Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Valley

When out of the blue the pain rips my heart in half and the panic ensues to where my breath can not be caught, my heart is pounding out of my chest and anxiety paralyzes my very movement. When it comes out of the blue so unexpected, it hurts just as fresh as the first day. The pain is paralyzing but duty calls and you have to continue with your life when all you really want to do is lay down and cry. Then you cry out, "Why, why today do I have to relive this? I've been so careful to keep the pain tucked away, out of sight. Then from nowhere it came as if to consume my life. No person or drug can take that feeling away. The only thing left to do is to cry out to God. Please, God take my pain. I slowly feel His arms go around me, tenderly and whisper in my ear My child I can't take your pain. You must go through it but I will be here by your side. As I cry and beat my clutched hands against His chest I feel the wetness. The wetness from His own tears as He grieves with me. Yes, even though you walk through the valley of death- I will always be with you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One day closer

Happy 29th birthday son. I went to visit you at the cemetery today. Oh, I know you aren't there but that is the last place I saw you. I left you there. So I go to visit and remember. As I pull in I look across the jagged granite tops of the stones that mark the lives of those gone by. I see a tent and watch as people dressed in black pick there way across the terrain, being careful not to step on a grave. I watch as they pull closer so they can hear the hollow words of comfort being said. Slowly, it begins to rain. Little tiny raindrops all around me. As I sit in the grass next to you and watch the mourners from across the way, I realize how right it is to be raining. As the wife, children, aunts, uncles and cousins say good-bye the angels are so touched their tears pour down around those left behind. I sit and stare at your face so perfectly engraved in the stone and feel each angel's teardrop on my arms, face and head. I've shed those same tears. I think back to the years before that I have sat in this very same place and cried. I have probably cried a million tears. I have cried, I have prayed, I have pleaded, I have bargained with God for this to be a dream and for me to wake up and you walk into the house and surround me with those arms and greet me with a great big bear hug. But as I watch the people slowly leave the graveside. They linger just a little bit, hug each other one last time, then make their way to their own individual cars. I realize that to them, the freshness of grief is just starting, the physical pain of a hole in their heart. 6 1/2 years later that hole is still just as big for me but I know I am 6 1/2 years closer to seeing you again. I don't want to go back to that first night, first month, first year. I know you aren't coming back no matter how hard I cry. I know the hole in my heart will never heal. But I am closer today to seeing you again. So, until the day when God says it is time, I will tuck the pain away at the end of the day and start tomorrow knowing I am one day closer to seeing you again. Happy Birthday sweet baby boy. Your momma loves you so much.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

6 years

I can't believe 6 years have passed and we are still standing as a family, that I am still functioning. I know it is through God carry me all the way and people's prayers. But still it has been 6 years. 6 years that is 2, 190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 seconds that I have felt this pain. I wonder will it ever go away? Will I ever discover something new or experience happiness without feeling like something is missing. That something is you, sweet Jacob. I think of you with every breath. I still live, go to work, love, entertain, and exist in this world of ours. But I think of you every minute. I am so afraid that I will forgot your laugh, your hugs, your precious smile. I don't want to ever forget you. I don't want you forgotten. I worry about that. I worry that there will be a world that never knew you. Twice a year I host a party for you, Jacob. A party to help our Jacob's Cupboard's empty shelves, but please know it is much much more that than. I hold the parties so we don't forget your life, the impact you made on us all. I am scared. I am so very scared that there will come a time when people will say enough. Enough talk of him, enough remembering, enough with the parties, enough with the Cupboard. Move on. Every year the group gets smaller. People are busy, people don't want to be sad, people don't want to remember. Move on. It is awkward, uncomfortable. That is enough sympathy move on. Is this the year to stop and go about our day as if this were any other day? For others, maybe, it is easier to go about with their lives and pretend this didn't exist. But for me son, I will never forget. I may go silent but I will always remember the day you were born, the day you died and all the precious time we had in between. Because in the scheme of life, 6 years is not too soon to forget.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A momma's heart

