Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Chapters

I'll be honest. Since Seth died, I dislike "new chapters".  Something about the concept of 'starting over' feels a lot like 'leaving behind'.  I don't want Seth left behind.  Just because he's not a daily part of our lives, doesn't mean he's not part of our family, for eternity even.

Nonetheless, he is NOT here and NOT part of our daily lives.

A lot of time has passed.  Since Seth. Since I blogged last.

We are doing well.  Really.  It surprises me a bit sometimes.  Seth would be turning five the end of this month. FIVE.  Five is Kindergarten and end of early childhood.  I just had a conversation with Cary this morning about the fact that Seth would be five and it's hard to wrap our brains around all that.  

Over New Year's, a friend on Facebook posted the six questions that James Lipton asks as part of "The Actor's Studio" interviews.  I only remember the sixth question; "What do you want to hear God say when you get to Heaven?"  For a long time after Seth died, my reaction to Heaven was along these lines:  I could go to Heaven ANYTIME and be reunited with Seth and oh yeah, Jesus will be there too.  That has changed.  

After a bit of thought, my answer to that question is this:
:Well done good and faithful servant!  SETH, your mama is here!".

The more I thought about that answer the more I liked the picture of Seth being so busy playing in Heaven, God has to get his attention for me when I get there.  Yup, for now, I can live with that.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why I miss blogging.

I had an interesting encounter a couple of weeks ago.

Kayleigh's preschool teacher had some concerns about Kayleigh's handwriting. Specifically, she was concerned because Kayleigh can't write her full name by her self. I wasn't horribly concerned but decided I should follow up on getting it checked out, just to be sure.. The boys' school has an occupational therapist on staff. (Well, on school district staff, she rotates schools and is at there school a couple of days a week). She had worked with Sean when he was in 2nd grade. So through the speech therapist (who Kayleigh sees), I sent a message to the OT. She called me one evening and talked me through some written things I could have Kayleigh try and imitate to see where she was at. So I did that. So now I had this sheet to give to the OT. I knew she was there on Wednesday's so I decided one Wednesday morning I'd run up to the school.

So I head up there with Kayleigh's sheet. The office pages the OT down. She looks over Kayleigh's sheet and is very reassuring (yay!). AS I'm getting ready to leave, the OT asks me if we have anymore kids after Kayleigh going into preschool. I pause. As often as not, I'd just say No and move on. But something made me pause. I took a deep breath and spoke.

"No. .. We should... Our youngest son would be three and starting preschool in the fall but he had died." I kind of blurted it out and stood there. Then, the look. Not the look of pity or the stunned deer in the headlights look of a person who has no idea what they're going to say to THAT. The look of compassion. The look of recognition. The look of someone in "the club". If you're in the club, you know the look, you can spot it a mile away. Then she said "I had a son.."

Her son was killed in a car accident. Four and a half years ago. (And I remembered. She was working with Sean then. I remember him coming home and telling me. I remember thinking how awful for a mother. Of course, I didn't know then..).

Right there in the hallway in front of the school office, two moms, missing their boys', connected. She said something about stupid things people say. I agreed. We talked about how it becomes part of your life but never really gets "better". About how, even though people who don't get it wish it would, it never EVER goes away. It was a highlight of my week. She later shared with me that it was a highlight of hers. I told a friend that if I could have encounters like THAT two or three times a month, I wouldn't feel the need to go to the MISS support meetings.

So, why do I miss blogging? Because blogging was where I first met THOSE moms. Those other moms who "get it". The moms who reached out to make sure I felt not alone and abnormal. THOSE moms. YOU dear readers. I met you. And I miss those of you who helped me then.

Sure I see some of you on FB but it's not quite the same deep connection. I also miss myself, if that makes any sense. I discovered things in my writing this blog that I didn't realize until they were in black & white. I miss that too..

I know I've said it before, but I"m going to try and get back to it. Again. Let me know if any one's still out there?

Friday, December 10, 2010

God never fails.

God never fails. God NEVER fails.

"Help me, Lord, my God. Save me according to your unfailing love." (Psalm 109:25-27)

I know this. Even when Seth died, I KNEW it was not a failure on God's part. I don't claim to understand how God works. And I admit that in the hurt that followed, I haven't always done a good job (or even a mediocre job. Or sometimes even something that would qualify as a poor job) of trusting God. Yet, God is gentle with me.

"Though he brings grief, He will show compassion. So great is His unfailing love." (Lamentations 3:32)

God never fails to show me His love. He never fails to use our journey with Seth to bless me.

This week, I had two opportunities to share Seth's story. On Thursday, a friend did a presentation to her class, a group of students learning to be heart cath. technicians. She did HLHS and presented Seth's case. I was invited to come observe and given the opportunity to speak which I appreciated greatly.

