Friday, April 29, 2011

Mother's Day

I think I need to start out by talking about Easter. The very first Easter that is. The Bible says that Mary (the mother of Jesus) and Mary Magdalene went early to Jesus' tomb on the morning of the third day after Jesus was killed. Early. Thats what it says. I've never given it a second thought until this Easter. I know why they went early. Mary - his mom - cried herself to sleep. Curled in a ball in bed, wondering how all this could have happened; finally falling, exhausted, into sleep, but waking every hour or so. Eventually she gave up on sleep and started gathering up spices and incense to take with her to the tomb. She woke Mary Magdalene who wasn't sleeping well either, and asked her friend to please come with her because she didn't want to go alone. Then Mary - mom - broke down into tears and the other Mary held and cried with her till that episode ended. Both heartbroken. They finished getting ready and started out the door. They both swallowed hard as they rounded the curve toward the burial tombs but determinedly kept walking. Each sniffling and wiping tears with their hankies. As they drew near they could see the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. Surely not they thought. Surely no one would dare disturb this tomb. But..... wait! They realized, with shock and horror, the stone really has been rolled away. Then they started to run. Running toward that tomb wondering what could be going on. Stumbling into the cave-like tomb, out of breath, they frantically looked around searching for Jesus' body. But it was no where to be found. Mary - mom - spun around looking out of the tomb, angry, hoping to spot the thieves. She was ready to lung at them. Kick them, bite them, fight until they left his mangled, injured body and left. How dare they!? He's already dead, what more could they want!? But she saw nothing and no one. Spinning around again to stare at the spot where he had been lain, an amazing sight filled her eyes. Two angles, one at each end of the sepulcher. They asked her why she was looking for the living among the dead. He whom thou seekest is alive!

(The reason the Bible doesn't include all this is because it was written by a man. This is not a bad thing, men just think and write differently than women.)

-- At least that is how I imagine it...... If I were ever to come upon Asher's grave and see someone had dug up his grave and took him out of the casket I would hunt them down like a wild animal. And then to be told that her Son was alive.... why, I'm sure she almost didn't believe it.

This Easter I think it finally hit home that my son, also, is alive. I won't have the pleasure of knowing him here on Earth, but I will go to him one day. I will stand in the presence of Jesus with my son. What a thought. How my heart sings when I remember God's promise of eternal life.

And yet, event thought I believe it, today was hard. Today I thought about Mother's Day (May 8th). Last year on Mother's Day was the first time I felt Asher move. 4am Mother's Day morning. I was hungry, so I got up to eat. I was 14wks along and I felt a strong flutter, and then another. Today I thought about how I will not sit in church on Mother's Day with both my babies. And I will watch all the other moms...... and I will feel a pang of jealousy because I am still human; and knowing God's promises does not make me less human. And I will remember all the other moms who have children in heaven, and wonder if they, like I, will privately shed a few tears that day.

Parts of this song - esp. the refrain and the end. - resonate deep in me. "Life's like and hourglass glued to the table.... just breathe."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Climbing the Mountain

I almost didn't sleep at all last night - 3 hours. It was a combination of several things.... anxiety over the coming counseling session, the wild wind and lightening and thunder all last night and a toddler who crawled into my bed around 2:45am. But I did get up this morning with gusto and a determined spirit. The gusto came after the coffee. When my alarm when off I spent the first 20 mins of my day listening to some old-timey gospel songs and praying. That was the first good move of the day. The second was oatmeal. You can never have enough oatmeal. I got Vera up and into some clothes and packed her bag for Mamaw and Papaw's house. They were delighted to keep her this morning. Mamaws and Papaws = awesomeness.

The drive down there was a bit nerve wracking. I've never been to any type of therapy before and had only Hollywood visions in my head.  -"And how do you feel about that?"-   I was skeptical to say the least.  I could tell Nolan was a tad nervous and I was all ramped up on over-sleeplessness and jitters.We bickered just a smidge. I thought I would easily tell our story to this stranger who had come highly recommend. But it wasn't me that opened up initially. It was Nolan.

He was able to quickly get to the nuts and bolts of the issues. Our counselor had us do some communication exercises. We sad face to face and talked. And listened. It was insightful to learn how to listen to one another and actually figure out the intent behind what we were saying. He also gave us some insight into how we are grieving differently. On the whole it was very healing to have a trained 3rd party help us figure each other out. And I'm sure we'll go back for more.

