Blue Christmas Without You

I’m trying. I’m really trying to find joy this Christmas. I suppose it’s like every other aspect of this process. One minute it’s there and seems effortless and the next it feels impossible to dig myself out of the hole my hope is buried in. Saturday was filled with it. Today is not.

Earlier this week a friend shared a haunting poem written in response to the horrific tragedy that ripped through an elementary school. My heart hurts for the families so newly dropped into grief this Christmas. How must they feel today? As I read the words of this poem I couldn’t stop thinking of my own angels. I don’t mean to disrespect or remove the message of hope and love for the sweet angels it was written for but I can’t stop contemplating the moments that my babies found His arms and what they thought/think about those left behind. I suppose I’d never really fully thought about that. I wonder what their first Christmas will be like and who they are with.

I think about my aunt who passed away this time last year. She held on through Christmas day and then flew into His arms. Are they with her? I like to think so. My what treats she must be baking for them. I can’t fill their tummies with treats this year but what wonderful things they must have with the bakers that have gone before! Between my grandmas, great aunt, and aunt Linda I can be sure they’ll have their share of milk and cookies.

My heart is broken and hurting and trying – trying desperately to find joy. I know the reason for the season and am thankful to have His birth to focus on, but I miss them.

— — —

Jesus-The-Children

I’m hoping it’s ok to also use the photo that came along with this.
I don’t know who to credit for it’s use.

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is heaven.” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at
God’s house.”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
Those children all flew into the arms of their King
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Butterfly Dream

Butterfly

Last night I had a vivid dream that left me feeling so peaceful. I’ve prayed for months to get a dream about my babies and until last night I don’t believe that’s happened – that I can remember at least.

Last night I was visited by butterflies. They weren’t your average butterfly though. They were HUGE and they were made of paper with beautiful watercolor paint dripping all over them. I ran through a field and saw just one. Then two more joined them. Then a few more. They landed on my arms. I fell to the ground on my back and suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of watercolor butterflies as far as I could see all fluttering around me.

I stood and ran toward a pond, ran out onto the dock, and watched them all follow with their beautiful pastel wings.

I’m not sure what that means but I loved every moment of it.

Details That “Don’t Matter”

SnowAngel

I’m not sure what I came here to write. The last few weeks have been hard. I sort of feel numb. Self-emposed numbness. The holidays are here and they aren’t. There are moments that I feel loved through them. I hung ornaments on the tree in their remembrance this year. Some days I look at them and smile, thankful that they are here in the center of our home. Some days I look at them and get angry – look at my dead baby tree. I wrap gifts for family members and some days I’m thankful for opportunities to share their memory with those whom I know truly understand what they mean. Some days I look at the packages and get angry – who wants a bunch of dead baby gifts anyway? My head shifts back and forth, back and forth as with so many things on this journey.

I didn’t do enough. I couldn’t have done anything more. Nobody understands this. Why do so many others have to understand this? Did their lives even matter? Their lives have changed my life forever. I wish I had never lived this. If one person’s life was changed for the good I’ll bear this. Pick a moment of the day and I’ve likely lived both realities on nearly every path of thought that exists.

After months of avoiding the paperwork and phone calls I  finally went to the court house to file for birth and death certificates. I stood at a cold stone counter as an equally stone cold clerk processed the paperwork. I stuffed the tears and felt them running down my throat as he slid six papers in front of me.

Their names – each typed across the top of the page – a piece of paper that I’ve been waiting to hold for so long shouting their existence – followed by a piece of paper no parent should ever hold – a death certificate. I scanned each page trying to clear my mind and focus on the details. Sure enough the details were wrong.

The spelling of Nate’s birth city was wrong on every page. The death date of one of my daughter’s was wrong. I asked to have it changed and was faced with a confused expression from the clerk. “Didn’t you get the paperwork to verify these details?” – no. It would cost us $240 to correct the records. He responded telling me that it didn’t matter anyway. Maybe it doesn’t matter to you sir – but it matters to me.

In the mean time a second clerk was digging through the old microfiche files and found the birth and death certificates of another child; my grandma’s twin sister who was stillborn. There was the grainy black and white copy with the details of her birth and burial. A little life so easily forgotten. I will not let her be forgotten. This clerk had kind eyes and gave her personal condolences. She spoke with a soft voice and offered phone numbers and names for the mortuary so I could clear up the mistakes. She acknowledged my loss. They mattered in her eyes.

I left the office with a mix of emotions. I found her! Proof of this little life. At the same time anger fueled by mistakes that never should have happened and words that cut deep.

It’s been a week and today I dug into those details. Phone call after phone call with people not wanting to claim responsibility for the mistakes. No apologies given. No answers. I wait to hear how they plan to resolve this. I wait for someone to acknowledge the details of their short lives mattered. Yes it does matter to me that she died on 2-3-12 and not 2-4-12 like her brother and sister!

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. I’m avoiding the reality of what the papers I hold in my hand really mean – that they’re gone forever – and at times denying the fact that they ever existed. Maybe it was just a bad dream.