We learned in grief counseling that new griefs penetrate the surface and bring up old griefs, and that has certainly been true the last few weeks. On the night we learned of our loved ones moving away, I felt the return of that horrible, gut-wrenching, earth-shattering ache that I carried around for months after Samuel died -- the one where it was hard to breathe, to speak, to function. Bryan and I were both overwhelmed with sorrow at the news of the move, and I couldn't bring myself to say a single word for the rest of the night. I felt crushed under grief once again. And I realized how much I haven't missed that almost unbearable weight. It also made me realize just how much God has healed us over the last two+ years. It used to be that the weight was a constant companion, but it had been a long time since I'd felt it again. That night I kept thinking over and over again, "I can't do this," but in the morning I woke with an assurance that God is with us, and He will be enough yet again.
I found myself heavy-hearted once again as I followed a heart family's journey. I hurt deeply for them in the loss of their son, Thomas, and I flash back to our time at Egleston, our fresh grief, our struggle to face each new day. I ache for anyone who has to walk this road of sorrow. And yet, I have such hope for the mighty work God will do in them because of their son. I treasure what God has done in me, and I stand in expectation at how He will reveal Himself in and to them.
I guess the second reason for my blog avoidance is that the three weighty circumstances going on around me have made me rather blue and have resulted in some pretty blue thoughts, and I hesitate to paint my blueness on others. I wouldn't say my days have been dominated by sorrow or heaviness; in fact I've had lots and lots of joy and laughter and fun, but my blog-related thoughts have been darker, and I've shied away from sharing them. For some reason I keep having an image of our time in the hospital flash through my head, and it makes my stomach sink every time. I keep picturing one day when I was at Samuel's bedside alone. (I think Bryan was praying in the hospital's chapel.) I was overcome with sorrow that day, and I laid my head down next to Samuel's and wept. When I think of that day, I imagine it as it looked to our nurse or a doctor walking by or even someone in the entrance hall as our dock was pretty much the first thing you saw when you looked into the CICU. My agony must have been evident to anyone who so much as glanced over, and when I picture it, my heart is filled with pain. I can't explain why that image came to mind (it happened during a worship song at church, and I'm sure the lyrics triggered it, but I can't even remember what song it was) or why it has stuck around, but it kind of sums up how I've been feeling lately when I think about writing on here -- just feels uncharacteristically heavy for over two years after Samuel's death.
Apart from those things, life has been joyful lately. Bryan's sister came to visit last week, and that was wonderful. Anna Pea took to her, which was precious. The boys continue to adore Anna. Today Caleb said he wishes he could have a whole day with nothing to do but stare at Anna. He called her "the cutest thing that ever lived." And Joel is always thinking about Anna. When asked what he was thankful for on Thanksgiving, he answered, "my baby sister" without hesitation. A couple of days ago when the boys were playing by Anna, Caleb suggested they head upstairs, and Joel immediately protested, "No! We can't leave Anna! She would be lonely." Joel proposes to Anna regularly with variations on, "Anna Pea, will you marry me?" The way these brothers love their baby sister is amazing.
Ok, maybe now that I have this post out the way, I will be a bit more diligent about posting. Here are some photos of the last month in my blogging absence. All but the first two were taken by Marta (Bryan's sister) or at least with her snazzy camera.
|Anna and Daddy enjoying the Thanksgiving Feast|
|I love her.|
|One of my favorites. I am so, so crazy about this baby girl.|
|Our Beauty. Or as I often call her "Button."|
|Joel's laughter is one of my favorite sounds in the world. What a fabulous kid.|
|Anna and her Auntie Marta|
|Auntie Marta with her nephews. Caleb was reading Encyclopedia Brown out loud to M&J.|
|Love that face. Such a Joel expression.|
|And this face. Love it too!|
|Playing make-believe. With protective goggles, a bike helmet, and a lacrosse stick, naturally.|
|My three sweeties. Can't imagine life without them and can hardly remember life before them.|