This is the third time I've started this post. It started out entitled Thankful Tidbits. But as I started writing, it has turned into my reflections on my Thanksgiving two years ago right after Grady went to heaven.
So, that's where I'm headed.
But I do want to say that I'm so very thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For without Him, I would be nothing. I'm thankful for his love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I'm thankful for His promises. I'm thankful for the gift of salvation and hope of heaven that I have through my very own (salvation that is). I'm thankful for how He has been with me every step of the last two years.
I reflected on my Thanksgiving two years ago. I wasn't speaking to God. To say that I was mad would be an understatement. I had already lost my mom and dad, all of my grandparents, a miscarriage and almost Emma Grace. Now the baby who had lived and grown inside of me was dead, too. I really just felt like He needed to go pick on someone else. Maybe one of those people whose life seemed to be perfect (even though I know there's no such thing).
I didn't want to be around anyone. I couldn't stand the "elephant" in the room. Everyone wanted to talk about Grady and then they didn't. So no one would say anything. And he was all I wanted to talk about, but no one really wanted to listen because then they would have to talk and they didn't know what to say. A vicious, evil circle.
We didn't get together with our families, Instead we went to dinner at the Cracker Barrel and then to Lake Lanier to see the Nights of Lights. At the end of the lights was a mini carnival. We had no idea that it was there, but of course the girls wanted to play. So we did. It was fun. It really was a great memory-maker, but I couldn't help but think of how I should have been home with my newborn. I wanted to grab strangers and tell them that my baby had just died. We all (me, Gib and the girls) rode our first Ferris wheel together. It was fun, but the seat belt hurt my incision from my c-section. I remember being on the very top waiting for people below to load, looking out over the clear, dark, cold night and longing for my Baby Grady.
I remember coming home and after everyone was in bed, I watched my Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep DVD that I have of Grady and cried and cried. I couldn't talk to God, or rather I chose not to. Instead I got a brand new journal and just started writing. I thought maybe if I wrote my thoughts and feelings out, He would hear me still without me having to actually pray. (It wasn't until the end of January before I started speaking to God again. I'm not proud of that at all. I'm not boasting about it. It's just the truth. And believe me, I've asked for His forgiveness. I wish I could be as forgiving as Him. It's something I'm working on and something that I believe He's working on in me.)
I'm going to be very vulnerable and share with you what I wrote. I'm truly not sure why I'm writing this tonight, except that maybe I need to OR maybe someone needs to read it. Remember this was very early in my grief, just a couple of weeks after Grady's death. The pain was raw and real. Here goes...
I just don't understand! Why did you need Grady in heaven so bad? We wanted him here with us. I feel like you teased me with a pregnancy and a healthy baby and then cheated me at the end. We weren't going to have any more children. He was a surprise. I really felt like he was meant to be here & complete our family. I always would think of having more children but was so scared of going through the prematurity struggles again. I would always hear the words "ye of little faith" in my head. Lord, I trusted you and had faith that you would protect Baby Grady and bring him here healthy and safe. You did neither. He was alive in me one minute and gone the next. He will always be my son, my third child. I will cherish the 36 weeks and 5 days he spent growing inside of me - feeling his every move. But Lord it doesn't seem right and it's SO NOT FAIR! I know you have your reasons for taking him, but WHY HIM? WHY US? WHY ME AGAIN? Why did you take someone else that I love? Am I that bad of a person? Is this some sort of punishment? I just wish I knew! I try to remind myself often, even right now, that you have plans to prosper and not harm me, but it doesn't feel that way at this point in my life. There are people who don't want their babies, abuse them, even kill them. I am not one of those people. But you didn't take their babies from them. Lord, I'm hurt, heartbroken to the core, deeper than I ever thought I could hurt. I'm mad, confused, frustrated, feeling guilty and blaming myself for what I maybe could have done differently. Yet I am so thankful to you Lord for Gib, Jessica and Emma Grace - for the blessings that they are in my life. Lord, please don't take them from me too - PLEASE! I'm having a hard time praying right now, but I knew you would listen and know my heart even if I wrote it down. Lord, as much as I am hurting and blaming you for this - for taking Baby Grady - I do need your help to get through this. I can't do this alone. No one understands what I'm going through. This deep dark pit that I've fallen into and can't get out of. There's light all around me - Gib, the girls, the world keeps on moving - but there I am. Stuck. Lonely. Sad to the point of despair. It hurts so bad that it's hard to breathe at times. I know that time will make it easier but I'll never get over losing this precious baby boy. But Lord, I need help getting through this. The days are so long. My mind never stops. Everything plays over and over in my head. Now I'm starting to have regrets, but at the time we did what we thought was the right thing. I didn't want the girls to remember seeing their baby brother laying there lifeless. Now Jessica says she wanted to see him and my guess is that Emma Grace did too. We should have asked them - I feel so guilty about that. I was trying to protect their hearts as much as I could. I thought pictures would be good enough and then they could form their own images of him. Hopefully they will forgive me one day and I can forgive myself too. I wish that even though we took pictures, we didn't take enough. We should have taken more. I wish I had a picture of me holding him. I wish I had held him more, even though I was blessed to hold him as much as I did. I wish I had sang to him the songs the girls love for me to sing. Those are a few of my regrets. Most of all, I wish I was holding him right now or nursing him or wishing he would go to sleep because I was exhausted from being up all night with him. But instead the reality is, I'm writing in this journal, pouring my heart and feelings out to you God, desperately needing your help to work through this. In Jesus Name, Amen
So, I guess it was sort of a prayer, considering how I ended it.
It is amazing to see how far I've come in this grief process. I think about Grady and miss him every day. I always will. But there is no way you could have told me two years ago that I would be holding another baby boy who I'm madly in love with. I was never going to be pregnant again! I just knew my heart couldn't dare be set up for such heartache again.
But hold another boy I have been...And loving every minute of it! I'm so thankful God led us to the decision to try again. For if we had not, a true gift and blessing would have been squelched. I'm thankful for my whole family, and I'm thankful to be where I am right now.