This week, two families’ lives were shattered. Two families found out their child had died. Two families. One family I know, the other I know only by name. But even if I didn’t know the names I would know the devastation that this death is wrecking havoc over their lives. Both families went to bed praying when they woke in the morning this would all be a bad dream. Both families woke up with a start that this is the new reality, their child had died. They will wake up every morning for the rest of their lives with that realization. I know this because it is my reality. My son’s death has blessed and cursed me. I feel the pain for them. I remember the long walk down the hallway and falling to my feet screaming out “God no”. I wake up at night reliving that first night and crying for these families. I go to the store and stand there in the middle of an aisle remembering my anger when the world kept spinning and my world had come to a screeching halt. How could these people shop and smile and walk through life without a care when I carried this much sorrow in my heart? I physically get ill when I think of them having to go to the funeral home to pick out the casket for a life cut too short. I get on my knees and prayer for God to spare them but it is too late. So, I walk this journey again. Reliving the moments knowing that others have walked it before me and others will come behind. I am thankful that God placed people in my life February 20, 2010, to guide me through. To walk along beside me if only just in prayer. Even though these two families' situations are so different, the pain is the same. Because of my journey, God has shown me how to pray, how to minister, how to sit quietly and listen. I know the realization that praying is just too hard and others need to intercede for you. I know to remind them to keep breathing and live one moment at a time. To not get too far ahead of their grief, don’t think about the future and how will you live without that child. Just get through the next 10 minutes, the next second, just keep breathing. And for that I am blessed. To know that some good will come from my son’s death. Oh, believe me, that does not take away the ache and the tears but gives some validity for the pain. Just to be able to go before God and pray for these families from the heart means maybe, there was a reason. Maybe some good will come. So I come to you, and ask you to pray. To lift these families up to God and wrap them both in His sweet arms. To put people in their paths that will continue to reach out even after the funeral is over. To know that even though they may be angry at God, He has big shoulders to pound on and will pick them up when they are done. To help them find a blessing somewhere in the midst of the curse. To know that even 6 years down the road the hole will still be ripped through your heart but that God’s grace will see them through. I ask too that you pray for my family this week as we celebrate the healing of Jacob’s soul. Today he walks in Heaven where he is free from his demons and focused 24/7 on God. To help us to remember that this is just a moment in time until we see him again. But that every morning when we wake and before our eyes are open, we wake to the realization our child is gone, pray we have the strength to stay strong in our faith and help others. To help all the mommas and daddies who buried their children, I pray for strength. I miss you sweet Jacob. I long for your precious hugs and infectious laugh. You will not be forgotten. Love you.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Maybe just maybe I have begun to heal.

Last week in an attempt to destress my life, I read an article about decluttering and how it can create a more serene environment. I cleaned out the bookcases in our bedroom and simplified what I filled them with. It did create a better atmosphere. But something was missing. I needed a picture. I found myself searching and searching through the boxes of pictures I hadn't been able to go through. Pictures that took my breath away and made my heart skip beats. Pictures that created a hollow pit in my stomach because I knew they were the last. The last pictures of my son, gone far too soon. But today, I searched, searched for that one picture I knew I needed. At last I pulled it out. It was him, the beautiful eyes, the charismatic smile, the wind tossed looking hair, my Jacob. But this time it was different. I longed to look at it and remember. Something had changed. It was peaceful, comforting and for the first time in 6 years I put his precious picture on the bookshelf. I begin to look at his face every morning when I first came to the shelf by the door to let the dog out. I begin to look at his face every evening when I went to bed. I begin to feel his presence and it was peaceful. Today, I went to the cemetery to put new flowers on the graves, graves of my parents and my Jacob. I had made Valentine's arrangements, hearts and I love you's filling them . I busied myself putting them on the different graves while Bart secured the arrangements with wire. We both worked quietly but peacefully. Feeling like we had a sense of purpose. I realized something was different. There was peace. Soon I found myself walking through the cemetery putting flowers back in empty vases, straightening wreaths that the wind had tossed about. As I walked past my cemetery friends, the grave sites I always check on, people whose lives should not be forgotten, I felt such a peace. A peace that doesn't come so very often. As I sit here I realize that even though I miss my Jacob so very very much, with a longing that physically hurts my heart, that not a moment goes by that I don't think of him, that slowly very slowly there is a peace. I realize that in the 6 years since his death maybe just maybe I have begun to heal. Will this pass and the anxiety and pain start again? I don't know. I pray it won't. I hope you pray it won't but for today I want to sit here and enjoy the peace that God has given me. I love and miss you my precious boy but look forward to seeing you again. I will hold you in my heart until I hold you in Heaven.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Almost

