Monday, August 30, 2010

God won't give you more than you can handle.

This is another one of those platitudes that I hate.  What makes it worse is that this one is based in scripture, so everyone takes it as true. (I'm not going to get into a scriptural discussion here.  I'll just leave it as I think it's been constantly misinterpreted)

It doesn't make sense, though, that God wouldn't allow us more trials than we can handle.  What are the purpose of trials?  As anyone religious and they'd tell you that we have trials to make our faith stronger.  Okay, that I can accept, it's held true in my life.  But think of it, when someone is trying to build muscle strength, do they stop at what they can handle?  No.  They push until they go past what they can handle.  During training, they tear their muscles.  And when those muscles heal and build themselves back, they are stronger than they were before.  So then, why would God not allow us anything we can't handle if we are to become stronger? 

I can't handle this.  I said it my entire life, especially after the death of Kade.  I held that scripture that I spoke of earlier as a comfort.  I would never lose a child because I couldn't handle it, and God would never give me more than I could handle.  I felt so betrayed when it happened.  I felt like I had been lied to.

There's something really important to remember though.  God doesn't expect us to handle our trials alone.  Every day of the last 4 years, 3 months, and 4 weeks, has been more grief than I could ever expect to handle alone.  But I haven't been alone.  I have never been alone.  I have felt God in my life.  Like in the poem Footprints In The Sand, I have been carried.  He has given me His strength, and He can handle all things.  So it's not that He won't give me more than I can handle, but He will give me the strength - His strength - to handle anything that comes my way.

"I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." John 14:18
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" Alma 26:12

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Been sick lately

And when I'm not feeling well I think about Cora a lot.  But I have no energy to speak of.  So there have been SEVERAL times I've sat down in front of the computer to blog about...something...and then just stared at the keyboard for 10 minutes or so, unable to frame my thoughts.

I went to the doctor today.  It was my normal 6-month blood draw to check my thyroid levels.  I have a feeling they're off.  I also have a double ear infection, a sinus infection starting and a probable UTI.  With the other two, she decided not to actually take a urine sample.  She said we'd just assume I do, and since I'm needing an antibiotic anyway, she prescribed me one that would take care of that too.

And, as is the way of antibiotics, I feel worse after starting them than I did earlier.

Anyway, all that to say I have much on my mind, but it just doesn't translate through my fingers that I'll probably be quiet for a while.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Still Miss You

(I would be adding this song to Cora's playlist if the website could find it, but alas, no such luck)

I Still Miss You (Keith Anderson)

I've changed the presets in my truck
so those old songs don't sneak up
they still find me and remind me
yeah you come back that easy
try restaurants I've never been to
order new things off the menu
that I never tried cause you didn't like
two drinks in you were by my side

I've talked to friends
I've talked to myself
I've talked to God
I prayed liked hell but I still miss you
I tried sober I tried drinking
I've been strong and I've been weak
and I still miss you
I've done everything move on like I'm supposed to
I'd give anything for one more minute with you
I still miss you
I still miss you baby

I never knew til you were gone
how many pages you were on
it never ends I keep turning
and line after line and you are there again
I dont know how to let you go
you are so deep down in my soul
I feel helpless so hopeless
its a door that never closes
no I don't know how to do this

I've talked to friends
I've talked to myself
I've talked to God
I prayed liked hell but I still miss you
I tried sober I tried drinking
I've been strong and I've been weak
and I still miss you
I've done everything
move on like I'm supposed to
I'd give anything for one more minute with you
I still miss you yeah

I've talked to friends
I've talked to myself
I've talked to God
I prayed liked hell but I still miss you
I tried sober I tried drinking
I've been strong and I've been weak
and I still miss you
I've done everything
move on like I'm supposed to
I'd give anything for one more minute with you
I still miss you yeah

I still miss you
I still miss you

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Please take a moment to visit this blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

God has a plan

Words cannot express how much it annoys me when (yes, even well-meaning) people use this phrase as a platitude to comfort someone who is grieving.  Especially a mother who is grieving the death of her baby(ies).  Especially when that particular mother doesn't have the same beliefs as the person who said it.

