My baby in the fall leaves...what a happy little guy.
Well, I started this post on Saturday...as you will see, but I just finished it this morning...
Saturday. A great day to reflect on another week that has flown by, it seems. Each day that passes is a day that takes me further away from the Mark of my past to the Mark that I will see once more in my future. Excruciating and exciting at the same time. This life would simply be pointless if we didn't have the promise of Heaven. In fact, as I drove this morning, I played "Finally Home", by Mercy Me, over and over again. It is one of a few songs that can get me so excited about Heaven that I can forget how painful life is right now...even if it is an escape for only a few minutes.
This "one day closer" to eternity is also a day closer to when we get to meet our new daughter. Now, if we could just come up with a name! Yes, it will start with the letter "M". :)
The week was a mixture of emotions. On Wednesday, I had such a good day. Macy and I went to story time at the library, then we played with friends and family at the park and even had some arts and crafts time at a place here in town that provides that for the kids once a month. Normally, I wouldn't put myself in such a position since there would be little boys that would remind me of Mark. This day, I decided to take the chance. And, what was so amazing about this day was the fact that I was able to hold myself together. I am pretty sure that it was the first time since Mark died that I was able to be around other toddler boys and not end up frozen in grief, unable to function. I was around little boys all day long! Honestly, seeing them play and hearing them did bring me the same stabbing feeling that it always does. It actually wasn't easy at all. But, I am so thankful that I am beginning to be able to move through those moments of intense pain a little more quickly that before. And, in between those sad times, I was able to enjoy the company of those that I was with instead of sitting in a fog and wishing that I was at home.
I really did have a good time and I felt refreshed and a bit renewed after we arrived home.
And then, there was Thursday. After such a great day on Wednesday, I was feeling like things were starting to get "easier" for me. It happens every so often from week to week. It was exciting to have had that small bit of relief from the constant sorrow. Throughout this entire last year, if at any time the pain eases a bit, I hold on to it with everything that I've got...hoping that the "okay" feeling will last longer than it did the last time it came around. So, that was how I felt in the early morning.
Later in the day, I was cleaning out some of the many, many things that have accumulated in Mark's room, which we now use as our multi-purpose room. We have long since put away all of his toys and clothes, although we left it painted the cute blue with the tractor border on the wall. We also have a shelf in there with some of his special things. I don't see us changing any of that any time soon.
So, anyway, as I was sorting through the big box that I keep all of my children's special pictures, cards and all of the other things that they create that I cannot bear to throw away, I got to the bottom and found a stack of Mark's things that I had not seen in a long time. His sonogram pictures when I was pregnant with him, the papers that he got from his doctor check ups that have his weight and height, the hospital bracelet that I wore when he was born and even a picture that he colored in Sunday School a few months before he died. Needless to say, I lost it. Big. So big that I was actually hyperventilating from crying so hard. I even went outside and screamed...something that I haven't done in a long time. It all just caught me off guard and it left me feeling so vulnerable and weak. Lately, I have dealt with the grief in small doses...each day, a little here and a little there. This was more like the dam broke and I was being flooded with feelings that I couldn't control.
And so, this is how it is. For me, and for so many who have lost someone so close, although I can really only speak for myself. The smiles in public may come a little more easily, but they are still a way to cover the sadness. I am grateful to now know how to help those in my situation...I only wish that I could have learned this lesson in some other way.
Looking forward to Heaven,