Thursday, July 24, 2014

A birthday and a new birth.

On Sunday, I had my 56th birthday. My second birthday without Amy. The family is finally all free from work to celebrate it tonight. This year I have a son-in-law and a grandson soon to be born in less than two months that will be celebrating with us.  

I can't help but hate that Amy is missing this. 

This morning I went to the hospital to get some blood work done in preparation of seeing my doctor next week. I could just feel the dread coming over me as I walked through the doors on this beautiful cool  morning. There was a gentle breeze, the humidity was low and the sun was shining. A perfect summer morning. So why could I not shake this feeling? I don't like getting stuck. I don't like being in a hospital around other sick people and I don't like the feeling of just being a number. But it is more than just that. This is only the second time I have been to the hospital since Amy died.  I avoided looking at the ER waiting area, right next to the waiting area I was at. That was where we sat and had to make the decision not to use any measures at all to save Amy's life or the hospital would not admit her. It was a horrible time. I still didn't think she was going to die. I still hard to believe that she did. 
I waited and waited, my stomach growling. I didn't leave as soon as I wanted this morning and so I needed some coffee or at least strong tea, but wasn't allowed anything until after the lab work. I finally got it over with but not without pain. I tense up so much, that I think it hurts so much more. I couldn't get out of there quick enough. I almost started crying on the way to the car and then I remembered, we had some young friends who just had a baby and she was still in the hospital with little Caleb! I would start some new memories. I would go see her. 
I did a 360 and headed back inside up to the second floor. I am real good friends with her mother-in-law, and Laura and James are good friends with the young couple. But I felt I knew her well enough to visit. I hope she was okay with me stopping in.  She asked if I would like to hold him. He is so tiny. She swaddled him and he just snuggled right into the crook of my arm. He is so precious. It was so hard not to cry. 

I am so afraid. I am afraid that something will happen to Laura or to the baby. I don't want any more sorrow in my life. 

In my teen years my mama had this verse taped on our bathroom mirror :   2Timothy 1:7  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  So I know the fear is not from God, but from the evil one trying to steal my joy. 

In our local department store (aka Wal Mart) I ran into a mother of a special needs adult. She is about 15 years older than I am and I would think her daughter is at least 10 years older than Amy. She is in a home now, because the mom is unable to take care of her needs anymore. She also filled me in on some of the other older mothers whose children are still alive. One has had a heart attack, another passed away, another one is in a bad way with her health. I don't think many of their children are still living with them. She asked me if I was a granny yet and I told her soon. She said that it was a blessing that Amy is in heaven and I don't have to make the decision of where she will live out her years. I nodded my head but inside I was screaming. I know she is right, but I miss my Amy so much. We did not have to make a decision of putting her into a group home or a private home with full-time care. But we did have to make a decision to let her die. Nothing compares to that. Nothing ever will compare to that. 

On my way home, the cemetery drew me to it. It is still such a pretty spot, but I cried and cried. Amy is not here, she is with Jesus.  The next to last verse in the Bible says, "He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."  Revelation 22:20.
That is how I feel. I can't wait until the Lord returns!

This afternoon I worked up in what I am lovingly calling the Spare Oom. (Spare Room) Emily said it would be cool if it had a wardrobe in it! Narnia fans will know what I am talking about. 
Amy stayed in that room for a few years......but that will be for another posting.  

I need to leave now to celebrate 57 years of my life. I'm so thankful I had Amy for 31 years of it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Proof of Your Love

