Friday, December 25, 2009

Matthew's First Christmas...

So not what I thought it would be.

This time last year, we had just gone to see Dr. Kipersztock at Shady Grove, and he told me that he was worried about me being happy and optimistic so he wanted me to order the book, "Happy For No Reason" or something like that...He seemed to worry that after 10 years, I might be a little skeptical and that he wanted me to be happy for happy's sake.

Hmm. I bought the book, and frankly, thought it to be a little touchy-feely for my taste. I didn't bother reading past a few pages.

I WAS, however, really pleased with Dr. Kipersztock and really felt sort of like that Christmas was FINALLY going to be the last one without a sweet little stocking on my mantle. As we put up our Christmas tree, I imagined THIS year being the one that had baby stockings and handprint ornaments. Remember, in January, I bought a pink AND a blue Baby's First Christmas stocking?

This year, as we were so close to Christmas, and we 'knew' Matthew so well, I decided against the generic and knew I had to get him his very own stocking. When having John help me pick it out, I kept asking, "You want that one? Will that be good for his entire childhood?" We finally decided on the train one because his Granddad loved trains so much.

Who knew he'd ever even see it? Who knew he'd never look in it? Who knew it would hang on an easel at his funeral instead of our mantle on Christmas morning? Let me tell you, I don't think there is a soul on this planet that had a clue.

In light of all of this, though, I have to believe that God knew. That's why we were called in early for induction--so there wouldn't be as much going on. That's why Dr. Shonekan's hands worked so swiftly and with such experience. That's why Dr. Finkelston was there and able to get the anesthesia done so quickly, even though he had already long given me the epidural. That's why Margaret Ann was in the operating room with me, right beside me and holding my left hand and praying with me. That's why there were SEVERAL other people who probably wouldn't have been and they did amazing work. That's why everyone scheduled to work in Labor & Delivery those couple days are so worth their weight in gold for the care and love and support they gave us. I really believe all those people were put there by God Himself.

God knew. The hearts of so many people just overwhelmingly entwined with ours as they showed us just how loved and cared for we are. We were and still are enveloped in prayers on a constant basis, based on the countless (and much appreciated and loved) emails and cards and calls we get telling us so. An EKG machine and all the accessories needed for it will be bought and given to a hospital worlds away and will help save the lives of babies considered "unwanted" if you can imagine such a concept. This has touched our hearts in ways no one can know.

God knew we'd be fragile and broken...He has sent us family from all over, whether in person or via phone/email/FB...He has sent His love for us in the various gifts we have received from not only friends, but complete and total strangers who just feel for us.

I believe God knew...and though He certainly could change the outcome, He didn't. But He didn't because to do so eventually leads to the loss of free will...and that is something He's given and would make this world a very different place.

No, He knew that EVIL, pure and simple was coming to our lives...and He gave us many blessings in so many different forms to help us through this evil. That's how I'm feeling right now...this heartbreak in our life is EVIL. EVIL. EVIL. And me not spending Christmas with my precious son is not because God needed a little angel or so that he could be in a better place or any of those other well-intentioned cliches that people try to's because we live in an evil and fallen world and bad things DO happen to good people.

Which is why I desperately and wholeheartedly am trying to be the victor in all of this. I really feel like it is a test of some sort and I simply refuse to fail. I refuse.

So Matthew, humor mommy some more in listening to her...or allowing her to write to you. I am heartbroken that you are not with us here. I didn't even realize that one's heart actually and physically HURTS, but it does. I still would give anything in the world to hold you and raise you.
But I am grateful for every second that we shared, and promise that I will continue to try and be faithful in my promise to God. Right now, that's the best way I know how to honor your memory.

Merry Christmas, my sweet first-born and beautiful son. Thank God for you.


  1. This Christmas won't be what it should be, but it will be the best it can be. You will prevail. With love and prayers.

  2. Lifting you and John before our Father. Wishing you had Matthew to hold and raise, too. Love you, Lori.

  3. From one mother to another who has gone through this bottomless grief know that my heart feels your pain especially on Christmas.Even though the pain hurts beyond what words can express ... Gods tender mercies abound around us.He hears us and will carry you as you wait to someday hold him again. Much Love to you.

  4. I'm glad God continues to reveal His truths to you. It reminds me of the song lyric, "This world is not my home; I'm just passing through." Some days, I certainly feel that way. I'm sure you do too. I've thought of the stocking many times this season -- I remember you posting about it and how it looked and for some crazy reason, it has just stuck in my mind. Love ya!!
    Word verification: Ovenosti -- I got nothing. :-(

  5. Lori - I agree with Terri. I can't say it any better. So, I will say it again (quote Terri) "YOU AND JOHN WILL PREVAIL"

  6. Lori, I am so grateful that God is fortifying you with His promises and the truth that we DO live in a fallen world. How I wish His plan had been for Matthew you to be with you forever, for you to hold and love and raise. I cannot imagine your hurt -physical, emotional, spiritual- but I do know that the way you are conducting yourself and the words you are sharing here on this blog glorify God. What a beautiful gift to Matthew and what an amazing, Godly mother! You are in our prayers.

  7. We are thinking of you on this day (and everyday), and wish Matthew could have been with you, but hope you had the best day it could possibly be w/out him. We love you! Lots of prayers!

  8. Lori
    I am so sorry that Matthew isn't here to spend Christmas with you. My heart hearts for John and you. I am glad that you are leaning on God through this tough time. We thought of Matthew yesterday and sent a little prayer up to him in heaven.

  9. God definitely knew. And as you mentioned, for whatever reason, He didn't intervene for you, for me, for so many. But He knew, and I firmly believe He incorporated the tragedies of our lives in his plan. And I know He is taking good care of our babies.

    I also share so many of your thoughts about this Christmas. I was looking forward to those same things. Sending hugs your way.

  10. I found your blog through another mother who lost her son due to a genetic malformation. She lives in northwest FL, near where I live.

    I have not read through your entire blog. I found it, and have been slowly reading through it.
    My heart hurts for you.
    I am a mother of two boys. I have no idea how you must feel to have lost your child. But I have witnessed a very close family lose their only son. He was 15 years old, and it was a tragic accident that took his life. His name is Taylor Haugen, and he has touched more lives in his 15 years than I have ever in my entire 33 years on this earth.
    I am so in agreement with what you said here. God did not make this happen to you just as God did not make Brian and Kathy lose their only son. