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Why I Blog

I blog because 10 years ago, something so important, so precious disappeared from my life while I was sleeping.  It was shocking, heart wrenching, soul crushing.  I woke up hearing my husband’s voice in the early darkness of morning telling me our daughter wasn’t breathing.  That’s not a way that anyone wants to wake up.  But you have to wake up, and then you have to deal with it, every.single.day.afterward.

This is my story, the past, and the continuation of our life after loss, and if it can help in some small way- another grieving parent- then it has done it’s job.  I’m here for anyone searching for another person who understands.

 

God is our Rock and our Salvation.

We couldn’t do anything without His strength and grace.

 

And here is the link to our story of the day she left.

Also, a link to our Sweet Lila Grace.

 

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February 1st

February 1st was the 11th anniversary of Lila going to Heaven.

Honestly, it never gets “easier”, but the emotions change year by year.  The feelings and thoughts about her departure are still difficult, but each year I find myself processing them differently.  This year I found thankfulness in my heart.  Thankfulness that God allowed us to have her, that He has brought adoption and fostering upon our hearts, and that He has allowed us to see the truth about life.  This isn’t our only life, Heaven has beauty and eternal happiness beyond our human ability to comprehend.  He’s also allowed us to see that we needed to “slow down” and lead a less busy life and focus on our children.  This itself has been a major blessing.  Being at home and simplifying life has brought better opportunities and moments to treasure.

I’ll be honest.  This year, I thought about the date, and I didn’t cry.  It’s probably the first time.  It was all because of the perspective.  I don’t have to hurt, I can yearn for Heaven instead.  Our relationship with her is NOT over.  We are waiting for it to begin again.

There’s so much hope in this change of perspective and acknowledgement of truth.

 

 

11th Birthday.

Today would have been Miss Lila’s eleventh birthday.  It is insane to me how fast time really does fly by us.  Every single year the pain morphs into something a little different.  This year I really feel it pulling me fast toward adoption.  I have pain, kids without families have pain, so why not all come together and find joy?  We’ve done two foster classes so far, two inspections, and we still have another inspection, cpr class and several classes to attend- then onto a home study.  It’s been a long process in my mind, but really when I count the months, I guess it’s not so bad.  God will get us there.

I’ll be Back.

I realize it has been a long while since I clicked the post button on this blog.  I have a lot I want to share, I’ve just been insanely busy (and I know everyone else has been too.)  For whatever reason fall seems to be busy season for everyone whether it be harvest, tax extensions, photography, holiday prep, etc.  You name it.

I have a lot I would like to share, and I’ll be back, soon.

Thanks for continuing to check in and read this blog.  I really appreciate having like minded humans with which to share my feelings and thoughts.  You guys are the best.

 

Precious in His Sight

When we were preparing for Lila’s funeral, we had trouble deciding what to put on her stone. I was sitting in the car outside the cemetery caretaker’s home (Josh was inside discussing details.) I was flipping through the Bible looking for four words we could put on her stone. Engraving costs were by the word and four more was about all we could afford at the bottom because the stone and cement were already super expensive.
I grew upset because I wanted God to allow me to “just turn to a page and find it”. It was such a difficult trial in my life, and I just wanted him to make something (anything) easy. I had little patience. It was then that I broke down in tears and prayed for help. I told him I’d wait for his answer. That was on a Monday afternoon. Later that night our bible study group came to our home to be with us and to pray. It was amazing that they’d even made it considering the conditions outside. The fog was thick, not the usual kind of fog, but so thick you could scarcely make out your own hand in front of your face. Along with their visit- they gave us another gift- a tangible one- a blanket from the church. I opened it up, it was a depiction of Jesus with a child, across the bottom it read: Precious in His Sight.
I only had to wait half a day for the answer.
I remember how I felt when I held that up and read it, the way my heart leapt when I saw four sweet words on the blanket.
From that moment on, I did not doubt that God heard my prayers. It strengthened my prayer life in a way that I could not have accomplished on my own. God is great. When I get down and miss my daughter, I remind myself that she is precious and she’s not only in His sight, She’s in His arms!
And that was what we had engraved on her stone.
I send my love to all you other Mommas who have children in Heaven. Keep pushing forward and rely on the Lord. He will light your path- no matter how dark. And He will hear your prayers, no matter how small.  Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, not even yourself.

 

jesus
Precious in His Sight

 

Hard Choices

In early 2017 we moved from Indiana to Texas. I was asked many times how I could move when my daughter was buried there.

