I adore this picture!! While I was taking it my heart stopped, and melted. One thing I will always regret is that I never got to see my boys side by side after they were born. They never even got to be beside each other in the same NICU bay. Not even in the same bay. I'm always "haunted" by that regret and sadness of never getting that moment.
But in this picture...I see something that I never got to see. In the reflection of Evan...I see a glimpse of what I never got...a reflection of my boys together.
I love this picture.
It was time to take down the Christmas wreath and decorations at Zac's grave. So it was time to add some Easter cheer. It's strange how doing little things like this allow me a bit of healing each time. It's no longer ONLY sorrow I feel while I'm there...but I feel like I'm able to continue doing something for Zac as well. It has become HEALING, and I can even smile as I tidy up and continue to include our son in the holidays.
I was given a quote today and it just touched my heart. I have to add it to follow this final picture. "He who has not looked on the Great Sorrow will never see the Great Joy." - Gibran
Evan just makes me laugh so much! Thank goodness for that!! He just gets more and more goofy every day. This morning as I was getting him ready for Brett to take him for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa J, I was changing Evan's diaper and he let out the SHRILLEST, most glass breaking scream ever!!! He has NEVER done that before!!!! Ya...my 28 weeker baby boy's lungs don't seem to have been affected by his very early arrival!!! This morning prooved that for sure!! My ears were seriously ringing!! I couldn't stop laughing. Even now it's hard not to laugh about it!
Brett, Evan and I went for supper last night. To Moxies. Brett and I used to be the ones who would smirk as others children screamed and fussed at the table...well guess what...it's true...don't do that because it will happen to you! Evan was just DONE and was yelling and fighting to get free. I had to "shhh" him a few times! Yet, once again, I couldn't stop laughing. I just wanted to shout "I've waited 10 years for this, and have lost three children in the process...I am letting my boy yell if he wants to because it's music to my ears!"
However...to be polite, and to teach Evan manners...I shhhh'ed him.
Yesterday I had a few errands to run so while Evan hung with Grandma Mac I went and got my things done.
I went out to the cemetery as well. It was time to take down Zac's Christmas wreath and decorations. I had prepared an Easter basket to put in the wreaths place. Inside it held an Easter bunny, a matching tiny brown bunny that Evan has too, and butterflies all around.
I had also found a beautiful wire edging decoration that I HAD to include. It holds two butterflies on it. It was perfect.
I noticed though that there was a little bunny puppet at Zac's headstone. It confused me because I have no idea where it came from. But then I looked around and saw three other ones...and I knew. I knew where it came from. It came from Sadie's family. The grandma of Sadie that I met a few weeks ago while visiting Zac's grave through our one year markers and she and I shared stories and tears together.
When I realized that this is where this puppet came from...the tears just started flowing. Tears of pure gratitude and love for this woman. I was beyond touched that a complete stranger would show rememberance and such love for my son and for our family! My heart over flowed.
Yesterday wasn't about going and being sad and wishing for things that can never be. Yesterday was about continuing to include my son in holidays and in our family moments. I don't do these things to stay imprisoned in the past...I do them to be able to move ahead. Not forgetting, but also not pretending. Yesterday I sat and looked at Zac's grave marker and didn't look at it as a symbol of Zac's death...I looked at it as a reminder of his LIFE, and life he now LIVES.
Yes, a grave symbolizes that a life has ended on this earth, but it doesn't have to mean that life has ended forever. And I know that. I know that because of this weekend, and what Easter is about and because of the cross. Death does not mean defeat...death only takes a person away from this broken world to a life of what God always intended. And that is what I have to focus on. Because of the cross, because God bore our sins, because of God's death, because he rose again, because we have been given a choice...I know I will be reunited. Not only with my sons, but with my family and friends who believed what God freely offered us, believed in Him, and carried Him in their hearts. I will be reunited with each of them.
How such a simple act of me saying "yes, come in to my life, and live in my heart", I am given eternity.
Ya...the road here on this earth is so very full of trials, temptations, sin, disappointment, pain, death...but through the darkest of days...there is hope, light, forgiveness, redemption...and LIFE.
While I was visiting Zac's grave, I let the music play in my car and unrolled the window so I could hear the words in the quiet of the cemetery. I was listening to Selah's newest CD called "You Deliver Me". There were a few songs that brought tears streaming down my face. I've always been moved most by music and lyrics. I want to share two of the songs that really moved me.
The first one is called "Beautiful Terrible Cross"
There is a beautiful terrible cross / Where tho you commited no sin / Saviour you suffer the most wicked fate / On the cruelest creation of men / Yet on that beautiful terrible cross / You did what only You could / Turning that dark inspired evil of hell / Into our souls greatest good / We see the love that you showed us / We see the life that you lost / We bow wonder and praise You / at the beautiful terrible cross
There on that beautiful terrible cross / Tho darkness was strong on that hill / You remain Soveriegn Lord still in control / Your perfect plan was fulfilled / We see the love that you showed us / We see the life that you lost / We blow in wonder and praise you / for the beautiful terrible cross
We gain the riches of heaven / Jesus you paid the horrible cost / We stand forgiven and praise You / For the beautiful terrible cross
The other song is called "God Be With You"
God be with you till we meet again; By His counsels guide, uphold you, With His sheep securely fold you; God be with you till we meet again /
Till we meet, till we meet, Till we meet at Jesus' feet; Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; Neath His wings protecting hide you; Daily manna still provide you; God be will you till we meet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; With the oil of joy anoit you; Sacred ministries apoint you; God be with you till we meet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; When life's perils thick confound you; Put His arms unfailing round you; God be with you till we meet again /
God be with you till we meet again; Of His promises remind you; For life's upper garner bind you; God be with you till we meet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; Sicknesses and sorrows taking, Never leaving or forsaking; God be with you till we meet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; Keep love's banner floating o'er you, Strike death's threatening wave before you; God be with you till we meeet again. /
God be with you till we meet again; Ended when for you earth's story, Israel's chariot sweep to glory; God be with you till we meet again. /
Till we meet, till we meet, Till we meet ag Jesus' feet; Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.
These songs just echoed through the quiet of the stillness of the cemetery...but it was beautiful. It wasn't just being in a place where death surrounds you...it was being in a place where you are reminded that with God...life doesn't end here.
Even though the pain of being apart from loved ones on this earth hurts more than one can bare...there is faith in life eternal. And for that reason...I can't turn away from God in my pain of losing my children. I can't live in the questions of "why", and what I will never understand here on earth. I can't live in regrets and can't live in the pain of what I couldn't "fix" or "control".
I CAN live in today and tomorrow. In the faith and knowledge knowing that I will be joined once more with so many I love. With my Jack and Ethan who I never got to know beyond 12 weeks and one ultra sound picture, with my Zac who I have precious 28 weeks with and many ultra sound pictures and feeling him with his brother and getting to be with him for three short precious days. I will be with cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, SISTERS (I will finally get to meet my twin sisters Catherine and Michelle!).
Death hasn't defeated me...because God lives. Death won't destroy me...because my children live.
I live in the moments of joy now with Evan and Brett. I hold Zac forever in my heart, and will continue to make him a part of our days. But I know he lives!!
Blessings to you all hurting through this Easter holiday. As we all hold questions of why, I pray for peace for each of us. As we all miss children and loved ones passed...I pray that we will hold fast to the truth that we will meet again!