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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 / "He's my little bud"

July 26, 2011 / MY Boys…..

I’ve had so many people ask me about Aaden; I think most people are just curious about a 3 year old’s ability to process what is happening in his life. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t on the top of my list of things to worry about as Thomas’ birth approached. This entire situation is “on the job training”, not one single person can tell you exactly how to handle things that are thrown at you; you just truly have to commit to the job and hold on tight.

Things with Aaden have certainly been touch and go. For the most part he really doesn’t “get it” and for that, I’m grateful. All he knows of his brother is love and one thing is for sure; he loves his baby brudder. My sweet friend Nan left a special gift for Thomas one day, it’s honestly not any more special than the other gifts that have been left except for what came after. I visited my sweet Thomas one day and had to giggle when I walked up to his spot (I cannot bring myself to call it a grave, not even if my life depended on it) and I saw that someone had left a single marble; I was on the phone with Aaron and we both had a good laugh about it. I honestly thought my niece had done it because we were out there the day before and she was distraught that she was the only one that hadn’t brought anything for Thomas. She was so distraught that she walked the cemetery until she found something to give him. She came running up to me saying, “I got this for Thomas!” and when I asked her what it was she said, “I don’t know!”; cute part is, it was a piece of weed eater string that had been discarded by the yard guys. Did we put it on his spot? Yes we did. Anyhow, after that fiasco I really thought my sister had brought her back out there to leave something else but I was wrong. I later found out that Nan’s father, who is buried near Thomas, had a birthday and she was going to pay him a visit. She apparently started frantically searching her house, a house with no small children or grandchildren, for something to bring to Thomas; she found a marble! I love that marble because of where it came from. I love that Nan loves my baby enough to take the time to find something special to bring him. I love how she said she would bring more out there later so Thomas could share with Aaden. About a week ago I was able to bring Aaden out to the cemetery and I told him that I thought Thomas had something for him; he was beside himself! When we got out there he immediately said, “wow, look at the marbles!” Perfect! I said, I bet Thomas would want you to have one of those; in true brother form, he helped himself to two of them and left only one for Thomas. I told him to hang onto those marbles because they are a precious gift from his brother and he promised he would; he was so proud. We loaded up in the car and guess what?! He dropped a marble! He immediately started crying and yelling at me to find it, poor guy. I wasn’t able to find it but he held onto that orange marble for the rest of the day; he kept it safe just like I asked him to. When he brought it to me that night it was warm from being in his pocket all day long and he said, “here mommy, put this somewhere safe”. It sits on his shelf with his model cars and piggy banks; he loves showing it off.

After that trip out there I started thinking it might be a good idea to start having him share with Thomas as well; some of you might find this odd, but, like I said, on the job training here! I talked it over with him this morning and asked him how he felt about taking something to Thomas since Thomas had shared his marbles with him. He wasn’t terribly crazy about taking one of his toys to leave out there but I eventually convinced him that it was only fair since he had gotten to bring home something that was Thomas’. He carefully selected a green car from his giant box of cars and said he wanted to bring that one to his brother; so we did. He and I spent some time out there and he slammed the car on the bear and said, “I don’t think I want to leave it here”. I told him that we would pick a different toy to bring next week and when we make it back out there he could bring the green car back home; that seemed to make him happy. As we were leaving he told Thomas goodbye and that he loved him and we began chatting about him on the way back to the car. We got about half way there and had really stopped talking when I heard him say, “he’s my little bud”. I asked him if he was talking about Thomas and he said, “yep, he’s my buddy.”

I don’t know if I’m doing things right or not. I don’t know if I’m setting him up for more sadness or if I’m providing him something tangible for an abstract situation. I don’t know when he will fully get it and I certainly don’t know how I will handle it when that day comes. One thing I do know is that my boys love each other. I know that I’m raising an amazing child that knows where love comes from. He doesn’t love Thomas because he’s a good boy, he doesn’t love him because he does things for him, he doesn’t love him for any reason other than; he just loves him!

I am a proud mommy of two boys; one is an angel and the other can act like the devil but has a heart that continues to amaze me. Thank you God for my babies!

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 / Some ask me how I do it…….

July 18, 2011 / Some ask me how I do it…….

“This is what the Lord says: Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their heads away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
–Jeremiah 17:5-10
I really had no way to answer this question when people would ask until it hit me yesterday morning in church. Sure, I can say, prayer, God’s help, support of family and friends, blah blah blah; but that didn’t really answer the question of “how do you do it?”. It states explicitly in the bible that those who place their faith in human strength alone will suffer. I can’t say that I have been the best Christian and I will not profess to be that now; what I can say is that I have a deep rooted faith in someone far bigger than myself and THAT is how I get through this. I am in the company, through online venues, of hundreds of moms that have walked the exact path I’m on, along with some that are just starting out; watching them go through this without faith is hard for me. It’s very hard to sit back and say, “God says this, God says that” because I know that’s the last thing they want to hear. It’s also very hard for me to KNOW of a way to ease their pain and have no way to share it with them without stepping on an already damaged soul. God and Christianity seem to be a bit too abstract for many people and I can understand why. Placing your faith in what you cannot see seems absolutely insane, but I am proof that it works. I am proof that God is real and He will literally carry you through times like these.

