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

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I don't know what heaven will be like.  I know what I've been told through bible stories and church sermons...but who really knows?  Streets of gold, angelic music...I don't know.

I know what I hope.  I hope it is true that as I am walking through heavens gates I will see the faces of all the loved ones gone before me.  I hope that they will look at me as though no time has passed, and with love and excitement to show me "home".  I hope that our 4 heavenly children will be right there to greet me and that I will hear "MOMMY, you're HOME!!", and that they will wrap their little arms around my legs.
I hope that all 5 of my children will finally play together and know each other...and Brett and I will see what was meant to be...in heaven.

I have a devotional book that admittedly I don't do daily, but it is called HOPE by Nancy Guthrie.  I was thumbing ahead through the topics and came across this bible verse:

"The day you die is better than the day you were born." - Ecclesiastes 7:1

I can see that.  I can see that from a faith-based perspective.  Earth...this is not home.  This is for now.  This is the place we get the chance to live out our lives the way God would want us to.  Not necessarily what WE want, but what God hopes to show to others THROUGH US. 
Yet still...as a mommy with 4 of her babies not in her arms...this is a tough verse for me because the day my babies died...were NOT better...for me.  For them...absolutely.  They are in eternity.  They are more alive than ever possible here on this earth.  But for me...a part of me died inside with each of their passing lives.

BUT...I know we will be together again.  I know that through the life of God's own Son on the cross...we will have eternity together. 

I try to remember this fact when my heart is low.  And still, my heart hurts.  But I know the truth. 

Then last night I took an hour to myself and let Brett have daddy-duty while I took myself on a "me-date".  I went to Scott Parable...love that place!  I got myself a couple CD's and a couple books for Evan, but a song on one of the CD's really touched my heart.  Well...MANY of the songs touched my heart.  Music does that to me.  If nothing else can reach through...put on music and my walls come down.

It's a song called Your Faithfulness by Brian Doerksen and the words are as follows:

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing
or filled with longed for things

I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do will they pour down blessing or pain

I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness

Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars will shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
will it be a thief
or will I have a chance to say good-bye
I don't know how much time is left
But in the end I will know your faithfulness

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts are storms of doubt
Still I trust you are always
faithful, always faithful

No one knows what the future holds.  No one can truly plan for tomorrow.  But we can do our best.  We can live out the truth of our loving God.  I've shut Him out so much lately, and have felt silence from Him...only because I've shut out His voice and closed His word.  I've listened to lies from the enemy and have tried to blame God for all my pain, only because I've always been taught "ask and ye shall receive"...
Not always the best verse when it isn't accompanied with...it might not necessarily be what you are specifically asking for...but doesn't mean He won't make good from how He answers.
I don't understand God's answers to some of our pleas.  I am trying not to understand.  I am trying to remain in the mindset that no matter the answer, good or bad...He loves me.  This pain is for a while.  This pain is for this earth.  I will not take my pain with me.  But how I reacted to the pain...shutting out God or choosing to continuing to trust...that WILL come with me. 

I read another verse that I really needed to read:

"I weep with grief; encourage me by your word.  Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your law.  I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your laws." - Psalm 119:28-30

A few key words that I need to work on..."encourage", "lying", "privilege", "law", "CHOSEN", "faithful", "determined".

I have felt so DIScouraged.  I have been listening to lies from the enemy and lying to myself.  I have felt unworthy of privilege.  I have shut out God's laws.  I have not chosen to be strong and stay faithful.  I have not felt determined in my faith.

OK...so that's about as raw and honest and truthful and VULNERABLE as one can get!!  But I'm just being real.  I'm putting it out there, so that if there are others who have been struggling...you are NOT ALONE!!

Don't get me wrong.  I haven't turned away from God.  I haven't walked away from my faith.  But I HAVE felt very damaged.  And that is not the person I want to be. 
My sadness and confusion and disappointment has been blame towards God.  The God who moves mountains, heals the sick, raises the dead...I blamed Him because He didn't do this for me.
And yet...He DID! 

Once again...the bitter round-about of grief/loss and joy/receiving. 

On one hand I feel the above because of Zac's death.
On the other hand I saw miracles and SEE miracles in Evan every day! 

Now comes the choice to THANK GOD in both my circumstances, and trust Him, and know that all my babies are safe and sound in heaven above...and that I may not have a house full of noisy children here...but one day I sure will!!! 

Choice is a tough thing.  It sounds simple.  But it's not. 
But it's time to choose to stop listening to the lies, and remember the goodness of all God has done for us!

Pain will never fully disappear here on this earth...but joy will remain as long as we CHOOSE to let it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The mail no parent should have to open...

Brett and I realized we had never received Zac's official Death Certificate.  For some reason that certificate is "important" to me.  We have his birth certificate...so we "should" have his death certificate as well.
So I sent in a request for Zac's death certificate a few months ago...and a few days ago...it arrived.

I knew it was coming.  I've been waiting for it, and frustrated each day it didn't arrive.  But when I finally did open that mail box and saw the envelope...I wasn't prepared for the sadness that it would cover me in.
Like it was the final piece to the nightmare.  The "unseen" face in the nightmare that never ends.

