Saturday, July 20, 2013

Eight Years in Heaven

I Will Carry You

This video is how we ended this day...a day of sorrow, and joy, of grace and forgiveness, of confusion and peace.  Eight years out it seems like it should be an easier day to navigate and yet I still struggle like I did the first year.  It is tough not to allow your mind to walk through every single moment of a day that changed EVERYTHING.

On this day eight years ago, we packed our lunches dropped Luke off with his grandparents and headed to the hospital to see our sweet Isaac.  He'd been doing well and though we knew the future didn't look like it would be a long one for him we knew God knew better than we did and we wanted to soak him up.  Tired and apprehensive about another full day in the NICU, I decided to take a tape recorder along and read children's books into it so that when we came home that night to put Luke to bed, Isaac could still hear my voice.  It always seemed to soothe him. 

Little did I know that he'd never hear those recordings, and that the end part of my reading "I'll Love You Forever" would be the way the memorial service would end the following week.  We showed up and knew in an instant things had taken a turn.  It all happened so fast...there were tears and vomit (mine) and sweet amazing nurses and gut wrenching was eight years ago and yet it seems like yesterday.

It hurts...boy does it still hurt, yet eight years out I can tell you while the pain is still there...we look back and see so much purpose to that child's life.  He has accomplished great things on this earth even though he was only here six days.  I am so very grateful God chose me to be his mama.  Days like today make me ever so homesick...but I can grieve and cry out to a God who knows...who cares, who holds my every tear in His mighty hand and will some day make it all right.  It IS well with my soul. 

Yet this morning, I got out of bed, determined to live this day to the fullest and was kind of sideswiped when I learned that my grandfather was in the hospital.  He's 86.  He had suffered some heart trouble and had a procedure done and was having a tough time.  Of course when I asked what hospital he was in and I was told the VERY hospital my son had died in eight years ago...I felt anxiety set in.

I prayed and prayed about what I should do.  Ultimately I knew the only way I'd have peace would be if I went in to see my grandpa.  I parked in that garage and as I approached that familiar building I thought I might turn and run.  As I entered the rotating doors, I watched as families loaded their newborns into the car, and I felt like I couldn't breathe.  I walked to the desk and asked for his room number and had to truly fight the urge to RUN, the memories washed over me like a flood and I was losing my grip.

I made a quick trip to the restroom before boarding that elevator.  I took a deep breath and I prayed, I prayed for grace and for strength and for peace.  I prayed and I took another breath, and I walked through those elevator doors...

And you know what?  It was good.  I got to see family and I had a great visit with my grandpa and He granted me the grace and the strength and the peace...all of them...for each moment as they were needed.  Tears flowed and laughter erupted and it was a great visit.

I got home and we had a nice family dinner and headed to the beach to light Chinese lanterns and tears are still flowing, but there is peace and there is joy and there is grace...and it is is well with my soul. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

He'd Be Eight

Eight years ago we were BLESSED to meet our second son. The day was a swirling whirlwind and I so wish I could have a do over and soak in every single moment, eight years out I am still terrified of forgetting...forgetting what his little face looked like, how his body would just relax when in my arms and the little squeaks and sounds he made. I sit here and can't help but wonder what 8 year old Isaac would be like. What would his interests be, what would he choose to do for his birthday week celebration?

It still stings...two years shy of a decade out and the tears still fall as we struggle to find a way to celebrate the gift we were given in July of 2005. He deserves to be celebrated, yet celebrating a child who is in Heaven is tough. Each year has gotten a little easier as I remind myself that there is no rulebook for this...there is no right or wrong, and that we just have to do what we think will honor him best. We typically do something to serve others and then release balloons and have cake. The kids look forward to Isaac and Asher's birthdates because we have a family fun day...and while it is bittersweet, I am so grateful it is an event the kids all look forward to.

I am so grateful for all that God has done in our lives since he blessed us with Isaac. We are changed people and the blessing Isaac is overwhelms me. So this July 14th, we will try to honor him the best we can, knowing the gift he continues to be far outweighs anything we are capable of. The hurt is still there but the gratitude continues to grow and take just a bit of the edge off of that intense we celebrate another year we are grateful, grateful that though our hearts still ache like crazy, we have been blessed and we continue to see beauty coming from the ashes. Sorrowful, yet always still takes my breath away that God chose US for this sweet boy...

I desperately wish I could look into my 8 year old's eyes and tell him how he has blessed this family and how much I love heart will ache, but I take comfort in knowing that one day...I will get to do JUST THAT.