When you lose a child, it is very tempting to become bitter. It is easy to begin to despise people with healthy babies, especially those idiots that take their babies for granted. It is easy to be mad at God and anyone else in your path. It is easy to sink into the “why me” hole and never come back out. I had to make a choice to rise above all of this. I had to decide for myself that I had plenty of things to live for. When I speak of things to live for please don’t think that I ever considered ending my life; that was never an option or so much as a passing thought. I don’t want to just exist on this earth, I don’t want to look back when Aaden is grown and wish I had pulled myself up and out of the “why me” hole, I don’t want to walk around angry and bitter, I don’t want my skin to crawl when I hear other babies crying; I want to live an abundant life. I have true joy in my heart, not to be mistaken with a careless mindset about losing my baby boy; I still have days where I cry all day long for no other reason than my arms just long for my baby. My point is, I just have a God given joy that will allow me to be happy, with bad days here and there, while I grieve my son.

I have recently encountered people that have not heard our story and when I share it with them my heart breaks; not for me, but for them. I sat with a woman in the break room at VBS and comforted her as she wiped the tears away from her face after hearing of our situation. Part of me wonders what is going through their minds as they sit there crying and I sit with a smile on my face; this is when I typically feel the need to explain myself to them. I try to let people know that we have had our time to grieve and we GRIEVED; now it’s our time to celebrate him for who he is and what he was able to do in his 3 short days on this earth.

We had dinner with friends last night after church and I had the pleasure of holding baby Wyatt through our entire meal! I have spoken of him often throughout my blog, but for those that don’t know who he is; he’s Thomas’ best friend. He was born 2 weeks before Thomas and I cherish each moment I get to spend with him. When I hold him, my mind tends to drift into thoughts of Thomas; I think it’s only natural. He’s built just like Aaden was as a baby so I feel certain that’s exactly how Thomas would be built, he has a beautiful round face and big blue eyes, he’s completely bald like Aaden was and oh so fat! I know that Wyatt is Wyatt, but for me, he’s a reminder of the precious life I lost and what he would have been like. I share this with you because I read of so many women that can’t even bring themselves to be around another baby, much less hold them for hours; it is not of my own doing that I find joy in Wyatt, that’s God for ya!

I feel the need to include this disclaimer:

I, in no way, feel I’m better than anyone. I recognize that I do not always live my life the way I should. I am well aware that, at times, a perfect stranger would not be able to tell if I’m a Christian or not. I do occasionally let my mouth speak before my mind thinks. I have my flaws, tons of them, so please do not think I’m trying to preach to you. I just wanted to share the real reason I’m able to get through this, one day at a time; it has nothing to do with ME, it has everything to do with my faith that God will carry me to the next day.

Aaden, almost 3 months old

Wyatt, a little over 2 months old

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011 / The Boy is missing his brother…..

July 10, 2011 / The Boy is missing his brother…..

We have had a very full day to say the least; up bright and early for church, then lunch, then back to church to prepare for a week of bible school; loads of fun but I’m wiped out! As I was doing our nightly routine, if that’s what you want to call it, it came down to story time so I piled into the racecar bed with both kids and Mia (the dog) to begin the story process. Aaden always sits in my lap but since Kamryn is here with us this weekend I have to make one sit on each side of me so there’s no fighting and Aaden did something a little different tonight. He grabbed his Baby Thomas doll and sat him in his lap for story time; he has never done that before. I finished all FOUR books and we all said our goodnights, gave out kisses and Kamryn took off for her bed overly excited about bible school in the morning. I was trying to get Aaden settled in, which includes getting Mia settled right next to him and Baby Thomas laying on his chest. I covered him and Baby Thomas up and went to kiss him and he fussed at me and said, “don’t cover up Baby Thomas, he’s not cold!” So I uncovered him and Aaden got a somewhat sad look on his face and said, “this isn’t Baby Thomas.” When I asked him who it was then, he answer, “it’s just a baby”. Broke my heart! So I asked him to tell me where Baby Thomas was if that wasn’t him and he said, “he’s at the Dr., can I go see him?” I tried to explain to him that he’s not, in fact, at the Dr but that he was living with Jesus and he wanted no part of that explanation. He started yelling at me saying, “he’s at the big Dr., you were there with him, I want to see the big Baby Thomas” (I guess he’s calling him big because he is big compared to his baby doll) “he’s my brother mommy, I want to see him”. I moved my head behind him so he couldn’t see me crying and couldn’t come up with any explanation to offer an innocent 3 year old that’s tired of pretending that a baby doll is his brother and talking to a giant piece of granite at a hot cemetery. I know people are going to say, “it’s ok to cry in front of him, he needs to see that you get upset, blah blah blah”; it’s not ok when the topic I’m sobbing over is too abstract for him to wrap his tiny mind around! He doesn’t get that we buried his brother, he doesn’t get that he’s never going to get to see him again this side of Heaven, he doesn’t get that I’m sad because my arms are empty and longing to hold him and his brother at bedtime and my heart literally hurts because a piece of it is missing; in his mind, his brother is still sitting at the Dr. and we clearly should be visiting him. Just when I thought we had somehow protected him from this heartache, I’m proven wrong. I talked with other parents that had children around Aaden’s age when their babies were born and passed; they all claimed that their children have no recollection of the baby they lost but Aaden clearly does. He remembers him vividly, part of me is thankful for that and part of me hurts for him.

I am hurting for my boy tonight because it seems to just be really dawning on him that someone is missing from our family and that someone is supposed to be a huge part of his life.

Now I will pull myself together and refocus on the upcoming week of bible school with my kids! They’re both super pumped and I’d be lying if I said I’m not equally as excited!!