Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014...I am not ready for you to go

A year ago, I sat at my computer with my heart aching in pain, my eyes blurred by tears, and the fear of knowing what the next year would bring.  As I read over my post from last year, I found how incredibly similar I am feeling.  But this time, instead of dreading 2014 being upon us, I dread its passing.

Once again as others enter the new year with joy, I enter with heartache.  2015 means the year I held my baby boy is gone.  It means that I actually did have to become a different person, and we had to learn to be different family.  We will pass by this year just like we do in any other memory but will anyone remember him? Will they remember that Roderick Tristan Thompson did live?  He may have never breathed the air of this Earth or cried where anyone could hear but he DID live.  As 2014 passes us, I hurt.

I hurt for who I have had to become.  I hurt for the fact I have to explain heaven to my 3 year old, and that when we pass a cemetery he wants to know which one is his brothers headstone.  I hurt because instead of wrapping presents this Christmas for Tristan, I decorated a grave.  I hurt for my family, for we will never be complete, we will always have a hole and a missing piece.  I also hurt for the many families that are just like us.  The mothers that have shared their journeys and beautiful angels with me, that have given me hope.

I hate to see 2014 go, its passing signifies the year that brought although so much pain, brought my angel to my arms.  My knees to the ground, my love for the Lord, and for my family and friends to a greater place.

So what did I learn in 2014?
I learned and continue to learn to live in a grief, to be someone I never imagined I would have to be.

I learned to give everything to the Lord, and lay it at his feet.  This was a hard one for me since I am such a control freak, but I have learned to let the little things go.

I learned that my family will always be there to give me great hugs when I miss my son, even if it is at the airport as I hug them for the first time in 3 years or on Christmas day when my heart aches for him.

I learned that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined.

I learned that a 3 year old can understand so much more than I could ever anticipate, and I see the face of Jesus in his innocence.

I learned that it is okay to cry at the sight of pregnant woman, new babies, and babies that would have been the same age as Tristan.  I just swallow the jealously the best I can, bow my head, and tell him, I know I do not understand, but just give me peace.

I learned that God has some amazing plans, even when I may hate part of it with all of my heart.  I have to trust him.

I learned that I only thought I loved the man I married.  I would have never imagined the love I feel for him through such a storm in our marriage.  We were told over and over, marriages will struggle through loss.  You will have problems.  God guided us through and continues to do so as we grieve in very different ways for our son.  But he has shown me that the love I hold for Roderick has no end.  He is truly the man I was meant to be with.

I learned that just because I do not know what is to come, doesn't mean God doesn't have something amazing on the horizon.

2014 brought great pain, but it also brought great comfort from the Lord.  I am not ready to say goodbye to 2014, for it holds to many memories.  But 2015 stands for the year that God renews my family, and gives us his promise after a storm.

So what does 2015 mean to me?

2015 means a beautiful rainbow that I pray I get to bring home.  A beautiful baby girl that we are impatiently waiting to arrive, Adalynn Faith Thompson.

2015 means learning to love this sweet baby, while I continue to long for her older brother I will never get to hold.

2015 means stepping up and being a voice for those like us, to show that they are NOT alone in this journey.

2015 means listening even more to God and stepping out onto unsure ground.

2015 means having faith that his plans will guide me to where I need to be, even though I may not see the end of the tunnel yet.

2015 means surviving each day, balancing grief and joy

2015 means believing more than ever in the Hope of the Lord.

2015 means taking chances, so I can help others, and reach out to them.

2015 means leaving all the unknown to God, and allowing him to direct us.

So please, don't judge us.  For you do not know this journey in which we walk.  We have been asked to carry a very heavy load, one in which we know we are unable to carry without the Lord beside us.  We may cry at what should be joyous occasions.  We may seem nervous over small things, and extremely cautious over our children.   We may seem a bit odd by always saying Tristan's name or always saying we have three children.  It may seem like we should be over it or that this new baby should make it all better.  But understand, unless you have been in our shoes, there is no way for you to ever understand.  I pray that you never do.  Our son may not be here physically but he is here with us in our hearts.  He will ALWAYS be a part of this family.  He will ALWAYS be counted as one of my children, and I will ALWAYS say his name.

2014 maybe gone, but his memories and the love we hold for him will NEVER disappear.  Our grieving does not stop with the passing of the year, it simply becomes a part of us.

So as I wipe my tears from the pain I know I will always endure, I smile knowing the comfort and the promises my Lord has and continues to bring to me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Proof of Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. 

But the greatest of these is love.  

For as long as I can remember 1 Corinthians 13:13 has been my favorite verse.  I know it seems so cliche, but it has been.  Something about having to have faith, and hope to get through life but meaning nothing without love has always spoken to me.

As I pondered on my new reality today.  I just kept relaying the facts through my mind.
My son was diagnosed with a random neural tube defect.
I couldn't have done anything about it.
I carried him, his entire life.
We chose to carry him.
Well it wasn't a choice, he was life, and we wanted his life.
I got 12 amazing and excruciating extra weeks with him.
He lived for 32 weeks.
He died on February 13th.
I delivered him on February 14th.
My son is dead.
He is gone.

The facts just kept replaying over and over in my mind.  Then Rod's words, over and over, on our way home.  "God knew what he was doing, and he showed us true love," (referring to me asking of all day's Valentines Day).  Tristan is the very essence of love.  Our journey is the very story of love.  Our son's life is proof of love.  Not only the love parents have for a child, but love for life, love for each other, love for family, love for our friends, and love for our Lord and Savior.  Tristan was born on February 14th.  The day we see as a day for love.  He was born on the day, that God could send a clear precise message.

But the Greatest of these is Love.

The Love a parent has to choose to carry a child knowing that child will not survive outside the womb. That is love.

The Love two people have for each other, to hold each other up as they both fall to their knees in despair, to hold each other's hands through the hardest of times, and not turn away.
That is love.

The Love a family has in supporting each other, crying with each other, and celebrating the brief life of a precious child.
That is love.

The Love of friends, that call and text, just to see how you are handling the day, or standing  by your bed side as you give birth to a silent child, or support you as you cry for what never will be.
That is love.

The Love only a gracious and merciful God can give.  One so powerful that comfort over powers your grief, as you kneel and sing to your child one last time or gives you strength as you carry him one last time. A love so powerful, that he gave up his son.  He sent his son to DIE, so I have the opportunity to see mine again.
That is love.

Tristan, was born on the day of love, because he is proof of love.

And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love.  But the Greatest of these is Love.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WE. In Honor of Tristan

April 10th.  

If you would have asked me last August what that date meant to me, I would have said it was the day that my second child is due.  The day that Elex would become a big brother.  Now, it’s just a reminder of my empty arms, and my aching heart.

As I lay in my husbands arms sobbing for my son, he reply's to my wails of how I miss my baby with a simple but jabbing answer. We all do.  Not, I know you do.  Not, I do too.  WE. A word in the English Language that is defined by a speaker that refers to himself or herself and one or more people considered together.  WE.  In other words, you are not alone.  You and I are not alone. WE. 

I then start remembering all the people that have known Tristan.  The many dear friends that were there that night at the hospital as we held Tristan in our arms, and shared our precious time with him.  The ones that held us in our greatest sorrow.  I remember the many people that have offered so many gestures of love through flowers, food, monetary gifts, and simple words of sorrow.  The many mothers I have shared my story, my anger, my anguish with that are just like me.

I am reminded that Tristan’s body is not present on this Earth, but he is HERE. 

He lives among us in our hearts.
In each gesture of love.
In each word of hope.
He lives.

April 10th, the day Tristan was suppose to enter this world.  April 10th, the day my heart hangs between sorrow and joy.  I praise God for choosing me to be Tristan’s mother, for letting me be a part of his short, but amazing life.   I truly believe Tristan was sent here to reach people that are lost, to help others find a deeper more significant relationship with our Father.  I believe that Tristan’s life although brief has and will continue to reach out long after his precious body has been laid into the ground. 

In Honor of Tristan’s Expected Arrival Date, and what would have been two months of his life.   Honor him, and let us know we are not alone in remembering him by doing a small act of kindness between the dates April 10th-April 14th.  Please comment, Facebook, email, or text me your act of kindness so I can place them in his journal that we write to him in.  I will also share the acts of kindness completed in his honor on my blog later next week.

I will forever and always, love you my Angel Fish.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Would Have Met You Today

I would have met you today.  

Today I would have gone in to see your sweet face, to hear you cry, to start our life together as a family of four.  Today I should have been excited to hold you, to introduce your big brother to you. Today we should have been surrounded by family, and laughter.  Instead our lives are sluggishly moving forward.

Instead of waking up to your crying, I will cry myself to sleep.  Instead of kissing your sweet face late at night, I beg God to see you in my dreams.  Instead of my body hurting from exhaustion, it aches with emptiness.

I should have met you today.

I looked forward to this day, I dreamt of it.  Until we were told you would never make it here.  Now I dread this day, the thought of what should have been.  The memories I should be making.  I stand here aching to hold you once more, instead of finally getting to embrace you.

I should have met you today.

You are gone from this earth, living with our Lord.  I should rejoice that you never felt the hatred and sins of this world.  You only knew love.  But I can’t help but want to cry.  You should be in my arms, I should be singing Blue Sky’s and Rainbows as you drift off to sleep.  I should be telling you about Jesus, but instead he is telling you about me.

I should have met you today.

But instead, you wait for me in our heavenly home.  Until I come home and embrace you;

I will ache for you
I will cry for you
I will sing for you
I will rejoice that you never felt pain
I will praise our Lord that I got to know you
I will honor you

I love you my sweet Tristan, my angel fish.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Different Kind of Normal

Over the last few weeks I have found myself doing things that I never thought I would have too. Not only am I doing those things, I am sure that parents that have never lost a child would look at my husband and I and think we are insane. So I made a list of what a bereaved parent does that another parent would never understand.

1. Going to see your child means going to a grave.
2. You only have one picture that you cannot change out on the wall, it's all you have and all you ever will of your child.
3. You read books about losing a baby to your oldest, so they can understand and remember their younger sibling.
4. You have an empty basket, and stocking for a child that does not live on this Earth.
5. You have to blow kisses to the sky, because you can't kiss your child's face.
6.You beg God to watch your child grow in your dreams, because you can't watch him grow on this Earth.
7. Having to explain to people you meet, that you have more than the child they can see.
8. You have to explain to your living child about death, and heaven way before they are ready to truly understand it.
9. You will never have all your children together.
10. Holidays will always make you cry, there is no way around it.
11. On your child's birthday, you have to blow out the candle.
12. Getting the very best for your child, means the best gravestone.
13. Instead of everything having to be perfect for a birthday or wedding, it has to be perfect for their funeral.
14. You have a stuffed animal with a name on it in place of where your child should be in family pictures.
15. You have an emptiness inside you no one will ever be able to fill.

I am a bereaved parent.  I do things differently, I have a different kind of normal.  Parents that do not know loss, do not understand, and I pray they never do.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Peace Within Me

I sit here in complete dismay.  Was it all a dream?  It just seems like it never really happened.  I was never pregnant; he never came and left us.  It was all just a bad dream.  But to think back to Nov. 20th on that day when the doctor said something is wrong, and your son cannot survive.  That day the specialist said, there is nothing we can do.  The day, the moment, the sonogram technician placed the still image on the screen, and I knew you were gone.  The moments of holding your precious, still body in my arms, and running my finger across your nose, kissing the coldness of your face.  I remember, every single heart wrenching second.
So why do I feel like it was forever ago?  It has only been two weeks.  Why does my heart feel at peace, although empty?  Why can I see your things and not cry, and smile when I hear your name? Is something wrong with me? Why am I starting to itch to move forward with our lives?  Do I not love you enough?  Am I failing you as a mother once more?  My constant prayer for peace, even without understanding, without understanding the why, has the Lord simply answered my plea…already?

I don’t really know what I feel, but I know I love my oldest with such love and desperation that I never knew was possible.  I know that I look to my husband for strength and comfort I never imagined I would need.  I know that I beg the Lord daily to give me guidance, and peace, and I find a greater comfort in his word then I have ever known.

Peace, how have I found you in such grief?   How can I stand looking at the pictures of my angel thinking, with such determination, your memory will not die!  I refuse to allow you to go silently.  Why am I so hell bent on yelling out your story to the world, so others, like us, will never have to suffer silently.  Why do I feel such a strong urge to reach out, and lift up other grieving mothers?  Why do I feel the necessity to stand before others and yell, you are not a MEMORY, you are ALIVE, and you are MY SON.  YOU are the very reason people need to see, that LIFE is not determined by the seconds in which a heart beats on this earth!

Peace has found me, because although your body is no longer on this earth, YOU LIVE inside of me.  You gave me my purpose, you made me stronger, you made me more determined, you made me more faithful.  I will love you forever my son.   I will always carry you in my heart, and I will continue to live out your memory and purpose on this Earth. 

Till I see you again, I promise to make you proud. I love you my sweet Tristan, my angel fish.

*photo courtesy of Faith Hope Love Photography

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's okay to say his name.

It is okay to say his name.

A very dear friend made a point that he was not sure he could come and see Tristan when he was born.  He just did not know if he could handle trying to celebrate his life, when death was at the door.  People wonder, and have asked, how do you celebrate this life when he will die.  The only way I can answer this, is with this statement: He lived.  He was a life.  No matter what the media, what the government, what society wants us to believe or may say--Roderick Tristan Thompson LIVED!

He never made it out alive from my womb.
He never took a breath of air.
He never cried.
He never opened his eyes.


He had a heart beat.
He could move, punch, and kick.
He could hear my voice.
He could respond to pressure put on him.
He had a soul.
My son LIVED!

His time here on Earth was short.  I never got to take him home.  But no matter what, HE LIVED!

Now Tristan is gone, and his soul has left this place he will continue to live in my heart.  He will continue to live in Rod's heart. He will continue to live in Elex's heart.  His body may not be present, but his love will always surround us.  He is sitting on God's lap, listening to stories of time beginning.  He will be sung to sleep by angels, and will never shed a tear.  My son WILL live.

Tristan has a purpose on this Earth.  A purpose that God knew could not happen if he stayed here with us.  A purpose that everyone that surrounds Tristan and loves him is charged with carrying out.  I know what may plans are now that my son is gone.  I know through my pain, I have to find the beauty.  I know that I will have to take my pain, and share it.  Bring light to something common yet never spoken about.  I have to reach out to others, make this cause known to the world.  Losing an infant is so common, and so many hide in their pain.  They allow it to eat them up in fear of the misunderstanding that surrounds us.

So do not be afraid to say his name, you are not reminding me of my son, I have not forgotten him.
By saying his name, you are letting me know you remember HE LIVED!

I love you my sweet Tristan, you will forever be my angel fish.