Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Time Flies

Today marks six months since Nicholas left this earth. I can't believe how fast time goes by.

The speed at which time goes by used to concern me. Now I'm starting to see it as another one of God's mercies. The sooner we get to the end of our time on this earth, the sooner we are all together again.

But for now, I've resolved to enjoy the moments of this life as they march by. I can't think of a better way to honor my little boy's beautiful spirit.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Little Brown Bird

I saw a little brown bird the other day and it reminded me of Olivia. She had such bright eyes and soft brown hair like feathers. You just wanted to cup your hands around her and gently hold her little body close.

Jesus assured us that God sees even the little sparrow when it falls. My little brown bird is in His gentle hands now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's Just Like Riding a Bike

Sabrina just learned to ride her bicycle without training wheels this week. As Corrie and I were teaching her how to balance and ride straight without crashing into things, our common encouragement was "Keep your head up!" or "Look ahead of you". Whenever she looked down at her feet or around her, she would wobble and start to fall.

I was struck by how true that is in grieving. Dwelling on memories or thinking about our loved ones that are gone is necessary and good, but when your main focus is not upward and ahead, you wobble and crash. This week, I wobbled too. When I was pregnant with the twins, there was another woman who worked with me who was pregnant and due at almost the same time I was. She brought her little girl into work this week and she was so bright and alert and strong and alive. She was such a representation to me of what I was missing. I was transported to a place where I should have been holding two beautiful children, one on each hip. I was overwhelmed with sorrow once again.

God is so good. After a quiet day of seeking Him I spent some time with my Sabrina. I have noticed recently that He magnifies the sweetness of the time we have together. He is able to pack all the abundance that I experienced with three children into one. As I continue to make the decision moment by moment to lay my grief at His feet and ask Him to turn it into something beautiful, He is so faithful to do just that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I hope that it is visible that I have been changed. Profoundly changed. I'm in a place where if it is not recognizable that I've changed, then it feels like everything we have been through as a family has been in vain.

A common thread from people who are trying to empathize with me from their own experiences, or who are trying to encourage me in my choices, is to affirm me for getting back into the things I was doing before. What they don't understand is that I'm not the same person I was before. I have had my eyes opened; I have a new perspective. The things I did before have to be reconciled with who I am now before I can be "back". It is important for me that I am being true to myself in all I do. Living this life actively embracing the things that I learned from Nicholas and Olivia is my way to honor and remember them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Eternity Math

Here's some logic to ponder:

If Nicholas and Olivia's spirits have gone to be with Jesus, and His Spirit is within me, then that means that Nicholas and Olivia are with me too.

Sabrina + Nicholas & Olivia + Jesus = one complete mommy

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some Blogs to Visit

I've added links to some of my favorite blogs that I visit often. They are written by other grieving moms and I want to mention them because these women believe, as I do, that sharing memories and the things we've learned recognizes the short lives our children lived here on earth, and brings meaning to why they had to leave us so soon.

**Please don't forget to check out the link to Molly Piper's blog that I mentioned earlier. She has added more posts to her series of How to Help Your Grieving Friend. They are well-written and contain good practical advice on how to navigate any potential minefields when trying to relate to someone who is grieving. Here you can get acquainted with her daughter Felicity.

**Sumi's Corner is beautifully presented and eloquently written. I encourage you to visit and get to know her daughter Jenna.

**My friend bookworm shares with us her journey of how to live life without her daughter Tabitha at One Book After Another. I admire her honesty and her courage presented here .

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Thank you, Nicholas and Olivia, for making me a better mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Mom

I don't think I would have been a very easy child to raise. I was bright and inquisitive but also fiercely independent and very opinionated. I had all the answers to everything. I don't know if I really ever remember letting my mom "mother" me. Sure, I took for granted the three nutritious meals a day, the clean laundry and house, a ride wherever and whenever I needed it, but did I share my heart with her?

After Sabrina was born, my mom came to stay with us for a week. I was so glad for that. Her willing spirit and peaceful presence held our little family up that first crazy week as we were adjusting to our new life. It was the first time I can remember that I reached out to her in need emotionally as well as practically and it took our relationship to a level that, looking back, was something she may have been wanting for a long time.

When we knew we were expecting twins, we asked her to come and help "for a while". Little did we all know that a "while" would end up being six months! She came in July and we spent a week (or two?) sitting on the patio, talking about life and God and family. Once the babies arrived, she sprang into action. We three were a team, Corrie, my mom, and I. We set up shifts to ensure we were each getting enough rest and that there were always two adults around for each baby. Again, her willing spirit and peaceful presence was the glue that held us together. My mom is a woman of action - if there's something that needs to be done, it gets done! And that was such a comfort to Corrie, who is a self-confirmed neat freak. Between the two of them our house was clean, neat, and tidy, with bottles & formula always ready to go.

What I treasure most is that she committed to staying and helping us until I was ready to let her go home. She gave up everything for us - being with my dad, taking care of her own home, the job that she really enjoyed. And she still says she would do it all again.

In this day and age of fierce independence, rebellion, and selfishness, I marvel at a woman who put herself aside just to serve me and my family. Yes, I'm her daughter, and yes, I certainly did expect her to come and help for a time. I also understand that not everyone has the same life circumstances that allows for such a sacrifice. But she came, and she stayed through no sleep, Olivia's colic, her own time of intense illness, Corrie & I fighting under stress, Sabrina's acting out, and being apart from my dad. Then she came back to stay through Nicholas' illness, me living at the hospital, Nicholas' death and funeral. Then she came back to stay again through Olivia's illness, me living at the hospital again, Olivia's death and funeral. I couldn't have made it through all that without her.

But what she'll tell you is that she stayed because she enjoyed being with us and her grandchildren, and that the time she had with them is so precious that it more than made up for all the other stuff.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I think I get it. I think I'm starting to understand what a true mother-daughter relationship should look like. Now that I've seen the root of independence rearing its ugly head in Sabrina, I've been able to recognize that there were moments where I think my mom may have wondered just what to do with this kid who knew it all and didn't need anybody. She was too kind-hearted and so respectful of the boundaries I had set to push herself upon me.

One of Nicholas and Olivia's gifts was to my mom. They gave her a daughter who finally recognized her as her mother.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

You're Asking the Wrong Question

1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (John 9:1-3, NIV)

Sabrina and I have been reading through her Bible storybook and we got to this story tonight. Later on, I was meditating about being born a particular way just to display God's glory. I realized then that we have all been born to display God's glory in some way. Even Nicholas and Olivia.

The Message puts an interesting spin on it:

1-2 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?" 3 Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.

Jesus reminds us that we are asking the wrong questions. We need to know that we are not defined by our circumstances, but are to look toward what God can do in and through them. I love thinking about my Nicholas and Olivia being created just to display God's glory.