Friday, March 5, 2010

Six Months

This week we passed the six month mark of Samuel's death.  Since Samuel died on the 31st, there are only 7 months in which we have an exact day to mark the months since we lost him.  With February only having 28 days this year, we were three days short of an actual sixth month anniversary.  As a result, I didn't have one day where it was really on my mind and burdensome.  Instead I have had almost a week of thinking about it here and there and feeling generally blue but not overwhelmingly sad. 

It's hard to think half a year has gone by since I last got to see and touch my third son.  And somehow -- though I recognize this is unreasonable and a figment of my own imagination -- when Samuel was dying, I always thought we would be doing better by the time six months had gone by.  Six months seemed like a long time off, and I thought we'd be pretty "normal" by then.  It didn't take me long to realize that it is absurd to think we'll ever be "normal" again.  We'll never be the people we were before Samuel.  And I'm ok with that.  I don't want to be the person I was before Samuel changed my life.  He has enriched me and drawn me closer to my Savior and given me a deeper gentleness and truth in my soul.  His life has forever altered mine, and for that I thank God every day.  It makes his life feel more real when I can look at myself or others and see how Samuel has made a difference.  But it is hard to see six months roll around and feel like we're farther behind than I had hoped we would be.  I know it is silly, and I don't actually hold myself to some self-imposed time table of healing, but I am aware of how much harder life still is than I had expected it to be.

On the last day of February, six months after the last day of August, we found ourselves in the same room where we had Samuel's memorial service.  It was the first time I had been back in North Point's Theater.  We were there for the happy occasion of witnessing a good friend's commissioning service, and we were surrounded by many of the same people who surrounded us on that dark day nearly six months earlier.  It was hard to sit there and see one of the men who spoke at Samuel's service standing on the same spot on the stage, to stand and sing with a room full of people like we did that day, to picture where our chairs had been in the room and where we sat watching the video of our sweet Samuel's life.  It was hard to be back.  But it was also good to celebrate our friend and to remember being in that room for happy occasions too -- like when Bryan was commisioned a year and a half ago.  Though I will always associate that room with Samuel's death, I will also associate it with happy moments when we were joyful and smiling.  I'm glad it isn't a place of only sorrow in my mind.

The other thing that has been really hard for me lately is looking ahead to August.  As we've talked about trips and vacations and other events that require forethought and planning, we have numerous times stumbled upon August in our conversations: "Could we go to the beach with the Apinis family the first week of August?",  "When does my mom get back from Turkey?  Is it the beginning of August?", "I can't believe Caleb starts kindergarten in August!"  Each of these moments has knocked the wind right out of me.  How can we already be talking about August -- a full year from when we met and lost our Samuel?  How is this possible?  How can it already be looming in front of us?  It's overwhelming to me.  And I am nervous about how the sorrow of that month is going to be amplified by Caleb starting kindergarten.  I LOVE having my kids home with me.  LOVE it.  I have dreaded the start of school for my boys from the day they were born.  I wonder how I'm going to survive August when it means the year anniversary of that oh, so difficult month in our lives AND the beginning of Caleb going to school.  The Lord is going to have to show up in my life in a mighty way!

It is hard to see time continually marching forward, but I know that's how life is.  It's how God designed it.  And He is continually healing our hearts, bit-by-bit and moment-by-moment.  He is working on me and molding me and growing me.  I want to heal and grow.  I know time is part of this.  And so though I hate to see August 2009 fall farther and farther behind me, I continue to reach out my hand, let God lift me gently to my feet, and walk another step forward in the shadow of my Lord.  I will continue to follow where He leads, and I will faithfully ask for the courage to rejoice in each and every day He grants me -- no matter how far it takes me from the days when I sat by Samuel's side.

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