reminds me of when Mark was a baby.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Abigail is a member of the Kraft Family...please meet this truly amazing family here. This precious bunch has lived through the loss of three children, and yet, they give God the glory for all that they have and all that they have been through. Mother, Lynnette, has written a book titled, "In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me", and I have read it three times! Each time, I am comforted by the words of this loving, Godly woman who not only survived such tragedy, but is living a life filled with joy and happiness with her husband and surviving children. I encourage everyone to read this book, even if you have never suffered a great loss...you will gain new perspective on the pain that comes from losing a child.
Again, thank you Abigail!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Meet my husband Joe...my best friend and the love of my life. Today, we have been married for 12 wonderful years.
We have know each other since high school, but we weren't good friends until college. Once we started to date, I knew that he was the one for me! And, as much as I have ever heard God literally speak to me...it was when He told me that Joe was the one I would marry. In fact, I knew that I was going to marry Joe long before he knew that I was to be his wife! (I find that so funny!) Of course, he figured it out soon enough and we were married in 1997...the year that Joe graduated from college and began teaching elementary music.
Joe is the best daddy! The girls adore him, as did Mark. I always say that he is the "fun" parent of the two of us. Mostly, you will find him wrestling with the kids, teaching them an instrument of some kind, cooking with them making them laugh all of the time! He sometimes acts just like one of the kids!
The first 10 1/2 years of our lives together were almost straight from a fairy tale. It isn't that we didn't have our problems, but the days were full of love and joy with each other, our children and life in general. Mark's death certainly changed our marriage forever. I need Joe now more than ever and I wouldn't have made it this far without him. Sharing this bitter sorrow and the loving memories of our only son has brought us closer than I thought was possible. I am thankful to have this deeper relationship, but sorry for the price tag that came with it.
My husband is far from perfect...as am I, but he is perfect for me. I look forward to as many more years as God will give us together...loving each other, our girls and longing to see Mark again at the end of this journey.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
If only I could catch a glimpse of you in Heaven right now and see how happy you are...playing with other children, walking with Jesus, smiling and laughing even more sweetly than you did here - maybe I wouldn't be so filled with grief.
If only I could wrap my arms around you and kiss your chubby little cheek again...if only I could walk with you and hold your precious hand in mine -then I might not cry every day.
If only I could hear you say "Mama" again when you needed me and rock you to sleep while you snuggled your green blanket - maybe my heart wouldn't feel so broken.
If only you could be here to hold your new baby sister...to be a little brother and a big brother to all of these girls - then I wouldn't have to try to explain to them why you were taken from us and assure them that we will be okay even when I don't believe it.
If only you were here to run to the yard gate and hold it open for us like a little gentleman each time we came home - I wouldn't stop each time I walked through it and picture you standing there with that big grin on your face.
If only I could see you in your daddy's arms again...where you almost always were - then I wouldn't have to see your daddy cry when he looks at your picture or thinks about how much he misses you.
If only you were here to color on the walls and the couch with any crayon or pen that you could find...to throw things away in the trash can that shouldn't have been thrown away (i.e. remote controls and rented movies!) - I wouldn't even be upset. I now cherish the picture that you drew on Maryanna's door with a bright red marker and I hope it stays there forever.
If only you were here, I would be thinking of all of the great little boy toys that I could buy you for Christmas this year instead of welling up with sorrow each time I see toys or clothes that would be just perfect for you.
If only you could just be here for the holidays to celebrate with us...to eat turkey and mashed potatos and all of the pie that you wanted - I wouldn't have to stare at the empty place where you should be and quietly grieve in my heart while everyone else is smiling.
If only God would have allowed you to stay here with us longer than two years - we could have seen you grow into a fine young man, go to college, get married, have children of your own and enjoy your company for many years to come until Daddy and I left the earth BEFORE you...the way that it should be.
I know that none of this will be...but it helps me to imagine it. I know that this world holds nothing for you anymore. I pray that Heaven is everything that I imagine it to be and that your sweet soul is more alive now that it ever was here with us...I want to picture you there instead of your tiny body lying in the grave. It is such torture for me to be separated from your cuddly self.
Our hearts break each day that we live here without you...we are still reminded of you in everything that we do. Fifteen months has been too long to not have you in our arms or hear your voice. It isn't any easier now than it was when you left. I long for this life to pass in the blink of an eye so that we can all be together again forever.
I love you, love you, love you...my sweet baby boy.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Our baby girl is here!
