Monday, October 24, 2011

Trying to Get Lost.

If memory serves me correctly, today was my due date with Asher. Or maybe it was the 28th?? Ask my mother-in-law, she will know. She remembers every date of every thing that ever happens (it's like a super-power.) I can't remember because I don't put a lot of stock in due dates..... and so I wasn't super focused on a day as much as I was a block of time. This is when everyone around me started getting nervous....... somehow they all knew something wasn't right. But not me. I was basking in the glow of my son. I distinctly remember how very nervous Nolan, my mom, and Nolan's dad - Jim were. They had no real reason to be.... I was feeling fine, Asher was acting fine, the ultrasound I had the Monday before I had him said everything was perfect.
These last few weeks have been hard. I feel angry and sad and happy all at the same time. Having these intense emotions has caused me to start shutting down emotionally. I can detach emotionally and go into autopilot mode if I need to. However........ at some point during the week it all comes crashing down and I  am a mess for hours. Last Saturday I started to drive home from my in-laws, but instead drove way, way out into the country. I drove for almost an hour down narrow country roads trying to get as lost as possible (I cannot get lost, even when I try). I just kept driving. I kept thinking that I wanted to go somewhere that wanted me. I didn't want to be with people...... people need something from you...... and i had nothing left to give. But heaven didn't want me, if it did I'd be dead. My empty house didn't want me. I had been a wreck to be around all day and felt like my family didn't want (to be around) me. So I just kept driving. Who wants an emotionally volatile, grieving, exhausted, pregnant woman????? I wondered, and wondered: mentally and physically. The sun was to my back and it lit the dry corn and bean fields with that long, golden autumn light, which hints at the cold winter to come. I turned down every road I could turn on - purposely not looking at the road signs. Eventually I came to a tiny, old church with a small, old cemetery right next to it. At first I was going to go into the church.... but then the weather-beaten headstones of the oldest graves began to beacon me. They said, "We want you. Come see us." It's so difficult to describe..... part of me is buried in the ground with Asher. Part of me will never be satisfied with this life, always longing to go to my real home, my forever home. And part of me is in every cemetery that I pass. I know that an untold number of tears have been shed in each one. I know the sane insanity of disbelief when standing over a tombstone you picked out and paid for. I know the draw to walk near the body of the one you put in the ground.
As I walked around reading about those who had been buried I gravitated toward the back where the really old graves were. I discovered among them a sad, and terrible trio. The headstones told the story of 2 little girls and a baby boy from from the year 1834. I like the way they marked the stones back then. Nanny Cull died August 27. 1 year, 3 days. 1834. Next to her was her twin sister who died the next day. And next to her was their 12 day old brother who died one week later. So a mother gives birth to a son, 5 days later both of her twin daughters are dead, and a week after that so is her son. Three babies in the ground in less than 2 weeks. Did she loose her mind?? Did she ever have any other children?? What happened?? Who held her hand as she stood exactly where I was 177 years ago?
I left soon after my discovery. Knowing that others have stood where I was and cried and were angry too was helpful. I am not the first mother to loose her baby to an early grave, and I will not be the last. I got in my car and drove back to my in-laws..... never did get lost.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"I Miss My Brother, Asher"

Tonight I held my baby girl while she sobbed into my chest. She said, "I miss Asher. I miss my brother, Asher. Can't Jesus give him back to me??" Don't tell me children don't understand death and loss. Don't tell me their little hearts aren't broken.
I told her we will see Asher again when we go to heaven. She said, "I don't want to wait, Momma. I miss Asher."
Me either, Baby, me either.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When I Need to Laugh......

Some days I just need to laugh. I go in search of whatever sorts of things I can drown out the noise of the day in and just let out a hearty-har-har. There are lots of things I do...... without further ado (in no particular order).

Number One. Awkward Family Photos. Many of you already know about this little gem.... go ahead spend an hour. Giggle.

Number Two. People of Walmart. Now, I also recommend actually GOING to a Wal-mart just to people-watch. It's free and entertaining.

                    Also this related classic. Enjoy.

Number Three. Call grandma. Give the phone to your toddler. Sit back and listen. Good for at least 30mins of entertainment....... maybe more if there is a grandpa in the room near the grandma. :) This also works well as free childcare if you have a chore around the house that needs done and you need your toddler to be entertained.

