Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Very Belated {TT} Sun Flare

Theme Thursday Oct Nov

 I was so excited Theme Thursday is back - but last week got away from me!

Since Micaela has the link-up still going, I decided to jump on the bandwagon late.

This pic was a lot of trial and error with the settings on the camera - and a little Photoshop.

October is full of varying temperatures and sunny days in the Midwest. 

I loved this shot with the plane crossing the horizon.

So great to be back at it!  Thanks for getting it going Micaela!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Last Prayer: Part 3

This is a fictional piece based on my experiences.  I hope you enjoy.  
*trigger warning* child loss, infertility, miscarriage

Slowly the world solidified around her.  Movement and words began to run in sync.  It was done.

Ava was alive, but the baby was gone.  As she sat breathing in this new reality, the on-duty nurse came in and handed her a prescription and told her it was time to go.  
Ava tried to stand, but everything blurred.  She asked for a few more minutes to rest, the nurse looked her over and replied, "You have to be gone by shift change, which is in 20 minutes."

Nineteen minutes later, Dave helped Ava up and they slowly made their way back home.  Home to no baby.  Home to the same emptiness of infertility, but now with the added black hole of loss.

The next several days were a blur of pain medication and broken naps.  Sleeping, waking in pain, medicating, sleeping.  Again and again the cycle repeated.

Finally, on the fourth day, Ava's parents brought Lily back home.  At five years old, she didn't understand what had happened.  She didn't know she had had a sibling briefly in this world.  Lily only knew that she prayed for one every night, not how much that prayer pierced her mother's heart.

to be continued...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Goodbye to Babyhood

We're starting to hit milestones around here. Potty training is long done. All the cloth diapers are washed a final time and packed away until the day we need them or I'm strong enough to let them go. 

SP is in preschool and loving it. Her tumbling skills are starting to look like actual tumbling moves. 

Still, this week it all hit me at once: she's not a baby anymore, she's fully kid

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, I awoke to SP getting sick. As we lay together on the futon all night marathoning cartoons, I looked at the side of her face. I saw the long lines where rounded cheeks had been. 

In that moment, the baby disappeared and I saw her. All girl, no more baby. 

It's been four years of diapers and babies and toddlers, of constant physical demand on my person, and in that instant, I realized it was over. 

Late nights of sickness and bad dreams will still pepper the route, but a chapter closed when I wasn't looking. 

It's hard to let this last chapter close. I'm mourning it's end as I rejoice in some of the freedoms of this next chapter. 

I can have conversations with both of my girls now. Actual conversations. 

Life doesn't have to revolve around nap time. 

Everyone is old enough to do some measure of chores and entertain themselves to varying degrees. 

I can sleep in. I can sleep all night. 

I've struggled with feelings of guilt over the ease of these things. When so many others are drained, how can I enjoy a restful night in good conscience?

But, the answer is staring me in the face when I look at my few baby items squirreled away and mourning their disuse. 

Because I have a different cross.  My cross isn't stretching myself out over many babies, it's stretching my heart over the lack of them. 

I'm working on embracing the gifts of my cross unapologetically. I'm trying to slow down and just be. 

Sometimes God throws a little stomach flu the three year old's way to get you to do just that. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Say Hello to Your Sister

I should be preparing a fifth birthday party. But I'm not. 

That baby died. At seven weeks gestation in utero. As part of the grieving process, the baby was named Mara. 

Last week, I crashed my car into a deer. As I talked with my oldest about the power of guardian angels and how an impact with a compact car and a buck could have been completely catastrophic, she said something that stopped me in my tracks, "Well, if we had died, I would have gotten to meet Mara."

She thinks about the missing sister. It is ever-present in her mind that her whole family does not live with her here on earth. And with the faith of a child, she understands that we're on our journey home to be with Mara. 

Maybe we're having a hard time with long division, but if she keeps her eyes on Heaven, I'm counting this parenting thing as a win. 

My girls will never all be together completely until Heaven, but on the day of L's first communion, we talked about the communion of saints - and what that meant for her family. 

Mara is a holy innocent, sitting at the foot of Jesus. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, that's the closest we get to Heaven here. 

In that moment, I say hello to her. 

When L received her first holy communion, I told her, "say hello to your sister."  

With tears in her eyes, she turned from her reception and I knew she had. 

In the years since, we've talked about it occasionally, but as we approach what would have been a birthday, I'm struck all over again by the grace I find in the communion of saints. United in prayer, and for that moment of Communion, both sitting together with Jesus.