I opened it.  I looked at it.  And I felt raw.  Numb.  Empty.  Sad.  Angry.  Bitter.  Defeated.  Lonely. 
I saw one line that said "Marital Status - Never Married". 

I realize even more so now that instead of watching both of my sons find amazing mates and watching both their weddings and hopefully one day their own familes grow...one family will never be.  One wedding will never happen.  One batch of wishful grandkids will never come to be.


BUT, there is also a sense of "closure" for lack of better word.  That certificate was a final piece of the reality of what happened.  And the loss of our son.  And the final recognition of his short precious life.

I'm sad I ever had to open this.  But I'm "glad" it's finally done and here where it "belongs". 

I always dreamed of being a mommy.  For as long as I can ever remember.  I dreamt of the day I would become pregnant, see my child/ren, watch them grow...and have more children.  I never had a set number of children I "hoped" for...I just always assumed that it would happen.  And naturally.
I never once pictured that I would be the mother of more children in heaven than on earth.  I never imagined that it would happen to us.  I never thought we would struggle to conceive on our own.  I never saw this as part of our path.  Just goes to show that you can pray for your hopes, you can plan what you'd like, you can dream of the future you hope for...but you have no say.  It's not up to you.  It's out of your hands.  Yet...I can't let that go.
I still hope.  I still hold this ridiculously niave hope that we'll be one of the "lucky ones" who can say "oh yes, we conceived on our own after treatments"...but I know better.  I know not to hold my breath.  I know not to assume of dream of this.  I'm just riding it all out and seeing where life takes us.
I still have hopes and dreams of another child/ren...but I hold fears beyond excited expectations and dreams.
I have lost 4 of our 5 children...how could I not be afraid?  How could I not protect myself from more pain by not hoping for a future I don't know may ever happen.
But I'm praying for strength for whatever the future MAY hold.


As with every painful moment life throws at me...there is that precious renewal of joy that Evan brings.
This amazing little boy who is becoming quite the little character each day!!

I'm sorry if you are a weak-stomach person...but I just have to share this story because it made me laugh so hard my ribs hurt!
Evan has had a runny nose for about 5 days now.  He has learned the "farmer blow" or "hockey blow"...blowing his nose without a kleenex.  Ewww, I know.  But he thinks this is hilarious!  ANYHOW, we were coming home from an appointment yesterday and he was being SO silly and we were giggling away.  I realized he was "blowing bubbles" with his spit, and his chin and jacket were soaked...but then the little turkey decided to add in the "kleenex-free nose blow".  ALL OVER HIS FACE. 
OK...I've always (and still do) had a weak stomach with runny noses.  Just really grosses me out, but now I have no choice but to get over it.  But THIS...this made me laugh SO hard!!!  And I was saying "EVAN!!!"  and Evan decided to keep saying over and over "Eeeeevan!  Eeeeevan!" which made me laugh even harder!!
I had to pull over on the side of the road to wipe his face and the tears of laughter from my eyes.

It's intertwined...my grief, my joy.  And I've come to accept and realize that IT'S OKAY!!!!!!  It doesn't HAVE to be separated, because it never will!  I'm not a bad mother for feeling sad and missing Zac.  I'm not a bad mother for feeling the stab of sadness along with the surges of love and joy with my amazing Evan!
I'M OKAY to feel both, because I have love and lost...and my sons were a pair, meant to be together and grow together and live together...and I was meant to raise them together.  And in a wierd way...I AM raising both of them.  They are always a pair...a special pair :)  But Evan is not to be taken down by my moments of sadness.  I will tell him of his brother.  He will speak his brothers name.  We will do special things on Zac's "heaven day"...I will not hide the truth and reality that Evan has a twin brother.  But I will not make him EVER for a SECOND feel like he is any less loved just because I am open in my feelings.  I will never compare my sons.  I would never have if they were side by side today...and I never will. 
Yes, I will always wonder "what if", and how would they have been together, and what kind of personality Zac would have had.  But I will never have those moments overshadow my precious boy who I get the honor of watching grow and learn and who I get to love every minute of my life.

Good and bad...our family is a team.  And we will walk through life together.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One of those days...

 Smelling dried dill seeds
 Added a Dalmatian to our Boxer group!!  hee hee hee
 Trying to get a group photo with Evan and the cousins before Trick or Treating!
 Utter chaos!! :)
 Evan found a branch that looked like a hockey stick.  My boy is CRAZY over hockey!!
Trying it out in the little snow pile.
Enjoying a gorgeous day in the leaves!

Pictures of Evan just get more and more fun.  Watching him growing and all that he gets in to!  It's never a dull moment and always an adventure!

We dressed Evan as a Dalmatian for Halloween.  Figured we needed a new breed with our two boxers.  And wouldn't you know...that is the one picture I FORGOT to take!!!  Evan with our dogs!  DUH!
But we headed out to Brett's parents and saw family over there who all got a kick out of Evan's costume.
Then it was over to my parents with the cousins!  What a gong show!  It was hillarious!
And as you can tell from the pics...it wasn't a successful posed moment :)  hee hee hee.
Mason and Evan kept running in opposite directions.  It was so funny!!
Brighton and Fin were awesome with going door-to-door...Mason and Evan were another story...they just ran down the sidewalks!  So we just walked around the block.  It was fun!  Thank goodness it was a decent night weather-wise!