While I do believe that yes, God has a plan for me and my family, it was my place to decide that.  I don't think anyone at all should use this.  Unless they are a clergyperson who has been directly asked.  And then only when they are directly asked.

But like I said, I do believe it.  It took me a while to resolve, though.  All my life I have been taught that my Heavenly Father was a God who is perfectly just and infinitely merciful; and that I am His child whom He loves and therefore desires happiness for.  How then, could this Being allow His righteous daughter to experience something so incredibly painful, and so incredibly UNjust?  I spent most of the month I had of maternity leave, when I was home alone most of the time, pondering this very thing.

It all came down to what God's purpose for putting us here truly is.  It is not, like we would tell ourselves, for us to have happy lives.  Not that that means His purpose is for us to have miserable lives, but that His goal is not simply for us to be happy here on Earth.  No, His purpose is for us to choose.  This entire mortal life situation comes down to choosing one of two things: Do we choose to become like Him by following His instructions on how to do so, or do we become whatever else we think it is we want to be, by doing whatever we think will get us to that point?  

That ability for us to choose is the greatest gift we have.  God could very easily have made us so that we always completely obeyed, but He didn't.  He gave us the ability to choose for ourselves.  And to truly have that ability, there has to be opposition.  Do we choose chocolate, or vanilla?  After all, a choice of chocolate or chocolate isn't really a choice, is it?  If only good things happened to good people, and only bad things happened to bad people, would that be a choice?  Who in their right mind, then, would choose anything else?  Everyone would be good, obedient and righteous.  Not because of faith, not because it is good or right, but because it is the way to prevent sadness and pain.

But God wanted us to be able to choose what we wanted for ourselves.  So He made it so we could choose goodness because it is good, even though sometimes bad things still happen to good people.  So we could be free to choose for ourselves.

I have seen the grief of parents who watch their children make very self-damaging choices, but let their children have the freedom to choose what they want, even if it goes against their very loving and well-meaning advice.  I'm sure that my Father in Heaven feels the same way about me.  But His greatest desire is for us to have choice, so He must allow the pain when it happens, even though it hurts Him to see us hurt.

Is it worth it?  Is the freedom of choice something I desire enough for it to be worth the grief and pain of having the only time I held my baby girl be after she died?

I can't speak for any other baby loss mommy, but for me, the answer would be yes.  Maybe if the it were just my freedom at stake it wouldn't be (but that would require me making a choice, wouldn't it?), but when it comes down to the agency of my other children, my husband, my siblings, parents and other family, and my friends, and all mankind.  Yes.

If you think otherwise, go to a library and check out the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, and then reassess.

"wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." (2 Nephi 2:23) [emphasis added]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not sure what to call this anniversary

5 years ago today...Cora was conceived.  Well, most likely anyway.  I wasn't as good at pinpointing ovulation days back then.  5 years ago today her life began.  I became sick almost immediately.  She made herself known very early and with a vengeance.  I don't remember what day I got my bfp with her.  I never wrote it down.  I never took a picture of the test.  There are so many things I regret not doing, that wouldn't be important if she were here with me today.

I do remember how in awe I felt, though.  I got pregnant our first cycle off birth control.  The getting pregnant part was so easy.  I'd only been sexually active for a couple of months (since my wedding on June 17th), and still didn't really know what I was doing in that department.  I had really no idea what was going on.  She just happened.

My life changed the day I saw that blue plus sign.  I changed.  I became a mother.  It was a shift in my perspective, a shift in how I saw myself and the world around me.  It was a relegation of what I wanted to the back seat in favor of what the baby needed.  I learned what it meant to suffer physically in behalf of another person, something I had never comprehended before.

