Sunday, January 15, 2012

5 long months

My sweet princess Eva,
It's been 5 long months since you left us to go home.  You would be 15 months old today. There are babies who are older now than you were when you died who were younger than you in August.  It hurts to see them growing up when you are forever my unchanging daughter.
I have a necklace with your picture on it.  It's beautiful. Your brothers kiss it sometimes.   I wish they were kissing you instead. I wish I did not have this stupid necklace and that you were safely sleeping in your crib. We all miss you so much.
Today has just been so hard.  I feel like my heart has been ripped out afresh.  I bought Heaven is For Real for kids on Friday at Shepherd's Fold.  I do so hope that Heaven really is like that.  I hope that Moses is purring in your lap.  My heart aches at not getting to hold you and especially not getting to rub my lips against your downy hair.  All I have is what we snipped off at the hospital and put in a baggie. 
We went to church today and we sang a song that I can't remember the name of but that I love, I think it's In Christ Alone.  One of the lines goes  From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus controls my destiny. I always think when I hear those lines how short your life was, from first cry to final breath...but still Jesus did control your destiny, and mine, and now you are there with Him.  I don't grieve for you.  I know you are happy.  I grieve for me.  I grieve selfishly.  I want you here with me.
There will be a baby dedication at the church sometime soon.  I read it in the bulletin and it made me sooo sad.  It is one of the things that I regret so much, that we never had you dedicated.  We couldn't fit it in before Brian left for Germany and by the time he came back you were in Heaven...We could have done it at the hospital but I didn't think you would die before Brian came back. And then you did.
I replay your last moments over and over again.  How could this happen to my sweet baby girl?  Eva, Eva, Eva...did you hear me as I screamed your name in your ear over and over again or were you already in the arms of an angel? 
I won't go to the baby dedication when it happens.  I will be able to do nothing but cry as I watch the two babies on the stage where there should have been three.  I feel like such a bad mother that I wasn't able to protect you enough to keep you here.  What kind of mother lets their child die in front of their eyes?  I did everything I could, but everything I could wasn't good enough, and still you died.
Every night I go to sleep and pray that God would let me dream of you so that I could at least hold you in my dreams....every night I do not dream of you.  If only I could hold you in my dreams...if only I could see that you were okay in my dreams...but dreams...only wishes.
5 long months of wishes that can't come true.  5 long months of wishing for you.  5 long months of crying for you. 5 long months of hurting.  5 long months of being stretched so far I thought I would snap.  5 long months of breathing without seems like a miracle that I am able to breathe without you. 
I love you so much my sweet Eva. I miss you so much.
Always your mama...always.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

hoping for Hope.

Sometime between Christmas and New Year`s  I was reading my bible and I prayed, Lord, please just give me a little Hope.  I opened the bible randomly a couple of times, hoping that He would have a passage just right for me...He didn`t.  I gave up and just went to my bookmark in Romans.  These are the words the Lord gave to me.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character; hope. (Romans 5:3&4)

He had the words just waiting for me.  I`m not sure how to glory in this tribulation.

I am not the same person I was before August 15th 2011.  I am more compassionate and less compassionate.  My tears flow more freely than they ever have before, for others and for myself. I often vascillate between where I am now and how my life journey is turning out to be so much different than I ever anticipated and how I so miss those innocent, hopeful days when all my children were alive. I miss my daughter so excruciatingly and only God knows where this will lead me...I dare not hope for Hope...yet I do because hope does not dissapoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5)  Meanwhile, I leave you with the words of someone much more talented than I and with the longing and hope of seeing my daughter again.

Resignationfrom The Seaside and the Fireside
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,
But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient!  These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven’s distant lamps.

There is no Death!  What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.

She is not dead,–the child of our affection,–
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection,
And Christ himself doth rule.

In that great cloister’s stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin’s pollution,
She lives, whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air;
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,
Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives,
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For when with raptures wild
In our embraces we again enfold her,
She will not be a child;

But a fair maiden, in her Father’s mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace;
And beautiful with all the soul’s expansion
Shall we behold her face.

And though at times impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest,–

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay;
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Good bye Moses the Cat.

Good bye Moses the cat.

Moses came into our lives in October 2004.  We had no children.  I was in my 3rd/4th year of university and there was an ad on a bulletin board.  Free Cat!  Moses came with a litter box that we still have, was neutered and declawed (cruel, but kinda nice for us, actually).  Moses' name was Mojo...we preferred suited him and we later joked we would get two more cats or dogs or whatever and name them Aaron and Myriam...

