19 April 2008

Celebrating Lisa

This Friday we're heading to the Bahamas for a weekend of celebrating Lisa's life.  The place where we are going is Lisa's "happy place" and full of summer memories for Lisa and her family.  Many, many thanks to Doug and Lynn for hosting our trip and letting us be a part of such a uniquely Lisa experience.

For those of you that I haven't shared this with, I'll tell you a little about what this trip is involving.  Back in February Lisa's family took her ashes down to the Bahamas and went through the arduous and emotional task of making a memorial reef.  I had never heard of anything like this before!  Lynn & Doug described the process to us when they came home.  Basically you take your loved one's ashes and mix them with concrete to form a memorial structure (man-made reef) to be placed in the ocean.  They said it was physically hard work, not to mention the tears.  The memorial reef serves two functions: 1) It provides a permanent living legacy for your deceased loved one. 2) The reef helps to support and revitalize the ecosystem in the ocean.  That's our Lisa, giving and contributing even in her death.  

So, about 45 of Lisa's friends and family are making the trip to witness the placing of her memorial reef.  Her new home.  And once it is in the ocean we get to snorkel around and check it out.  I'm sure it will be a joyous, yet emotional day.

Prayers for safe travels are greatly appreciated.  We'll also take any extra prayers for strength. ;)  I know this is a trip of celebration in a wildly beautiful part of the world.  But, it's still hard to think about the reason we are making this trip without getting that familiar lump in my throat.

We love you, Lisa!  And we miss you like crazy.  I hope our efforts to honor and celebrate your life make you smile.  You always did have the best smile.

As only Lisa could say...Rock Out!!

16 April 2008

The Miracle of Life

The Miracle of Life
Before you were conceived
I wanted you, before you were born
I loved you and before you were here 
an hour, I would sacrifice everything for you

My mom bought me this angel a few weeks ago after I fell in love with the message.  I have just recently gotten to where I can read it without tearing up.  It reminds me so much of our babies we lost and it puts into words so beautifully why miscarriage is so heartbreaking.  These babies were so wanted and so loved even though we will never know this side of heaven who they were.  This message so validates the pain I have been feeling for the past year.  I could never quite put into words why it never comforted me to hear, "Don't worry you'll have your baby one day" or "It just wasn't in God's plan" or "You'll get pregnant again soon."  All of those things, while true, were never the point.  The pain was coming from losing someone I already wanted and loved so much.  And for the life of me, I haven't yet figured out how to stop loving someone once that seed has been planted.

I know it's a hard thing to understand...loving someone you don't know or can't see.  And so many people view miscarriage as something to pretend never happened.  Boy, do I wish I could do that.  But, I imagine that God created us to be affected by the lives around us no matter how long or short they may be.  I think about my Nana who is gracefully and beautifully living her 103rd year on this Earth.  Oh how many lives she has touched during her life!  The little lives that were given to me for such a short time have also molded and changed me in so many ways.  And I can't even begin to describe the way my life has been affected by knowing and loving Lisa.  I guess this is the miracle of life.

It is also part of the reality of death.  I know it's cliche, but we will all one day die.  And we have no idea when the chapter of our physical lives (and those we love) will close.  So what are we to do in the meantime?  Stop loving so much because we never know when we'll lose those around us?  Believe me, that thought has crossed my mind more than once this year.  The pain of losing my 2 babies and then one of my dearest friends has been at times more than I ever wanted to bear.  And many times I have thought...Are you kidding me?  I do not want to feel like this again, ever!  And yet the only way to not feel that pain is to stop loving...and like I said, I haven't figured out how to do that yet.  I guess I don't really want to.

So, here I am again...loving, dreaming, hoping beyond hope that this little one will join our family.  Because I have no other choice.  This little one is already so loved, so wanted, so woven into the fabric of who I am.  

14 April 2008

Prayers For Audrey's Family

So I have been following this family's story for about a month now and have been humbled and deeply touched by their journey of faith.  Last Monday Audrey's mother, Angie, gave birth to her by C-section knowing that she most likely would not live.  They found out in January that Audrey had several defects in her major organs including her heart and kidneys.  The doctors (of course) encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.  Angie and her husband chose to honor the life that had been given to them and continued to let Audrey grow.

Angie carried her as long as she safely could and they chose to bring her into the world last Monday.  She was alive when she was born, which surprised the doctors.  And she lived for two hours.  Reading what Angie wrote about those two hours brought me to my knees.  They took pictures and let Audrey's big sisters meet her and hold her.  They squeezed a lifetime of memories from this brief encounter.  This is a family who truly knows what it means to praise God in the midst of a storm.    

I don't know this family personally.  I was introduced to their blog from my Nashville friend Jenny.  This story has received a good bit of press since Audrey's dad is a member of the Christian band Selah.  I was immediately drawn in by Angie's brutal honesty and unwavering faith.  And I have wept my eyes out following their journey (hormones aren't helping!).  We should all pray for the kind of faith and love this family has.

If you're feeling up to the emotions, I highly recommend checking out this blog and reading Audrey's story.  You won't be able to walk away without tears, neither will you walk away untouched.

02 April 2008

Just A Reminder

Well dear friends, I have to admit that this post is more for me than it is for your reading pleasure.  I am writing this just so I can remember exactly how things are.  And those of you with a weak stomach might want to click out now! ;) 

So, for the past week I have been feeling a little better.  And by better I mean I have been able to drag myself off the couch and get some things done and I haven't been puking everyday.  Silly me, I thought maybe the worst was over!  Yesterday I was up early and getting ready for work (not my finest hours of the day).  Kit was downstairs reading and starting his day and I was upstairs ironing.  He looks up and me and says, "Baby, how are you feeling this morning?"  Me:  "Um, not so good."  And just like that I'm heading towards the bathroom and losing my Cinnamon Toast Crunch (sorry for the image...you were warned!).  So much for feeling better!

I can say with full assurance that it must have been a man who dubbed this experience "morning sickness".  Cause honey, this is ALL DAY sickness...and my nights are just as miserable as my mornings.  I feel really bad for Kit since my best hours of the day are while he's at work.  So, he's seeing pretty much only the worst of me during the week.  But, I guess that was part of the vows!  

But, seriously, all of this moaning is really just for my record.  If this is part of the creation of a healthy child then bring it on!  And yesterday was just my little one's reminder to me that I am so not in control of my body anymore...