Saturday, August 16, 2008

This video is so refreshing and beautiful, I wanted to share it with you.

Friday, August 15, 2008


It was somewhere between sunset and dusk as I sat at the computer on a very hot August night. I glanced outside at the evening sky. It was incredibly beautiful. Various shades of pink, purple, blues and grey. Breathtaking really.

I turned my attention back to the screen for a few brief minutes.

When I looked back, the difference was striking. Already the light had begun to fade. Night was closing in.

Immediately it made me think of Isabel's brief life.

A bursting forth and then a fading away.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Protection vs. isolation

One morning at the breakfast table while we were reading the Bible, Isabel came up. I had been feeling bad because no one talks to me about Isabel. This includes my immediate family. Whenever I do mention her, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look. Everyone stares at me in silence. Most of the time no one says anything. My middle son occasionally says things to try to comfort me like, "Well Mama, maybe you can have another baby that won't die next time."

"Yes son, that would be nice."

It really makes me chuckle, because his heart is so sincere in his attempt to comfort me. He has no clue how horrible what he is saying sounds. It makes perfect sense to him.

I told the kids that I know they feel like they can't talk about Isabel because they don't want me to be sad. My 8 year old concurred with this. One time my daughter mentioned Isabel and he told her not to talk about her because it might make Mama cry.

There's a fine line between protecting and isolating someone in grief. Right after Isabel died, there was a lot of 'shushing' of my middle son. I know my husband told him that if he wanted to talk about Isabel to talk to Papa because Mama was too sad. And I was. He would casually say very inappropriate things that were very hard to hear when the wound was so raw, in his innocence of course.

On this day, I told them that whether they talk about her or not, I will still be sad. But I wanted them to know that she was and is a part of our family. She will always be our daughter. She will forever be their sister. If we can never speak of her and include her as a part of our family, that would make me even sadder.

Then my 8 year old was able to express how he felt that day at the ultrasound, the day we first found out. He said, "We were so excited about our baby, telling T3 that she was going to have a baby sister, and then BOOM a huge cannon went off! A huge explosion."

I thought that was such a poignant way of explaining what happened emotionally to us that day. It was like a huge explosion. In fact, when I wrote about that first ultrasound, I likened it to a bomb being detonated. How funny that he could articulate it so well, so similarly to my post.

It's sad. The boys must feel a torn. They want to protect me so they keep these hard feelings bottled up inside.

Friday, August 8, 2008

One year later

As Isabel's birthday approached, it was really strange. I became very emotional at times, seemingly out of the blue, without really thinking that the year mark was coming up.

It was back to the sobbing-in-bed-at-night-in-the-dark type of crying, with the pillow over my face, trying not to wake my husband. I honestly don't understand it, but I suppose it's somewhat normal.

My husband and I weren't sure what we were supposed to do on her birthday. It's obviously not a happy occasion, she isn't one year old.

Instead it's one year of emptiness.

One year of bathing my daughter and seeing two little girls sitting in the tub.

One year of holding hands around the dinner table, picturing Isabel in the empty spot.

One year of making small talk with people about absolutely nothing important.

One year of feeling guilty about whatever it was I did in the early weeks of my pregnancy.

One year of fighting back tears.

One year of wrestling with God.

Here we are after Isabel's graveside service.

Not a good day.

Two of the kids were sick, it was extremely hot, my milk was coming in and we had just buried our daughter.

Approximately one year later on Isabel's birthday. My husband took me to a nice spanish restaurant we've always wanted to go to. It was a sober and sweet night. We hadn't been out together alone for ages, and now there was so much more between us.

Like soldiers who had gone through a bloody battle together, we had gone through that terrible experience clinging to each other. All of the doctor appointments, ultrasounds, the grim prognosis, the fear of facing the reality of giving birth to our daughter and then watching her die. The memories of all of that and that hellish night hung like a thick fog between us, all unspoken.

We knew.

We remembered and still hurt.

But the Lord had brought us through it.

In the end, we concluded that we were wrong. It shouldn't have just been us. Next year and all the years that follow, our whole family will dress up and go out together to acknowledge Isabel's birthday and honor her as a member of our family. To remember that one day we will see her in Heaven.

So what else have we been up to in the last year?

Papa took up running. He ran his first half marathon in June and is training for his first full marathon this fall. He's also lost about 45 pounds and looks great.

And me? I suppose I've knit my way through miles of yarn. These are some socks I knit for little Jewel. She is one of the new babies at church.