On Friday, I was part of a parent panel presenting to a group of student nurses. We share the stories of our infant loss in the hopes that they will be prepared to be more compassionate as nurses. And, as usual, God blessed ME!

I have a dear friend, Diane. Diane and I haven't spoken for a VERY long time. It was just one of those situations where we've lost touch. We share the same birthday (not birth year, she's like a big sister to me) and I think of her often, especially lately. She lost a sister in childhood so while she doesn't have children, I know she understands great loss.

So, I'm leaving this nursing class on Friday. In my car, headed down the road. As I'm making a left turn, I stop for a pedestrian. I wave her across the street and realize, it's DIANE! Making a long story not any longer than it needs to be, I drive around the block, park and FIND her inside the building! We exchanged phone numbers and are going to have lunch over Christmas break.

I know, a lot of people would say "what a nice coincidence." But I don't believe in coincidences. "Be aware of the coincidences in your life, for they may be small miracles". I believe in God-incidences! God used that moment, which I wouldn't have been in if not for Seth, to reunite me with an old friend. And I am blessed for it!

"Let your face shine on your servant; Save me in your unfailing love." (Psalm 31:15-17)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lest we think I'm "over it"...

Today was hard.

Yesterday, Leland and I went up to the hospital. The PICU was out of Kleenex. Personally, any family in PICU over Thanksgiving deserves soft Kleenex, in my opinion. So we ran up with some candy (chocolate and licorice) for the nurses and boxes of Kleenex for patient's families.

I did okay there. I was able to tell them "Yes, I'm doing well. WE're doing well...... The kids are great... I am looking foward to the holidays for the first time in years."

Later in the afternoon, I met my sister & sister in law at the mall for our traditional "all" the grandkids Santa picture. And that part of yesterday sucked.

And today was hard. I basically threw a temper tantrum this morning. And I knew it. I was, I am, missing Seth. Holidays all about family are more difficult now. I suppose there's just no way around it.

I am trying to figure all this out. God is faithful. I know that. He holds us in the palm of His hand. Even when I'm hurting, I can manage to be thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Missing him...

Today is a missing day.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family.

My sister is here from out of town with her son, Jack. My brother's family lives here in town. So we will gather, 3 out of 4 of my mom's children (only 1 spouse... Leland's working, Tom, my sister's husband, didn't travel with them). "All" of my mom's grandchildren. Except of course, Seth.

And the kids will play together. And there will be laughter, and wine, and food, and games.

And if anyone else feels the absence of our youngest son, the youngest grandchild, the youngest nephew, no one will say anything.

As is usually the case, I will feel alone in my missing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Six Words Saturday

Even with joy, Grief's still present.

I stand by my last post. (The one immediately below this one.) I am doing much better, and it's a testimony to God's faithfulness to have joy back in my life. But I still miss Seth.

Today, my heart hurts.. One of the most difficult issues for me has been trying to find a "balance". To miss Seth and still feel joy. To feel joy and not think it sends the message to the entire world that I'm "over it". I'll never be "over" it. There will always be a hole in my heart.

Even with joy, Grief's still present.

Link up to Cate's "Show My Face" blog and leave your own 6 word Saturday post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Open Letter...

Dear Seth,

I thought of you today.

That's no surprise. I think of you EVERY day. Every minute really. To NOT think of you, would be the surprise. Just as Sean, Cary, and Kayleigh are always on my mind, so are you. It's odd, of course. People expect me to think of Sean and Cary and Kayleigh. For reasons I don't understand, the fact that I think of YOU, just as I do your siblings, seems to make others uncomfortable. But, sweet boy, that's a post for another day.

It's different, my writing to you. It's not an unusual format. Kristine wrote to Cora. Jill writes to Joshua. Kim writes to Ewan. It's just not something I'd done, before now.

Honestly, I think it was too hard. I talked to you all the time, in my head. Oh, I know you don't hear me. I would much rather think of you playing in Heaven, at Jesus' feet, than seeing us be sad for you. I think that's part of why I didn't' write before actually. It doesn't seem "mom-like" to write you a letter about how sad we've been without you. So why am I writing today?

I want you to know, I want the world to know, that we are finding joy. Seth, I am finding joy. And as I find my joy again, our family finds joy again.

YOU know, Seth, better than I, how faithful and true God is. And God has, IS restoring our joy. YOU remain a part of that, Seth. There is joy in having been your mom, in BEING your mom. Seth, I feel like I finally appreciate what a gift you have been. I am SO, so grateful.

That, sweet boy, is why I'm writing to you. I wanted you to know. With the grace of God, blessings of God, we are figuring out joy again. Happiness is in our home.

I love you, sweet Seth, and thank God for you every day.

Missing you always, and grateful for your presence in our lives,