Saturday, February 14, 2009

His Way

It's 12:03 am and I am sitting here rocking Seth. He's become completely spoiled and we will never be able to move him into a crib because he requires very vigorous rocking to fall asleep. It's a little disturbing. If I am trying to get him to fall asleep when he is not in something that rocks, I have to jiggle his whole body back and forth to trick him into thinking he's rocking.

Anyway. I'm rocking I'm thinking. I'm thinking I should apologize because this is going to be a serious one. Two in a row! What am I thinking? I hope you can forgive me...it's all weighing so heavy tonight. Anyway, I'm thinking. Jace got up tonight...woke up and crawled onto my lap as we were watching tv, cuddled up on my chest like a big 42 pound baby, his curls in a disheveled mop on his head. Seth was right next to him. Jace was making faces and Seth was laughing at him...one of their first true brotherly moments

I was thinking, as March looms...I am beginning to think that March is always going to loom for me...I am always going to cringe away from it, like when you're playing Operation and you try your hardest to pick out the body part with the tweezers without touching the metal edges, try your best to avoid that harsh BUZZ. Those edges are still raw for me, two years later, those tweezers BUZZING me all over, and what did Eli do to deserve to die, anyway?

Well, he did the same thing we all did. We all deserve death. We all deserve to die for the sins we're born with. We just happen to be blessed enough to have Jesus, who took our place, who died for us all.His grace and mercy have set us all free, as long as we believe. Because he died, I don't have to wonder where Eli is. Because He died, I know that one day, I am going to be in heaven, and I am going to see a tall, lean man with black curls walking towards me and I am going to know, then, there he is! There is my boy. Look how he grew!

There are things I'll never experience with Eli. I will never watch him learn to walk, to run, to talk. I will never teach him to read. I will never watch him play soccer or go on his first date. I will never help him choose a corsage for the girl he takes to prom. These are things I lost when he died. I did not just lose the newborn. I lost the toddler, the 5 year old, the youth, and the man.

But what an amazing thing to go straight from the womb to God's arms. He never had to witness anything bad, anything sad or scary. He never had to see me lose my temper. He never got turned down for a job, and he never got picked last for a team. Instead, he is in heaven, learned and wise, worshiping at the feet of God. What a blessed life, huh? He is not impatient for me, or sad and missing me. Rather, he is content and fulfilled. But what joy when I finally get to meet him! I imagine it will be so exciting that all the why's that plague me now will disappear, just cease to matter. All this anger, bitterness and sadness, it just won't be a big deal anymore.

But I can't and I won't wish my life away, or the lives of the kids I have here. So I will have to wait until it's my time to meet him again. And that's ok. Because boy, do I have my hands full with the kids I've got down here! Every day is just another test of my faith, how much I can let go and let God, and some days I fail miserably, and other's I get a solid "C". But I'm getting there. Losing Eli was not my choice...I fought it kicking and screaming. But being the parent of a child who has died is my reality, whether I chose it or not. It is part of my waking and sleeping, and every moment in between. I can never look at my stairsteps without noticing the missing stair. Never forget what it's like. Always wonder if it'll happen again. Never, ever forget, because I don't want to .

And while I'm not forgetting Eli, I will remember to remember Ava, and Jace, and Seth, and love them through all the ups and downs of life. To take the extra time to read one more book, to jump on the trampoline with them, even if I pee my pants in the process. To remember that they are worth celebrating, too.

Or, you know, I'll do all those things on the days they aren't driving me insane. So, I'll do it every once in a while.

For our family, this is the season of Seth and Eli. We are still mourning Eli, and Seth needs so much right now. After this season of planning for and waiting on this surgery that will give him the chance to hear, then I will be able to thank my two older kids for being so patient, for loving us and their brothers enough to understand why we let them watch a lot of tv for a few years, to thank them for never once showing an ounce of jealousy or resentment. The amount of compassion they have learned from their brothers' is truly remarkable, and I know that they are going to be better people for knowing both Eli and Seth.

March is looming. I am not ready, and I am so ready. But this year, I want to give back. To let families know they're not alone, whether they have a baby that died or they have a baby that is challenging them to embrace a new normal, both of which can feel like the worst thing in the world, depending on the day. Nothing has come in my timing. Not a single one of my kids. Not Seth. Not Ava. Not Jace. Not Eli. I tried to plan and my plans failed. Why? Because it is His plan that matters! They all came in His timing, and His timing is perfect.

We are squarely in New Normal territory. We meant to go somewhere else, as the poem says. But instead, here we are, right where God always meant us to be. Where every one of our days is numbered according to His plan, not ours. I thought I was in control, and I got thrown off my own track, but I am on His, and I am thanking him for every second of this ride.

9 comments:

Natalie said...

I cannot imagine how you feel. Your words found their way right into my heart. I am amazed at how you trust God. There would be other that would've turned their back on our Lord but yet you run for Him. Thank you Jesus.

I pray that one day, March will not be such a painful month for you. I know you will never forget and probably always hurt for Eli but I pray that God will continue to ease your pain.

Having spent a little time reading your blog, I want to tell you how wonderful I think you are. You're an awesome women.

I'm thankful that through this blog I get to be a "part" of your story!

(I hope this made sense and I didn't offend you, but it's hard to put the right words into English for me!)

4 Lettre Words said...

Beautiful, Ellyn. Your faith is inspiring.

Hope Seth has a fantastic 1st Valentine's Day!

THAT GIRL said...

I love how you can express your joy amidst your pain. Your heart for Jesus is so evident in you... especially when you write about your beloved children... all of them. May you always have joy... joy in your seasons of happiness as well as during seasons of pain.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Julie said...

Once again El, you just amaze me. I can only attempt to imagine what it must be like for you, but how wonderful that you are able to lean on our heavenly father to pull you through.

E said...

I love what you said about all the living you have to do with your kids here because they need you in a way that Eli does not right now. You're right, he's not lonely or sad or missing you. In God's time where a day is as a thousand years.... and if you figure out the math, Eli may only have to wait a few seconds (in God's time) before you're right there with him! He'll feel like he just got to Heaven and turn around and there you are - his Mother - standing right by his side!

Konnie said...

You have no idea how much your story has touched me. On February 17th, 2002 I should have been giving birth to our beautiful first baby. But the Lord needed one more angel in heaven and took our precious baby home. February is and will always be a very difficult time for us, but I know that one day I will get to see my First Baby in Heaven. A friend told us after we lost our baby to imagine God holding our baby with the Angels singing and know that one day we will in heaven with them. We have since been blessed with 3 beautiful little boys.
We will be Praying for you and your family and if you could please say a little prayer for us as February 17th is just around the corner for us.

Curdie said...

Thank you for your heartfelt post.

Konnie, I'm praying for you, too.

EH said...

There is no need to appologize for posting about your loss twice. This is your journal. Praying for you.

gale said...

I am also the mother of two stillborn children. My firstborn son, James Collins Fitts, JR, and m last born, our daughter, Reita Gale Fitts. Both happened in the month of May. James, May 2, 1975 and Gale, May 31, 1980. I was only 24 and 32 when this happened. Back then, it was very lonely because it was a subject people did not talk about. It was hush hush and get on with your life. It was only by my faith that I made it through. I still remember every second as though it were only yesterday, but I am 58 now, with two awesome grown sons and two adorable grandchildren. When my granddaughter was born, in May, I felt a rebirth!
How wonderful of you to share your stillbirth in a blog for others to read and take comfort from. I am in the midst of writing a book of my experience. God bless you and your family. There are too many of us moms waiting to hold our babies in heaven, but I rejoice everyday that they are safe in His arms.

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