Monday, August 18, 2014

Big Sister starts Catholic School

It seems we always want our littles to stay little- relish in their sweetness as long as possible. Before they don't want to spend time with us anymore but run from their classrooms ecstatic to tell you about their first day in their new class. 

Today was one of the happiest days I've had in a long time. It was a very proud moment and a little emotional pulling up to the school. We have struggled to not let out grief overrun our lives, to provide for our family, to keep trying to move forward. And this morning was such a proud moment because despite any struggle we have faced- and there have been many- we felt so strongly that a faith-based education was the absolute best for Madeleine's big sister, and we made it happen, at any cost. I think as parents we want so hard to make our children's pain dissipate no matter the circumstance; the same is absolutely true for a grieving child. We believe wholeheartedly that when nothing in our life with respect to Madeleine has made sense, our faith has gotten us through, given us peace, given us someone to blame, someone to beg, made us throw our hands up in surrender. How can you possibly articulate those feelings to a small child? You can't. But you can give them the power of prayer and faith. And loving teachers that take extra time if your child is having a bad day, like we all do, to express herself and find comfort. I really just couldn't be happier that Annalise is there. It makes my heart SING.

It's incredible how time flying can be both a blessing and a curse to those of us with angels. For those of us struggling through another day with other children to raise, there are beautiful days of joy. Thank God for those, as they get us through another day, another week. 

P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing my angel's face in this picture. She makes our pictures complete.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Victory for Moms

Yesterday I fell apart. Trying to keep Easter a joyful day, I suppressed all of my emotions missing her. They came spilling from me intermittently on Monday. Thankfully I have good friends who listen; just listen. A head nod; an acknowledgement that this is hard and awful but you're fighting for you and your family; all so supportive. I am so thankful that even in mini crises, I have support.

Today, I arrived to work early.
Last April, I could barely get out of bed if I even went to sleep the night before.

Today I stood in front of a mirror and applied my makeup.
Last April, I barely combed my hair twice in one week, much less put makeup on my face.

Today, I felt just a little victory in the progress of my life: as a wife, as a mother, as a woman.

I know I am not the only woman, the only mother, to feel like life just shouldn't go on. I know I am not the only mother to have these hopeless experiences. I know I am not the only mother who still cries herself to sleep at night missing the warmth of her child's arms around her neck, or a little rub of her child's nose to hers, or hearing that sweet, precious voice in her ears. Those women, those mothers, I love with as much intensity as I miss my child. Because they miss theirs as well. And I know what that feels like.

Today, I am claiming a little victory for mothers of broken hearts, with their missing piece in heaven. We will get out of bed and make our child proud of our strength and endurance to live the life we must with some hope and joy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Holding On

Today I really tried.
Long ago I got into the very bad habit of saving nearly every article of clothing for Madeleine. We've got every season from NB to size 6/M and everything in between.
Why am I keeping all of these clothes?? I really cannot get rid of Madeleine's- maybe one day but it isn't going to be soon... when it's all you have left, most mothers of angels will tell you we keep all the toys and clothes and pictures like treasures. What about everything else?
My head knows as well as my heart: I'm not saving them for anyone. So why not just get rid of them?
I really want to believe that God is not done with growing our family, that maybe one day we will have a little one to dress again. I want to believe with all of my heart.
So today I filled up one bag of clothes. Just one. When I could outfit an entire little girl's boutique, I filled up one bag of clothes to pass along.
As far as I'm concerned, that's progress.