If you are a mother of a special child, or acquainted with one, you might have heard the story, "Welcome to Holland." The story goes that a lady was planning on a trip to Italy, studied up on it, knew all the places she wanted to visit, knew Italian even, but when she arrived they welcomed her to Holland. She was very upset! She didn't want to go to Holland, she didn't want to be in Holland. She didn't know what to do, where to go, or even how to speak the language. But in Holland she had to stay and learn the best she could. The story was much longer and more detailed, but it is an allegory on what it is like to be a mother of a special child. 
I was thinking about this a few days ago. I think it is more true for me now then when Amy was born. 
I have always wanted to be a mom. I was married at 18 and had my first child at 21. I feel like I have always been a mother! I loved life when my children were babies. I loved life the most when we were all homeschooling. I loved life through the college years of my oldest. Then too soon,  I was done homeschooling and the youngest  was off to college. I didn't love life so much anymore. I missed my little ones. I started pouring my life into Amy. She was still my baby and I could still read to her and be her voice. We became so close. She was still my child, but she was also my confidant, my companion, my friend. And now.......................

How do I live life without her?

Once again, over a month has passed since I last wrote. It has been on my heart many times of what I wanted to share with you, but I have actually been very busy. This time it is not of unconcern but of being too involved with living. I am learning to live life without my darling Amy. But she is always on my mind, sometimes tugging my heart strings that bring tears, sometimes making me smile. 

Wild Lupines in Maine

My oldest, Tess, and I traveled to Maine to visit my dear sister and her family and to also attend the wedding of Tess's college friend. There were also two other girls there from their school years. I was pretty involved in her life back then. The girls have all stayed in our home different times throughout those years so they knew Amy. As we were waiting for the wedding to start, my mind wandered back to those years. Amy was 16 when Tess was a freshman and 20 when Tess finished college. She was still walking although she needed support. She was very healthy and loved going places. What fun those days were. Life was precious.
Taken through the glass of the lighthouse
Owl Head Light



The wedding was very hard for me to get through. I was so happy for the bride and groom, but also very sad. I knew they would have sorrows ahead of them and it really bothered me to the point that when we went through the receiving line I could only give her a hug and weep. Hopefully she thought my tears were tears of joy.

The other event that kept me busy this past month was a baby shower for my daughter-in-law. We did a cowboy theme and we put a lot of planning into it. There was a great turnout and I was really happy the whole evening. 
The baby doll was one that James carried around when he was little. The clothes on the doll was what he wore home from the hospital. The rocking horse my dad made for me when I was 3.

We chose cowboy names and had mustaches to wear. I chose Cash for my name.



This is Cooper.
Laura and baby, she chose Montana for her name.




 My other sister and her daughter from Ohio were able to come to the shower and spend the next day with us.We also have two new little kittens!


Then on July 8 it was the 15 month anniversary of Amy's departure from this earth. Sometimes no matter how many good things happen, when I let grief take over all I can think of are the bad things.
My husband's brother used Amy's death as an excuse to get more money from their father's estate. Dad passed away just a few months before Amy and his estate is still being settled. The lawyer gave us a copy of the letter that he had received. I was livid. I felt like hitting someone, I was so angry. I was still in mama protection mode, although Amy no longer needs my protection. I allowed this to control my life for a few days. Then I thought about how Amy would think about all this.
Also a friend of mine lost her grandmother and she shared details of her death. This brought back all the memories of Amy's hospitalization and death and it was a very rough time. 
As I was driving home last week I pleaded with the Lord to show me proof of His love in some tangible way. I had read about things like this happening to others. Why not me? Show me something? Please? I sat at the cemetery for about half an hour. Nothing, only the words in my head, "For we live by faith and not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7

Yesterday, I spent the day shopping at a much larger town than our little one. It is about a 45 minute drive. I like to take the back road instead of the interstate. On the way, just a few miles from our house, a mama deer and her little fawn slowly walked across the road in front of me. Then across the mountain and a few more miles I saw a whole flock of newly shorn sheep playing in a field next to the road.
I then went by some farms where Mennonites live. They are of an Old Order and so they dress like Amish. There was a little tyke, about 5 or so trying to get a large milk cow in from the field. He was running and he had a stick and the cow was running, too. 
What a precious gift those 3 pictures in my mind are to me! Do I really need proof of God's love?  
That same day I heard a song that had these words in the chorus:

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love.

This is my prayer. That my life will be the proof of His love.