Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Hope

It is Christmas.

Joy, Peace, Love, Hope...they linger in the air.

I should be joyful and thankful that our son is with Jesus, but to be completely honest, today I am not. He should be here.

I wish this was not the attitude with which I have approached Christmas this year, but as a friend put it, much of the "glitter", magic and sparkle of this Christmas has been lost on "what should have been...what should be". He should be here.

Yes, laughter, smiles and fun are still exchanged with our family and friends, but they don't annul the emptiness that resides in my heart and wells up as a pit in my stomach when I think of our Aaron Matthew and imagine him in my arms. He should be here. 

Christmas has brought forth such fresh sorrow again...sorrow that my heart cannot navigate and my mind cannot comprehend. He should be here.

Yet, as the superficial layers of Christmas are peeled away, we do find these things... joy, peace, love and hope...all in a Savior. All in a baby boy who was sent to us and for us. All in a baby boy who died on a cross for us. A baby boy who died...oh how I have a hard time with that. This marks the first Christmas that tears ran down my face at Christmas eve service...for that boy of mine; for that boy named Jesus. What a gift he gave. My heart understands now.

Joy, Peace, Love, Hope...this one stands out this year. Hope.

Dear Aaron,

Merry Christmas my son. As I stop and look at your ornaments on your little evergreen memory tree, I can only imagine who you'd be today... 

Happy 4 month birthday sweet boy.

Please tell Jesus Happy Birthday... and thank you....

I love you so very much and desperately miss you. 


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lump o' Coal

Again, I have been quiet lately. It seems that the fast pace of work, the demands of this holiday season and the fatigue caused by being in a state of constant flux of emotions and thoughts have made it difficult to find a sense of calm or to catch my breath lately. It is almost midnight, Aaron has been weighing heavily on my heart all day and I am finally getting a chance to sit. To reflect. To breathe. To feel close to Aaron in the stillness that surrounds me. 

I have been thinking about Christmas...and the sweet four month old boy who should be here...

Christmas is usually my favorite time of year, but this year it just feels wrong without Aaron here. Lights are twinkling on the outside of our house and a wreath hangs on our front looks like a "typical" Christmas from the outside. You'd never know that it's Christmas when you walk through the front door. No tree. No stockings. No garland, lights or decorations. Only our nativity is out. I wanted to do all of these things for Aaron, for my little one, but I can't bring myself to do any of it. There is too much sadness this year in doing those things that are usually so joyful. I have ornaments galore to hang for him and lights that I imagine would mesmerize him as their reflections twinkled in his eyes...but there is no tree for these things. 

I don't feel like celebrating.

I thank God for the birth of Jesus, His son, and for the gift of his life to each and every one of us. A gift that brings us hope. This Christmas, I quietly lift up my joy and gratefulness to God for that. 

But, I don't feel like celebrating. 

Oh how I miss you and love you dear boy.

(I wouldn't be surprised if I wake up Christmas morning to a lump of coal for my attitude this year. Oh well.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Missed it all...

Aaron, my little one, I’m so sorry that I missed it all.

Since Aaron’s death, I’ve struggled with this harsh reality. In those three short days on earth he endured so much, and I never truly got to know him through it all. He’s my son, and I missed it. Through all of those tubes, wires, drains and monitors, I could see his body, but not him. He changed so much from the day I first laid eyes on him in the operating room and heard his tiny little cries… to the very first time I held him after his body just couldn’t fight any longer… to the day I spend hours holding him, rocking him and soaking in every detail of him in the empty room of a funeral home. His tiny little body was so cold that day and no matter how long I held him close, I just couldn’t warm him up… memories of that day still visit me frequently and they instantly crush my heart  and rock me to the core of my being. A mom should be able to keep her child warm…

He endured, fought and changed so much from his first breath to his last…and I feel like I missed it. I missed it all.  There was a little boy whom I should have been next to, caring for and loving on every second he was with us, but I wasn’t. It breaks my heart; it always will. I didn’t get to wrap my arms around him so he could feel the comfort and love of his mother… I didn’t get to kiss him goodbye before his surgeries…I didn’t get to gaze into his eyes and see that sweet little soul.  No diaper changes, bathes, or chances to study every intricate detail of the tiny little masterpiece that was him.

