That's how I feel tonight. Beat down. Run down. Emotionally exhausted.
It's been a hard day, friends.
I had a family get-together today with my extended family to celebrate my Uncle Thomas's 80th birthday! He looks great to be 80 and can still play the piano like a young stud! We LOVE for him to come to our house and play because our piano doesn't get used at all (except for the occasional banging!). The girls love it so much that they open the back windows in hopes that the neighbors can hear, too!
We love you, Uncle Thomas!!!
It was a great time of celebration for him and I'm so thankful I went to honor him. But, it was the first time that I've been with my whole family since my mom died. Almost two years ago. The reasons are long and personal. The purpose of this blog isn't to hurt anyone, family or friends. But it is for me to share what's on my mind and heart with those who care to read and know. We'll just suffice it to say that there is a lot of hurt in my heart that has built over the past two years, including Grady dying.
I knew that today would be hard for me. So hard, in fact, that I called my dear friend Amy Ellen to pray for me this morning. Hard not just to see my family, but also because there was going to be a baby there. Not just a baby.
A baby boy.
I'm not exactly sure when he was born, but I think it was September or October. Very close in age to what Grady should be. I sat in the parking lot for a long time before I ever went in. Praying. Gathering every bit of strength and courage I could muster...
I managed to hold myself together until I was getting ready to leave. One of my cousins had the courage to actually mention Grady to me. To just say, "I'm sorry for what happened to you. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I don't know what else to say." I can't tell you how much that meant to me! Most everyone avoids any mention of him wherever I go. It's the "elephant in the room". If you are reading this and have experienced a stillbirth, you know exactly what I'm talking about. People don't say anything at all because they don't know what to say. When, in reality, the silence is worse because it's as if the baby never existed. In defense of others, it's not an easy subject to talk about. It's not comfortable. But there's nothing comfortable about a baby dying. PERIOD! Especially for the parents and siblings who have lived through it. (And before I get a lot of comments about this, NO, I did NOT expect or want to receive doting and attention today. Today was about Uncle Thomas!) I was just extremely touched at my cousin's courage and follow-through.
I was so emotionally drained when I got home, I went to bed. I NEVER go to bed in the middle of the afternoon! I just couldn't deal with anything else. I got in the bed, hugged my Baby Grady blanket and went to sleep.
I took the girls outside after dinner to ride their bikes before it got dark. If my day wasn't already hard enough, my next door neighbor came out with her baby. Not only did she come out, she walked over to my drive! She has NEVER come over before. Outside, yes. Over, no. Of all days!!! At least she has a baby girl (girls are a little easier for me than boys). But still. This baby is only two months older than Grady would be.
I know you're thinking, "Girl, you've gotta get a grip! There are babies everywhere!" Believe me - I KNOW!!!! If there's a baby in a 10 mile radius, I'm gonna see it first! Sad thing for me is that I love babies.
And I especially love my Baby Grady.
It's just going to take time, prayer and LOTS of healing.
Thanks for listening to me tonight...