Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Family

Yesterday Shane had the day off work (he's going back to working every other weekend...boooooo). I had already planned a trip up to Ann Arbor, MI to visit with the Weiss family as well as the Hammitt family, and it was just an added treat that Shane got to join me. (thank you mom and dad for watching Caleb and Hannah for us.)

Little did I know that yesterday was going to be a huge day for me in helping me to deal with my grief and sadness.

We arrived in Ann Arbor around 10:30. We were amazed at the HUGENESS of the place. I was a little bit on edge because I knew that we were going to see lots of babies, and I wasn't sure if I was ready or not. (It's only been 13 days since Joshua's death.)

We finally found Kim and Jeremy and were able to see baby Shaun. He had just been extubated about 1/2 hour before our arrival, and he was having a bit of a hard time figuring out if he liked being off the vent or not. It was SO good to see Kim. She was one of my lifelines while I was in the NICU and just seeing her and hearing her voice was so calming to me. (even though I knew that she was stressed about Mr. Shaun and his breathing.)

Seeing Shaun was the hard part- you see, Shaun and Joshua were supposed to be friends. They were supposed to be each others support growing up. It was hard to see Shaun- pink, breathing, and full of life (even though he was sedated). It was hard to face the reality that he is living and Joshua is not and that they will never be friends on this side of heaven. I tried to hold it together as best as I could, but the pain was there and it was real.

After a brief visit with Shaun, Kim and Jeremy took us over to see the Hammitts and baby Bowen. The entire (very short) walk to Bowen's room, I silently cried out to God to give us the strength to see Bowen. I knew it was going to hurt. We met Matt in the hallway, and immediatly felt at peace. He hugged and greeted us and God's peace washed over me and gave me the strength to get through seeing Bowen.

Seeing Bowen brought on a flood of emotions. It was hard to hold back the tears as I watched him gaze up at his mama. It was hard to hear his cries and coos. It was hard to look at his precious little fingers, knowing that I would never see Joshua's little fingers ever again. It was excrusiatingly painful to hold him- the emptyness in my arms and in my heart were almost overwhelming. The tears flowed, but never once did I feel pressured to hold back my emotions. It was hard. But, at the same time, I felt peace. We were surrounded by people who truly care for us and are there to support us every step of the way.

We literally spent the entire day with both families. We shared lots of laughs, good conversations, and genuine love for each other. I felt like, in some weird sort of way, we were all family- picking up where we left off (even though our relationships are all new). One part of the family is further ahead in their journey, another just beginning, and another has suffered a huge loss, but we were all there to share our lives and work through it together- even if we all have had different experiences and different struggles.

Throughout the entire day, I felt little glimpses of God's love, peace, and compassion. He knows what all 3 of our families are going through. He knows that we can't do it alone. He knows our every need. He has provided for us in mighty ways, and we see Him working and moving. He is healing our broken hearts and lavishing us with His love. That love is carrying us, molding us, and healing us.

Matt, Sarah, Bowen, Jeremy, Kim, and Shaun- you all hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for lifting us up, letting us cry, and being gentle with us. Thank you for loving us and sharing your boys with us. Thank you for being our family.

9 comments:

~Kim~ said...

I sounds like you had a wonderful day! <3 Hold tight to your memories, your family and friends-we are all praying for your family and will continue to! Hope you can get back to see your new friends again soon, sounds as if you needed to meet them. :) Glad they were able to connect with you and your family.

~ Rebekah ~ said...

What a joy to know that God loves us enough to give us those little glimpses. :) So glad to hear this was a therapeutic trip for you.

Stefenie said...

What a wonderful day you were able to share with two amazing heart families. I am glad that you felt a sense of comfort being surrounded by them. {{{HUG}}

Think of you everyday!! Praying!!

Steph said...

Oh that is a wonderful story and I love that you have such a wonderful support system and extended heart families. I hope you are feeling some comfort being surrounded by these families and heart babies. Praying for you and your family...always!!

Beth W. said...

God knows what you need and he will always provide. God has placed these people in your life for a reason. part of that reason is healing. The Hammitt's are an awesome family to be blessed with knowing. I don't know the Weiss' but I am sure they are too. God bless you and your family as you continue to heal.

nabrissa said...

yay, LIKE!

Auntie M said...

Beautiful

ArizonaIntactivist said...

So glad you had yesterday!

Jaymi said...

I got chills reading this. What an amazing overwhelming day it must have been. What a wonderful gift you all have been given in each other. May God continue to bless you and your family.

 
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