Maegan Claire was born at 5:56 pm on Monday afternoon. She weighed 6lbs and 11 oz (the smallest of our five.)
She has the softest, most beautiful dark brown hair and her daddy's olive skin.
Her sisters are very proud! Mommy and Daddy are too!
Thank you for all of your prayers.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I wish you wouldn’t expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time so don’t frustrate yourself.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
My baby in the fall leaves...what a happy little guy.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We were at the Grand Canyon and I wouldn't let Mark down, lest he fall of a cliff! I guess that they can't fence the whole thing!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
This has just been a cruddy week. Not as though there are any especially great weeks anymore, but there are different levels of what can be considered cruddy. Even when everything in day to day life is going as well as it possibly can, grief doesn't leave...pain doesn't take a vacation...thoughts don't turn off and tears don't dry up. Cruddy.
The only exception to this "not so good week" was Maryanna's 9th birthday on Tuesday. I was reminded all day how our lives changed forever as we became parents for the very first time 9 years before. As anyone who has children knows, the blessing of parenthood far surpasses almost all else in this life.
I am reading a book titled, "Beyond Tears...living after losing a child". It was written by several women who have all lost children. Reading this and so many other books is a great comfort to me, as are the blogs that I mentioned in my previous post. I read the words on the page and can hardly believe that they describe me in almost every way. They can say the things that I would like to be able to tell my friends and family when I am asked, "How are you?". When I try to describe all that races in my mind, I don't even come close to being able to convey it to others.
For example, here is how these women describe a small part of their grief...
"We were filled with rage and yet we felt hollow. Our eyes brimmed with tears and yet they were empty. We could scream but speech came rarely, if at all. We were in excruciating pain and yet we were numb. Our self-esteem was beaten down and our trust shattered, but there was no one who could console us. There was no place to feel secure. We tried to crawl inside ourselves, but even that afforded us no place to hide. It was if our very being died along with that of our children. We were and remain forever changed."
"The anguish of losing a child pollutes every close relationship. It seeks to destroy our ties to our spouses, to our remaining children, to our parents, to cherished friends, to everyone close to us. Each tie is torn to shreds and brutally examined under a high-powered microscope before it can be pieced back together. In some cases, the pieces will never again mesh and the bond will break. Those relationships that survive will be forever changed because we are changed. We are never the same people we were before the death. The person we become has to learn anew to love and live with those we loved and lived with before, or perhaps to go a separate way. The death becomes a giant black hole in our midst."
I find almost all of this to be very true in my situation. All, with the exception of the strain on my marriage and with my surviving children. In other words, my husband, the girls and I all grieve at different times and none of us are emotionally stable enough to help anyone else in the family, but we have not turned on one another...instead, we now feel safer with each other than I thought was possible. The love that I have for my husband has multiplied. We share the same hurt and the same loss of the son that we love so much. We share in the same hope and promise that we will be reunited with him in the future. Mark's death is definitely not what I would have chosen to strengthen my family and marriage, but God knows.
As a matter of theology and Bible interpretation, in all of these months, I have not been able to decide what I will believe about Mark's accident and death. Just an accident due to this fallen world that we live in and our imperfect nature? Or, God's will, plan and purpose for our sweet Mark to only be here on the earth two years?
Well, for today anyway, I have decided. I have decided that God knows this emotional torture that we are going through. And, I cannot believe that God would let anyone go through this unless it was a part of His plan and purpose. Even though I believe that God gives us free will to make our own choices and make our own mistakes, when it comes to the finality of death, I think that God is the only one who can make that decision. Even when it comes to evil...murder, etc. Somehow, God is in charge and I choose to believe that Mark was only supposed to be here for two years. No matter what we did or didn't do, it was Mark's time to leave for reasons that we may never know until Heaven. I can accept this more easily that God just allowing it to happen and bringing good from it, even though it wasn't in His plan.
In my case, I choose to believe this so that I can let go of blame and guilt and try and find forgiveness. For myself and for all of my loved ones who were there at the time of the accident. The player in my head that never stops can come up with a new scenario each and every day that will go through another "if only she...", "had he not..., or "we should have...", etc. I can't live with it anymore. And truly, I wish it were as easy to turn the player off as I can make it sound as I write it, but I know that it will take time. In fact, I have to choose every day what voices to listen to and what to believe. Some days it is easier to believe the truth than others.
Well, on to the "good".
Many of you who read this blog actually know me and my family and see us on a regular basis. Some of you know us, but rarely, if ever, see us. And, of course, some of you have never met us. So, this will only be news to some.