I miss you, Aaron Matthew. I feel like I missed it all

Friday, December 10, 2010

Groceries and a broken heart

Sometimes I truly do have to ask God, "WHY?" 

I realize, during moments of clarity, that God will use what we are going through for His glory and for good. I can see this in "the big stuff". But, in some of the small, everyday situations that I find myself in, I struggle with every fiber of my being to see the good. Some are just plain hurtful. 

Those who visit and read here, in my little corner of the world, may interpret this as me simply letting things get to me too easily. I don't expect the world to stop or for other mothers not to delight in showing off their precious children and sharing their newfound joy with others. Sometimes though, I just have to ask "why?"  If you are a mother who has lost a child, then you have probably been in my shoes and understand the heartbreak here...
Photo credit

I just stopped at the store on my way home from work and found myself in the checkout line behind a woman with a baby snuggled up in it's carrier, safely nestled down in her cart. Some days I intentionally switch lines so I don't even have to deal with it. At times, I can coo at and hold sweet little ones without a second thought; other days I can't get away fast enough before the tears begin stinging my eyes.

Today I thought to myself..."Yesterday was good. Today has been good. This won't bother me today." 

As the woman was checking out, the cashier kept doting on the baby and asked how old it was. "He's a little over three months." the mom said.  A little boy Aaron's age... God, why?

The mom proceeded to take him out of the carrier so the cashier could see him. He was wearing one of the few things I had bought Aaron; the exact same striped long sleeve onsie... God, why? 

Directed at me, the cashier asked "Isn't he a cutie?!" I managed to nod my head while holding back tears and thinking, "Please excuse me while I pick my heart up off the floor"... God, why?

I know that I may never understand why, I just know you're always there, walking beside me, making your presence known ...and picking up my broken heart when it has just hit the floor in the middle of the grocery store. You're always there. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I realize I have been quiet on here lately. To be honest, it's been a long week of struggling. I've been wrestling with more anger and frustration than normal...and I don't know what to do with those emotions. So, I felt the need to just be. To be quiet. To be still. To sort through it. To figure it out...and, I am still working on it. 

I believe that much of my frustration and anger have stemmed from this all too quickly approaching Christmas. Although we will be celebrating the birth of Christ and it should be joyful, I struggle with the fact that Aaron is not here, and he should be. Arriving this week with the Christmas presents that I have ordered for our nieces and nephews should be gifts for Aaron as well. Instead, his "urn" will be in that box...

I can't begin to explain how it feels to order an urn for your child. So many emotions flood me when as I think about it, but one word in particular stands out...wrong. It is just that, plain and simple. Wrong. 

In the middle of all that feels wrong and in the "emotional mess" of last week, I do want to share  one thing that, to me, was an encouragement, a blessing, a light...

Photo Credit
In the midst of my "ugly" week, something joyful happened. In our high school youth group the recent series of teachings have been on shining our light into the lives of others. Last week, someone did just that for me. 

Wednesday night I opened the front door to find one of our fellow high school youth group leaders standing there with a giant basket in her hands. She said "here, someone wanted me to give this to you. I can't tell you who it is". As I set the basket down and stood in amazement for a few more minutes, I opened the letter tucked inside. It said...
Dear Danielle- I know that this year has been especially difficult and so I wanted to bless you with something special.
Here you will find an Advent Basket. This is filled with little treats for you to open each day until Christmas. It is my hope and prayer that you are encouraged and rejuvenated by each little gift. They are each marked with a number...
I am purposely not telling who I am but wanting you to just enjoy being lifted up in prayer and encouragement. You will find out on Christmas Day who it is that is giving you these gifts. Please know that i am praying for you and for your heart each day as you move toward healing. I am also praying that God would meet you where you are and minister to you in ways that are unmistakably Him.
Praying for you today and with each gift.  

Who would do this for me? Who would put the time, energy, thoughtfulness and love into something like this for measly 'lil me? If you, "gift giver", are reading this, thank you. Thank you for shining a light into my life, during a very difficult season this year. The love, prayers and the basket are a true blessings that offer hope and encouragement through our first Holidays without Aaron. I can't begin to tell you the comfort it brings to know that he is being remembered...
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