Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Better late, than never

It has been so long since I sat down to write my feelings. I have thought about it often but for many reasons, I do not write. One of them is my lack of ability to express my feelings lately. I have really been in a state of feeling emotionless..if that is really something you can feel. As I read and talk to other people who have experienced grief like only a parent can, this is just part of it. I am glad to know that I am not weird or unloving, but just at a place where I feel numb and can not for the life of me describe it. Maybe it is part of the healing.

It has been exactly five months since Madeline was born and then left us. There were times when I thought I would never make it here, but life has a way of pushing you along even when you refuse to move. Not a single hour goes by that I don't think of her or miss her, but I can now smile when I think of what a special baby she was and how blessed I feel that I was chosen to be her mother.

My own mother and sister still have difficulty talking about Madeline without lots of tears and I know they both wonder about me sometimes, when I am the only one not crying (I credit some really great meds too!) but I have come to a conclusion that has helped me to cope with losing Madeline. When I found out on January 8th that Madeline had this terminal diagnosis, I began the grief process then. The idea I had of a healthy baby, a healthy daughter that would be my soft spot in my world of boys, was crushed. I felt like all my hopes and dreams were lost. But what I did not realize then, but know for sure now, is that Madeline would not be who she was intended by God to be if she had been exactly as I had planned her. It really is a blessing that we are not in control of our lives because I never would have written mine with this outcome. God knew how badly I wanted a little girl and He could not have given me a more perfect one than Madeline Grace Hopkins. And even though she is not the child I had planned or dreamed about, she is even better. I knew early on that Madeline would not be "normal" and that I probably would never parent her like I have our other children. I was able to grieve the loss of that dream and it is only recently that I knew that as badly as I missed her and wanted her here to share in our life, Madeline would not be herself if she were able to do that. She was exactly as God intended her and I would not trade her for a healthy daughter anyday because that would mean changing her. Madeline was perfect in all ways, in our eyes and God's.

We still have moments when sadness looms and feels like it is taking hold and I think that it seems like just yesterday that we buried Madeline. I drive by the cemetary and sometimes can't stop. I guess denial makes it a little easier too. It all seems unreal that we have lost a child, one we hardly had a chance to know and love. We miss her and the boys still talk about Madeline and pray for her. Maxwell always thanks God for taking care of her for us and Harry commented just yesterday that he didn't ever get to meet Madeline. They will always "know" her because we will never stop talking about her or sharing all the blessings she brought into our lives.