Saturday, September 22, 2012

Well tomorrow is the day we've all secretly been wishing we could avoid, Truitt's 2nd birthday.  We are all at such a loss at what to do to commemorate this day.  Do we bake and decorate a birthday cake, as if he were here to enjoy it? Do we buy gifts for....someone..., but who? Do we go to Truitt's grave and leave flowers, or balloons?  Do we just get together and try not to cry the entire day?  One thing is for sure, we don't want to forget the day and pretend that it was never a special day in our lives. We don't want to pretend that nothing terrible has happened.  Yet, everything about this day reminds us of the huge gaping hole in our family.

I  realize that whatever we do is only for our own benefit, not for Truitt.  However, even that fact alone is evidence of what is missing in our hearts.  A child's birthday, without the child.  Not the joyous, loud, excited event you normally think of when celebrating a child's birthday.

So we must find a way to bring joy to the occasion. Otherwise it will forever be as sad and dreaded as it is right now.  Maybe someday we can spend the day sharing our memories of Tru Tru with each other.  This year, I don't think we can do that.  I think the most we can hope for is just being together and enjoying each other and the fact that we still each other today, despite the brokenness we feel without Tru Tru, we still have each other, and as much as we don't want it to be, his death unites even more.

We love you so much Tru Tru.  We miss you more than words can say.  I still smell your sweet head from when I kissed you there, and feel your warm soft cheeks on my shoulder when you hugged and snuggled with me. Oh how I'd love to snuggle up with you now.  I feel your puffy baby hands in mine. I want to remember these things forever. It's painful to recollect but I don't want to ever forget anything.  Someday I'll see you again and I can't wait to kiss you and hug you and walk the streets of gold with you, hand in hand, and run through the green meadows, and pick flowers. Grammaw loves you baby boy. Happy Birthday! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I had a bad dream last night, but I won't share the details here. I will just say that it took me back in my mind, to a very bad and sad place which I'd like to forget, but I'm learning, that I never will.  I know it's not sensible to even believe for a moment that one could forget such a horrific loss.  I'm just saying that sometimes I think I'd like to. At least some of the details that haunt me, and I'm sure are even more haunting for my daughter and her husband and son.

A friend of mine who lost a son almost two years ago will be reliving her nightmare this week as the unavoidable anniversary of her child's accident and death must come and go again.  It's not just a moment in time when something horrible happens to your child or grandchild, or anyone you love dearly. It's an ongoing state of shock, sadness, and despair, which gradually turns into something I can't seem to find a single word for but can only describe as just a forced acceptance of what is.  My heart mourns for my friend and her children and family who are already anticipating a heightened sense of grief for the upcoming week. I pray that God will grant them mercy and peace and allow them to pass through this time unscathed and remembering more good times than bad.

I know these days still lie ahead for us.  Truitt's birthday being the first such day, in just a couple of weeks. Then the holidays. But for those who know the Lord, we have all we need to get through these times. Matthew 5:4 says "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Another friend had a very close call with her daughter yesterday when she got kicked in the head by her horse.   The emergent state it sent my heart in just hearing about it was scary.  It reminded me yet again how precious each moment is and how every breath is a gift from God.  Fortunately, my friends daughter is going to recover from this near tragedy.  Somebody else's will not.  All over the world people mourn and grieve for loss of loved ones.  Let me say again, i think its worth repeating; For those who know the Lord, we have all we need to get through these times. Matthew 5:4 says "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Lord, your mercies are new every morning.  Bestow on my friend and her family new mercies this week, and peace beyond anything they could have hoped for. And please do the same for us, especially my dear daughter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grief Week 6.....

Grief-week 6-confusion and sadness evolve...

Anger takes a firm hold of some of us. They say its "part of the process".  I sure hope "they" know what they're talking about.

If only us grown ups could sort through things like the little ones do, excepting what is without too many uncertainties. 

It is so hard not to be able to explain away the current events with something more comforting than "he's in a better place now....He's happy with God....we will see him again someday.". All true, but honestly, it doesn't ease the excruciating pain of a mother whose baby has been ripped from her arms..from her life, without warning....the strain and stress on a young father who is trying to stay strong for his grief stricken wife and remaining child, and stay busy enough that he doesn't have time to think too long about the pain he himself is in...the loneliness of a big brother who is too young to remember a time in his short little life without his little brother, until now.

