Monday, March 18, 2013

Why?

I honestly don't know if I'll be able to take what is in my head and type it in a way that makes sense to everyone else.  But, here's to trying....

I think in many bad situations most people look for a why. We want answers, we want reasons, we want to understand. Many of those people will be anxiously looking for what good will come of this bad thing. Kind of "If God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window".  I've been thinking on this a lot lately.  I think I'm just like anyone else. I want God to turn this huge sadness in my life into something wonderful. But then I think, even if He did, would it make me glad to have lost Landyn?  Would whatever this good thing is be so good that it cancels out the pain in my heart?

Let me tell you what I've seen happen.  Because Landyn died I have Ian. Because Landyn died I have a very personal view of the pain a mom goes through in this type of situation. Because Landyn died I started Angel Blankets so moms of angels will know someone, somewhere acknowledges their baby and their pain. Because Landyn died I've had to type out my swirling thoughts and others have gotten a glimpse of something they may never have thought of otherwise. Because Landyn died I've had others tell me of their own losses, some said they had never told anyone else, some had been pushed to "get over it" and had never really grieved, some are just alone and want another angel mom to cry with. Because Landyn died I've gotten a good look at where my trust lies.

These are all good things. But none of them take away the pain, the emptiness in my heart. You know what?  That's ok.  Every now and then I think, "God, couldn't you  have given me a passion for this WITHOUT my baby dying?"  Honestly, I think the answer is no.  True, God is God, and He certainly could have put awareness and sympathy in my heart. But would I be able to relate as well, would I be able to truly know the emptiness, the loneliness, the physical ache of your arms to hold your baby? No.

On the flip side of this, while all these things that are happening are good I DO NOT think that God took my baby's life so they could happen. Death exists. People get sick and die. Living and dying are a normal part of this world. Sure, God is God, He could have saved her, so in a way He allowed it to happen. But that all goes hand in hand with sin being in the world, the curse, and humans' free will. It's a bit complicated to think through, I suppose.  I really believe that these opportunities came to be by course of events through Landyn's death. I didn't have to take any of them. I certainly didn't have to choose to have another baby. Landyn was going to be our last. I could just let myself be angry, bitter, uncompassionate. I don't have to spend hours making blankets. I am not forced to share my inner most thoughts and pain for all to see. I don't have to talk with other moms and hurt for them.  I choose to do the best I can, to take those opportunities to make Landyn's death mean something. To not let the pain just be pain, but to teach me. To help others in small ways.  These different opportunities have come to be because I lost her, but I don't think they are the reason I lost her.

So that brings us back to the "why?".  In the first chapter of Habakkuk, Habakkuk is asking a big why and God responds with "For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told."  You need to read the whole thing to understand that what is going on there is nothing like this situation but I think the same answer can be applied. If God was to answer me, if I shouted, "WHY?"  would I even be able to understand His answer? Would I even believe Him?  Would that answer be enough and make me feel all better?  Probably not. The things of Heaven just can't be understood here on earth and while we're here we deal with earthly thoughts and emotions. 

So maybe the question shouldn't be "Why?"  maybe the question should be, "What can I do with this?" It's one of my biggest prayers for myself. That I will take where I am and use it. It certainly isn't always easy. Actually, in many ways it comes with a lot of pain of it's own. Hearing that the hospital has used some of my blankets makes my heart hurt and brings back all kinds of emotions. I almost always cry while typing these posts. I hear other's stories and just ache for the pain I know they have. In many ways just shutting down and ignoring any of these opportunities would be a lot easier.  Easier, but useless.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation that has you asking, "Why?" remember that having that answer probably won't make you feel any better. Your energy might better be spent on asking yourself, "What can I do with this?"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Angel Blankets

When I saw Landyn for the first time she was wrapped up in two blankets. The one directly around her was white with pink spots on one side and a light lime green on the other. There was lace around the edging. It was pretty and very girlie. The second blanket was laid over top of that and was yellow with little hearts and other designs. The pink one was a perfect fit for a tiny little baby and the other one had been folded some but was still tiny. I was so amazed the hospital had something just the right size for my girl that I asked the nurse where it came from. She said volunteers make them.

The day after Landyn was born I dragged myself out to Babies R Us...the very LAST place I felt like being... to look for the perfect blanket to put over the top of her casket. Even though others offered to go do it I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to pick out something special for my girl. Something that was pretty and just hers.  I found a super soft purple blanket with butterflies on the corner. I knew as soon as I saw it that was the one.

Her blankets have become some of my most treasured possessions. The one from the hospital I mostly keep in her memory box but the feel of it and the smell of it takes me back to those few precious moments I had with her. The purple one is my go to blanket when I miss her the most. I can't even count the number of nights I've slept with it tucked tightly in my arms and when the tears just need to flow I often go grab it. It helps to have SOMETHING, especially something that is hers, to hold. It helps to ease the ache in my empty arms.

And so, seeing how much those blankets meant to me I decided around Thanksgiving time that I was going to learn to crochet. I was going to make a donation of blankets to the hospital in time for Landyn's due date in January.  I wanted to be sure other angel babies had something special, made just for them and the right size for their here- to -soon bodies. I also wanted to be sure the moms had something to take home, something to hold.  My one time donation never happened. I can't just make one batch and feel like I've done something. Too many moms and too many angels.  I started what I am calling Angel Blankets.  For now I have only a facebook page, a few other interested people, and myself.  I am hoping to see this slowly grow until I have so many blankets I need to start making contacts in other hospitals. I want EVERY mom to have something to go home with.  I am looking for anyone who can make blankets; crocheted, knitted, sewed, or quilted. I am looking for people who aren't crafty to donate yarn  (or gift cards for the purchase of yarn), store bought blankets, or money towards shipping boxes.  Even if you can't help, trust me I know how hard time and money are to come by, you really CAN help by spreading the word. Tell your friends, tell your grandma who loves to knit, share my facebook page.

Anyone interested in more details can contact me either through facebook at www.facebook.com/babyangelblankets

or

through email at

beccabear48@yahoo.com  (please label subject accordingly so I dont delete!)


You can donate through paypal. I can send a box of approximately 25 small blankets for about $13. I can buy yarn for around $3.50 a small skein. There is a paypal button labeled on the top right side of my blog.
 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Truth

So, I recently came to a conclusion. I've known it all along, but the words just finally came together in my head. I'm not going to heal. That's right, you read it right. This side of heaven there will be no complete healing. I will never reach a point of sighing and being glad I'm all better.  The best example might be thinking of an amputation.  You have to adjust, learn to do things different, you learn to function in spite of what you're missing. But, never, do you grow back what you're missing.  It's always gone.  In some ways this is freeing. I don't need to follow anyone else's schedule. I don't need to try to feel things I don't or can't. In other ways it's just another kick while down. There are days when I am so very, very tired of hurting and I just want it to stop. The pain does change over time, though. I've seen some of that already. It really is just an adjustment, finding how to be a different normal. February 25, was 6 months since Landyn was born. Just recently I've been able to slowly start getting my house, the kids school, and life back under some kind of control.  From the beginning there have been good days and bad days and very bad days. I think that will continue, but I believe the bad will, over time, not come quite as often. I think, as with body pain, you just get used to it in a way. You expect that hurt to always be there and it has less of a hold over you in time.  I've always felt slightly uncomfortable with people mentioning my "healing", it just took me some time to figure out why exactly it bothered me. Healing is a journey, a continuing, present tense. For this, there is no healed.

How anxiously I await the day God himself will wipe away my last tears and she'll be there and I can hug her and hug her. Sometimes I wonder if eternity will be long enough.