There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, May 24, 2010

gallery pics

I am so excited!! Two of my sisters-in-law each sent me a couple of pictures for
Mark's name gallery.
I just love them!

Thanks Sarah!...Thanks Becky!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's in a name?

We had Maryanna, Madison and Macy. So, when I was pregnant for the fourth time...there was no doubt in our mind that we would be having another "M". When we found out that we would be having a boy, we were so excited at all of the possibilities!

After a while, we narrowed it down to "Mark" or "Major". I'm not exactly sure where "Major" came from. We know of two "Major"s that I can think of, but otherwise, we just thought it was kind of cute. When people would ask us what we were going to name this baby and we would say, "Either Mark or Major" should have seen the looks. "Major???...I like Mark". This went on for quite some time until it was final...100 votes for "Mark", 1 for "Major". It didn't matter much anyway because we truly did like the name "Mark" every bit as much as "Major". And, looking back, I can't imagine him being named anything else.

I also can't write about the names of our children without mentioning the following... my husband loved the fact that "Maryanna" has 4 syllables..."Madison" has 3 syllables..."Macy" has 2 syllables and "Mark" has one. Neat, huh? Or, strange...however you want to look at it. :) It all just seemed to fit so perfectly together...the six of us. We felt complete.

I have decided to officially start a name gallery for Mark. If you have never heard of a name is just a collection of pictures that have the name written in a creative way. It could be spelled in jellybeans or sticks...written in the sand or snow...or, in Mark's case, since he has a pretty common name, photographed from a sign, etc.

Here are the first two pictures. Maryanna wrote his name in the sand on our most recent trip to the beach and I snapped a picture of Mark's name written on the side of the ferry.

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I just love looking at his name.

If you have time and energy and want to take a picture of Mark's name for the gallery, please email it to the address posted on the blog's sidebar. Today, tomorrow, next week or next month...whenever.

If you need some ideas, here is the link to the name gallery of our sweet friend, Ayden...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So much for a nap

I hadn't planned on posting today. My day has been busy pulling weeds and watering our somewhat large garden. The weather is beautiful outside and the girls and I have enjoyed our time looking at our many vegetables that are almost ready to be picked! So, like I said...I hadn't planned on posting, but here I am. Mostly, I am just feeling sorry for myself again. The same ol' "missing my son" record that plays over and over in my head.

Since we have church tonight, I like for Macy to take a nap. After all of my gardening, I thought that it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a nap myself since baby Maegan was sleeping as well. No sooner do I close my eyes but the images of Mark in the hospital flood my mind. The morning that we turned off his husband holding our sweet little boy in his arms...rocking him back and forth...praying for a miracle. Me, literally screaming where the whole hospital could hear me, sobbing, feeling that I was going to die of a broken heart any utter disbelief that this could all be happening. Our family, surrounding us in silence and tears, losing their nephew and grandson as they watched. The most wonderful and sweetest doctor ever, using her stethoscope to listen to Mark's chest for a heartbeat...pronouncing him dead after 12 minutes. Mark, my sweet Mark...gone...losing the pink color from his skin...growing cold...being placed next to me so that I could hold him one last time. I feel it all. Like it is happening all over again. Regardless of the joy that I try to imagine in my son beholding Heaven and all of it's splendor, of him being swept up in the arms of Jesus and being loved with a love that even his own mother couldn't give hurts...with every deep part of my hurts.

These thoughts, these memories, come often. The horrible images of Mark in the water, the imagined images of him struggling and him wondering where his mommy and daddy were, the screaming, the helicopter, the ride to the hospital, seeing him hooked up to tubes and machines, not being able to look into his beautiful brown eyes, holding his hands and praying that he would squeeze me back...removing the life support. Even when a couple of days have passed without them...WHAM!...there they are again. I have no control over them and I have yet to figure out how to deal with them. I try to focus on the happy memories and everything that was wonderful about Mark's short 2 years here. But even thinking about all of the love that Mark was surrounded with and how he enjoyed each moment of his life...the bad memories still come. There are times that I wonder why God hasn't taken them from me despite my pleading. Why he hasn't eased the torture of it all. I have prayed and prayed for just that. Then, I wonder if the pain is for His purposes. This physical agony that I find myself in over and over and over must be part of His will for my life. Grief itself must be a refining fire of some kind.

I have no speculation of what our future lives will be like here on earth. I can only wake up each morning and surrender my life to God and His purposes. There are days that I don't think that I will make it another step...then I just take another...and another. I have set my course to follow His will, even now, when I don't feel like it. I will stand firm in the fact that God loves me and my family...that He will guide us until we make it home and find the face of Jesus and my son...arms open wide, running to greet me...just like he did here.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Job 13:15

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Mark

Dear Mark,

I miss you more with each passing day. The fact that you are no longer here still surprises me...each time I see your picture or think of your sweet hugs...I lose my breath. My heart seems to stop and all the world goes dark. There is a part of me that just can't accept your death, no matter how hard I have tried. And I have I have tried.

Why do I struggle daily to convince myself of the truth? The truth that you are in perfect peace and happiness with Jesus Himself. Why can't I put aside the sadness and move on by just anticipating the day that I will hold you again? Why can't I just be glad for the two years that I had you here with me and not grieve for the years that will never be. The pain is so twisted and complex. Like trying to count the grains of sand on a beach...there is no end.

I'm not sure why writing a letter to you helps. I'm not entirely sure that you are even aware of what is happening with us now. I hope that your time in Heaven is but an instant before I am there. Not that I am fooling myself into thinking that you could possibly need me somehow...but I need you. Somehow, I have to be your mother, even in your absence. My heart just can't let go.

Lately, I have asked God for assurance...assurance that you are okay. Any little "sign" that would give me a measure of peace and get me through the day. Something that will blindside me and leave me with one less question. So far...nothing. Maybe it is wrong to ask. Maybe I should be reading my Bible more and trusting everything on faith. Before you died, I would have believed that. Now, I cry out for God to just appear to me and tell me that it will all be okay...that God has a plan, that Heaven is real, that you are there, that I will be there soon and that this earthly life is fleeting . I need a divine revelation...a dream...anything! I am having to test and re-prove everything that I have ever accepted in faith. Of course, I am always led back to God's truth. Without it, there would be no reason to live at all.

Each day, there is at least one moment where I want to give up. This level of emotional distress is no kind of life. Will I even be able to make it through the rest of my life like this? I outwardly celebrate each day with your daddy and your sisters...playing, laughing and honestly loving the time with them. Inwardly, the pain of losing you eats away at a battle raging inside. A fight for my sanity. However, no matter how difficult it is to go on, I will continue to function. I will continue to fight through the tears so that your sisters will not suffer any more than they already have. They need me.

I'm not sure how others view my grief...your daddy's grief. Do people think that it is time that we just moved on? Do they want us to "just be happy already!"? I don't know. There is no way to explain what missing you feels words, no description. It almost seems that we are destined to live a life of seclusion because we are different, changed. We are living every parent's worst nightmare and not sure what tomorrow holds.

What I do know is that we miss you...with each beat of our heart and each second that ticks away we long to hold you again. We will always be your mommy and daddy and you will always be our Marco Polo, our Marky Poo...our son.