As mothers we instinctively need to know our children are ok and happy.  That's what mothers do. It seems to me that alot of fathers are geared to stay focused on providing for the physical and spiritual needs of their children and moms are more concerned with the emotional needs and their  sense of security and well being. When something so sudden and tragic as the this, the loss of a little one, happens to a family, these instincts don't go away.  It seems they gnaw at you, fighting do what they've always done for this lost one.  Maybe  that's part of where the anger comes from.  I mean how many of you moms would just "move on" with life if someone came in and decided your child was better off with them? Even when that someone is God, it doesn't feel right. It feels wrong. Very, very wrong. 

I can honestly say that God has blessed me with an enormous and unexpected amount of peace during this time of suffering, and has and continues to teach me numerous new truths about Him and my relationship with Him.  I know He is willing to do the same for anyone else who is open to receiving His comfort, peace and truths.

This may seem strange to say, but I want you to know that for years and years I've prayed to God to do whatever it took to bring my children to a place of loving and serving Him mightily.  I knew when I prayed that, it would probably mean struggles of some kind.  I didn't know it would be this, and I didn't know it would be this hard. I wonder if I would have known, if I would have still prayed the same.  Yes,I think I would.   I know that if He brought us to it, He will see us through it.

As many milestones lie ahead in the very near future, Truitt's birthday next month, remembering him in his monkey costume on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas , I foresee much more pain and grieving for my family, I just pray that as each day passes, a new ray of hope will find its way into the hearts of  Truitt's mommy, daddy, and big brother, for they are hurting the most.

Strangely, I feel a confidence that when all this grief has run its course and turned into something more productive, my children, all of them, will walk closer to the Lord Jesus than before our great loss.

Luke 9:24-25 "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Last Time

Is this really it? Is this all I've got? Is this all the Lord is teaching me? I feel like the well has run dry, but I know that's impossible with God.  So it has to be me.  I can't seem to put two thoughts together these days.  One thing I know, is life is but a vapor and we take too much for granted.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the last time I saw Tru Tru.   Breylon had spent the night with me and Truitt had spent the night with Cody's mom on Sunday night. It was Monday before he died on Wednesday.  Lacy and Cody had come to pick Breylon up.  Thankfully, they had gotten Truitt first.  What I remember most about that night was that he was not in a hugging mood.  He wanted his Mommy or Daddy, probably because he'd just spent the last night and day away from them. One way I was sure to get his attention was with my iPad. He was definitely a techno geek.  He loved anything electronic, and he loved my iPad. He'd sit in my lap indefinitely as long as he could play on it.  Well that night, I was pretty worn out from having Brey for the past 36 hours, and not having much sleep, so I didn't play with Truitt for long.  Then gene got his nightly bowl of ice cream and Truitt's attention instantly turned to Poppa.  He stood at the side of Gene's chair and patiently waited for his bite.  Gene was tired and a little hesitant to share because Truitt had a filthy face at the moment from something. Nevertheless, denying that face is almost impossible, so Gene gave him a bite.  That was all it took. Truitt was like a little puppy begging for a bone.  He stood there grunting at Gene. "uuhh"..."uuhh"! We laughed, and Gene said "no more now, go play.". Well, that wasn't what Tru Tru  wanted to hear.  He gave a very deep toned grunt as he often did at times  like this, " UHH"!!  We laughed again. Gene looked at me and said "but look at his dirty face.". I said, "oh come on, it's just a little dirt. Give him a bite. These times are precious." he agreed and shared the rest of his bowl with Truitt while we watched and laughed at Truitt grunting for every bite. Little did I know how precious the moment was, and what a treasured memory it would be for us all.  I mean it was just ice cream, right?

Then as they were leaving Cody was bringing him around for bye hugs and kisses to everyone. I took him from Cody, even though he really just wanted to stay with his daddy, gave him a squeeze and kiss and gave him back to Cody. Cody was so busy talking that he didn't even realize I'd taken him from him so he said to Truitt, "here give Grammaw bye loves.". Truitt, being reluctant,and me being tired and just ready to go to bed replied, "I've already given him hugs bye." and so they left, and that was it. I was never to see him alive again.  I know it's of no value to have regrets, but oh how I wish I'd have insisted on just one more of his big hugs and slobbery wide open mouthed kisses.

Losing a loved one, especially a child, sure changes your perspective on everyday life. Or at least it has for me. I weigh my words differently (at least I try to). I think "what if this is the last time", ALOT.  I know that can seem like bondage and maybe to some extent it is, but the truth is, it might be the last time.  It's not just an out there observation people make anymore. It's a reality. It really, really, really, could be the last time...the last kiss or hug, the last bowl of ice cream shared, the last chance to play a game, the last words you say.  Now it seems it goes through my mind as I'm saying goodbye to my friends and loved ones, "have no regrets, make it count, it might be your last chance".

