Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's coming

I sense it with everything in me. It is now less than a month for the year marker. As I drove to get my 11 month Sully tulips I thought about how next time it would be an entire year since he was born and died. I talked with a friend whose little one shares the same birthday as my Sully. I wanted to know the details of what she was doing, how she was growing all though I can imagine everything. We couldn't talk long because her little one began screaming in the background and needed her - a pretty good indicator of the 11 month stage. So, I went on their blog and checked out the daily details that way. It's so strange. All I want to do is see every detail, to see that sweet face and imagine my Sully but at the same time it just hurts so much to do that. What an odd push and pull I feel within me.

I imagine what I would have been doing at this point in preparation for our third turning one had everything been different, had he been well. In just three weeks we would have had a birthday cake and presents. Ella and Zane would have been so excited. I wonder how to mark the year instead. I know I want to light his candles for each of his days, the sterling circus shaped holders I bought for him when I first learned of my pregnancy should parade candles somewhere, somehow. Should I give a gift to each of my children since presents should always be at a birthday celebration? What about the day he died? What do you do on that day?

I feel my anxiety about this pregnancy growing immensely. I know it has a reason and it's place but I also wonder if it is connected to the fact that this year anniversary is slowly coming upon us, a year since I gave birth to a child destined to die. I find myself worried about things in this pregnancy fearing that somehow I will end up with empty arms again. I don't want empty arms again...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year

I am ready for it. I want it, all things new. I want the hope and possibility of days being brighter and full of happier times. I feel myself embracing it as I eagerly return all of the Christmas decorations to the attic, as I clean out old toys and boxes full of things not used in years, as we empty out Zane's room and wash it from top to bottom in preparation for the kid's bunk beds. There is something very cathartic about it all to me. Underneath the bustle of all this cleaning and sorting activity is what can only be hope that 2009 will be very different from this past year.

There is also the nagging thought that something else can happen. I don't know if that will ever go away. As we create a new room for Ella and Zane to share in preparation for a new baby, I see that we still hold back. Ella's old room is now the "play room" because even though we are hopeful, that hope does not move us to the certainty of setting up the crib yet. In time that will come, I hope...

Ella has asked me three times now if this baby will die like Sully. Then, on New Year's day, she happily sat on her top bunk and said that she just loved the new room and she wanted it to stay the same even after this baby died. My heart sank. I've tried to explain before as best I can how Sully was made differently so that he just couldn't stay here very long but that this baby is made more like her and Zane and that we hope he will be with us for a very long time. But her uncertainty is my own uncertainty. I can't say to her without a doubt that everything will be fine from here on out. Yes, this baby is genetically well but more than ever I know the fragility of life. We heard of a family who lost their 20 year old son in a car wreck New Year's Eve, and I thought, we could lose them at any point, 6 days or 20 years, we have no guarantees. I try to be as hopeful as possible with her, but I think it will take this baby actually being with us, actually becoming an annoying little brother, for her to know he is here to be a part of her life for a long time. I think it will take the same for me, too.

I read parts of Job today. It has been the book that has been in my mind most often. Growing up, the book of Job didn't quite fit with the "health and wealth" gospel espoused in our church so it was just blown off as an exemption to the rule. But in these past months how glad I am that the book of Job is there - right in the middle of the Bible - there for me to see Job's angst and frustration - for me to see him not understanding why tragedy had come to him - for me to see his friends give him terrible explanations and accuse him of it being his fault. At one place, Job says of God, "how faint the whisper we hear of him!" How that resonates with me. It seems as if my understanding of God is so very dim. Yet, as I struggle with God and wrestle with my faith, I see the beauty of the very end of Job. God does show himself to Job and make him see how understanding God is not even in his reach. And, then, I would expect God to say, you little peon, how dare you question me and accuse me, go back to the tragedy that your life has become and stay there forever, you don't deserve anything good. But he doesn't. I weep as I read that the "Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first". It must have been so different for Job. Surely the blessings were sweet, but it seems that his greatest comfort must have been having seen the Lord and living with those blessings given with such humility. Perhaps that is my hope for 2009 and for whatever days are ahead.