Tuesday, July 24, 2007

back to school

Our family is getting ready to go back to school and that means I am back teaching first grade too. Maxwell starts third grade next week and the triplets are in Pre-K. I can not believe how quickly time passes. I was just thinking the other day (as I held Maxwell and loved him a little)that I would do it all over again, relive the last 8 years all over and have the kids back as babies if I could. Even knowing what I do now, even with all the heartbreak. The joys in my life far outweigh the sadness.
It is always tough going back to school after being home for the summer but this year it is especially difficult for me. As I worked in my classroom this week, I realized that going back to school for me means I am not on my planned maternity leave. I imagined when I left in May that I would be home with Madeline in July when school started back. I imagined that she would still be with us and I really thought we would get that time. I really did not think I would be visiting her at the cemetary instead. But God had other plans and I suppose I needed to believe that Madeline would be with me to get through it at the time.
As life gets back on schedule for our family, please pray that we continue to adjust to all the changes. God continues to reveal Himself to us through Madeline's short life. I will share more on this later. Thank you for checking in on us.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

I think I am doing great and then I am just knocked down all over again. Grieving is like that I guess. Fortunately I do not have much experience with it so this is all pretty new to me.

I was in Wal-Mart today with Maxwell and saw one of my former students who is now 16 years old. She had a little boy a few days before I had Madeline and wanted to show me his picture. I had seen her during my pregnancy so we knew that our children were expected around the same time. Of course, I dreaded the question about how my baby was and she remembered to ask. I told her that we had lost our little girl and she said she was really sorry. It was an awkward moment and I almost started crying in front of her but held it together. Maxwell and I walked away, saying nothing to each other, just feeling bad. I felt such sadness and disbelief that this young, immature 16 year old has a healthy child and I lost mine. Where is the fairness in that? I know life is not always fair and was reminded of that today.

I am struggling with my grief and still have days that I have to "fake" it. I have to put on a smiley face and have a good attitude for my children and stay positive even though I am feeling all but happy. What I really want is for the world to just stop for awhile and let me decide where I am in all of this. Life is getting back to normal and I guess that is what has me concerned. I feel like I am not ready to be "normal" again and by doing so, it will somehow lessen Madeline's significance. The world is moving on and people have a way of expecting you to move on too but I am resisting still. I know time plays a big part in healing and in some ways, it is getting easier. But it is still there and will be for a long time. Even in the midst of joy and laughter, the sadness creeps in and reminds me that the hurt is still so real and fresh..........One step forward, two steps back, but moving ahead nonetheless.

I continue to pray for our peace and happiness. There is so much to be thankful for and I will not overlook those things. Thank you for remembering us in your thoughts and prayers. We have had so many cards, emails, calls, meals and gifts and are so appreciative of each one.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a Prayer Request

I have recently been introduced to a lady named Boothe who lives in Nashville, TN. She and her husband are the proud parents of a precious little girl and they are expecting another little girl they are naming Copeland. Please pray for this sweet family as they have recently found out that Copeland has Trisomy 18, just like our Madeline. We know their heartache all too well and are praying for this family. I ask that each of you put them on your prayer list too. Boothe also has a blog if you would like to visit. It is conorbootheandgirls.blogspot.com

Thank you for lifting them up in your prayers.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

My Favorite Picture of Madeline

I just love this picture of Madeline and wanted to post it for those of you who haven't seen it. She is just a few minutes old and I think it is so cute how she has her little leg propped up and is just sprawled out in all her glory. We didn't know at the time that God would only let her live with us for 12 hours but what a joyous 12 hours we had with Madeline!!! We will always remember her as the beautiful, sweet baby that she was. I sure hope she stays that way in heaven. I like to think that when I get there, Madeline will be just like she was when I last saw her here.
Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Missing Madeline

I am up late and thinking of Madeline...................

The boys had a great birthday and I am a little saddened that they will soon be in pre-K and are now 4, going on 14. It is always bittersweet when your children get another year older and you feel like you are losing your baby, or in my case, babies. But as Brian reminded me tonight, there are so many more great times ahead for our family.

Which brings me to another thought. The good times will always be tinged with sadness since losing Madeline. We realized this on June 27th when the boys turned 4. We had hoped that Madeline would get to spend their birthday with us but she did not. We realized this again when we watched the fireworks with the boys and thought about how we wished Madeline was with us. I know there will be lots of wonderful times ahead with our family and friends but when I think of these times, a certain dread comes over me because I know little Madeline will never be there to share in this fun with us. A part of our family is missing and can not be replaced. They say time heals everything but no amount of time will totally dimish our loss.

I feel that loss each night (like now) when I am up because I can't sleep and think how nice it would be to be rocking Madeline or feeding her or changing her. I have "empty arms" and long to hold her little body. When I get really lonely for her, I have the little gown she wore and it still smells of her. I have it in a ziplock bag to "save" the smell and get it out occasionally to remember Madeline.

I recently did some organizing and decided to put up the changing table that has been in our room since the triplets were born. On this changing table held all of Madeline's things....her clothes, blankets that friends have made or given me, stuffed animals, books, all pink and hers. Some were things from the hospital like the blankets she last layed on and a box with a lock of her hair and her footprints. It was very hard putting her things away, harder than I imagined. My mama and sister helped me and we all had a good cry. Brian made me a beautiful box out of poplar to keep all of Madeline's things so whenever I need to look at them, I can.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Keep praying for us as we heal.