Tuesday, November 25, 2008

With gratitude and thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving and Christmas are both my top favorite holidays of the year, as I'm sure they are for most of the general population. But this year, I would prefer we all skip them both. Or at least me. If I could go to sleep and wake up in the new year it would be wonderful. To have something odd like that happen would only confirm how odd I feel inside.

Last Sunday I shared Molly's story in the grief workshop through our church. The topic for this weeks' meeting was on shock. Only five months out and I was the likely candidate to talk on shock as it is something I still experience from time to time. I am in a group of women who have all experienced loss and are together to facilitate this workshop for those who are or have gone through loss. It is very sobering to be a part of this group. There are so many broken hearts and sad stories. Many come with red eyes and kleenex stuffed in various pockets or clutched in tight fists. I gently smile at them knowing the pain they feel, the pain of losing someone we love so dearly. The pain of having to say good-bye, some knowing they were going to, suddenly having to, or not having the chance at all. It's pretty sad and overwhelming and heavy on my heart each week. I am glad we are doing it though. Sometimes going through more pain is better and heals more than ignoring it.

So, on to what I am thankful for.

-I am thankful for rocking chairs. Definitely my favorite chair to sit in because they are so soothing and comforting. Reminds me of home and growing up. Hmmmm. Plus, I just found a whole row of them in the Charlotte airport to choose from while I sipped hot chocolate. :)
-I am thankful for my precious, loving, and supportive husband. You have been absolutely wonderful and a great source of comfort and protection. Thank you for choosing me and loving me so well.
-I am thankful for our sweet, sweet daughter, Molly Ann. That she is alive and well, rejoicing in the presence of her King and Savior.
-I am thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. They have come to our aide countless times throughout this valley and it's powerful and humbling to benefit from their loving gestures.
-I am thankful for Jesus, His death on the cross that has paved the way for me to join Him in Heaven forever, and for His truth and promises. "I life my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip--He who watches over you will not slumber." (Psalm 12:1-3)

Waiting for The Day as patiently as I can...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trying to hold back the seasons

A friend sent me an email about the changing of the seasons that prompted me to want to write. It has been 5 months since Molly was born and yet it seems like it was just yesterday. The time has gone by almost without me and I wish it would stop. Stop or hurry up, one of the two. I mentioned in our grief group at the hospital that I feel like it's still June here. There are still warm days here and there and the sun continues to shine like on a hot day. But I've put away my summer clothes and gotten out my sweaters and jeans and warm socks in preparation for the cold weather on its way.

I would chose to skip these days, really. I would chose to skip the holidays that are impending and coming like a freight train. I wish to not think about what I am thankful for, yet I am SO thankful for Molly. I wish to skip Christmas this year as if the empty house and empty nursery seem to mock me and all the hustle of the coming holidays. How can I shop for Christmas presents? Should I buy Molly a stocking to hang next to ours on the mantle? Should I buy her something for Christmas and wrap it for under the tree? It seems so silly, but several times I have almost bought her a little dress, some cute socks, or a sweet blanket. At a Gap outlet a few months ago, Jake and I were searching for something when we came across the baby Gap outlet section. Precious outfits and dresses were paired with cute shoes and tiny hats. Something I wouldn't have thought twice about buying for Molly before she died. I wish I could have gone shopping while she was here, to have been able to buy something for my daughter, just for the simple fact that I could buy it because I was a mommy and I had a daughter to dress and take care of. But I can't. I watch as other moms sift through racks and shelves and hold up a cute dress on their 2 year old or grab a few onesies for their infant. I want that. I want the mundane, yet perfectly wonderful times to drag our kids to Target so that I can get them a new pair of shoes. I want to be the mom who comes by our bakery to get a cookie for her 3 year old who's asking the same question over and over again.

Yes, I would chose to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Unfortunately that's not how life works. Life keeps going even when we don't want it to. It is what it is and I have choice about how I respond. Am I sad? Yes. Am I angry? Sometimes. Am I bitter? No. And I don't want to be bitter because all I have to hold onto is the fact that God is still good even when bad things happen. This message has been hitting home more and more lately. Our pastor at church talked about this yesterday. How God says "no" to our prayers and sometimes he says "wait". God knows what is best for us just like my parents knew when I was little and wanted to play in the street or eat chocolate for every meal. I may never see the reason behind why God took Molly so early. For now, I'm ok with that. I'm not sure I want to know why right now anyway.

So the seasons continue to change around me, but where I am it is still June. Where the sun is shining and my daughter is snuggled up, warm against my heart.