I was standing over the kitchen sink this afternoon doing the dishes, and I was rattled by a memory of the day we arrived home from the hospital.
May 18th. I was exhausted and in a fog. The hospital staff had sent us home with a box full of momentos of our time with Zachary. I opened the box and pulled out the outfit they had dressed him in while we held him and loved on him in the hours after his birth. As I pulled it out, I noticed a blood stain around the neck. I went to the laundry room to grab some stain remover and detergent and stood weakly at the kitchen sink while I scrubbed that stain out. Shaun, noticing how pale my tear-stained face was, asked me to go sit down and promised to finish scrubbing the stain out himself. I slumped to the floor and cried, "I have to clean his outfit. It's the only laundry I'm ever going to get to do for him."
That's how I feel today...like slumped on the floor is where I belong...like I'm missing out on so much. The weight of living without my son is too much...too heavy. It's agonizing. I'm angry. I don't get it. The stack of clean baby towels in the linen closet mocks me. What I would give just to search for a tiny pair of socks that matched in a load of laundry! What I would give to bring Zachary back, even for a second!
Yet, as I wrestle, I am overwhelmed by the love of God. The more my heart aches, the more comfort I know. In that tension, there is growth and the knowledge that this hurt is not forever. Jeremiah 31:3-4 says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness. Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt." As welcoming as the kitchen floor looks, I'll cling to God's love and His promise to rebuild.