Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day

This blog post is so good.  I wanted to share it since Mother's Day is tomorrow.  My eyes have really been opened since losing Abigail to what others may be going through and things that may cause them pain.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Year

So it's been a year, and I feel like there is a lot to tell.  The last couple of months especially have been overwhelming, joyful, and sorrowful.  As Abigail's birthday has approached, I have pondered so much about this journey.  From the time we found out I was pregnant, to the scary and heart wrenching time during the unknown while carrying her and my month in the hospital on bed rest, to the heart wrenching time of losing our precious baby.  I can see now, looking back, the incredibly deep, dark pit of despair that I came from.  I can go back there in an instant, but I am thankful for how far I have come, and that is only because of Jesus carrying me through.  I am so thankful for His mercies that are new every morning.  His mercies are truly infinite and I know that because I am still surviving. I am so very thankful for healing, but at the same time it's hard because I almost feel like I grieve when I experience healing, because in some ways it feels like the healing puts distance between us. I don't need reminders of Abigail, because of course she is always on my mind, but there are things in life that take me right back to the beginning of my journey and it is so surreal.  Songs, smells, food, etc. trigger things in my mind and it's like I'm there all over again.  There is a particular body wash that every time I use it, the smell takes me back to the day of her funeral, and I feel like I'm getting ready for her service all over again. And as heart wrenching as it is, it makes me feel closer to her and is almost a comfort. My sister mentioned the fact that springtime will always be about Abigail now. The few glimpses we've had of spring so far take me right back to the days after losing her. They remind me of the long drives in the car we would go on because we didn't know what else to do. Dogwood trees were in full bloom in the days after and they will always be a reminder of her too. I still live with a constant pain, but it is not as intense as it was.  I find that I still try to isolate myself in an effort to protect myself. And I think a little of my skin is starting to grow back, although it is still very very thin. Sometimes I wonder if there will always be a cloud of sadness looming over me for the rest of my life? Praying that He continues to make beauty from ashes, turn my sorrow into joy, and turn my mourning into dancing.

We began the adoption process not too long after we lost our precious Abigail, and we rejoice in the blessing of the precious gift that God has given us! Annabelle was born on December 30, 2012. SO many emotions! It is crazy to experience such incredible joy and such deep sorrow at the same time. In the 11 weeks that we have had her, the Lord has healed me more than I have healed during this entire journey put together. We are so in love with this precious child, and we wish so bad that she and Abigail were going to get to grow up together and be best friends! So often I think about when we're in Heaven one day with both of our girls by our side worshiping Him together.  And I can think of nothing better.  I find that a common question that people ask is how I'm adjusting to having the new baby.  I tell them that I really haven't had to adjust to having Annabelle.  The adjustment continues in the new normal of living without my Abigail.  I have been a mama for quite sometime without being able to actively play the role of mama, so having Annabelle just feels so natural and right.

Abigail's birthday was yesterday and it was so so hard.  It is so hard to think about all that she would be doing right now and what she would look like. She was supposed to get to eat her first cake yesterday! It was so difficult to celebrate what was supposed to be such an exciting day, without her. I was supposed to be planning a big birthday party and buying her first birthday presents.  To be honest, it was so depressing! I do have hope in our Savior though.  It was not a sad day for Abigail, just for us. And I can make that sacrifice. I will be depressed so she can be happier than I could ever imagine. I told Luke yesterday that I really may not have survived the day if it hadn't been for the gift of sweet Annabelle. I constantly praise Him for her! We are so blessed to have such incredible family and friends. They have helped us celebrate her life and the love they have for her means so much to me. From cards, to a birthday cake, to flowers, to surprise balloons on the door, to sweet little books and a precious little Bible with her name on it, to a sign to put in the front yard every year in her honor.  My parents bought her the sign and the birthday cake, and they let me design them.  It helped to feel like I was getting to do something for her.  We tried to release big pink sky lanterns in the cemetery last night for her birthday but it was too windy! Hopefully another day.