We are, by the grace of God, expecting our fifth child in November. Yes, only two months from now. I have had a difficult time deciding when and if to post the news, simply because it is so bittersweet. Bittersweet is an absolute understatement at that.
After Mark died, Joe and I prayed and prayed about whether we should try and bring another child into this world. Our love for children is so great and we knew that it would be such a blessing, but, when? So soon after our loss? Should we try and "heal" some first? Would that even happen? So many questions that really didn't have a good answer.
Mark was my baby...the diapers, the pacifiers, the 24/7 of it all. As that was ripped away from me, all I wanted to do was fill it...anything to ease the pain. The thought of having another baby was about the only thing that brought even an ounce of comfort. Having a child that we would love every bit as much as our other four...and being able to look at that baby and know that he/she wouldn't be in our lives had Mark not died was a glimmer of hope. Since we couldn't have Mark back, we were desperately trying to force ourselves to begin the process of moving on.
So, here we are...about to have our 4th girl! And, no, we have no idea what we are going to name her. :) It is hard to find the balance between missing Mark and looking forward to a precious new child joining our family...those are new issues to deal with in addition to all that deals with Mark's death. However, there are no regrets in this decision and we have found joy in the anticipation of her arrival...especially her sisters! They live for the daily kicks and squirms from my growing belly.
I only wish that somehow, the arrival of our baby girl could somehow erase the pain of losing her brother...I know it isn't so. The happiness and grief will continue to co-exist for the rest of our lives.
And, as I have read several places, when you experience the worst that the world has to offer, your capacity to appreciate the good in increased. So, I anticipate that there won't be many moments that I take for granted anymore. For that, I am thankful.
Thanks for reading,
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Every part of me has suffered for a year and my spiritual being is no exception. It is glaringly obvious to me now where I need to grow in Christ...re-learn and re-believe so many truths that I never would have doubted until now. Hard to admit and even harder to know where to begin when you feel like you are starting all over.
What I do know is that I treasure the following verses:
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
And so, that is where I am. Who else can I turn to but to God? Who else can give me the promise of eternal life and the assurance that my Mark is more alive than he ever was here with us? Only God. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ.
No matter how badly I feel on any given day, I choose to believe all that the Bible says. I don't understand it all, but I don't think that God expects us to.
I want to leave you with a list of many links to the blog sites that have helped me so much this past year. Most of these blogs are written by parents who have lost a child. They have been a lifeline to my sanity in more ways than one. Grief is a lonely place...especially when you can't personally talk to someone who has been almost in the same place as you are.
Through these blogs, I can feel a bit more "normal"...whatever that is...even if it is just for a short time. I see that I am not the only one who is suffering through the loss of a child. In everyday life, I feel pretty isolated in my sadness; that nobody understands what it is really like to be in my shoes. And I suppose most people don't, and that really is a good thing. But, reading the thoughts and feelings of someone who has or is in a similar situation brings comfort.
That being said, I also want to say that I cherish each and every one that I do know who takes the time to listen, even when it makes them uncomfortable and they have no idea what to say. It means so much to know that people care and they are hurting with us as much as someone can who hasn't been through it.
So, if you have time, check out these blogs and pray for these parents as well as for us.
Looking up in the downpour- http://www.lookingupinthedownpour.blogspot.com/
Tidbits of a journey... - http://www.michellezieg.blogspot.com/
Todd Stocker's Weblog - http://toddstocker.wordpress.com/
Sumi's Corner - http://sumijoti.wordpress.com/
Larger than Life - http://www.largerthanlife-masonnance.blogspot.com/
Nitty. Gritty. - http://www.jodyferlaak.blogspot.com/
Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground - http://www.lynnettekraft.blogspot.com/
My Charming Kids - http://www.mycharmingkids.net/
Missing my son,
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
This picture was taken in July of last year...just a few weeks before Mark's accident. It has been so difficult for me to look through the pictures of last summer, because they are what remind me of Mark the most...the way he was growing up into such a sweet and loving little boy.
This is the Mark that I hugged and cuddled every morning after he would crawl out of his crib and come and find me...still with a paci in his mouth. (Notice...in the picture, he is holding his paci in his hand because I asked him to take it out and smile!) These are the memories that are so fresh in my mind of all of the joy that came from having our four children here with us.
Maryanna and Madison attended Camp Agape, a children's bereavement camp, this past weekend. We are so thankful that our friends told us about the camp and helped us with all of the details of it. Our girls were able to be with other children who have suffered a significant loss in their lives. They swam, kayaked, rode ponies, did arts and crafts and so much more. They were also able to meet with a counselor to work through more of the pain and grief...something that both of the girls needed.
