7.16.2009

Do not be afraid

I’ve had writer’s block lately. This is why it’s been weeks since I last wrote. Usually I can sit down and thirty minutes later I’ve got a stream of consciousness down on paper. Lately though, I think I just can’t quite clear my head enough…to think about what’s going on inside. I’m in a limbo state of mind these days. Feeling various forces pulling on me in different directions. Not bad things…just things. Wondering about the future and realizing this is actually a step forward to wonder what the future holds instead of dreading a lifetime without Zoe. So that’s good right? Also feeling what all moms feel…so much to do, so little time. Wanting to be a good wife and a good mother and trying to find my new self, feeling I’m actually at a point where I can do this, where I want to do this. I’ve had a sense of empowerment lately too. I believe in my core that I am destined to help other bereaved mothers who have lost babies or other mothers who have an extremely premature baby. I truly feel that I will be able to do this in an effective and hands on way, and it feels good to think that I can give back what so many women have given me in ways of support. Just an email or a phone call can mean so much when the person you are talking to knows what it’s like to be where you are.

I need to give you a bit of a newsy update and tell you all the cute, wonderful things Avery and Lily are doing. They’ve taken to talking in a monster voice which is actually quite funny to hear such a deep growly voice coming from someone who isn’t even three feet tall. One night, Lily was growling so deeply she had a coughing fit. Afterwards she looked at my husband and said “Oh. My tu-wote (throat) jump on my tongue.” So cute. They are both talking so much now…I mean in long sentences, it truly amazes me. We were on Skype with my sister in Oregon and Avery comes over to the computer with a plastic cabbage from her play kitchen and says “Here Aunt No-No. A cabbage from my garden. It all washed and fresh to eat.” They normally share with each other very well and are very considerate of one another, but that sibling infighting has begun. The constant grabbing things from one another, causing a ruckus to ensue is pretty common these days. Instead of saying “that’s mine” though, they say “that’s mines”…I guess they put the “s” on the end because we tell them when something is “yours”.

I should also tell you that I miss Zoe so much, still. Some days it takes my breath away when I look at her picture and realize that she actually is gone. I happened to move the furniture around just a bit in the guest room the other day. I pulled the bed away from the wall and there on the floor next to the vent was this little cap. It was a twist off cap from a small vile of saline that was part of Zoe’s daily regimen. I never thought a little plastic cap that should have just gone in the garbage could bring up so many feelings. I sat on the edge of the bed and cried. That tiny piece of plastic brought back images of doing her breathing treatments, which led to our night time routine, which of course led to my memories of singing in her ear, her cheek against my cheek and sometimes her little hands wrapped tightly around my fingers as she fell asleep. I miss her so much, so very, very much.

A similar thing happened when I went to change out my work bags. I hadn’t used this particular one in several months (I guess now it’s been more than a year). I unzipped the interior pocket and there was this black plastic “tool”. To anyone else it would have looked like something that went to something but must not be important because it certainly didn’t belong to anything else inside my bag. It was the “key” we used when switching Zoe’s oxygen tanks. I was always petrified that I would get stuck in Atlanta traffic and either not have a spare oxygen tank or have a spare but not have this key that opens the tank to allow the oxygen to flow. So I stuck these little keys everywhere...my purse, my glove box, inside my car door, the diaper bag, the spare diaper bag. There was one attached to the cart that we wheeled the tank in, and others stashed around the house. I was nothing if not prepared! But here again, something so simple, so small brought this gush of emotion. I’ve been so busy lately, with work, the foundation, the girls…so much fills my days now that we can take the girls out and about. I guess I don’t spend as much time entrenched in my grief over Zoe. Or maybe, just like I heard time and time again, I’ve begun to learn to live with the grief. It is a constant companion; it doesn’t go away…I guess it just sits in the backseat every now and then.

I can honestly say that I am happy again; despite the fact that so much of our lives is uncertain at the moment. I have faith that God will provide, as he always has, and that we will go where we’re needed. The perfect place for our lives at the moment is waiting for us and we just have to wait and see where that might be. A year ago…or rather at any other point in my life before now, I would never have been ok with this amount of uncertainty. And yet, I am. The past three years of our lives has taught me over and over that we are NOT in control. I can plan all I want, if that makes me feel better, but the truth is I have to be willing to be flexible; I have to be willing to alter my plans. Understanding this and believing this is actually quite liberating. It has started to free me from my controlling nature, a little anyway. I think the comfort comes in knowing that no matter what happens, even when unimaginable tragedy strikes, even when you think God has left you…this is when He is holding you closest. Nothing can separate us from Him, nothing at all!

My husband sent me the following passage which I have shared with a few friends and want to share it here as well. It is so powerful and spoke to me in such a profound way:

Doesn’t God’s Word come to us like a soft rain shower, dispelling the fury of the flames? Isn’t it like fireproof armor, against which the heat is powerless? Then let afflictions come, for God has chosen me. Poverty, you may walk through my door, but God is already in my house, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude into my life, but I have a cure standing ready – God has chosen me. Whatever occurs in the valley of tears, I know He has chosen me. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (Gen.26:24)

Do not be afraid.

4 comments:

Anaise said...

I agree--it takes the tiniest, oddest thing to set old grief rushing forward in new emotion. Though I am busy and happy and faith-full, I miss my little one who left nearly a year ago. May your days be filled with joy.

Denise Wheeler said...

Keira,
What a wonderful Bible passage! It speaks volumes.
It is so wonderful to hear that you are happy and healing. While I have no doubt that your grief will never go away, it certainly sounds like you are learning to live and love with it.
You are such a wonderful and inspiring mommy!
I am so blessed to know you.

Naomi Levit said...

i love you, kiwi....i'm glad you are happy:) i miss you and wish i could give you a big hug!
love,
aunt no-no

Dorinda said...

Very beautiful! I think this should be a chapter for sure :) As always you capture your emotions so well and I understand what you are sharing with me even if I cannot fully comprehend it.

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31