Number Four. Watch old reruns of The Cosby Show. You'll thank me later. Also watch Psych. Very funny.

Number Five. My husband works with all men. All these men tell him dirty-ish jokes. Occasionally he'll tell me one or two. And it makes me laugh. He told me one this very morning. No! I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to ask your OWN husband to tell you dirty jokes.

Number Six. Swap "Poop" stories with other moms of toddlers.

Number Seven. Swap "Crazy Huge Mess" stories with other moms of toddlers.
     (These last two also work well if you have children of any age with other moms.)

Number Eight. Get out your mom's wedding pics from the 80's or later. Again, you'll thank me later. Also ask her for Prom pics. : ) (I realize some of you who read this ARE the ones who are IN these golden-oldies pics..... but the rest of us just can't help but laugh.)

Number Nine. Find a teenager. Ask them to tell you about high school. This time with my brother and sister make me laugh so much.

Number TEN!!!! Think of all the funny things your toddler does.
  Example. Vera comes to me holding a new block of soap with a rubber duck stuck in the middle that she received from her Aunt Emily. I'm on the phone with my mom.
Vera (standing and staring at me): "Mom. I need a tell you sumpin. I tinken'."
Me (slightly confused, but she's so darn cute anyway): "Ok, honey, you just keep on thinking. Thats a good job." I continue to talk to my mom.
Vera (stands next to my chair for another 30-45 seconds): "Mooommmm, I said I tinken'!!!!!! Can you put me in a baff wiff my new soap???"
Me: "OH! You STINK and you want a bath! (then between laughter) Ok, go take your clothes off. I'll start the water."

Try some of these if you need a good laugh. Get your endorphins flowing. Laughter induced belly ache guaranteed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Surrender All

   I was reminded this morning of a hymn we sang at Asher's funeral. I asked for it to be sung after my sister-in-law told me she had been singing it and praying for us. She said she was asking God to help us surrender everything we had dreamed of for our son. All our hopes and wishes, all the good and blessing we had anticipated. Before her note I had never looked at this song in this light. I had always thought of surrendering the bad things..... the unhappy memories. Or surrendering the life I have now for a better one  in Christ. It never occurred to me to think of surrendering my right to blessing and joy in place of God's sovereign will, in place of suffering.
   I sat next to my husband and while other's sang Nolan and I sobbed along with our families on both sides. I know that was one of the times the Holy Spirit prayed for me because I could not pray..... I could only sob.
   I got a fresh lesson on surrendering on Saturday. Nolan and I spent the day celebrating our belated 4th anniversary (It was really on Thursday). He went hunting in the morning while I finished up some homework, then we went out for lunch. After lunch we drove to the cemetery together for the first time since Asher's funeral. I held my dear Honey's hand as we walked around looking at the headstones of many new and old (some as old as 1943) baby graves until finally we came to our own baby. I had to surrender it all again. I cried into Nolan's shirt as I have so many other times this past year. He held my hand as we walked back to the car and barely choked out, with a lump-in-your-throat voice, "That sucks." Which is not something we say in jest or lightly anymore.....

These are a few pictures of his headstone that Nolan picked out. Every time I look at it I think of how much thought Nolan put into picking this one. And how he made sure to get one that had a vase because he knew I would want to bring flowers out there. I took these on the day I wrote the Cornflowers and Queen Anne's Lace post back in July.

   The second stanza of I Surrender All is the one (for now) I most identify with and it goes like this:
             All to Jesus I surrender;
                Humbly at His feet I bow,
                Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
               Take me, Jesus, take me now.

               I surrender all,
               I surrender all;
              All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
               I surrender all.

A few days ago my sister-in-law (she's so wise) sent me a link to another blog. This particular post was about cutting the bungee cords of the past so you can live in the now and not be continually bounced backward. I have been thinking about this and I know that I want to really live in the now. But I also know it is not as simple as just "cutting the bungee cords". I think it has more to do with surrendering. Surrendering my sadness...... my pain...... my longing to hold on to every little detail of Asher. And surrendering my fear of the future. It's easier, in a way, to live in the past. I already know what happened.... nothing to surprise me and turn my world upside-down again. I don't know what tomorrow holds or next year or in 10 years. I guess I will just keep surrendering and ask for the strength and courage to live in today. In His presence I daily live.