Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ask What . . .

My fists had pounded that table with each anguished why that cried.

Why? Why? Why?

Why! Why! Why!

Those arms that ached with the heaviness of emptiness was a visceral pain.

All that pain gets clinched up, the emotions ball up and then out they come with a pounding of a fist, a guttural cry of why.

My husband so gently took that clinched, pounding fist, covered it with his open hand and said, "I know your need to want to know why. Trust me, I do. But that may be a question that never gets answered. At some point, we need to turn that 'why' into a 'what'. What are we going to do with this? What are we going to make of it?"

Slowly, those why's reduced themselves one by one as the days ticked on.

Slowly, the smiles started out weighing the tears.

Slowly, you start living again not because you have to but because you want to.

And slowly, the 'what' starts unfolding, naturally, just as the moon unfolds itself to the light.

There is a love that reveals itself when you give birth to life. It's a true, organic, all the way through kind of love that never dies.

Love in and of itself is a mystery full round but there is a mystery that lies within, there is a need . . . a longing to care for your baby that you no longer get to hold.

Even when your baby dies you are a mother who aches to mother.

That first Christmas was rough and hard and seared all the way through. The mother in me refused to stop mothering. We continued with traditions. We bought ornaments for all three of our girls and hung them on the tree. Christmas stockings were still stuffed.

The 'what' slowly started revealing itself.

There was a need to fill those two stockings to two little girls. What do you do with material things that the ones they are intended for are not here?

The 'what' slowly started revealing itself.

The second Christmas, we started thinking broader.

The ache to mother two little girls I don't get to hold never dies, it continues to grow.

That ache to love has been stretched right through, pulled tight and over to ache to love others. To care for other mothers and fathers who ache over their babies.

The ache to love revealed the 'what'.

And so, EV's Christmas Stockings, out of cries over death, was breathed into being.

EV's Christmas Stockings provided a stocking to each baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Riley Children's Hospital.

Some people have said what I have done is "amazing" or "awesome".

I don't deserve those praises.

What I have done was born from pure selfishness for the memories of my daughters to keep on living. I don't want people to forget two little girls who made such an impact on my world.

It's my mother's selfish love that made me do what I did.

It's that desire . . . that longing to care for and love two girls whom I physically can't. So that desire has been placed on others who need to be cared for, loved for and remembered.

I thought I was the one giving. I thought I was the one bestowing the blessings.

There is no way to describe the appreciation and gratitude one has when they receive something completely unexpected.

I received more than I gave. I was blessed more than I blessed.

It was a very emotional day for me. That morning, as I gathered all the Christmas stockings, I cried. After months of working, I was finally still enough to absorb the weight of it and my emotions overcame me.

I called my husband upstairs and had him look at all 65 stockings and through tears I said, "look what they have done! Look what our two little girls have done!" 

I would never have dreamed that Emmerson and Vivienne would be able to touch so many. They were only here for a short while but look at what they have been able to do.

Trust me, if I could, I would change it all to have them here. Nothing will ever take that away. After all, I'm still a mother who longs to mother all four of my children.

But, wow! Look what they have done!

We will probably never have our answer as to why but now, we know, what we can do with what we have been given. And that is simply to love . . .  

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. 
~ Mother Teresa ~


1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I read through your "Our Story" post tonight and cried for you. I couldn't fathom how you could make something positive out of something that makes all of us instinctively ask "Why?". Just wanted to say that I think that what you have done is definitely "amazing and awesome". Not all of us have the strength to turn such things in to such positive "whats".

    Our twin boys have been diagnosed with TTTS and are at 25 weeks tomorrow. I still have high hopes for them to walk this world with me but you've shown me it is possible for some positive to come out of any scenario.

    Thanks for sharing this




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