This has been the hardest year of my life. But in so many ways, it has been the most beautiful.
Many of my friends who have lost their children this year have expressed that they are ready for this year to be over. They are ready for the next year to start because the pain of this year is too much, that maybe next year will be better. And I can totally see why they feel that way and I understand that completely. This is horrible, this pain.
For me though, this isn't the case. In some ways, I am ready for the next year. I am ready to take on the challenges of 2012. I am ready to welcome our second son into the world, and hopefully he comes out alive; breathing and crying. I am ready to see what the Lord has planned for us for this coming year. There are lots of things that God has laid on my heart for the future and I will be interested to see if any of those things start this year.
However, part of me doesn't want 2011 to end. This has been the most pivotal year of our life. And if 2012 comes, then that means the year Gideon was born will be over. I feel as though we are leaving him behind. Which I know is impossible, but his year is done. This is a year he was alive, the year I got to feel him move inside of me, the year we got to know him, the year we got to hold him, the year where I got to see his beautiful face. This year is gone. Never to return. The finality of it is painful. It feels as if it is another door that is closing on the life of my son.
The first part of 2011 was beautiful. In Feb we found out we were expecting a little boy and we gave him his name. Also in Feb, I felt Gideon move for the first time. In March, Todd felt him move for the first time. Todd and I were ecstatic. The last day of March was the first time I could see him move, I looked down at my belly and watched as he kicked. We took him many different places and wanted him to experience life. We brought him to the rodeo and to the zoo. I ate all different foods to see which ones he liked most (he loved it when I ate Italian food and he always loved when I drank Icees).We played music for him and I sang to him. In April, we celebrated my birthday with him. Also in April, he jumped around in my womb as the Gospel was being shared at my grandma's funeral. In May, we got to celebrate my first real mother's day with him. And as Todd and I sat in an Italian restaurant that we love, Gideon moved all around inside of me. That was one week before he died. Also in May, the day before he died, we had his baby shower. We loved him more than our own lives. Todd and I have never been happier than when we had Gideon with us.
However, the second part of the year, the days following May 15th, the day we were told he died, have been the hardest of my life. You cannot imagine the struggle and pain, unless you have walked this road. More tears have been shed in the past 7 months than in the rest of my life combined. More sleepless nights than I can count. More body wracking sobs than I can even tell you about. More pain in this year because a huge part of my heart is missing.
But I am so thankful for this year, thankful that I got to hold in my body and in my arms one of the most precious and beautiful creatures every created. That I got to kiss the face of a wonderfully made child of the Lord; a person who is a little me, and a little Todd. I am so thankful that we got to love that sweet boy. I am so thankful for who he has made us. I am thankful that he lived. And I am thankful that he still lives. Immense amounts of love filled this one year, and that is truly beautiful.
Gideon, I don't want to start a new year without you. I don't want to be further away from where you were. I don't want life to move forward because I want to be where you are. I want to be back with you when you were alive, here on earth. Mommy wants both her boys with her so much, but I know I cannot have you both with me on this earth. I recognize that time has to move forward. My little love, I hate that I have to walk through this next year without you here. However, I know I must, and I know that you would want us to live our lives with the joy that God grants and to serve Him every day. So, each day I will strive to follow the Lord and do what He wants. I will tap into the joy of my salvation and rest in knowing that you are safe with Him. I know that you are filled with an inexplicable and glorious joy. And that fills my heart with peace.
This coming year and every year after this, I will be a the best mommy I can to this little boy I am carrying and I will continue to be a great mommy to Gideon by honoring his memory. I will be a loving and giving wife to Todd and I will love Jesus more than ever. Every day I will love the Lord more and more. Gideon makes me want to be a better mommy, wife and a better child of the Lord. And this year, I will be all of those things.
2011 is the year I got to understand the depth of my love for our first born son. And I get to love him every year after this and every year this love will deepen and grow. And that is beautiful.
I am in awe of the Lord because of His works this year. He is good. And His love endures forever. Even when our hearts are completely and utterly broken, He will and is making something beautiful from this pain. I am so thankful that I can see Him working through and in the agony. Working good in the midst of affliction and suffering. He is so good. He will make beauty from ashes and give us a garment of praise and the oil of joy.
This is my prayer for our life for this year and for every single year of our lives. This grief will never fade, but I ask that the Lord will "...bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor" Isaiah 61:3