She has been with Jesus for one year today. I love that her birth and death are so close to Easter and I'm reminded daily what He has done for her! He has conquered death for her and words cannot describe how thankful I am for this incredible gift. It makes what He has done very real in my life! An almost tangible hope! I am so thankful for all the prayers of strength, comfort, and healing. They have helped me to get through. I think I will almost feel a sense of relief when this day is over.  I will be glad to have survived these two difficult days. I am posting a few links that have meant a lot to me, and some pictures of her birthday celebration, and a few of Annabelle.

Here is a beautiful letter to the broken hearted believer: Letter to the Wounded

This beautiful poem expresses my heart so well!

And I feel like this bereaved mother read my mind: Before and After

My sister bought a sweet little book for Abigail called On The Night You Were Born. I wanted to quote a little bit of it in honor of Abigail's birthday:

"On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, 'Life will never be the same.' Because there had never been anyone like you... ever in the world.  So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.  The sound of your name is a magical one. Let's say it out loud before we go on...

For never before in story or rhyme (not even once upon a time) has the world ever known a you, my friend, and it never will, not ever again... Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."

Abigail's First Birthday:

Baby Annabelle:


Newborn photos:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Weary World REJOICES

Just wanted to share this quote from a blog post I read from the KLRC morning show by Keri because I feel oh so weary, and this was such a wonderful reminder of where my hope lies during this difficult Christmas season without my Abigail. When I try, I just can't begin to fathom that God became a baby. I can hardly contain myself when I try to grasp what He's done for me.  It gives me so much hope and joy and peace and security, and I realize that He really is the only thing that matters.  Life is so much better when my focus remains on Him.

"And then I hear it again: the weary world rejoices.

The weary world. Not the happy world, or the ready world, or the excited world, or the calm-peaceful-perfectly-decorated-my-house-looks-like-a-Pinterest-board-and-nothing-is-ever-wrong world.

He came for us. The weary ones. The at the end of our ropes, desperate ones. And we can rejoice. Not because we will spend this Christmas surrounded by everyone we love, or because our house will be beautifully decorated, or because the perfect gift for every child will be wrapped waiting under the tree. No, we rejoice because a new and glorious day is coming… has come. When Christ came down to rescue the weary ones. We rejoice because He has broken the burden of sin and gives us hope of a future with no more pain or sorrow or toil.

Yes, I am weary. So weary. But there is a thrill of hope that dances with my weariness. Because a good and loving God saw my need and came to rescue me, rescue you, from the weariness."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Capture Your Grief: Day 20

Favorite Charity/Organization

I could never begin to express my deepest most heart felt gratitude toward Jill Meyer, the volunteer photographer who took Abigail's pictures.  She gave me the most priceless and precious gift.  I treasure these pictures more than any other material possession I own.  Jill works for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (infant remembrance photography).  Jill arrived at Children's Hospital with only a moment's notice.  She was such a kind and compassionate person.  We will never forget her and what she did for us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

8 Months Since We've Said Goodbye

It's been 8 long months since we've said goodbye to our precious baby.  What a hard hard week it's been! I'm still in utter disbelief that she's gone much of the time. So thankful for all of our family and friends who remember Abigail and our pain.  You have shown me the kind of person I want to be. Compassionate and sensitive hearts mean more to me than I could ever begin to explain, and I will never forget the kindness and love that we have been shown.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones!
Proverbs 16:24

Luke sent 8 pink roses to me at work today for Abigail being 8 months old.  So sweet!

We attended an annual candlelight memorial service this past weekend for Abigail.  They read all the names of everyone who passed away in 2011 and in 2012. I love hearing her name! It was so wonderful to get to attend because it makes us feel like we are getting to do something for Abigail, especially since we won't get to have earthly celebrations with her. There was a special candle lit just for her and the whole cemetery was lit with candles. It was beautiful.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

8 Months Old

"Lord, hold my child close to You, and if You will, I plea, that as You hold her close to You, she remember when I held her close to me."

A dear friend shared this with me tonight: Psalms for the Grieving Heart

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers