Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Eighteen Months

It's been eighteen months.  How my life has changed in a year and a half!
As I mentioned before, I have been doing a Bible study with Emily over the last few months. On September 29th I was finishing up the next to last day of the study and this was the first question: "Subtract 18 months from the present date and write your calculation here: _____.  Between then and now, what kinds of things have come your way? "  
I looked it up and it was March 29th, 2013.  It was Amy's first full day home from the large hospital where she had spent a month.  Home health had come in and I was overwhelmed, but we were all so happy to be home. It was a good day, I wrote in my journal. I still didn't realize that she was so very sick. I had no idea that in a little over a week she would be gone. 
I answered the question with these words:  "My whole life has changed. Amy died and so much of me died with her. Will was just born and so much of life lies ahead of me."

Bill and I got "the call" around 4 a.m. Laura was in labor and at the hospital. I tried to go back to sleep, but knew I would just lay there and fret so I got up and started getting ready to go. Bill soon joined me. I don't know if he was concerned about me driving in the dark by myself over the mountain, or if he truly wanted to be there also. He is the strong silent type and even after 37 years of marriage, I still can't always read him. We sat for about two hours in the waiting room, trying to ignore the infomercials blasting on the tv that we couldn't turn off, dozing off and on, before James came out and told us that William David was here. They kept the name a secret, so I was moved to tears that they chose to name him after his grandpa. We were able to see him for a few minutes and hold him.  I couldn't hold back the tears. I was so relieved that he was ok, that Laura was ok and that all seemed well.
According to the clock on the wall, he wasn't even two hours old yet!

In the days that followed I somehow thought that little Will would change me, make my grief subside. But it intensified instead. His first night home, Laura asked me to put a little gown on him. As I was pulling his arm through, holding on to his little hand, I was hit in the gut with grief. This is how I dressed Amy for 31 years. I held on to each of her hands as I guided them through her sleeves. More tears. 
A day or so later, I was holding Will and I touched his nose with the tip of my finger and kissed him. Again, just as I had with Amy thousands of times. More sadness and tears.  
I caught myself calling him "Munchkin," Amy's pet name. But this time no tears. He is such a little munchkin!

I hauled the fall decorations down from the attic.  I have not decorated for any special holiday for the last 18 months. It was very difficult to see the special decorations that I put in Amy's room. Also the wooden pumpkins that she made one year in school and  the little Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim that I've put out for the last 25 years or so!  I got up the courage to replace the butterfly welcome flag that has flown on the lamppost since Amy died with one of pumpkins and fall leaves. I visited the cemetery and talked to Amy as I cleaned off the spring flowering butterfly vine from Tess's wedding and replaced it with a fall one of brightly colored leaves.  I told her about Will and how much I missed her. I've said before that it isn't fair that she isn't here to be an aunt.  But I realized that it isn't what Amy is missing, but what I am missing by seeing her face as she reacts to her nephew. It is my pain, not hers. I will keep Amy's memory alive to my grandchildren so they can know what a special person she was and still is, living in our hearts.

Yesterday, I went with Tess to her dr.s appointment. She is 14 weeks along and hasn't been sick much at all. What a blessing that has been for her as she has continued to work full time. I heard the  baby's heartbeat and it sounds strong. We went shopping for maternity clothes and birthday shopping as her daddy and  her husband's birthdays are only a day apart. We had such a great day. As I thanked her I told her that it will take some of the pain away from today. And it has.

A few days ago, I walked down from seeing Will and snapped this picture of our tree.
Fall is my favorite season, winter will be here soon, but I am enjoying the life God has given me right now.

The last verse of Thessalonians is: 
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."
Grace. God's Riches At Christ's Expense.
God's Riches.



  1. I've learned so much through reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your heart. Love you lots! Carrie

    1. You're welcome, Carrie. I'm not a writer, but I feel this is what God has told me to do right now. Love you lots, too!

  2. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Cheryl!

    Helen Peters ;)

    1. You're welcome, Helen. God is teaching me so much through this process we call grief.