Saturday, January 29, 2011

His Name in the Sand

Just in time.

As the anniversary of Aaron's death comes and goes each month, it is hard not to relive the events of that night...the trauma and complete heartbreak. The devastation. This month I made a promise not to dwell on that, but instead, to focus on what a blessing it was to have three whole days with him. And, to think of it not as the day that we lost him, but as the day that heaven gained him....the day that his heart was made whole as he woke up to the magnificence of heaven and the glory of his creator. Isn't that the marvelous day that each of use should long for...

Well, his anniversary this month was still difficult, but I smiled as I remembered Aaron in a beautiful way....through a beautiful gift. Although his name had been on the wait list for quite some time for To Write Their Names In The Sand, it came in God's time...perfect timing, of course. Aaron's name was written under a beautiful sunset on the evening of January 28th, his five month anniversary, on the shores of "Christian's Beach" in Australia. It may not seem like much to others, but the acknowledgement of your child and act of remembrance by others is truly cherished. 

His name in the sand is so brings peace to my heart:  

CarlyMarie provides an amazing ministry to parents who have been touched by child loss and has written almost 10,000 names in the past couple years. Check out her story and inspiration behind To Write Their Names In The Sand here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Months

I began writing a post as a reflection of the past five months...the days since we first said hello to Aaron. As I read it back, it truly was a reflection of the past five months; a reflection of our grief and heartbreak. Yet, as I look back to that single day, August 25th, I decided that the post wasn't appropriate. It doesn't capture the feelings of that day at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite. 

Five months ago, today, was one of the happiest days of our lives. For a brief moment in time, we were able to forget that we were terrified...forget that we had spent the better part of the last year on our knees praying for a miracle...forget that our future as a family was completely uncertain.  Five months ago we heard the most beautiful cry and kissed the sweetest cheeks that were ever known to us. If only for a short few seconds, God graciously lifted our anxiety and fears and in that moment allowed us to experience unreserved pure love and pure joy...that of our son. He was perfect. And today, five months later, he is perfect...healthy and healed...perfect, as God planned.  We only wish that we could experience his healed body here on earth, rather than waiting for our eternity. 

I wonder so many things about you, Aaron Matthew. What you would look like, all the things you would now be doing, your personality? I wonder what you are doing now, what heaven is like, if you understand how much we miss you? Some day, Aaron. I know that we will have all these answers, and more importantly, that we will hold you once again...not nearly soon enough, but some day. Happy five month birthday, son. We miss you and love you more than you'll ever know sweet boy.   Love Always, Mommy & Daddy

...He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these...  ~Mark 10:14

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mustard Seed

I hate to constantly sound negative on here, but this is our journey through grief, after all and it's certainly not all rainbows and daisies. Today ended up being one of those days... a salt poured in an open wound kind of day. 

Today, I'm glad to know that this is all that is truly needed, because I feel like it's all that I have left sometimes...


~Matthew 17:20

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I was just starting a new blog post today when I learned of some very somber news.

If you read the post "Complete Surrender" about the night that Aaron passed away, you may remember that we were praying over another baby in the CICU when Aaron went into cardiac arrest. That baby was sweet Madeline Grace. Her parents hit their knees and surrounded us, people they barely knew, in prayer throughout the wee hours of morning. 

They need our prayers...

Their beautiful daughter, Madeline Grace, is now fully healed in the arms of Jesus. In the words of her parents, she went to play with the angels in heaven yesterday, on her 5 month birthday. We know that their hearts are heavy and broken with the loss of Madeline. Please lift them up in prayer. I don't remember much of those first days after we lost Aaron other than the fact that they were very dark and we were very broken. I can only imagine that they feel the same. Please pray that Lisa, Shanker and their three small daughters will feel God's presence and comfort during this very devastating time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stage Two

Anger. It is somehow labeled as "stage two" of grief, yet it doesn't logically fall between stage one and stage three...more like it sneaks up after four, again before one and again after three. Really, anytime it pleases. 