Thank you to everyone who was and has been continuously praying for us. We love you all so much for this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Too Close to the Mountain to See the Son

Sunday night I had a breakdown. Not a normal breakdown..... the kind where Nolan locked the guns up for fear I would take my own life. My dad asked me what caused this..... I told him I didn't really know. And I still don't. He said, "Well you had me fooled.... I thought you were doing really great." "I'm a pro pretender," I said. All I know is that everything felt out of control. I lost all hope for a second and I couldn't see the light. I think I told my mom that "Nothing will ever get better. I'm going to hurt forever." Right at that moment I really believed it. I don't feel that way, sitting here now. Utter loss of hope is a scary thing. The only hope I felt was that if I died, I would see Asher again. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and something Chris Fabry said struck me. He was talking about how his church was trying to decide what time to have their Easter Sunrise Service. He said that part of the church wanted to have it at 6:30 am which is the actual time for the sun to rise in his part of the country. However, the other half of the church wanted to wait till 6:40 because his town is behind the mountains. While the sun actually rises at 6:30, no one can see it behind the mountains until a few minutes later. He made the point that sometimes in life we are so close to the mountain that we can't see the sun/Son. That is how I felt on Sunday. Too close to the mountain to see the Son.

 I have always been hard on people who have suicidal thoughts. How selfish, how ridiculous. But I was convinced that everyone around me would be just fine, if not better off, without me to worry about. I was convinced that the only way to beat this hurt was to take my life. I am finding out more and more how utterly, wretchedly human I am and how much I need a big God. A God who sees past the now, but sits in it with me anyway.

I am desperately trying to walk my talk. I have wondered so many times why would a good God make me a mother but not make me able to save my son. But God isn't just good. He is Holy and everlasting and perfect and able. His ways are not my ways. God is also mysterious. I once told Nolan that when people try to reconcile God's sovereignty with His choice to allow us free will that they strip God of his mystery. It must also hold true that trying to untangle God's goodness from His allowance of evil in this present world strips Him of His mystery. I fully believe we can know God, but we can never know everything about God. He is too infinite.

So please keep praying for me, for us. For Nolan to be strong and courageous as he deals not only with his own grief.... but with mine, apparently, as well. For me that I will accept Gods plan and be able to rejoice in it. For Vera that she'll not be warped by all the nutty-ness inside me.

Also, Nolan called a counselor who specializes in marriage and grief. We are going to see him tomorrow at 8a.m. Please pray that something he says will help us.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Emptiness and Uselessness

Last night was bad. Last night I cried myself to sleep. I am so tired of going to bed only to lay there and fight the anger and sadness from the day. I'm sick of fighting this living nightmare. I prayed so often that God would never take any of my children before me. My love for them so hard and fierce and deep and wide that I truly thought I would need to put into a mental hospital were I ever to lay one beneath the sod. And now my grief is just as hard and fierce and deep and wide.
Last night I longed for someone to hold me. I almost called several people, but the only person I really wanted to be there was Nolan. And he's never home to calm my fears at night because of his job. A man told him 2 years ago that he needed to get a different job, a daytime job, "Because", he said, "Working nights will destroy your family. It destroyed mine." We work so hard to keep our marriage together. Every couple does, but our particular struggles have a lot to do with his schedule. I am finding that I need him more and more at night, yet find myself alone.
Last night was a night when my arms ached with emptiness and my breasts burned with uselessness. Those things that were so tiring and tedious with Vera (nighttime nursing/walking the floor with a grumpy baby/sleeplessness ect) now seem like a privilege. Gone now is the feeling that I will wake from this nightmare. I lived in a state of shock for about 3 months where at times I honestly thought I would wake up, and it would all be a bad dream. I don't live there now. I know Asher is never coming back. Never. Never. Never. I am just so tired of fighting the sadness. I'm sick of putting on a happy face everyday when all I want to do is get in bed and never get out again. I'm tired of this reality. I'm angry that I even have to fight this fight. I get irrationally angry when a polite stranger says, "How are you?" I want to scream back "I'M GREAT! I'M F-ING GREAT! MY SON IS DEAD. HE DIED INSIDE ME - BUT I'M GREAT!!!!!" But thats not a very Christian thing to do. So of course I never do. I spend my days extending grace to everyone around me when all I want to do is cuss and scream and act like a fool. Maybe I do need to be in a mental hospital.
Vera walks around the stores some days singing "My bay-bee dieee!!!! My bay-bee dieeee!!!!!" Passersby stare at us as if we are the Adams family. Some times I sing quietly along.