I had an honestly wonderful day yesterday. It felt a little surreal, and at times like I was in the twilight zone. But, as with many "milestone days," the anticipation was much harder than the actual day itself.
On Sunday afternoon we went to the cemetery with our families and close friends and spent some time remembering and praying together and then had a great dinner at my parents' house.
And then yesterday came and I had no idea what to do...it felt like a normal Monday for the most part, so here's what I did: spent some time with a dear friend in the morning and got my hair cut and colored....ran some errands...did some laundry...sat outside in the sun...and went out to a fabulous dinner with Shaun.
I cried once - when I went to open my front door to let some sunshine in and couldn't because our front porch was literally covered in flowers. Oh, and again when I read through the numerous cards that filled our mailbox. Well, and one more time when I watched a video of my 2-year-old nephew sending blue balloons to his baby cousin. Okay. So, I cried a bit. But that disgusting ache didn't hang over me like a dark cloud all day. Sure, I missed my boy. But I miss him every day. And I know that we had an army of people praying for us and missing him with us. I went to bed last night just feeling incredibly blessed and loved...and relieved, I guess. I have made it through the hardest year of my life so far...and I'm okay. I had the lyrics of a song that I sang Sunday at church going through my mind all day:
"When my world is shaking
And when my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands."
-JJ Heller, Your Hands
Thank you for continuing to love us and pray for us. Thank you for reminding me regularly that you think about our boy, and that because of him, your life is different. It means more than you will ever know.
Praise God that through every season of life He is the same and He is good! We never leave His hands.
One year ago I was waiting for you...eager, exhausted.
My ribs on the right side were bruised from your not-so-little feet. If I wanted to roll over in bed, I had to wake your dad up to help me. I waddled everywhere I went. And I couldn't wait until you arrived...you were already late, after all.
The carseat was strapped in to the back seat of the car. Our bags were packed in the trunk. Your room was as ready as it could be since we didn't yet know whether you were a boy or a girl. The list of people to call/text/invite to the hospital was compiled. All we had to do was wait.
If I had known that the wait to know you would be the length of my lifetime on this earth, I probably wouldn't have been so antsy. If I had known you would be born into the hands of the almighty God, I probably wouldn't have worried about getting a manicure that weekend. And if I had know that we would celebrate your first birthday at a cemetery rather than taking home video of you eating your cake, I don't know if I would have survived that weekend.
I miss you so much, baby boy. I know you're having a great time, but my heart aches for you. It feels like we said goodbye just yesterday.
Zachary, as we celebrate your birthday without you, please know that I love you so much. Please know that you have opened my heart in a way I didn't know possible. Please know that your room is still full of your pictures and your diapers. I just can't seem to get myself to put it all away. Not a moment goes by that I don't think about you. I will never forget you...I can't. I bear the scars on my tummy from carrying you and a gaping hole in my heart.
I have been going through such a confusing range of emotions over the past week.
But, I've been so humbled by the outpouring of love from friends. From the innumerable people who have stopped to let me know that they're thinking of me this month to gifts of books and flowers and cards. My heart is so thankful to know that our hurt, and more importantly, my son, is not forgotten. Thank you, once again, for loving us with so much thought and consideration.
This past weekend Shaun and I went to a marriage conference.
Now, we've been to the same marriage conference twice before. The first time, we were engaged, so it was really a waste of time...simply because we had this preconceived notion that we were crazy about each other, therefore we would never have conflict in our marriage. Right. The second time we went, we had been married for just over a year, and we argued the whole time...reality check.
But, this past weekend, we just had a ton of fun. We talked about some things we could both do better in our marriage, but for the most part, we just reflected on the limitless provision of God over this past year. It was an excellent reminder that the trials we've walked through have proved that our home is built on a solid foundation.
On May 17, 2009, our baby boy, Zachary was stillborn at 41 weeks. As his mom and dad, we miss him terribly, but we're so thankful that God chose us to be Zachary's parents. We look forward to the day in heaven when our family will finally be complete.
"I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy...."