Mike did not really want a cat.

When I came home with Moses I told Mike we only had to keep him one week and if he still didn't want a cat I'd actively try to find him a home.  When I opened the cat carrier, Moses bolted under the couch...a few minutes later Mike was on his hands and knees trying to coax him out...and the rest, as they say, is history.

Anyway, the weeks turned into months and years, as they are apt to do and Samuel came along.  One funny thing I remember so clearly is a time when Samuel was about 4 months old (and weighed roughly the same as a large male cat). Samuel fell asleep on Mike's chest...Mike fell asleep too.  Samuel awoke and after I picked him up was quickly replaced on said chest by Moses the cat...Mike twitched and Moses leaped!  Mike leaped after him....thinking it was Samuel jumping off his chest...I'll never forget the look on Mike's face! 

The years bumbled along and we added Vincent, Theodore and Eva to our family.  Moses was always the perfect cat for children...didn't take endless beatings but never defended himself too much either, just removed himself from the situation with dignity...sometimes he bit the rougher kiddos but never broke the skin.  Moses' favourite spot to sleep was on Mike's chest...just like all the other kids in this house.

This past summer Moses got less and less attention as we all rallied around Eva...nonetheless he never held a grudge and when Mike was available, Moses was there, purring away. 

Today I went to town with the kids.  When we came home Moses was lying in his usual spot on our bed.  He did not move when I came in and his eyes were open in a weird way.  I touched him and still no response...

It is with sorrow that we bid adieu to another loved member of our family.  There are various opinions as to whether cats go to Heaven, and while I do not know the answer to this question and the bible does not make it really clear I know that I serve an awesome God and I know that God knows when even a sparrow falls and God takes care of His creation...a nice thought is that maybe Moses the cat is hiding in the bushes while Eva dances by...

*I have tried for the past hour to upload a picture of Moses, to no avail...I am giving up and going to bed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year! Happy New Year?  These words are said with so little thought....what is a happy new all reality our year will have joy and sorrow.  In January, 2011 I wished everyone a Happy New Year...little did I know it would be the worst year of my life...I hope.  Now, I'm almost afraid to wish anyone a Happy New Year...what if this year is just as bad for you as last year was for me?  I'm afraid to say congratulations to my pregnant friends...what if their baby dies too? 
I've been reading the bible alot lately and somewhere in James he admonishes us not to say that we will be somewhere or do something at such and such a time...we should really say we will do such and such, if the Lord wills...if the Lord wills.  If I were talking about Eva I would have prayed that she live (here on earth) if the Lord wills...that can only mean that the Lord didn't will Eva should live here with me...I am trying to incorporate, if the Lord wills into my daily life...but how do you say congratulations to your pregnant friend...if the Lord wills...surely I will be running out of friends soon.  Happy New Year, if the Lord wills.

If the Lord wills...why didn't the Lord will?  The answer to this question is one I will never know this side of Heaven yet I must believe it was the Lord's will that she go home to Him on August 15th 2011...

Tonight at supper Samuel was telling me all about how he was going to die before it was his time to die...before me.  He said then I would cry and cry and wouldn't even drive anywhere...I said he was right, I would cry and cry.  He is so inquisitive about everything and did Cain get killed after he killed Abel (no...why not? he killed his brother, he should be killed too).  Samuel can't wait to get to Heaven and play with Eva again but he also wants to grow up and have a little girl and name her Eva so I'm hoping he's not being prophetic when he says that he's going to die before me.  One child dead before me is too many...the nice thing about the passing of time is that I am one day closer to seeing Eva many days Lord, how many days?

I just finished up reading 40 weeks by Paige Beselt (thank you Arlene) and somewhere in there she says that she had these misconceptions about Heaven is the second choice when we pray for healing.  I had to stop and stare and cry when I read that....yes, Eva is healed in Heaven...her heart is completely whole and she is not on any drugs and no one is giving her a needle or forcing her to take meds 5 times a day...she is healed...but still I miss her.  I miss her gummy smile and I cry when I remember that she had just a little bit of one bottom tooth poking through when she died...that tooth would never grow even though it was there, perfectly formed, waiting to grow. How many teeth would she have now? How many teeth does she actually have now, in Heaven?