Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Delicate Balance: Heartbreak and Hearthope

i think about blogging everyday. there's so much i'm feeling and churning around in my little brain that i could write and write and write and never run out of content.

but it's like i lost my voice. i don't know how else to describe it. 

i've gone hoarse screaming for the last two years. trying to communicate, in any way that makes sense, what a broken heart looks like, feels like. 

it's exhausting. so i went silent.

i also went silent because i bought the lie that people don't care anymore. the drama chasers and sob story enthusiasts are all but gone, on to the next tragedy. our story isn't as exciting anymore. our "happy ending" came so ... 


but i refuse to let that lie linger or feed it in any way by going silent. because, my friends, i must give voice to our experience and remember why i started writing publically in the first place.

it is my desire that this blog, these simple words on a computer screen, will somehow bring healing, comfort and hope to each person who stumbles upon them... and i pray to me too.

maybe i'll post everyday. maybe i won't. but what is for sure is that i will share my heart. my questions. my joy. my confusion. my pain. and my Jesus. i would love for you to join me as we journey through this mess of loss ... it may not always be pretty, but it is real. (first post, 7/16/13)

here's the reality - the last couple months have been the absolute hardest for me since immediately losing noah. we're talking panic attacks, deep depression, weeping, unkindness to my husband, and unbelievable fear and stress. there are a variety of circumstances that heightened these emotions... (an arrival of a brand new niece, managing family expectations, dealing with disappointment when he's seemingly forgotten, seeing people who were pregnant when i was pregnant with noah welcoming their second baby...all these each blog posts of their own), but they are all rooted in the same truth: 

i miss noah and i want my other life back.

i grieve that i'll never get to say, my family is complete. 

i'll never get over how hard it is to hear, can we get a picture with the whole family? no. no, we can never. because my whole family is not here.

in processing with my support group and others who have experienced infant loss, i'm learning how seriously God-awful approaching the two year anniversary is. and let me tell you, from my experience (and that's the only one i can speak from) it. was. hard.

but now i'm in it. we're here. noah's special days. the 13 days he was alive on this earth were two years ago right now. june 5th - june 18th 

and it's still hard. memories of those beautiful, perfect first 24 hours he was healthy and the hellish 12 days that followed. pure hell in its truest form. 

but of course there was beauty too in each one of those 13 days of 2013. because noah.

that delicate balance of heartbreak and hearthope reminds me of yesterday. 

yesterday we celebrated miles' first birthday. (his real birthday is tomorrow, but yesterday was saturday. so..) 

there was family. there was swimming. there was cake. there was joy. it was a sweet time.

however, as i cried on the shoulder of my ever-patient husband that night. i realized again...

even when i'm happy, i'm sad. 

everything i have reminds me of everything i don't. and everything i don't have reminds me of what i do. all the time. 

here's just one small way that translates into my daily life.

for miles' party i made one of these blackboard poster things:

it's made with metallic markers drawn on a poster board. a poster board that i had had in an area we keep a lot of noah's special things. it had already been purposed for something else two years ago and it wasn't until a few days ago when i put it in my kitchen window to display, that i was outside and caught the other side.

seeing it, my heart literally lept out of my chest. there was my sweet noah boy, almost life-sized and right there in front of me. (for those of you who attended noah's memorial service, you'll remember it was one of the pictures displayed.) 

and did you notice another precious little boy in the picture? in the window reflection?

when i had grabbed my phone to take a picture of this noah moment, miles ran across the shot behind me, right as the picture took.

it made me smile.

i see noah everywhere. and everywhere i see miles.

this one picture so amazingly represents my simultaneous heartbreak and hearthope that i feel every day, but especially today on the eve of miles' first birthday.

miles is here. and we got him for an entire year. (and i can only hope for a hundred more.) he's filled with joy, wonder, curiosity and love. i literally cannot contain my thankfulness that he's getting older and i get to witness it up close.

however, in the same breath, noah is not here. he will forever be a tiny, tiny baby who lost the chance to grow older. we'll never know how he would've been as a toddler or a big brother or a son. we only can imagine. every year that passes will be another year we didn't get. and that pain is deep. 

i have a one year old and a would-have-been two year old.

so i will never understand when someone is actually sad to see their baby grow up. my sweet baby is growing up! *sad face* 

or what completely messes me up is when someone actually says about their child, stop growing up! 

now, i get it. i understand the sentiment. our children are dear to us and a preschool graduation can really open the water works on that. i really do get it.

but for christ's sake, isn't growing up the whole point?!

i already know what it feels like to have babies who will never grow up. and trust me, forever babies are not that great in reality.

so, miles. my birthday wish for you:

keep growing. 
grow strong and healthy. 
continue to be that joy and light spreader that you are. 
and your mama and daddy will cherish every stage of life you have, only excited for the next.

you go, dude. keep having birthdays. we're cheering you on all the way, everyday.
happy birthday, miles.

and always. happy birthday, noah.