Amberlee lived for 99 days. That statement used to make me feel horrible. Because she couldn't even make it to 100, and because of the guilt over why she didn't make it. Last year those 99 days (one year later) were very difficult. I would often think about how she was alive last year at this point? Was I ignoring her to pay a bill, was I thinking more about myself then her? Did I show her I loved her?
This year is different. Very different. As I cruise through these 99 days I feel a peace encompassing me. The comfort is assuring me that every year this may just get easier. As I look back this year I get the feeling to inhale it in. To remember her smell, and the way her soft little head felt on my shoulder. I am still in awe over how familiar her smell is to me, even though she is gone. This year, those 99 days are a beautiful trip back to my daughter, and the wonderful days I spent with her before she left, no matter how much of a stranger I feel she is becoming; for these 99 days I can remember.
I wonder what this means for the dreaded June 28th & June 29th. Will those days be more difficult? Her Birthday was a challenge this year, will it be the same?
So many questions are left unanswered, and there is too much time to pass before I will see my daughter again. The time seems very long. I know I have a job to do here. I know that there are many things for me to accomplish, and many lives for me to bless by my experience and faith with loss.
This week I have received many compliments about the person I have become through this tragedy. These compliments help so much to bless me and make me feel like I should keep going.
Quite often I wonder, why me? My father died when I was 2 years old! My baby died! Some people go through life without any challenges, but I get 2 of the worst challenges in this life, and I am still young. What sort of challenges do I have yet to face? So why me!!!!! There are times that I think that I would trade the person I am becoming to not have to suffer. If I look at this road honestly though, I wouldn't. I am able to help countless people, and to share my heart with those people. There are many mothers that have lost their children, just like I did, that need a voice. Some simply cannot express their grief, and some just need a hug. Some are just starting on their path, and need a hand to hold along the way.
I pray that God will put more of these beautiful women on my path. I pray that he will inspire me to help them in a way that they need me to help them. I pray that for these next 99 days, I can hear their voices.
If you know of anyone that has lost a baby. Or if you are one yourself, just reading the blog to make some sense of your own tragedy. Please share your story here. Under the words of encouragemnt, please tell me about your baby or your beautiful child. Tell me how you lost your child, but also how your child lived with you. Explain what you remember, and what you miss.
I give you hugs if you are suffering. I wish we didn't belong to this group, but think of the glory we will share in the end.
Thanks again for listening.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I was thinking today about all of the trials we have been through since Amberlee left us. Honestly, our life seems to be operating like we are running backwards down the hill that we have worked for 10 years to climb. Last week I lost it. You know those days when you feel like you are in the 11th hour, and you cannot handle anymore. Well that was me last week. I called a friend, and I am certain she could only understand 1/2 of what I was saying through my sobs and mumbling. Then I prayed really hard, and I mentioned that we are not supposed to be given more than we can handle. Honestly, with everything, I am on the brink of being given more than I can handle. Well my prayers were answered, and the stress of the challenges seem to be lessening. I have also been blessed to realize something amazing.
Every single trial we are faced with in life brings us blessings. They all give us both minor, and major gifts that are meant to make us grow while we are here. In the society we live in it is easy to dwell on the negative. What we've lost, what we don't have, whatever we can find to complain about. I am certainly not an optimist, and I am certainly not the best at not complaining, but...I am trying to realize these blessings and they are there. They are everywhere. I have to be grateful for those things that I do have, and that is the best way for me to make it through. That is the best way I can inspire others to make it through, with my actions. There is a plan that we don't quite understand...but one day we will look back and realize why...and I am certain we will be impressed at the road it took to complete that plan.
I know we have heard the phrase "Count your blessings!" a million times. The depth of the cliche is often shadowed by the fact that it is a cliche and therefore overused and underappreciated. If we truly try to look at the good that comes from each trial...I think that we will honestly see more good than bad. The gifts for succeeding in this life are even bigger...we just need to hold on to the good things not the bad, and we need to do our best to show this to everyone around us. We need to count our blessings, but to live in a way that eminates that we have absorbed this concept.
Amberlee's Birthday was difficult this year. I really miss her. There are songs that come on the radio, and I cry almost instantly. One in particular "It won't be like this for long" by Darius Rucker, hits me really hard. The song is about new parents dealing with the struggles of their newborn daughter. I cry because it feels like Amberlee will be a newborn forever. I look at her picture and Riesse seems older than her. I don't understand how all of this will work out. But then the song says "one day soon that girl is gonna be...all grown up and gone". I truly hope that one day I will get this chance. I pray that I will get to raise her and see her grow up. Obviously, none of knows exactly what happens when this life is through, but I hope that what I feel in my heart is real, will in fact be real. I hope that it won't be like this for long. In church I've learned that time is an earthly construct, I am looking forward to looking back and thinking, wow, that was hard...but really, the challenges didn't last that long. Also, I am looking forward to know without a doubt that the blessings outweighed the challenges.
Thx again for listening.