That's not to say that I'm always successful and I haven't left with regrets. I have, but not as thoughtlessly as before, and I sure try harder to make it right now.

I sure love my family and friends. I'm so thankful that God put every one of them in my life.  I want them to all know that by my actions, and that requires acts of love and kindness on my part.

Take nothing granted, have no regrets. This my be your last chance to make amends with someone or to make sure they know how much you love them. This may be your last moment with them.  Make a memory that you can hang on to. Even if it's just sharing a bowl of ice cream.  Make it count. Make every moment count.

This picture was taken last winter when Truitt got caught playing in the ash bucket. All of the kids have done it, but he definitely made the biggest mess. Regrets? At the time yes, that I hadn't put the bucket out of his reach. What a mess that was to clean up. (for Lacy, lol) Now, not one. I'm so glad for laughs at this and the photo to remember it by.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moving Day

This weekend I helped my daughter pack Truitt's bedding, clothes and toys away.  They finally moved out of the house that held so many flashbacks of one horrible day.  I could see it was so hard for Lacy to do what seems like filing away your own baby. It makes things seem so ultimately terminal, so cold, so eternal to put everything she had left to grasp of her baby, and pack it away in box. Thank the Lord that as His children, we still have the surety of seeing Truitt again, and as final as it feels now, it is not the end.

Everything we do is altered. From setting the dinner table to me buying the grandkids a treat at the store.  Everything reminds us of our missing piece. As a large family, we always have to count how many we have going and how many seats we need in the vehicle, and how many are in car seats to makes sure we can accommodate everyone in one vehicle or if we need two for our outing.  Fixing dinner plates, sippy cups, how may seats and high chairs at the restaurant are needed, it never ends.  We are constantly having to readjust our thinking to not include Truitt in our everyday lives.  We took a family trip to the Zoo shortly after Truitt's death.  Breylon and his cousin, who is just weeks younger than Tru Tru, had a great time and ooed and ahhed at all the animals.  The rest of us, without saying a word, knew we were all thinking of Truitt and how much he would have enjoyed it too. Last week we all went to Six Flags, and Breylon had a ball. Although we all really enjoyed ourselves, many times, we all silently missed Tru Tru and wished he could have been there to enjoy the fun with us.  That's when it starts to feel unfair, not right, just downright wrong that he isn't with us anymore.

So what do we do? Never have fun again? Never take family outings because Tru Tru can't be here to go with us? Of course not. I know we must continue to live.  We must push through this, for our well being, but especially for Breylon.  How sad it would be for him, and for my children, if the rest of us just shut down.  And what would it say of the love and mercy of God if we didn't allow it to penetrate us and move us out of our misery?

"The will of God will not take you where the grace of God will not protect you.". Although this is not a verse from the Bible, there are many scriptures that prove it a true statement.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. - 2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

Jer. 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Phillipians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Countdown Begins

(written 8/9/2012) Three weeks and one day....when do we stop counting the days without Truitt?  It is just such a strange new life with him missing from it.  I know he isn't missing really.  It's just so hard to get used to the way things are now.  So many things have changed, yet so much will never change.  When speaking of my family do I still say "I have three wonderful grandsons", and have to explain that one is in Heaven, or do I just say " I have two wonderful grandsons", and just leave it there, knowing in my heart that I really will always have three.  Maybe I should say I have two grandsons on earth and one in Heaven.  None of it sounds "natural", but all of it is true.
Breylon is only 3-1/2. I wonder how much he will remember.  He misses Truitt so much.  The first week he cried for him at night.  He said he hated Jesus for taking him away. I guess it was a mistake to try and explain to him that his brother and best friend was not coming home...ever...because Jesus wanted him to live with him in Heaven, especially when he doesn't really have a knowledge of who Jesus is.  I wish I'd have thought that through better now, but what's done is done. I pray that as he grows Jesus will reveal Himself to Breylon and bring him peace and understanding where we have failed to do so. 

Only Breylon and God really know exactly what transpired on that fateful day. Knowing won't change anything, but for me, it could help to understand what Breylon is seeing in his mind, and what he is dealing with. However, I am trusting God to see Breylon through this just as He is the rest of us.

