Monday, July 26, 2010

little girls

I admit it, I would love a little girl.

I don't know if it's because I lost one that I have this longing,
or if it's just a natural desire for any woman. After all,
most girls grew up wishing they had a real doll to dress in
pretty pink dresses and little hair bows.

Please don't get me wrong, I am SO grateful for my boys.
I adore them and would not trade them for anything in the world!
I don't want to trade them, I just want to add a girl to the family.

At times I think of adoption.
But is that forcing something that perhaps isn't meant to be?
Maybe I am destined to only have boys..
Or I could turn it around and say, maybe I don't have a girl
naturally because I am supposed to adopt one?
Please God, show me.

Sometimes I feel like I had my one chance and I blew it.

It hurts inside when I see little girls, particularly around the age of two. Each time it reminds me of what I have lost and what could have been. It makes me wonder what Kathleen would have looked like and what she would be doing at this stage. A year ago I wondered if she would be walking. Now she would be walking, and running. Maybe she would not be into pretty dresses and dolls, but cars and dirt - and that would be okay.
I just want my little girl.

My mom sent me a picture of her and my second cousin. She was so adorable. I wished with all of my heart that it was a picture of my mom and Kathleen. That I would have been able to give my mom a granddaughter.

Little girls are all around me.
They always leave a little sting of pain in my heart.
It's like a wound that just won't heal.
Like a scar tissue being stretched.
I am learning to live with it though. Or am I?

I want my two boys. I want my Kathleen. I want a little girl.
And that's the truth.

Friday, July 9, 2010

the small stuff

"Don't sweat the small stuff", we say.
But what is the small stuff? Isn't it all in the eye of the beholder,
a matter of perspective molded by life circumstances and
life experiences? A perspective that can change over time and over night?

Mine changed, once again, last night as I went to the hospital to take pictures of a little six month old girl. She was a SIDS case that had been resuscitated and was now brain dead. Suddenly everything becomes small stuff. I am reminded that as long as my family is healthy and alive, nothing else matters.

Does that mean that the fact that my husband is unemployed is insignificant? That after thirteen years of marriage we still don't have our own home? No, having a job and a home is important for our family and it is the best for our children. But I know God is our provider and we will be okay. We still have each other.

Does that mean I always feel privileged when Kaden wakes me up about six in the morning, pulls my hair while feeding, and cries when I put him down for a nap? Does it mean I feel grateful when I am scrubbing his pooh stained clothes? Absolutely not. But today I am.

I wish I always felt privileged, grateful and just happy that me and my husband and my boys are alive. But I don't. We all loose focus. We all need reminders of what's important in life. To not sweat the little stuff. Like the fact that my husband comes out of the store with children's tylenol instead of infant's tylenol even though I told him twice. Or that Kaleb spills grape juice all over his beige pants even though I told him to be careful. Or that getting the family together to celebrate my birthday seems like an almost impossible task. These were all things that frustrated me and upset me a few days ago. But today it is small stuff and I am grateful.

Sure it's okay to want things, like a job and a house, but I think there's a reason why the bible says: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6. We can bring all the small stuff before God and ask for His help and His blessings - all while we remember we have so much to be thankful for, that He has already given us SO much.

Thank you God that today we are alive and well.
And now my baby is crying..
Thank you God!

My beautiful Kaleb in the park.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kathleen's shelf

Kathleen has a shelf. Just a shelf. A shelf tugged away in our office. Nothing pretty. Just a 29 dollar book shelf from Walmart.

She has a single shelf. I wish she had a whole room. A room filled with pretty furniture, dolls, teddy bears and cute pink clothes. I wish that each day she would make a mess in her room like any child does, and that each night I would get the privilege of telling her to clean up. I know she has all she will ever need, could hope or dream for in Heaven. Yet I wish she was here with us. I wish I could buy her the whole world. Instead her clothes is packed away in a small suitcase and her belongings and memoirs sit on a shelf.

A brown bear that laid on her casket, two white teddy bears, and a little lamb that came with a poem.

The Shepherds Hand
Taken swiftly as the purest dove
into the the Shepherds open arms of love,
straight from this world of harm,
your beautiful face so full of calm.

One day in Heavens glory we will meet,

O for that day will be so sweet,
but until that time my dearest little lamb,
rest in the Shepherds loving hand.

On the shelf sits a pink stone heart. I wish I could remember who gave it to us.. Some memories seem to be lost in the blur, others are branded into my mind.

Like I remember clear as day leaving the hospital without a baby and instead with a memory box. No words can describe such devastation. The emptiness, the pain. This was not the way it was supposed to be, this was not right. I should be going home with a baby, not a box. A box that now sits on this shelf. Inside of it is a stack of cards. I wish they were cards congratulating us on a new little baby girl. Instead they are cards with titles such as "in deepest sympathy" and words such as: "We are given many precious gifts as we go through life. Some we are allowed to enjoy for a long time... others only briefly. But each gift has the power to change and enrich us, to make us better human beings". I know her brief life was a gift and I know many good things have come from it - yet I wish God would have used other ways to make me a better person and that she was still here. But as another card reads: "Nothing beautiful in this world is ever really lost... those we cherish will always live on in memory". So I look through the box and I remember my baby. I look at the pictures, the hand and footprints, the hospital bracelet, her certificate of birth, a card that says she was born on March 27th 2008 at 0259 weighing 210 grams and measuring 22 centimeters. I hold the little fleece blanket she was wrapped in and hope somehow it will smell like her, but any scent is far gone.. I don't need these things to remember her, yet they do make her more real. I look at these things and I know I didn't make her up, that she was not a figment of my imagination.

I look at the velvet bag that sits on top of the memory box. It contains a small urn with her ashes. We thought about spreading it out over the ocean not knowing where in the world we may end up, but God never allowed it to happen. So her remains are still with us and probably always will be. Wherever we go, she goes.. Her remains that is, because Kathleen's home is in now in Heaven. One day that too shall be our home and we shall see her again, but until then I cherish the few things we have, the memories of her.

Memories on a shelf.