Friday, December 17, 2010

Grand Prize

A year ago today we learned that Bristol had died...a year ago tomorrow, she was born. Wow, what changes a year can bring. I have tried to prepare myself for the emotions that today and tomorrow will bring- I'm not sure if that's possible...but I can say, that I have both peace and sadness in my heart as today has arrived. Sadness about what we lost, about the could've beens, but peace in knowing she's in heaven, enjoying the glory that we patiently wait for. Brad and I were talking last night about amazes me how differently we handle, view, and experience things. While there isn't a day that goes by without me thinking of her at some point, Brad doesn't. Perhaps that's the difference between men and women, fathers and mothers, and carrying the life inside of you for 20 weeks. But as we were talking, Brad said something that really struck my heart. He said that even though he has moments of tears- he isn't sure why he's crying, because he isn't sad...I asked him to explain...he said that he has peace about Bristol because she got to go straight to the "grand prize", heaven. He said that knowing she's in heaven, experiencing a glory filled life with God, that he can't be sad about that. And how right he is! Is it completely selfish of me to be sad for all that I missed with her? What a change of heart his perspective brings...though I can be sad about our loss, I should find joy and peace in knowing she will never experience pain, heartache, and the like in heaven. In some way, I am able to find comfort from knowing she's watching us, that she's with us, that because of her, I renewed my faith in Christ and have the hope of heaven ahead of me.

Holding Brody in my arms has been an incredible blessing, but it has also reminded me of what we lost and will never get to experience with Bristol. But when I think about how we got Brody- I am confident that he is heaven sent. We wouldn't have had Brody, if we hadn't lost Bristol. We learned we were pregnant with Brody just a few weeks after Bristol was born- no fertility treatment, no stress, just pure surprise and joy! And to think of all the people who prayed for his safe arrival- he truly is a special blessing! Psalms 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord. I can't stop looking at him in total awe and amazement- he truly is a miracle baby...and perfect in every way.

Nothing about this journey has gone according to "plan"...a continuous reminder and challenge to have faith in God's perfect plan for us. We went to the hospital to be induced Thanksgiving night- however, the induction didn't work and we got sent home the following day. We returned to the hospital on Sunday to do a second induction, and by Monday morning- nothing had changed. Despite regular contractions, I wasn't dilating. I really wanted to have a vaginal delivery- I didn't want my only experience to be delivering a stillborn. But Monday morning I began to realize that what I wanted and reality were probably going to be different. By Monday afternoon nothing had progressed, and then Brody's heart rate started to drop. They put me on oxygen to make sure he was getting that point, I didn't care what my plan was, I wanted this baby out alive and well! I laid in the bed looking at Brad and the dr, and through my tears and oxygen masked, I prayed and begged God to keep Brody safe. At 3:20 the dr decided to take Brody C-section, and at 3:25pm he was born. The moment I heard him scream, a year of tears and emotion poured from my eyes. He was alive, THANK GOD!! Is it coincidence that Bristol was born at the same time...When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. God is so good- all the time- and sometimes I think we miss his blessings because they aren't in our "plan"...

When Brad brought Brody around the curtain for me to see- I have never seen a more beautiful, perfect, amazing baby before. He stopped crying and looked me in the eyes, when I kissed him, he heart melted and gratitude and joy overflowed.

So as this day continues and tomorrow approaches, I am sure tears will fall, but hopefully some of those will be tears of joy. Joy for the blessing of children- both our children. Bristol changed our lives in many ways, and has touched the lives of many others. I can only imagine how our lives will change with Brody! She went straight to the "grand prize" and will be a constant challenge for us to live our lives so that we too, may reach the grand prize.

Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Poem for Mommies with Angels watching over...

My Mommy is a survivor or so I've heard it said. But I can hear her crying at night when all others are in bed. I watch her lay awake at night and go to hold her hand. She doesn't know I'm with her to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach that never wash away... I watch over my surviving mommy, who thinks of me each day. She wears a smile for others... a smile of disguise! But through Heaven's door I see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mommy tries to cope with death to keep my memory alive. But anyone who knows her knows it is her way to survive. As I watch over my surviving mom through Heaven's open door... I try to tell her that angels protect me forevermore. I know that doesn't help her or ease the burden she bears.

So if you get a chance, go visit her... and show her that you care. For no matter what she says... no matter what she feels. My surviving mommy has a broken heart that time won't ever heal...

Auhor Uknown