Thursday, November 26, 2009

On Thankfulness

Okay, I will be honest, I wanted to sit down this morning and write this inspiring and thoughtful post about thankfulness and when I sat down I just could not make my fingers type. It has been a rough week at the Bolte house. Ben was sick, Hope was really sick (which gave us a HUGE scare Tuesday) and this morning Howard got sick. This is the violently vomiting kind of sick and it is no fun. It has pretty much sucked the life out of me literally. The extra laundry the up all night with sick little ones, and the constant bleaching of EVERYTHING in hopes of trying to prevent the sickness from spreading has gotten the best of me.

On Monday, I got the bug, not the one my family has been battling, but the one where you know you will be soon decorating your home for Christmas and you want to begin cleaning and rearranging everything in site. I was feeling the need for change and so I decided to start with our bedroom. It was going well and I had a plan. Ben was helping, Hope was cheering us on from the sidelines and I moved my bed. Under the bed, among the dust and lost slippers, I found a plastic bag, a bag I had all but forgotten existed to be honest. It was a white bag with the hospital logo written on it. The kind they give you to put your belongings in when you check in.

I didn't think much of it and I opened it abruptly and then, promptly fell back onto the bed the wind sucked right out of me. I have no idea how I had forgotten to pack this bag in Asher's memory box, but I did. This bag was filled with the blankets he was wrapped in, the clothes he wore, the stuffed puppy we took his picture with and clothes with tags that he never had the opportunity to wear. I remember bringing that bag home. I remember vividly sitting in that wheelchair being wheeled out of that hospital, face swollen and tear stained clutching that bag for dear life. Most moms come out of the hospital holding a baby, and this bag was all I had left of the memories I had with Asher.

When I brought it home I now do remember shoving it under the bed because I just could not deal with it. Those items were as personal as it got. They were stained with amniotic fluid and that white gooey stuff babies are born covered in. As gross as it sounds, I wanted ONLY my linens to touch him so I could keep them. I literally thought I might suffocate in my grief in that moment. Ben quickly recognized the blankets because they are in all of our photos and asked if they were Asher's. I told him they were and he could see I was teary. I quickly pulled the drawstring on the bag and took it to the basement to pack away with the rest of his things. Ben followed and promptly hugged me and told me he missed Asher too.

That is how this grief thing works. Life can be going along almost normal and then WHAM you are thrown backward so violently that you head spins. That moment stayed with me most of this week. I tried hard to get caught up in the Thanksgiving fun and yet found myself sad and longing for what I will never have this side of Heaven.

Tonight I sat down again to write a Thanksgiving post and looked at my Thanksgiving posts past for inspiration. Two years ago, almost exactly, I started this blog. I was just handed a certain unfavorable diagnosis for Asher and was coming to terms with carrying a boy I would never get to raise. My fourth boy, second to go to Heaven before me. My heart still longs for that boy, and yet I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to love and cherish him. He has changed me profoundly.

One year ago I wrote about my struggles with Thankfulness, because though I had a thankful heart I could not bring myself to be thankful for Isaac or Asher's deaths.

This year I sit here feeling guilty that I even had a tough time writing about my thankful heart. It has been a hard day. Nothing has turned out as planned and instead of sitting at my Grandma's and playing Uno with a belly full of Turkey and Pumpkin Pie, I sit at my kitchen table, while my boys are at my grandma's playing Uno, my husband is sick in bed, and my sweet girl is sleeping in my lap and though I am drained and weary, I am thankful.

Lord, I am thankful. I have a husband who loves me despite my deep flaws, two healthy little boys who think I am the prettiest Queen they know, and a baby girl who was expected to live a life much different than the one she lives. My life has been full of indescribable pain, and intense joy. We have loved and we have lost. But we have loved. And we love. And we have three beautiful children on this earth and two who wait for us in Heaven.

The Lord knew that through it all I would need Howard to be my pillar of strength, my best friend and the best daddy a kid could ask for. He knew I would need Luke's snuggles and sweetness. He knew I would need Ben to make me laugh and never take life too seriously, and He knew I would need Hope, to remind me that with Him ALL things are possible (well, and lets face it girls, this house was brimming with testosterone).

So, though I still cannot say that I am thankful for the deaths of my sons, I can say that I am SO thankful for all the Lord has done to bring me through. I am thankful for this blog that has provided me with a place to share my boys and their story, I am thankful for the many friends I have gained along the way, I am thankful for the mother and wife he is making me and I pray that I remain open to the changes he is making. I am thankful Lord, so thankful.


Unknown said...

Your Ben sounds like such a sweet and caring boy.

Rebecca said...

I struggled with thankfulness this year too. It's almost refreshing (?) to read that I am not the only one, amidst all the requisite "Thankful for" posts that appear on my blog reader. There IS much to be thankful for.

Thanks for sharing your heart today.

Mommato4miracles said...

Wow! I wish I could put into words what this post had done for me today. I too have struggled immensely this week. We learned of yet another health issue that may be plaguing Sam, it was the one year anniversary of my nephews death... It is so hard to be joyful in times of sorrow and sadness, it is hard to not get sucked back into those moments of grief that are so raw and gut wretching.
But it is also so awe inspiring to feel the arms of our Lord around us as we experience those feelings. To know that He feels what we are feeling, that He understands and is there with us. God knows!!! I pray that He continues to carry each of us in this journey on this side of heaven. God bless, and thank you for this reminder:-)

R said...

The holidays can be so hard- finding Levi's things unexpectedly would have sent my emotions whirling too- particularly during this time. I hope everyone recovers from the bug & your heavy heart lifts.
Peace & love to you!

Laurie in Ca. said...

Oh I sure do love you Kristy. I remember when you started your blog and I followed because I wanted to learn how to try and understand and encourage you. Selfish I know, but your fear of the unknown gripped my heart and you won me over. Your honesty is such a refreshing breath of air, real and not sugar coated. I think of you as a daughter who lives far away, but right here in my heart. Your heart is more thankful than words can express here sweetie. I feel it when I read your words, and I am so thankful for you sharing your personal life with me. I love you and pray everyone is well. And I know for sure that Jesus loves you more than I ever could. How great is that?

Love and Many Hugs, Laurie

Penny said...

That was beautiful, Kristy. Hope everyone feels better soon. =)

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Thankful, here too, in all of our imperfections...thankful, still...

Praying that your family is feeling better soon...

Sara said...

I'm sorry things are so hard right now but you know how to remember the good things you have and that will help. I'm not sure how losing a child feels (I'm only 19) but I do know how loss feels, I lost my Mom. We have our bad days and our good days, but we will always have our memories and those are the most important. Hang on to all of them, good and bad and remember with God you're stronger than you think.

Hold your babies on Earth in your arms and those in heaven in your heart. Sounds like Ben is doing a good job taking care of you, he seems adorable.

Susie (So Blessed) said...

Your thankful heart is so beautiful, Kristy...and I'm
so thankful to have the
opportunity to come to "know"
you...your honesty in your
life struggles is so real...
something we all can learn from.
I believe that your blog does just that...serves as an example for so
many in this hurting world. It shows that with God's help, we can indeed keep running the race with endurance and that one day we'll receive our reward. Love you.

Laura A said...

Hi Kristy-

I haven't commented before, but read your blog often, and am amazed at your strength. Actually, no, I'm not amazed, because it's so easy to see where it comes from. Only God could have gotten you through the trials you and your family have faced, and He will continue to see you through everything that is to come.

I cannot imagine the pain you must feel. And I wish there was something I could do or say to make things better. Please know that I'm praying for you and your sweet family - all the way from Texas!