I almost made it. Almost. I have stayed so busy the entire time from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I have filled every moment with work, shopping, errands, tv, and more. I have kept my mind moving every moment of every day until sometimes it is hard to fall asleep at night from being beyond exhaustion. But, today it came crashing down. Today, in the Christmas candy aisle at Dollar General my carefully guarded heart fell out and shattered as it fell upon the floor. First the stinging in the eyes. I squeeze them closed to keep them at bay. But slowly, they began to fall then faster and faster. I stand in the aisle of Dollar General looking at Christmas candy I begin to fall apart. I shake my head in wonderment, thinking why now? Why here? My brain quickly goes back to the very last Christmas Jacob is alive. I bought blinking Christmas cups. A silly thing to put in their stockings. I remember Jacob laughing, throwing his head back and laughing out loud. He jumped up and poured milk in his cup. Said he was going to drink out of it all day. He drank from it the entire week. It made me smile. The memory, the heartache side by side. Coming from the hidden dark parts I keep locked away. A single memory and the flood gates open. I blindly make my way to the counter. Pay and run to the car. I pull out and before I realize I know where I am going. Where I am drawn magnetically. My car goes without me even guiding. I go to my solace my last place to see him. I go to the cold dark earth of the cemetery. I pass the other visitors who stand in silence gazing at the earth and I know I have to go. I have to get out and bend down on my knees and cry out to God once again please, let this not be true. I have to see his name on the granite to make myself realize nothing has changed. Please God don't let it be. I lay my head next to the image of his face and tell him I love him. I miss him. I want him to be here. Silence. And as the coldness seeps into my body, my tears slow and the sobs that have racked my body lessen, I pull myself up. I tell my baby boy goodbye. I almost made it. Almost.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Birthday Celebration

As September the 13 nears I feel my heart tighten. I could tell you it was this time of year without a calendar. I can tell by the air and the leaves and temperatures. I know when my son's birthday is. I was there 28 years ago when I gave birth and for 23 years we celebrated his special day with cake, presents and family. February 20, 2010 changed all that. My son died. But even though my world suddenly came to a halt time didn't. Before long it was September 2010. I was faced with the idea that I would no longer plan a party or buy a cake or have our traditional birthday morning hunt for your present. No, September 13 would come and go. But as a mother I could not bare to think about this day going by without celebrating the birth of my son. It didn't matter that he no longer lived. It was still his birthday and I was still his mother. We must celebrate. I had not map, no guide book, no plan on how to be a mother of a deceased child. No one tells you how to do this. But I knew I must celebrate this precious child's special day. I began to think what could I do. What would not seem strange to family and friends. What could I live with. I thought of his tender heart and the desire to help others. Soon I realized that I had to continue on his giving. His no questions asked. Just do what Jesus said, give and how they use it is between them and God. Jacob's Cupboard was born that day. This Sunday my son will turn 28. This Sunday Jacob's Cupboard will turn 5. 5 long years without my boy. 5 long years of sorrow and sadness. But I can say today we walk a little stronger. We breath a little easier. We have come a long way. This journey has not been easy. Death of a child is not for the faint hearted. Death did not win though. We are not only surviving, we are thriving. Every day is an act of grace from God. Every day if not for the prayers of others we would fall. But somewhere along the journey God has given us our joy back. Our hearts still break and will never heal but our joy can not be stolen. This Sunday I will talk about our journey and what God has shown us along the way. Come hear the miracle of restoration and fulfillment of the scripture. This Sunday at West Metro Community Church, 601 W Main Yukon at 10:45 come hear our story. That night we will have our Birthday Celebration from 4-6 at the same place. Come, bring some food, have a piece of cake and visit for a moment. Help us celebrate the birth of our child. No tears just joy. Happy Birthday my precious baby boy.