That part of me that was born that day is hers.  Her death also wrought many changes in me, but her conception changed me first.  And all of those changes were for the better.  Cora gave me the confidence to know that I really did want to be a mother, that I could be a good one, and that I could truly love a child the way a child should be loved.

And I do love her.  So very much.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It Isn't

((I got this poem off a friend's blog, so I don't know who wrote it))

It isn't letting go,
it's going on.
It isn't only shadows,
and it isn't only dawn.
It isn't getting through it,
it's letting it come through me.
Not living in the darkness,
though the darkness I can see.
It's living with the sorrow,
but finding memories sweet.
It's knowing it takes both sides
to make it all complete.
It's soaking up the sunshine,
along with all the rain.
It's learning to let laughter
live side by side with the pain.
It's knowing that the past
won't change a love that's real,
or take away the joy you brought,
or the sorrow that I feel.
It's knowing tears and laughter
can live on the same face,
and knowing that your impression on my heart
can never be erased.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The easiest for me

I've thought a lot over the past 4 years, 3 months, 1 week and 1 day over how Cora's death could have played out differently.  I truly believe that it happened in such a way to be easiest for me.

I lost her at a time in my pregnancy when I felt like I had gotten to know her a little.  I knew her gender, I had called her by name for months.  I got to hold her, see her face, take pictures.  I feel confident in my religious beliefs regarding her.  If  I had miscarried early, she wouldn't have a name, I wouldn't have known her gender, and I'm not sure I would know regarding spiritual things.

And while I will never say that I believe it would have been harder for me to lose her after she'd lived a few years, because she died before birth I cannot convince myself it's my fault.  I have that mommy guilt anyway, but I can truly, honestly, tell myself that it was not my fault that she died.  I don't know that I would have been able to do that if she'd died in another way.  ((I do want to say here, that I do NOT think that other women who have lost children in accidents are at fault, but I don't think I would be able to tell myself I wasn't.))

So in all the scenarios that I have played out in my head, ways that it could have happened differently, I do think that this way was the easiest for me.  And I'm grateful for that tender mercy.

Is that weird?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the benefit of mourning

A mommy friend of mine, several months ago, wrote that the difference between mourning and grieving is that mourning is active grief.  It's the things we do because of grief, the time period immediately after tragedy when our grief is all we do.

This time for this is becoming less socially acceptable.  But that's not what I really am thinking of right now.

My husband and I have been watching old episodes of the show "Lie to Me," as we've just recently been introduced to the show.  A recently watched episode was of a boy who figured out his parents had adopted him and were lying to him, and he was trying to figure out who he was.  He thought he was a boy who had been abducted as a baby, gone for 16 years.

So they go to talk to the parents of that boy, and it turns out he wasn't that boy.  He wasn't that boy because that boy had drowned accidentally in the bathtub, and the wife never told the father.  I found this horrifying.  Horrifying that the wife, in lying to her husband, had robbed him of his ability to mourn and grieve the loss of his son.  Instead he'd lived 16 years of limbo, sad that he was gone, but hope that one day he'd return.

It made me think of how important it was and is for me, this grief.  The acceptance that she is gone, and that life must go on without her.  Without that, the small healing that comes with time can't happen.  It hurts to accept that, but in the end it is better than not being able to.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shivers of fear

So lately I've been feeling fairly baby hungry, but haven't been doing anything about it.  It's not the right time, and I'm not emotionally ready yet.  But that doesn't mean I don't "plan" things.  I started my period today, so as per normal, I pulled up a due date calculator and plugged my information in (I like this one, since it allows you to adjust your cycle length)

It gave me a due date of May 14, 2011.

May 14, 2006 was my due date with Cora.

I have to admit I nearly burst into tears.  I just don't think I could do that.  I think with all the stress and anxiety and worry that comes from pregnancy now anyway, adding the same due date would just be too much.  I'm already dreaming of my next baby being wrapped up in her cord.  I can't imagine what it would be like if they shared a due date too.  ((Although, at least it wouldn't be on Mother's Day again))

Wasn't she beautiful?