I am learning, as I've been learning for decades, that God doesn't want us to figure it all out. He doesn't want us to know the future, or every detail of His plan for our lives. If we knew what He knows then we might decide to try to bypass some of the harder stuff, like the death of a child, and in doing so placing ourselves outside of His will for our lives, and the blessings He has in store for us.  You might be asking "how can something this tragic and sad be a blessing?". I don't know yet.  All I know is I am choosing to trust Him, and I am holding him to His promises.  Romans 8:28 "For we KNOW that God works ALL things together for good, for those who love Him, AND are called according to HIS purpose."

We may never know why God allowed this to happen,  why He chose not to answer our prayers for a miracle.  Maybe it is for Breylon, maybe for Lacy, or Cody, or me, or someone else, or maybe it was to spare Truitt of some horrible event that was impending in his future, something worse than this. It's ok that I don't know. Because knowing would take away my need to seek God, my drive to search His heart so intently, and isn't that what pleases Him most, His children seeking Him and desiring to know His heart?  I mean He made David king after stating that he was "a man after mine own heart, who shall fulfill all my will".  And in Matthew 6:33, He promises, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." to me, "all these things" means everything I could ever need, whether physical or spiritual or emotional or material, anything that I might have need for, will be added unto me. Right now I need peace, and He graciously gives me peace. I thank the Lord for loving my family and for carrying us through this storm in our lives.  I pray that all of my family, all of my children, can recognize His hand and experience His peace as I am learning to do.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.....

For the Bible tells me so.  That's supposed to be enough, right?. Well, honestly, it is enough.  It is the reason that I'm not a complete train wreck right now. I can honestly say that without God's love I'd be  curled in my bed not willing to face the world each day. This morning I read this, " Not to worry, I don't know how I forgot, but we belong to God. This journey is His. We are going to walk toward the sound of His voice. And then when the path seems impossible, and the way unclear, we shall expect a bridge."  I think I can say that today I am choosing to walk toward the sound of His voice.  For the past several years, the journey I've been in with God has been tumultuous.  I've struggled to find my place, and my purpose, and His will for me to such an extent that I feel I've often jumped the path and in affect, missed the bridge He placed for me, many, many times, creating more chaos and confusion for myself.  I'm not saying I'm instantly cured. I don't think I will ever complete this journey. I've been on it so long now, I feel that my goal is to just learn to walk it with Him in a way that brings glory to Him, resulting peace for me.

Three weeks ago, God really shook up my world.  My sweet baby grandson, Truitt, drowned.  As the events leading up to his impending death unfolded, I clung to Jesus, I prayed with all my heart, I asked for a miracle, I asked for grace, I asked for mercy.  In my despair and heartbreak,I knew that God would do His will, and we might like the way that looked from our perspective.  As it would be, His will was for Truitt to go home with Him at the young age of twenty two months.  I had prayed all day before his death that God might grant us the ability to accept His will with grace and humility in a way that would be pleasing to Him, whatever His will turned out to be. After Truitt died, the initial feelings of the great loss we'd just experienced and the realization of what had inevitably just happened hit us all and we cried, and sobbed, and agonized for our baby boy.  For me, the agony took on a different aspect.  My pain ran just as deep in watching my daughter grieve the loss her son as it did in me losing my grandson, if not deeper.   Then when we'd gathered ourselves, the peace began to filter in.  I didn't recognize it at first. It just felt like a numbness. The week following his death seemed like the whole world stood still. It was like none of us really knew what to do next with our lives with that big gaping hole that used to be filled with Truitt's huge smile and gentle hugs and kisses. But the Spirit inside me gently spoke words of peace to my soul. Each day I knew He was there, even though I hurt.  After the funeral I began to feel a lot of guilt. Guilt for being so weak in my walk with the Lord, and in my faith, that He would have to use something this tragic to get me to draw nearer to Him. Guilt that my self absorbed complaints about not having friends that really cared about anything going on in my life, drove His decision to use my grandson to prove me wrong. (and wrong I was). Guilt that I hadn't spent more time with Truitt while I had the chance. All kinds of guilt came flooding in.  It's only been three weeks to the day that God called Truitt home, and I can't say that I don't feel those things anymore, but what I am learning. What I know right this moment, and really that's all I can cling to right now, is that God is sovereign, and His love endures forever, and He loves Truitt and He loves me, and He loves my daughter, and no matter how hard it gets to walk this path with Him, just when I think I've come to a place in the journey that is impossible to pass through, He will place a bridge for me, and He will hold my hand and walk across it with me.

My pain is real, but my hope is in the Lord. And that is where I am today.