It was hard for us to leave them for 4 days so far away from us, but we knew that they were in good hands. They were each "buddied" with a teen or adult who was with them 24 hours a day. (and our girls got to be buddied with our family friends who are so involved with the camp and whom our girls love very much!) :)
Joe and I were also able to meet with a wonderful couple from our church this past week...a couple that we consider our mentors. God has put them in our lives to be the voice of sanity for us at this time when nothing makes sense in our minds. They reminded us of God's great love for us, for our children, specifically for Mark. I admit that I have had a hard time feeling God's love for me during all of this and I have had a hard time feeling that God did what was best. How can Mark's death be what was best for him and for us? It is embarrassing to confess that I would ever feel that my love could be better for my children than the love of our Lord, but I think that we just feel that as humans sometimes. Mark was entrusted to us, and I have been angry that God took him back.
These are the thoughts that constantly fill my mind...day after day. As time passes, I can begin to distinguish what is truth and what is a lie. But honestly, truths that seemed so clear a year ago, all changed, (in my mind), in an instant when Mark died. It is hard to explain.
Another truth that our dear mentors reminded us of was that even though it may seem contrary to everything that we feel, Mark's death is somehow what is best for us. We may not ever understand it or accept it, but God does know what he is doing. We have to trust that HE knows best. We may be left with the pain of trying to carry on without our precious son here, but Mark is in the presence of Almighty God at this very moment...in perfectness. Just thinking about it makes me want to be there right now. I can hardly wait.
Since I have struggled with all that I have believed, I admit that I have even doubted the existence of God, heaven, the truth of the Bible, etc. I don't like to admit that either, but it is the truth. "Before"...I would have been the first to try and encourage someone going through a tragedy that these things happen to everyone and that horrible things don't change who God is, etc., etc., etc. I would have meant every word too. Now, "after", the line between what I "know" and what I "feel" has become so blurred. But, I am happy to say that as the days go by, I am strengthening my faith more and more and I do know that all of God's Word is true. A faith that is built on who God IS and not what I want Him to be or what I want Him to do for me.
What would be the point of living at all if this was all some kind of random occurrence that led to nothingness when we die? What a depressing thought. No, even if I doubt sometimes because of the great pain, I will always believe that there is a God, He loves me, sent Jesus to die for me and that He is in control...no matter what happens in this short time that we call "life".
And, in this short time that we have left...I will miss Mark.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Mark's birthday is coming up and I have been more than a little preoccupied thinking about it. Less than a month away...our little man would have been 3.
I wonder what kind of birthday party we would have had for him...I wonder what kind of toys we would have bought him. I keep seeing the cutest shoes and clothes that would have looked so handsome on him. He was so young while we had him here, but there were so many things that we had already "planned" on him doing as he grew. So many things that we noticed on other boys or in the store that we mentally pictured Mark doing those things or looking that way. I think about what he would be learning about Jesus in Sunday School and at home and all of the little projects of his that I don't have on my refrigerator. I keep reminding myself that he knows more about God that we do now and I find that comforting.
I wonder how much he would be talking these days...I loved the way he said "Momma", especially when we wanted him to say "Daddy". It was a big game to him and it was so funny. He was trying so hard to say his sisters' names and we knew what he was saying...even though it didn't sound much like their actual names. One of his favorite words was "cheese" because he absolutely LOVED the sliced, American cheese. He would eat three in a row if we let him. And, sometimes we did because he enjoyed it so much! But, for the most part, he didn't talk much because he had three older sisters that spoke for him...he just had to point and he got what he wanted. Oh, how we spoiled him.
He would probably be in a big boy bed now...in his tractor room. His Daddy chose the tractor border for his room before he was born and it is so cute. We also painted the room blue...there was no doubt that we wanted that color after so many "girly" rooms.
I wonder how much fun he would be having this week at VBS at church. I see all of his little friends playing and laughing and I picture him there with them...running in the grass, eating snacks, playing on the playground.
How have I changed for the better? How has anyone who knows us changed? I want to know that God is working through our loss...in us, in our family and friends...even in people who may not know us well.
Most days, I don't feel like any good has come from this awful accident. The world didn't change, we don't have our son with us anymore and it just stinks! I suppose that more time needs to pass to discover some of God's plan for all of this.
