Thursday, August 6, 2015

Still Hurts...

Dear Gramma,

You have been gone three months now.

I always dreaded the day I would lose you. I thought I could will you to live forever, so when the day came, I felt like I had been hit with a train. I knew in my mind that the day was fast approaching, but my heart still believed you would overcome all the odds like you had so many other times. 

I have multiple pictures of you on our fridge. So I still see you and your smile every day. For that, I am grateful. On the other hand, it is sometimes like a kick in the gut that I can't come see you or even call you up to talk. 

Ryder starts preschool in less than a month. You would be so proud of him. He is so smart and such a good kid. He is all about hugging now, I know you would love that. 

Iyla is growing so much. She crawls everywhere, climbs on everything and insists on standing all the time. She is developing her own little personality. She is my cuddler and my kisser. You would love her hugs, her giggles and how much she talks. 

Ryder still asks about you. I know that you would love that. He loves his Great-Gramma. When he sees me cry, he always asks, "Do you miss Great-Gramma?" It is so sweet. It breaks my heart. We had a long talk soon after you passed. He wanted to know if you were still sick. I told him that you weren't sick anymore. I told him you were in heaven with Jesus running and dancing. I needed to remember that myself. 

In the end, you were so miserable. I knew you were ready to go. Go to Jesus and God. Go to your long-awaited reunion with Papaw. I know you missed him terribly. I hope you told him that I missed him my entire life and can't wait to finally meet him. 

Driving past your house to go to Mom and Dad's is still painful. I know you haven't lived there for a long time, but the house that holds so many of my memories just seems dead now. I hate that. I wish that Ryder and Iyla could experience a lazy summer afternoon on your porch playing solitaire on the porch while you sit in your chair with a dishtowel to wipe any perspiration and a fly swatter to take care of any pests. (Btw, I still think you knew how to play solitaire. You watched us kids play it for too many years to not have picked it up!) I wish they could play you in a game of checkers and learn that you were so smart and unbeatable. I wish they could experience an extreme Easter egg hunt in your yard or play under the tree with trucks and sticks or swing on the old tire swing while you watched. I wish they could experience the fun of putting up your Christmas tree and all of us piling into your house on Thanksgiving and Christmas and staying all day. I wish they knew the joy of watching the black snakes uncurl on your steps on the 4th of July. I wish they knew what it was like just to pop in and stay for a while to chat with you. I wish they could come in and catch you "resting your eyes" in the middle of the day. I wish they knew how wonderful it was to take a walk with you and just enjoy our time together and the beautiful world we live in. Gramma, I miss you so much.

Ryder was playing with a toy snake today. It made me think of you. You never let us play with ANY toy snakes at your house. I can't say that I blame you since you were bit by a copperhead and lived to tell about it. I can still remember mom not letting me buy a toy snake when I was a kid because you didn't want them around. 

Gramma, tell me this gets easier. Tell me that I won't be blindsided by pain every time I see someone else post a picture of their grandma or see a sweet little old lady out and about. Tell me that the things I KNOW in my mind...that you are in a better place, that you aren't in pain anymore, that you aren't worrying anymore, that you are whole and at peace, that you are in our Savior's arms...will eventually take the pain away. That SOMETHING, ANYTHING will take the pain away. Three months. Three months and losing you still leaves me a blubbering mess.

I love you Gramma. Always have. Always will. What I wouldn't give for another hug from you or to see your face light up when I walk in! I miss you.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Our Miracle Baby - Part 5

To catch up, click here to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Four weeks. 

That isn’t a long time in the scheme of a lifetime, but when your child’s life and health are in question, it is a lifetime. 

I just shut down. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I just couldn’t deal with people.

I didn’t want anyone to know. I hadn’t figured it out myself, I couldn’t deal with the prying questions that come from EVERYONE when news like this gets out in a small town. Some people mean well. Some people are gossip mongers and busybodies. I just didn’t have it in me to deal with either.

A family member that knew had asked someone they knew to not tell anyone, but to pray for Iyla. I was okay with that. The person knew that it was not to be told. However, that person’s wife put it on Facebook disguised as a prayer request. As soon as my family member saw it, they called the person and had it taken down. Unfortunately, the damage was already done. 

I went to Lowe’s the next day because I had to get something for Dad while he was working on our roof. I didn’t want to be out, but it had to be done. I ran into a casual acquaintance. The first thing he said was, “So I heard something’s wrong with your baby. Is everything okay?” Tears immediately filled my eyes. I gritted my teeth and did my best to keep them at bay and mumbled something brushing him off and got out of there as soon as I could.

It was exactly what I had feared and wanted to avoid. Honestly, it took me a long time to forgive that person for putting it on Facebook. I know some people like to be the one that is "in the know" and knows things before everyone else, but that doesn't excuse doing something so thoughtless and hurting people who are already going through a hard time. It took a long time...but God is good and helped me to learn to forgive. I have my own faults, and God forgives who am I to hold a grudge.

Finally, the four weeks were up and I was in another ultrasound room in Indy. Thankfully, Michael was at my side. The Pediatric Cardiologist was very kind and got down to business.

He started the fetal echo and didn’t say anything for FIFTEEN minutes.

I wasn’t about to interrupt him, but the suspense was killing me. He gave no indication what he was seeing.

(To be continued…)

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