On my heart


So many things are on my heart right now.  I've wanted to write them down for a few days now, but just didn't know where to start.  If this ends up being a "popcorn post" (all over the place), that's why.

My mom
We leave for Iowa soon to see my mom's side of the family and bury her ashes next to her parents.  I've been so consumed with the effects of Kristen's death on the four of us living in this house, I just don't feel like I've really grieved for my mom yet.  Of course there have been moments of grief, tears, missing her, but the process of healing from this particular loss doesn't seem  like it's really begun.  Maybe it's just different from what I've experienced with Kristen, I don't know.

Celebrating my 4th birthday
It may seem odd that it's been nearly a year since Mom died, and we're just now getting everyone together to say goodbye.  There was a memorial service for her last August.  It took place just five days after Kristen's service and 500+ miles from my home.  Sweet friends offered to drive me there and back, but I just couldn't do it...emotionally or physically.  But now, Mom's side of the family...her stepfather, her brother and two sisters, all of her nieces and nephews, her granddaughters and her daughter...will be gathering to say goodbye to her.

My mom and I weren't as close as I think a mom and daughter should be.  There are a lot of reasons for that, and the many miles that separated us is not the only one.  We talked fairly often and always had a connection, but it just wasn't the mother-grown daughter relationship that I hope to have with my own daughters.  Regardless, she's still my mom.  I love her, and I miss her.

The last couple of weeks have been full of moments that remind me of the anniversary that approaches.  Remembering Kristen's CT scan last July and believing that this test would prove to the surgeon that we wouldn't need him after all.  The x-rays and ultrasounds done on Kristen after her birth didn't show the mass in her chest.  We just "knew" that the CT scan would be evidence that God had healed our baby girl.  But, it wasn't to be.  The mass was still there and had to be removed.  As straightforward as the surgery sounded (though certainly not a routine procedure by any means), it didn't turn out as any of us had imagined.

I'm still struggling so much with feeling out of place in situations and relationships where I once was so comfortable.  Every part of my life has been affected by the death of my daughter.  Nothing feels "normal" anymore.  When we were on vacation in Colorado a couple of months ago, I remember actually feeling, for a couple of very brief moments, pretty much like I did before my life was suddenly turned upside down.  Perhaps it was the change of scenery or the company we were with or just being able to step out, even for just a minute, from underneath the cloud of sorrow that follows me around. 

My dear sister-in-law's due date approaches, and I find myself still so very torn between being happy for her and so very sad for me.  Every week that goes by seems to get harder.  I think what I worry about most is that Kristen will be forgotten by the rest of the family once my niece arrives.  I've been told that's silly, but the thought is still there.  I am praying for extra grace in that area.

As I continue to mull over these things (and several that I didn't include here), I know beyond all doubt that God will reveal something in each one that I need to learn.  I'm doing my best to pay attention to Him, to glean the good from such difficult times.


Jennifer said...

Your thoughts are far from silly. They are real and valid. My worst fear is that someone will forget Eli and what a miracle he was. I will be praying as you travel to lay your mom to rest. No matter the relationship, she was your mom and I know you love her and grieve her passing. It seems there is no normal anymore after the loss of a child. Maybe it is a "new normal". It does change us. I will be praying for you as these days that hold so many memories of the last year approach. So many hugs and prayers tonight coming your way!

Michelle Karr said...

The fear of Janie Beth being forgotten has been on my mind too. I think it is only natural. It was even on my daughter's mind. Once I explained to her, and maybe myself too :), that everyone has their place in the family and no one else can come and fill it we have been better. It made it ok to get excited for my sister and for our new baby girl on the way. This journey is ever changing.

I pray that your time with your mom's family is blessed. (((Hugs)))

elena said...

I agree and think it is natural for us to fear our babies being forgotten or "replaced" in the family by other family members. And I don't think it is silly by any means.

Praying for you as you and your family all get together to remember your mom.


Lori said...

I sometimes worry about the same things--the world continuing and Matthew's life not making the same difference to others later as it does now.

Then I realize that no matter what, his life will NEVER be forgotten by his daddy or me...his impact and his significance in our lives alone is so big, even if he falls off the radar of the rest of the world, his life and light will shine big enough and bright enough for me to make it through until we see him in Heaven.

I pray that your remembrance for your mother was a blessing to you, knowing all too well how hard it will be. Lifting you up.

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