I am trying hard to focus on the girls and how much joy they bring to our lives. Every day is a blessing with them and they are a constant reminder of how good life can be. It has never been a struggle to feel thankful to God for all of the goodness that He brings to my life until now. Now, I know that the blessings and goodness are no less real or "good" than they were before...they just have to compete for a place in my heart amidst the pain these days.
I long for Heaven and it seems so far away...but, then again, we just never know.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This picture was taken on Easter of last year. I will let you all know that I have so many more recent pictures of Mark...especially from last summer, but they are so hard to look at that I can't bring myself to post them quite yet.
"You are My Sunshine", is a song that I have been singing to my children from the time that they were born...most especially when they were very small and I rocked them. Macy still likes for me to sing it to her almost every night, although, I have a difficult time getting through it without crying.
As Mark grew to be a toddler, he didn't want to be rocked to sleep much, even though I tried almost every night. I just loved the cuddle time and I knew how fast they grow up. I was still singing this song to him last year, on the rare occasion that he would let me rock him.
Almost every song has a different meaning after someone you love has died. I used to love this song because it told my children how important they are to me. Now, while that is still true, the words mean more than they ever did.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.
The other night, dear, while I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken,
And I hung my head and cried.
Every night, when I dream about Mark and about holding him in my arms...I miss him.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I absolutely love this picture of Mark. Not only is he wearing the cutest plaid shorts, (which I could write a whole post about), but it captures his adorable, spunky personality in one shot. He isn't crying...he is yelling in his "Tarzan-like" roar.
It just doesn't seem at all possible that he isn't outside playing right now. He loved to be outside.
One activity that he particularly enjoyed was watering the garden...and my flowers...well, and his sisters! No really, he did love the water hose. He could sense that the water hose was on from a mile away and he would run and grab it out of my hands so that he could be mommy's big helper.
I have missed him most especially these past couple of weeks as I have been watering the garden and thinking how he should be here helping me. I am lonely as I think about him standing there so patiently watering every single plant. There was something so special about having a son.
My daughters are each unique and perfect in their own way and nothing will ever change that. I love everything about them. But, there was something different about having a little boy. He was a mommy's boy and I loved every second of it.
When he was a baby, people would ask us all of the time if it was "different" having a son after all of those daughters. It really wasn't. He was quite the same as our other children were as babies. But, when he became a toddler, everything changed. You know, he started "driving" every toy car and tractor in the house, he would knock his sisters block towers down just to irritate them, and he even found a ball point pen once and wrote all over the couch! (I now regret being able to wash most of that out. I wish I had left it just the way it was so that I could look at it now.)
He was just...so boyish. And like I said before...he was mommy's boy. Don't tell my husband though...he thinks that Mark was a daddy's boy. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Mark was almost permanently attached to my husband's hip. Well, I guess he was just that loving of a son. We miss him so much.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I want to thank everyone who has left such loving comments on the blog, my email and on facebook. I didn't really know what to expect from this new experience, but I am thankful to have such wonderful friends and family and I am happy to meet new people who are so caring. You are all such a blessing to me .
I was so unaware of this entire "blogging" world. I knew that it existed, but I just hadn't looked into it much. And then Mark died...and well, I started to search. Search for anything and anyone that could identify with what I was going through. I have found so many people sharing all of the pain and heartache that they are experiencing in their lives and it saddens me at the same time that it comforts me to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. As far as starting my own blog...I never thought that I would, but now that I have, I do hope that it helps in some of the healing.
I'll apologize now if my thoughts ever seem scattered in any of my posts...sometimes there is just so much in my mind, I may not make it all flow together smoothly.
As I get better at all of this and figure out how to put more things on my page, I will post links to some of the wonderful blogs that have been so helpful to me in the past couple of months. Women who have such strong faith in God and His goodness and families who have suffered much and come through it all with joy after such sorrow. I am encouraged by all of these inspiring stories because, even though I cannot see the end of this grief...apparently, it is there, somewhere. Surely, it will take a long time to get through this, not over it...that will never happen. Still, to think that there might be a day when I don't hurt every moment is something to look forward to.
But, enough about that...now on to other things.
I will share with you that this morning started out like all other mornings, except that my husband took off today, which makes us all very happy! Anyway, the girls woke up very pleasant and happy and we all ate breakfast and got ready for the day. I needed to run a couple of errands in town and so I left my husband and the girls at home and started off. The first thing that usually saddens me on an "outing" are all of the songs that are on our K-Love Christian radio station. I mean, every other song makes me cry...really. Most of the time, I just try to keep it together because the girls don't like seeing me upset, but when I am by myself, well, I can't help it. Fortunately, today they didn't play any of the songs that really get to me, but no matter what song it is...it means something completely different than it did nine months ago. I can picture my own situation in each one.