Evan is a hockey FANATIC!  I kid you not!!  He now owns EIGHT mini hockey sticks and 2 mini hockey nets, and the first word out of his mouth in the morning is either "hockey" or "stick"!  Priceless!!
The other day a hockey game was on TV and when Evan saw it he literally started SHAKING while he yelled "HOOOOOOOCKEYYYYYYYY!!!!!"
Yup...looks like I am going to be a probable hockey mom...but that's okay!  I don't mind at all!

Yesterday was a fun day.  Evan's cousins spent the day and then the night...and Evan was in heaven!  He just loves being with other kids...especially his cousins!  And it's those moments where I really smile with joy because he has them...but it also stings so much because Evan was not meant to be alone.  He was never alone a day of his gestational life.  So it makes it a bitter pill to swallow as I watch him just walk up to other kids ANY where, and how much fun he has with his cousins.  And like I say, I am just SO happy that he has cousins to play and grow up with!!
And when Fin and Brighton went home today I found myself getting choked up as I watched Evan stare as they left and then began playing by himself.  It really stung.
I know he is happy.  I know that we play together all the time.  I know he knows he is loved beyond anything.  I know that he will always know our love, and I will always do my best to fill a spot in his life that is missing.  The spot of his brother.

I find myself feeling the anger again.  It's the way it goes.  It's the roller coaster of grief and trying to sort through life.
But I saw a quote a while ago, and I have had it posted on my Facebook status...because it is so true to my life.

It is a quote by Jackie Kennedy:

"I have been through a lot and suffered a great deal.  But I have had lots of happy moments as well...the good, the bad, the hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness, all interwoven in to one single indescribable whole that is called life.  You cannot separate the good from the bad.  And perhaps there is no need to do so, either."

I love that quote.  I love how it emphasizes that good and bad often go hand in hand.  We can't escape it.  And that yes, even through suffering and hardships we can also have the happy moments.  The down moments don't mean we don't feel the happy moments.  And the happy moments don't mean we don't feel the down moments.  They are both there.  They are interwoven.  They are very much the essense of my life story.  My joy, my sorrow...they go hand in hand every day.

I hate that I have been feeling so jealous lately.  Jealous of "natural conception" birth announcements, jealous of the happy ending both babies (or more) all come home healthy and together, jealous hearing and watching twins (or more) growing together and the unique relationship they share.
Yes...I feel jealous. 
By no means does it mean I wish anything other for the lucky families of all the above...I just mean that in MY life at THIS time...I feel jealous, and I hate it.  I hate that even with the pure joy and contentment of life with Evan I can still be overriden with the fact of my forever label of "infertile" and requiring assistance to achieve a HOPEFUL child can weigh me down.

I know, as a Christian I shouldn't allow jealousy to come in to my mind/life.  But as a human with a whole heap of pain and confusion...it does.  So please don't condemn or judge me for my brutal honesty.
At this point, today...jealousy and confusion and anger and sorrow weigh me down.
What I need is encouragment.  What I need is prayers.  What I need is friendship.
I don't need condemnation or "tsk tsk...you are not being a Godly woman".

AND THEN, flip side...also today I feel joy, I feel comfort, I feel love and I feel honored to be blessed with Evan in our lives.  Every day is becoming more and more fun as he becomes more and more chatty and even MORE active (if that's at all possible!!)  Every day is such an adventure, and every day my heart just completely overflows with love, and a thankful heart for the blessing God has provided.
Tears often flow with the amount of gratitude I feel to God for sparing Evan's life.
The same tears flow as I question why He allowed Zac to die...even though I know he is very much alive and well.

The other night Brett and I went to dinner and a movie.  We haven't done that since we had the boys!  We tried once when I was pregnant but it was so uncomfortable for me to sit there and I was in the bathroom every two seconds thanks to the four feet pounding on my bladder :)
It was a nice night out...but the movie gave me an unexpected shock.
Two of the characters happened to be identical twin brothers.  And there it began...I began to wonder about OUR identical twins.  What they would have looked like, how they would have been...all the what if's from almost 3 years ago came flooding back.  Next month, December 6th, marks 3 years since we learned our babies died.  It's always a harsh time.  It always stings.  And I never forget.
And the movie certainly didn't help either.
But all in all, it was a treat to be out with Brett and just having some "old time" fun!  We appreciated the night out.  Even though the whole time I kept thinking about how I couldn't wait to get home to be with Evan!

Well,  I will end with one last quote that is helping to encourage me in my personal prayer life.

"The best reason to pray is that God is really there.  In praying, our unbelief gradually starts to melt.  God moves smack into the middle of even an ordinary day...Prayer is a matter of keeping at it...Thunderclaps and lightning flashes are very unlikely.  It is well to start small and quietly."
-Emily Griffin