Anger. This word seems to adequately describe my emotional disposition lately, and it is an emotion that is generally so easy and straightforward for me to acknowledge, understand and address. However, it has been just the opposite, bringing about frustration and confusion as I attempt to dissect it. It is an anger that seems to constantly change directions although it is not directed at God, or at anyone or anything in particular, other than our current reality that Aaron is not here and never will be. My hands are tied. I can't bring him back, I can't change the situation, yet, I can't seem to let go of this anger that I have recently found brewing and churning in my heart. An anger with no purpose...frustrating.

By nature, I am a logical person. I’ve learned to turn off emotions that are unproductive and unpurposeful. What I mean is, if the anger won’t change anything, or won't/can't lead me to change anything, then why spend my time and waste my energy being in that state? As I've walked through this trial, a trial greater than I ever fathomed would become part of my story, I've learned that logic doesn't cut it.  These emotions are too big; I can’t just turn them off. I want to let go of this anger; I don’t want to hold onto it, but it is holding onto me. At times I feel I may collapse under the strength of it’s grip. I don’t want to feed it or give reason for it to dig its roots down further into my heart and take foot, changing the core of my being in ways that I do not want to change. 

As this anger bubbles up and slowly turns into sheets of tears that burn my eyes and soak my face, two things always fall from my mouth: I hate that our son is not here and, during most days, I hate watching life go on around us. Hate. It's a strong word and one that I seldom use, yet, it is the truth.  

This gripping anger; it remains after the tears have come and gone. It leaves me weary and frustrated. It blurs my vision and keeps me from seeing the change and perspective on life that God is calling me to see through this trial. 

Father, I miss him. Please, take this anger, open my eyes and be gentle with my heart. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflecting and the next 365...

The exit of 2010 and entrance of a new year is bittersweet. I thought I would be ready to happily bid 2010 goodbye, but with the bad...awful...unbearable events that it brought, some of the greatest memories of my life will always belong to 2010. I remember...

... the day Dyna (our dog) looked at me dumbfounded and with his head cocked to the side as I jumped up and down, giddy and overjoyed with a positive pregnancy test in hand...January 7, 2010.

....the smiles on both of our faces the first time we saw our little one's heartbeat on an ultrasound screen. A perfect heartbeat, even from a broken heart....January 12, 2010.

...hearing those words, "guess what that is?...He's not bashful!" from the ultrasound tech when we learned we were having a son. Pure joy!...May 5, 2010.

...the perfect moment when I heard Aaron's tiny little cries and kissed his soft warm cheeks as he made his abrupt entrance into the world...August 25, 2010.

...the words from our surgeon "He did wonderful; his heart looks great...97% chance he'll be going home by next week." Music to a mother's ears...August 27, 2010. That is the last time I remember feeling true happiness and joy in 2010. 

Yes, much, well most, of our world in 2010 revolved around Aaron Matthew, and we wouldn't change that for anything. Birthdays and anniversaries marked the calendar as well, bringing laughter and happiness, but nothing paralleled the anticipation of him. I am still amazed at how a tiny little boy changed everything

We received the greatest gift ever and became parents. We learned of a love we never knew existed...and loved without reservation. We experienced pure joy, true sorrow and every emotion in between. We learned more about loss than we ever cared to know. We cried gentle tears of joy and sobbed tears of deep heartbreak into exhaustion. We gained a new perspective on life. We spent more time on our knees than ever before...praying, thanking, questioning, pleading. We learned the meaning of complete surrender. We grew to know our Father in a deeper, more intimate way. 

I wouldn't trade any of that, but what I would give to have him here. (Yes, I know, quite the oxymoron).

We will see what the next 365 of 2011 brings as we continue to learn to incorporate life without Aaron into our lives. Hope resides with the longing that each new day brings. 

And, I think I will even settle for a somewhat "boring" 2011...

Oh how I miss that sweet boy... 
Ornament I made for Aaron's little evergreen memory tree.

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