Since I had to drive to a different town, I passed the cemetery where Mark's body is buried. Today, I blew him a kiss and tried to remember that he is in Heaven and not there. But, I loved every part of his sweet little self. That is what I cuddled, that is what I kissed and hugged, that is what I rocked to sleep at night and dressed in the most adorable clothes. It is hard to separate his little soul and his little body in my mind. They are supposed to go together. So, I haven't yet resolved that issue in my mind. I do usually stop, but I decided not to today. I don't find that it helps in any way. Our girls like to go, but for me and my husband, it is just too hard. It is so unnatural and wrong to see his precious name on the grave marker. It brings back all of the visions of him in the casket and the memorial service. Images that are hard enough to get out of my head on a normal day, but even harder when we are there.
So, I went on through my first errand, and then I needed to stop at the wonderful Hobby Lobby. What a great store. I try not to go in too often since I am always tempted to buy something, but I needed a couple of things for a graduation gift. Anyway, as it so happened, there was a precious toddler boy crying and crying as his mother carried him through the store. I literally froze. It happens almost every time I see a toddler boy or hear one. My mind flooded with memories of Mark and how he sounded when he cried and talked...and it hurt. I mean, it HURT. My body physically hurt and ached to have Mark back with me.
It is also quite amazing that I can "see" Mark in almost any little boy that I look at. For each child being so unique and special, they all look so much the same too...precious. Most of the time, I have to just look away so that I can finish whatever task it is that I am out to do in the first place. Otherwise, my grief is overwhelming.
I made it home without any further incident. As I pulled up to the house and saw my husband and daughters playing in the backyard, I reminded myself to be thankful for all that God has given me. It has taken some time to even consider being thankful for anything and most of the time, I really don't feel thankful about anything...I don't take for granted what wonderful blessings I still have on this earth, but they are grossly overshadowed right now by sorrow. Grief can make all of the usually special things in life seem so insignificant and it really takes work to see the value in life. I know that if you have experienced this kind of pain, you know what I am talking about. For those of you who haven't...well...I'm glad.
Speaking of that, I wonder how many of us really HAVE experienced such pain. I know that I hadn't until now. My life has certainly had some ups and downs that are of great significance, but nothing like this. I didn't know what it was like to hurt this much. Even if I tried as hard as I could, nothing that I could ever imagine even came close to what it is really like. But, now I know. I have an entirely new perspective on life and an entirely new way at looking at people. People that are hateful...people that commit awful crimes...people that just do things that cause other people pain. I can see how easily someone can become that kind of person. Believe me, I am not in any way excusing people who do awful things and I am definately not saying that I would ever commit a crime or ever try and cause anyone harm. What I am saying is that those people have probably lived through some awful pain. That is when life becomes blurred and you have to choose to take the path of healing or take the path of destruction. Something has to be done with all of the emotions inside and it is not hard to decide to transfer that hurt on someone else. Sometimes, you just can't help it. There were days right after Mark died that my mind drifted to places that scared me. Just thinking thoughts that weren't rational. I guess that it still happens sometimes, but not to the degree that some people take it. My prayer is that I am not hurting others in my despair. My prayer is for complete healing. I just wish it was instant.
Wow, I hope that came across like I meant for it to.
The picture below was taken about two months before Mark's accident. It was always so difficult to get all four of the kids looking at the camera at the same time...much less smiling at the same time. So, this picture is special to me...and the look on Mark's face is just too sweet for words. Which makes it even harder for me to look at...it reminds me that I don't have him anymore. In fact, I am far from being comforted by all of the hundreds of pictures that we have of him, unfortunately. I can't stand it that I can't kiss that sweet face of his anymore. I hope that one day I will be able too look at all of the pictures and smile as I remember all of the memories that we made with him. For now, I can't.
I haven't mentioned yet how terribly Mark's big sisters miss him. Their world has been shattered too and I don't know how to pick up the pieces. They are so heartbroken and they just don't understand why something so terrible would happen to their baby brother. I am trying to be "well" so that they will know that we will all be okay. There are times that I'm not so sure. Truly, in my heart, I know that God will never leave us and that all things work for the good of those who love Him. We do love HIM. So, even when I don't feel like we are going to make it through, I hope that I can remember that I KNOW that we will.
Every waking moment of the day...I miss Mark.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This is our son, Mark...