"Everyday holds the possibility of a Miracle."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Facing the Holidays

I had someone ask me this week how we were doing with the Holidays coming.  They asked because they knew from others who had lost a loved one that the Holidays could be especially hard.  And, I won't deny it - they are.  And they are for a multitude of reasons, especially this one.  I find myself doing today, what I told myself I was not going to do - facing the six month anniversary of Ethan's death and thinking about how old he would have been and what he would have been doing if God had allowed him to be healthy.  I chose early on to tell myself that God only wanted Ethan here for the short time that he was and that he did the "work" he was here to do and so he never would have made the developmental milestones one at a time.  But, that is easier said than done.  Holidays are and always have been for families.  They are a time to come together, celebrate each other and enjoy being with each other, and we find ourselves this Holiday, for the second Holiday in a row missing a member of our family.  Last year as I anticipated getting out the Christmas tree I performed our annual Christmas tradition of purchasing a new ornament for each child - something that holds a memory of the past year.  Last year, I purchased a little fairy for our baby "Faith" we miscarried.  And this year, I found a "snug as a bug" baby ornament for Ethan.  And as I set up the tree this weekend, I will place both of their ornaments along side the growing numbers of their brother's.  That is the hard part of the Holidays knowing that we are missing two precious ones, that our arms long to hold, and our lips long to kiss.  It is a strange experience living with our family in two different places - knowing the ones we can see now, and longing for the ones we will see again someday.  As we face the Holidays we get through the longing, the sometimes forced smiles, and brush away the tears in our quiet moments only by the knowledge in our hearts that there WILL BE a Holiday when we will ALL be together - when we all fly away, oh what a Holiday that will be!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Give Thanks....anyway

The season of Thanksgiving is approaching, and as I find myself preparing for the early Thanksgiving that one side of our family will be celebrating I am dreading the annual "go around the table and say what you are thankful for that year" ritual.  Sure, there is a lot to be grateful for, and we do have a lot of blessings, but that doesn't mean that it is easy to say to a God who is doing things in your life that you do not understand and who seems to want to be quiet, Thank You.  I was told recently that even though I do not feel complete gratitude for God and all that he has allowed to happen in our lives this past year, I must say "Thank you" anyway.  How do I do that?  How do I say thank you: for blindsiding us with the death of our son, for not moving your hand, for allowing our family to go through the financial hardships that have followed, for the broken hearts, for the hopeless future, for the endless sleepless nights, for the pain, for the tears of my two living children, for the fears that you will take them from us too, for the lack of direction, for the feelings of guilt/pain/fear/abandonment, and for the shattered dreams.  How do we say thank you to a God the Father that we don't feel very much "fatherly" love from?  How do we say thank you to the Friend who it feels has abandoned us in our greatest hour of need?  I have tried, I have tried to say thank you for the blessings God have given and I know in my heart that there are many - He has seen us through.  I know that.  I know that it is only by his strength that I continue to live every day through the pain and shattered hopes and dreams.  But I can't get the words to come out of my mouth.  Because while I know He has blessed us and I believe that He is here (even though I can't feel the evidence of that right now) - I am hurt and angry for the part of our journey God has allowed us to travel these past two years.  And, it goes beyond the two years, there have definitely been more bumps, holes, and valleys in our journey in the past 10 years then times of joy.  So I find myself trying to be happy, stating belief and thankfulness that I am not sure I really feel, when all I want to do right now is scream: "why have you abandoned me?".  Someday I pray that I can look back on this time and see how we have gotten through, find the evidence of a reason, but right now as I face a season of Thanksgiving I find myself struggling to be thankful......anyway.