I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The most excruciating day of my life...

I couldn't believe it when I found this tshirt yesterday. How absolutely fitting and perfect for Evan to wear today...the day his brother had to leave us. A tshirt with boxing gloves on it!!! Boxing gloves are always how I've symbolized Zac as our fighter boy...but the truth is, BOTH our boys are fighters, but won in very different ways. Evan is wearing this tshirt today (picture from this morning), and how perfect to have Zac with us in even the littlest way! The last moments with our son. "Preparing" to say goodbye. How does a parent do that?!
Our sweet boy got to enjoy moments of "freedom" from all his tubes, medications, air being pumped in to his lungs. He got to be "normal" for a while, while we held him, sung to him, loved him and told him how proud we were...ARE of him.
And my final moment with my sweet boy Zac, who fought so hard for 5 weeks to protect us. I just wish I could have protected him more in return. Here in my arms I held my son and protected him as best as I could while he slowly went home to heaven. Oh how I miss those tiny hands on my skin, that tiny body against mine. How I wish I could still feel you, see you, and watch you grow.
Looking back at these pictures I feel grateful for the days we had with Zac. As brutally painful as they are to see, I had an opportunity that many women do not get...time with their child. Even if it is while that sweet child is living his/her last moments on this earth.
The memories hit HARD last night while I lay in bed remembering how my nurse came racing in to my room to wake Brett and I up saying the NICU wanted us there immediately. We knew the news was going to be grim. But when we got there, Zac had "pulled through". So I had hoped. He had been crashing, but came back. I left that unit believing, hoping...begging that we would not receive more bad news. And that belief and hope were crushed beyond recognition later that morning when we received the worst news of our lives.
I ask the question "how does a parent make a choice like this? How does a parent let go of a child? How does a parent hold their child and let them go?" I am that parent. We are those parents. And I still don't have the answers to those questions.
I know I've been told that we showed the ultimate act of love for Zac...but some days it sure doesn't feel like it. I feel like I made the worst mistake of my life that I can never take back. I always wonder...what if? What if SOME HOW he had pulled through. Yes, the doctor told us the brain damage done to Zac was catastrophic. But what if? Yes, we knew his kidneys were failing...but what if? Isn't God supposed to be bigger than all those things?
I don't ask that question in a synical way or disrespectful towards God. But it leads me back to the agonizing frustration of knowing I'll NEVER have the answers here on earth. And I don't know why this happened and what it was all supposed to mean.
I DO know that I was blessed. Blessed to carry Zac and Evan for precious, although much to short, 28 weeks. Blessed to have 3 days..again MUCH too short, with my little Zac. Blessed to have had this amazing gift after soooo many years of wondering if we would ever know what it would feel like to say this words "these are our sons".
I know the reality of where Zac is. I am at least at peace with that. At least I know that he is not just gone. I know that I WILL see him again. And these are reasons why I can't just turn my back on God, no matter how hard I want to pop him in the eye for all this. I can't blame him...yet I want to blame someone. I don't know how to find that peace in my heart.
It's "funny" because like every person who has tried and tried to have a child and then finds out they are pregnant the words "however long I have I will be grateful. I know this is God's child and I will be greatful for the days we have together." come so easily from the mouth...but then what happens when that time is cut all too short? Yes...I am greatful. Yes, I know that Zac and Evan and my sweet Jack and Ethan were/are all gifts from God but ultimately HIS children. I know I did not "earn" them, and I know that God did not "owe" me a child. It's easy to to verbalize this proclomation of trusting and gratitude during the joys of pregnancy...but then what happens when your world turns upside down? Every day is a struggle and a fight to find a way back to trusting and believing that God loves you still and will continue carrying you as long as you allow him too.
I remember years ago someone saying to me "God must know you are a strong person because He doesn't give us more than we can handle." Well...news flash...couldn't be more wrong. I have not choice but to keep breathing every day, and I really hate that "saying".
I don't have answers to so many of my questions. In the depths of agony and sorrow there is a part of you that dies. A part of innocence and hope. It happened when we lost Jack and Ethan, and it happened again when our worlds fell apart with the events of Zac.
I fought tooth and nail over many months to rebuild a broken relationship with God. As many as you read the beginning posts while I was in the hospital those 5 weeks last year, I clung on to God for all I had in me. Yes, you are seeing a side of the human heart broken. Yes, I may have questions and frustrations and anger and sorrow...but I still hold on to hope and belief in my faith. I still know that God is a God of love. I know that He did not do this TO me to break me. I don't know why things couldn't have turned out a bit more different. I don't know why the only place I have to visit my son is a cemetery. I don't know how losing Zac may affect Evan.
But I do know that I am not the first that this has happened to, and I won't be the last. But that doesn't really help my pain.
I continue to be greatful for the joy of days with Zac. I will never forget the way he would look at us when he would hear our voices. I will never forget touching and kissing his sweet hand and head. I will never forget the moments we had together before he went home to heaven. I will never forget the moments of those 28 weeks with him growing inside of me.
Today hurts in a way I knew it would...but hoped I never would have had to. I'm trying to keep it together in front of Brett and Evan. But inside I am crumbling.
I am greatful for the love and support and strength that Brett gives me every day. I am greatful for the giggles and the pride and joy with Evan. I am greatful for family and for friends who have remained constant and present. I am greatful for all of you who follow this journey, even those I have never met.
I am greatful for the faithful comments of love and encouragement given...when I see the 1 comment...I always know who it is that has replied...constant and faithful...and my dear friend...I thank you. How strange how even though I have never met you, I feel very close to you through the unfortunate bond of losing a child. And I pray for you daily and think of your sweet Matthew each day.
Please pray for us today as we remember the moments and events that fell on us one year ago in saying "we'll see you in a while"...never goodbye. I hate the word goodbye!
We are teaching Evan to wave "see ya later"...not goodbye.
And my sweet Zac...mommy will see you later. xoxoxoxo
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my
mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalms 139: 13-16


  1. Heather,
    Your strength through all the difficult moments, past & present, is a miracle & testament to your faith. My heart breaks for you & Brett, words cannot express just how much.

    I was praying for guidance before writing this & this verse came to mind..."For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17) I with continue to pray for your healing & strength.


  2. Remembering, missing and loving your sweet Zac today and everyday. Continual prayers for you hon. Although under a completely different set of circumstances, I can relate to so much of what you wrote, yet I don't for one second pretend to understand the depths of sorrow which you have suffered/are suffering.

    Love you very much my dear friend.