This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
From this point forward, I’m going to be sharing the text of posts as they were written at the time. Some will come from this blog; others, from our CaringBridge site. I may from time to time write my own reflections after re-reading, but mostly I will just be sharing words as they were written. So much of this journey for me is revisiting what happened, and realizing just how difficult the journey was for us. And now, seeing how far we’ve come since that time.
I really want to catch up with the dates on the calendar, but to do that means I need to double-up my posts even more than I already have. So bear with me as I will post twice a day for a while, in an attempt to get better caught-up. Thanks for your patience.
These two posts from June 5th give a glimpse of what is in store for us in heaven. We started the day with worship and the Lord’s supper, and I ended the day contemplating the opportunity we had to brush up against paradise.
June 5 CaringBridge post, written by me:
After all of the adventure of yesterday, today was fairly benign. Samantha had a good day all around, mostly sleeping. She’s been awake for the past hour or so, and only fusses when Nana (my mom) takes her hand off of her. She feels safest when someone is touching her, which makes sense since her other senses seem to be altered.
We went to church this morning, which is the third time she’s been there. This week was a communion Sunday like last week (it’s always the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays of the month) so Samantha, Aunt Allison, and I left as soon as we took communion with Travis to do noon feeding and meds in the office. By the time we got done, church was done. I end up missing seeing people that way, but Samantha’s needs have to come first. If you go to our church and are wanting to see us after services, please feel free to stop into the office, we don’t mind visitors.
After church we had some time with extended family at home. That means cousins sleeping, playing, watching tv, or helping their daddy put together a new plaything. They went home mid-afternoon and we enjoyed some quiet time.
Oh, on another note, only one of Samantha’s new medications came yesterday – AT MIDNIGHT! I was a little annoyed that the pharmacy delivery guy came so late, but I guess that’s what happens when the pharmacy hospice uses is down in Houston. I’m hoping that isn’t a regular occurrence, although we do need refills on some of her meds already. And at least the delivery happened at a time when we had to be up for feeding and meds anyway. If he had come right after we had gone back to bed I really would have been angry.
Tomorrow the nurse comes again, so we’ll be reviewing meds and discussing some future needs for Samantha. We’ve realized that we’re seeing the progression of her injury/illness as her head grows and her ability to breathe is affected. I do hope that she is able to go peacefully when she leaves this life. From what they tell us, that will be pretty likely since she will probably lapse into a coma. And I know that is why they are prescribing medicines for comfort.
Please pray for my dad tomorrow as he goes to Lincoln to find out what we need to do to exhume our son’s ashes from the cemetery there. Hopefully this will be a smooth process, though we are not holding our collective breaths since the cemetery has not been exactly helpful in previous situations. Thankfully our dealings with the funeral home and cemetery here have been very good, as good as this process can be. We know that God is blessing us during this process to be a blessing, but I wish we didn’t have to. If God would allow this cup to pass from us…but not our will, His will be done.
June 5 blog post, titled “Touching eternity”:
This morning during church I started to realize one of the blessings of this process that we’re going through. We get to touch eternity, brush up against heaven, if only for a moment. I’ve never been a fan of those books that claim the writer has spent a period of time in heaven only to be brought back to earth (disclaimer: I have not read any of them, either). I’m not going to discount the person’s experience, but I think it would be incredibly cruel of God to take someone up to heaven and then yank them back to this life. I think He has provided through His Word the only glimpse of heaven that we need in this life.
But I have also realized that through our children, Travis and I have been given this opportunity to see the love of God in action, eternal action. When Jonah died, I finally fully realized (as much as my human mind can) the love God has for us in sending His Son to die. And now in Samantha, I’m beginning to realize what it took for God to watch His Son suffer for our sake. Yet even writing that feels blasphemous to me, because how can I begin to understand the mind of God?
When Jonah was stillborn, I didn’t want to hold him. The nurse thrust him into Travis’ arms which made it possible for me to hold his little body. I was never one to be desirous of having kids, but God thrust Samantha into our arms and I wanted her from the moment she was conceived. I’m the last person to get excited over babies and kids, but I love my daughter and I loved my son. I wouldn’t trade a second of either of their lives for anything. And while this whole ordeal is insanely trying and each day is difficult, I don’t want to fast-forward through it (most of the time). There are days when I feel like I may go out of my mind with the worrying and waiting. And I find myself fighting the resentment that I have spent the last year pressing pause on my life – with the aim of raising a child – only to continue to press pause on my life with the end being loss. I skipped a lot of things, spent a lot of time in the hospital, even missed out on developing relationships. I missed a lot this year, and I kept telling myself it was all worth it for having Samantha in my life. It’s still worth it, but I just hate knowing that after all of this is done, our lives won’t look much different from the outside than they did before. The only difference will be this aching hole in our hearts as we move back into our childless lives.
Knowing we have children waiting for us in heaven gives us a tiny picture of eternity. I am going to be pondering this for a while I think, because it’s something God is only beginning to reveal to me.
Next post coming tomorrow.