Honestly, I had to look at it like this- a person has to live for, serve and devote themselves to the upbringing of their children in their day to day lives. My husband and I had checked out our future home thoroughly and knew it was be an awesome life for our kids. We were moving to an area with a huge number of other homeschooled kids. They would have awesome opportunities in either place, but the spot we chose offered so much we couldn’t pass it up. Regarding Lila- she doesn’t exist in the ground beneath that stone. She’s in Heaven with the Lord. I fiercely believe I am close to her no matter where I go. Being near her grave does not bring me any closer to being with her.

I spent a lot of time at her grave after she had first died. Over time I started to find it added to my anxiety because I knew her body was beneath me, and there was nothing I could do about it. For some people going to the cemetery is healing and helpful. It can be that for me, when I go on occasion.. but only when I remind myself that she is not there, that’s simply where we put her remains until the day of the Lord’s return.

Living after the death of a loved one is hard.

Especially a child..

It’s a daily struggle to find a new normal, but it does eventually come. Everyone’s walk is different, but honestly I believe we are all searching for healing and peace. Let’s do it together.

My Calendar, My Crutch.

See this>

caIt’s just a simple dry erase calendar.  It’s also one of the very things that helped me stay sane after my daughter passed away.  I couldn’t process thoughts clearly or remember where I was supposed to be.  I also had extreme anxiety about my schedule and seeing people.  This calendar made it possible for me to keep track of everything and to not stress out so badly about it.

It became a crutch for me.  If I was out and someone would ask me if I was available to (insert any social activity with other humans here) I would panic.  This calendar gave me the freedom to say, let me check my calendar when I get home.  Then instead of feeling cornered, or unable to make a decision- it allowed me to think about it later on my own time in the quiet serenity of my own home. Seems like something so small and insignificant, right?  That’s the way grief can be though for some of us.  It can cause us to be unable to process simple daily tasks, it can make a mountain out of a molehill.

Back in 2017 when we were getting ready to move I took a last look at this calendar.  I was finally able to use a simple calendar on my phone (google calendar), and I BURNED THIS CALENDAR.  Yes, I burned it.  It was very symbolic and healing for me.  I relied on this for so long.  I chucked it right into our campfire pit and lit it on fire with some paper and sticks.  And I cried, because I knew God had used this tool to help me on the day to day, and He helped heal my heart enough that I didn’t need it anymore.  There are probably people who will read this blog and think, “It’s been ten years, aren’t you able to move on from it?”  And those people will likely be people who never lost a child.  You never completely move on from a loss of child.

  You didn’t just lose that baby, you lost a toddler, an elementary school kid, a graduate, a daughter or son getting married.  Every stage, every lesson, every moment that you expect your child to have is gone.  That’s why grief resurfaces.  I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost a lifetime with another person.

That’s why it continues to hurt, and that’s why the hurt changes as time goes on.    (I use the term lost here, but really they aren’t lost, they are in Heaven…  Just acknowledging our loss here on Earth).

If you have a friend who has lost a child, I challenge you today to reach out to them.  The sweetest thing you can say is that you are remembering that person today, that they are in your minds.  Parents love to hear that you are remembering their child.  It is very meaningful.  A card in the mail with a simple line acknowledging your remembrance is huge in the life of someone who is hurting.

Will you spread some love today?

 

Who Understands?

Grief is a crazy trip.

It’s something that never really goes away, it just settles in the cracks like dust.  The slightest movement, thought, smell or feeling can stir it up.  If stirred up enough, it can become a fog.

 

After our daughter departed for Heaven, grief came over me in waves.  Some were small, some were large.  To this day, ten years later I have a literal phone anxiety issue.  Not everyone understands this.  If you do, or if you suffer from the same issue, I would love to hear from you.  I can text, email, chat in person, you name it,  but phone calls STRESS ME OUT.  Now, if I am 100% certain of the mental state or attitude of the person on the other end of the line, I can do it, just fine.  But– if there is the slightest question of there being bad news, sadness, unpredictability I can’t handle it.

The ringing of the phone and an unscheduled phone call is worse.  If I can schedule the call, like “Hey, would you like to chat later today at 5?”  It’s ok.  If someone calls me out of the blue at a random time and the ring cuts through the silence….  I might panic.  My heart races, I sweat, it’s anxiety time!

I think people have the wrong idea about me, I think they feel snubbed if I don’t call.  I try to explain, but that’s a difficult thing to understand for other people who don’t experience it themselves.  They might think I’m making it up, or should be able to just overcome it myself by staying calm.

 

 

Dear Grief:

You’ve overstayed your welcome, but I understand you are pretty proportionate to the amount I loved someone so I get it.