Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is there to do now..............

But quote Joe Purdy, and his sentiment "hard times, they last too long"

In fact it would seem at times, they are never ending, or that at the very least, they never completely dissapear.

Hard times are still marching on.

Sometimes we forget they're there, but they rest beneath the surface of our temporary peace and serenity, always bound to resurface. Always.

I'd like to tell you friends that in time grief itself passes away, but it simply is not true. Grief is invincible, it never dies, it can't be killed. The very best you can hope for is that you can endure your life with grief riding on your back, and that from time to time it will hop off for a spell and grant you a temporary sensation of relief. But grief I have learned, will always hop back on.

It's been three years since grief moved into my heart, well, nearly three years, just a few short weeks to go now before our anniversary, and I can't report to you all, grief and I are still going strong, our relationship has been consistant and dependable. Grief it seems will never leave me, no matter how much I wish it would.

Three years ago tomorrow, my identical twin sons were born. At 5:33 and 5:40am, pink and wailing with heads capped with dark brown hair and precious little features. Three years ago a dream came true. And in just a few weeks we'll solomnly remember that 20 days after our beautiful sons were born, one died. He spent his entire life struggling, he endured too many medical interventions and procedures to list, and he died. The next day we brought just one baby home, one baby, and grief who would fill up every empty space in our home and our hearts.

There's a part of me who is deeply ashamed of the mixed emotions I've been balancing since December 7th 2007. I've been trying to host joy and anguish in my heart simultaneously for just about three years, and it's an incredibly unnatural sensation to try and be loyal to both. I am joyous for Landon who has brought warmth, love and peace beyond measure into our family and into my badly broken heart. He is a miracle, it is by God's grace alone he is alive and perfect and lighting our lives each day. But at the same time, I cannot pretend that life is all sunshine and roses and rainbows just because I have two very lovely and amazing children I would not change for this world. I cannot deny that I grieve. I cannot deny that I long for the one that God took back. I cannot deny that my heart shattered and splintered and has never been restored. I cannot tell you I do not hurt. It would be disloyal to Everett to deny that his birth and his death have impacted my life like a meteor, leaving a giant crater on my soul.

I can't devote myself to joy entirely.

I can't devote myself to grief entirely.

I am a woman divided.

Counting my blessings.

Counting my losses.

Praising the God who gives, struggling with that I am supposed to also praise him when he takes away.

And I am often ashamed, that I can't figure out how to love and honor both boys with the perfection they deserve.

At 5:33am on November 17th 2007, Everett came into his life. He was 17 inches long and weighed 5 pounds and 4 ounces. Landon joined him seven minutes later, at 5:40am, he was also 17 inches long, he weighed 5 pounds and 6 ounces. They were perfection.

On December 7th 2007, sometime after 8pm, Everett left his life. He was 20 days old. He was 17 inches long and I estimate somewhere in the range of 4 pounds when he left us. He was perfection.

On December 8th 2007, Landon came home alone. He was 17 inches long, weighed 5 pounds and 11 ounces. He was lovely. He was like salve to a burn.

What am I to do now?

What reality to I embrace, what reality do I deny? Can I have them both simultaneously?

Will you understand when I am in tears on the day I celebrate Landon's birth? Will you allow me to celebrate the gift they were together and the joy Landon is now, while at the same time allowing my heart to break over the loss of Everett, who was also a gift and as much a source of joy as his death was a source of pain?

Will you remember on this happy day, now that years have passed, that it's not just Landon's birthday, but rather a season of confusion and hope and fear and desperation, of loss and of grief. Will you be mindful that grief lives here still?

Because I cannot forget.

Even in good times, hard times persist.

Even in joy, pain still exists.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's that time of year again......

How bittersweet it is.

In just a few days, the birthday celebrations will begin. First comes Avery, we'll celebrate her turning five years old. Then comes Landon, who will be three, and Everett, who will never be more then 20 days old. It just hit me that past few days, why I had been experiencing an increase in tears, aside from being pregnant, my subconsious has been aware this time was approaching, even if I didn't let myself become aware until just now. Now it's time.

Time to balance sweet celebration with bittersweet memories of birth and death intertwined. Time to remember the joy of the delivery of my beautiful twin babies and to relive the sorrow of saying goodbye to one forever, just 20 short days later. Time to celebrate the lives of two of my children, while mourning the loss of the third. Time to put on a happy face for the party and the public, and cry until my tears dry up in private.

From November 17th to December 11th I walk an emotional tight rope. Reliving the most surreal and unbelievable weeks of my life. Birthing babies, sweet tiny babies with pink skin and dark brown hair and beautiful and unending potential. Then sick baby, small, weak, frail baby. Great big surgery on tiny little sick baby. Blood and tubes and bandanges and nurses and doctors, and terror. Fear unending. Driving. Crying. Pumping. Snuggling healthy babies ,barely touching sick baby, can't pick him up, can't hold him, can't change his diaper, can't help him. Tears. More surgery. More tubes, more blood, more fear. Prayers. Mad, frantic prayers. Denial. Brain bleed. Despair. Meeting death face to face. Goodbye baby.

Time to fake my way through this time of year again. Somehow I always manage to do it. I'm not exactly sure how. My sweet beautiful brown eyed children, boistrous, lively, spirited and smart, they most surely help me through. Just as certain as I have something to mourn, I have something to celebrate. They are the life savers that keep me afloat when my grief threatens to drag me beneath the surface.

Happy Birthday to all my babies.