beautiful cards and thoughts our way and especially for the dinners! You are all amazing and I thank you so much for loving us and lifting us up each and every day. Pray for God to continue working in and through us, using Isaac and Asher's amazing lives to help others see the power of God.
My verse for today is this:
"Teacher," his disciples asked him, "Why was this man born blind?" "Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?" "It was not because of his sins or his parents sins", Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him." John 9:2-3
I am finding each and every day that though I still miss my boys in a way that is unimaginable to most, I am at peace. I find that the weaker I am the harder I am forced to lean on our big and mighty God. The harder I lean on Him the more I learn about his incredible strength and I am sure it will sustain me even in my weakest moment so long as I continue to lean on Him. I am learning more about the fact that not all struggles are brought to a person out of punishment, but rather as God chosing to use that person for his awesome purpose and I am more and more excited each day that God is using my family!