I have sat down to write many times over the past few weeks and the words just haven't come. I have wanted to fill everyone in on how we are and talk about the process a bit. But nothing came. It was just a few days ago that Chris and I sat down with our pastor (thanks Ken!) and were able to communicate how we are doing today and what this all means to us at this time. It was after that hour of just hearing us say these things out loud and meaning them that I realized we are doing well. So I just wanted to take the time today to share with all of you some of the things we have come to realize and the many ways the Lord continues to bless us.
There were several weeks following our return from the beach that I remained lost. I just went thru the motions with no real enthusiasm and very little motivation. I remember worrying that maybe this is how life would be from here on. Nothing with the exception of Dylan was as fulfilling as my days spent with Bella and watching her progress and grow. Nothing still is but I am learning to live with that void. I literally prayed my way out of bed in the mornings and completely relied on the Lord to carry me thru my days. Those were some long days. The early stages of grief is the hardest work you will ever do. It is exhausting and excruciating. It is lonely, hollow and empty.
I feel very blessed that we were able to move thru those early stages of grief rather quickly and have come to find peace & joy again in our life. Chris and I have discussed this and we agree that our sense of loss is different than most that grieve. Our gratitude and realization of just how blessed we were to have those 9 months overcomes any sense of loss. There is no bitterness, little regrets and peace has overcome all understanding of how and why. And more recently in the past few days or past week I have found that she is still always with me. I carry her throughout my days and her memories and presence bring me joy many, many times a day. I feel her always near and I never thought I would get to that point because I missed her physical being so much.
It has been interesting to watch how each of us have changed from this, just instantly we are different people than we were before. I like to think that we are significantly better and look forward to seeing how the Lord continues to change us for His needs. I see how both Chris and I are able to prioritize life and what really matters. All of the little stressers and silly worries are minimal these days. In myself I see that I do things because I really, really want to do them, not because I feel like I should or feel like I have to. That alone has made life more fulfilling and in many ways calmer. In Chris I see how he is willing to drop work in a drop of a hat to be there for me or Dylan. I have found that the moments we spend as a family, no matter what we are doing, are just richer. We prioritize time with friends and family like we never did before. We are blessed with so many that this is still a work in progress but we see the importance of doing it today like we never did before. I have realized that Dylan will never have the "only child" qualities because he will always have to share the love of his parents with his sister. He talks openly about Bella and how he misses her and I have come to realize that even at his young age he will carry her with him forever. I have found myself able to play and let go of responsibilities much easier just to be with him, completely and totally focused on him. Bella has made me think more about being welcomed into heaven than being remembered here on Earth. She has made me really think about the beauty of eternal life and cherish that one day I will be with her again forever.
There are some things that we are going to have to work on over time. There is a hard reality that sets in that life is not permanent and there truly are no guarantees for anyone. In many ways this realization will be the biggest influence on our life here forward. In some ways now it can be debilitating. I have to learn to trust again and live with the fact that my husband or my other child could be taken at any time. Right now the thought of this is crippling and I start to panic if I am away from either of them for a prolonged period of time or if Chris doesn't answer his phone when I call. I think this will calm with time and I am still learning to turn these emotions over to the Lord in prayer and meditation. We have more tendencies now to be over protective of Dylan than we ever did before. We are going to work on these so he doesn't live his life in fear and neither do we. I have come to realize that the Lord does allow you to choose: to choose to live in fear or trust, in sorrow or joy, for tomorrow or for today. The choice is ultimately ours but the blessings from the right choices are plentiful from Him.
There are other questions that have surfaced from her loss like do we intend to have more children? This is something we are not permanently set on today. But at this time we feel like we wanted 2 children, there was never any consideration of 3. We have 2 children. We have a daughter and son when both were never a guarantee with all of my female issues and medical history. I personally think to ask for anything more would be pushing it and far too risky. I would love for us to consider over the next year the thought of fostering or adopting. There are so many children that could bless our lives and benefit from the love we have to give. For now though we are going to learn to live with our circumstances of one child in heaven and one child here on Earth. We have faith that our year in Florida will lead us to the right answers for all of these questions. Where to go, what to do and so on...
We thank you again for lifting us in prayer, for all of the cards, messages, gifts and acts of kindness that you all have shown us. We are blessed to have all of you to share this life with and pray that we will see each of you in the next.
Much love to all