Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How I know............

Many people struggle with the concept of God, I did myself, and who can wonder why? God is mind boggleing! How do we wrap our heads around a loving, father figure, all powerful God who breathed the world into existance and counted and named each star personally before placing it gingerly in the sky? How to we begin to understand how this same God breathed life into each of us and knew our names and life stories before we were ever even thought of by our parents on earth? How do we digest that He can forgive anything, ANYTHING, and that he loves us all the same as he did Jesus? Thats a lot to take in.

But I know its true.

I know He is very real, and is love and grace and mercy are absolute.

I know it because I'm living it.

I feel it each and every day when I wake up and when I go to bed.

Many people wonder how I can believe in and trust in God after losing Everett and after having so many prayers go unanswered. What I don't know is how to tell them that for those very reasons I believe in God. Because I lost Everett and had unanswered prayers, I believe in God. Because I felt pain so severe I thought it might kill me. Because I cried so many tears I thought I might dry up inside. Because I felt loneliness so deep I felt hollow inside, I believe in God.

Because he eased my pain.

Dried my tears.

And promised I am never alone.

He is faithful. And since opening my mind and my heart, and telling my brain that I don't need to understand it all, God has blessed me and my family time and time again with his love and mercy and kindness, and second chances, and love in abundance.

I miss my baby, deeply and constantly, and if I could have him back right now you can bet I would jump at the chance to do so.

But I can't.

But I have Elvis, and Avery and Landon.

I have my parents and sisters.

My precious nephew.


Cousins and their kids.

My inlaws, so many inlaws, sisters, brothers, parents, and nieces and nephews.

I have friends, online and in real life.

I have God.

I have comfort and love and faith and eventually I'll have Heaven.

How could I not believe.

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of Everett's passing. Being that we were in NYC and very busy, I didn't have time to fall to pieces. From time to time I wanted to. I felt the tears rise up behind my eyes and I felt my heart grow heavy. But I made it from sun up to sun down without falling to pieces and I feel okay about that. There was a time when I NEEDED to crumble and drown myself in tears, but now I have something to hold on to when the sadness comes, because I no longer wonder where Everett is, nor do I worry if I will see him again, because 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says

"And regarding the questions, friends, that has come up about those already dead and burried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to [no hope], as if the grave were the last word."

The most precious thing God has given me, aside from comfort and salvation, is hope.

Something to look forward to, that non believers just don't have. I have the hope of a sweet reunion one day, which keeps me going each and every time my heart breaks again and I want to fall to pieces.

I know He is real, and I am so thankful for Him and the blessings he doles out, at not cost to me at all.


Monday, December 7, 2009

The unhappiest anniversary......

Its been two years since we said goodbye to Everett.

Two years since our world imploded.

Two years since our hearts broke into a million pieces.

And it feels like yesterday.

I can still remember how it felt to leave Sick Kids without Everett, to have to hand him back over to the nurse and leave him, and to know that the next time I saw him, it would be at his funeral.

I can still rememeber picking out what he would wear for his funeral, picking out what he would wear for the very first, and very last time. I can remember sitting across from the funeral director at his desk, with tears flowing so hard and fast I couldn't see through them, like right now.

I can't believe its been two years since I had both my boys together. Two years since my world felt right and made sense. Two years since I felt like I wasn't a statistic or the worst case scenario. Two years since my family was whole.

We're in NYC visiting family today, and I can't decide if the distraction is good or not. I can't decide if its good that I can't dive right into all the hurt and sadness and remembering, because I feel like I should, I feel like I need to. I feel like I need to devote this time to hurting and missing him, but I can't because we're staying with family and supposed to be having fun and making this time special.

I don't want to drag them down.

I don't want Elvis to hurt if he's not already hurting.

I don't want to confuse my kids.

But I want to crawl into a whole and just let it come. And then maybe be done for the day. rather then delay the inevitable and fall apart later.

Two years feels like two minutes.

I still want my baby back more then anything.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nearly two years ago....

The day is fast approaching. This time two years ago, we knew we were in the midst of the fight for Everett's life, and we knew we were losing it. Whether we wanted to admit it or not, we knew any efforts made at this point were last ditch efforts. The writing was on the wall. And the butterfly was on the IV pole.

The pretty, gauzy butterfly dangling from the IV pole. The unspoken signal that this baby wasn't going to make it. They didn't want to say that's what it was, and they didn't need to. "We know to sign the butterfly when we see it" says it all really. And then there was the lady who came to cast his foot, without a word to us from the nurses she was coming, we hadn't asked, but she was summoned none the less, to create a momento for us, because everyone knew his battle was nearly lost.

We knew it, but we couldn't accept it. We knew it was over, and we knew that as soon as we let go, he would go, but we could not face it. Instead we prayed, we retreated to quiet rooms and corridors and bathrooms at Sick Kids and prayed and pleaded that God would heal him, and that we wouldn't have to actually say goodbye. And we whispered in Everett's ear, encouraging words, and desperate words, and I begged him to stay with me, I begged him not to go.

The day before he died, we spent the day with Landon, clinging to the last little bit of hope we had, that he was having a day of rest after another proceedure, and when we returned, we'd have good news, and he will have turned a corner and all would be well.

The next day we sat at his bedside during a routine head ultrasound, and we read the look on the ultrasound technicians face, crystal clear. It was over. "I'll go talk to your Dr. he'll be over to see you". The Dr's face said it too, and he refered us to yet another Dr. who explained to us what we already knew, because we knew what they were looking for. He confirmed to us that Everett had a brain bleed, a side effect of his ECMO, which was saving his life and taking it all at once.

Later that day, we called family to his bedside, and had him baptized, and then we took him off his life support and we held our breath waiting to see if he would breath on his own, or if his heart could do the work itself, and then he died. The Dr's handed him to us as quickly as possible and the earth fell away from our feet. I've never known such pain and such crippling loss. The world stopped making any sort of sense.

Its been two years, but it feels like yesterday. And as this anniversary approaches, suddenly its on us, I have no idea what to do or how to cope. We'll be visiting family in New York City this year, so I'll be away from the familiar, his things, his grave, my bed. And I wonder how I'll cope without having a place to hide and withdraw and break into pieces if need be. I can only pray that God will be with us and give us comfort, and that our family will understand our need for space and sensitivity, and will cut us some slack when we seem like we've lost our heads.

We haven't, our heads are just fine...

We lost our son, and that won't ever be okay.