This weekend was difficult. Since the calendar rolled into March, I have tried desperately to figure out how to get through Josiah's birthday carrying the Hope and Peace the Lord has given me over the last year. But the fact is, as much as I wanted to be ok, it was not ok, and my heart sank and the tears came. They came because of the pain and also because of the journey. I saw flash backs of moments...of me being so scared in labor, of Bryan holding Josiah, of his funeral, of many faces...so many faces...at his grave, at our house, cards, words, calls, texts...faces that didn't know what to say...no one seemed to know what to say and so my journey led me to the only One who could help me...the Lord. The hardest work came probably two weeks after we buried our son. When the world seemed to be returning back to "normal" and you can't quite figure out where you fit anymore. I wrote in my journal:
28 March 2011
"I am shopping...not because I want to, but because we need food. Being apart from Bryan doing our own thing hasn't really felt safe yet-so we live these days (if they are considered living at all), side by side-nearly shadows to each other. Everyday we do our errands, things done because the reality of what awaits us in our minds, combined with being at home is more unbearable than being out in public. So we do things. What are they? Honestly-I get home and don't even recall. I see bags with groceries in it, a stack of movies and Gracey with her leash and I know something took place because the clock said 2pm when I got in the car and now it says 4:33pm. Or maybe I have been sitting here the whole time? I always feel like I'm forgetting something we need. Milk? Eggs? Maybe the Bread? I walk up and down the aisles, each and every one of them just making sure I don't forget what I am trying to find. Bryan finally gives up and asks me "What are you looking for?" And I knew in that moment I was somehow looking for Josiah. Would he be on that shelf? Down aisle 3? This didn't happen even at the grocery store only...I look at my phone exhaustively for a text, a voicemail, or in the mail box for a letter, in a delivery of flowers, his grave and on and on for something or someone to tell me this is a trick. For someone to help me make sense of any of this. For someone to say "Just Kidding!" and snap their fingers. But I am left searching still and the sadness overcomes because what I seek I know truly here I will never find and I only pray I can figure out how to stop looking. So I am a wanderer you see. I feel like I float between living and death. Can what I am be considered living? Am I in an emotional coma? I hear things around me but nothing makes sense...it is like I am watching things go on...even watching me go on.."
Days and weeks continued for me, and God was there. My tears kept coming, and God was there. Weeks turned into months, a trick I felt in its own, and God was there. So I searched through my pain. And with the help of those who love me, I knew somehow again, this would not kill me. I knew I wanted my pain to make me stronger and help me believe and trust in ways many would not even attempt. And so I had a choice to make and did.
One of the greatest flash backs as we have journeyed to comfort, is our 5K run we did in November. We trained since June. My body had gone through some very difficult times but God told me to walk with Him and seek Him and so I did. I began to feel better and even began running! (I haven't run since I began Chemo in 2004). We had the greatest support that day from so many people and as we crossed that finish line I felt as though I literally ran and claimed PEACE. I ran with Bryan, side by side, just as we have done through this whole journey, and we prayed while we ran and cried when we finished because we knew God saw us. We knew He saw our hearts claim and believe. We walked forward that day, still grieving, but decided we needed to focus on Hope now.
Since then something has changed inside of me. When you have children in heaven, you figure out fast what you live for here and how it all fits together. I can't explain it or define it for you. One has to walk with the Lord and ask Him these things and discover its treasures on your own. It's not something someone can truly express. It happens quietly in the heart. It happens when you are not satisfied with being bitter. It happens when you know that being angry, sad, and confused is not ungodly or unbelieving and when they reoccur even after you feel peace, that again it only means you are Loved and real.
I miss you and love you. I don't understand everything, but I know God is real and His Love goes beyond even the things I know. You are a precious son to us. I remember so many things about you, but most of all I remember the way your life brought me close to Jesus while you were with us, and even though now you are not. I don't know how we have made it an entire year without you. But if we live for the Truth, then we live for it. You have so many people that love you. I hope you got your special balloons that Isaiah and Lily sent to you! Ilona and Bella made you beautiful pictures. We wait for the glory of the Lord, and you are a part of this Josiah. I love you eternally, and I am eternally blessed by you.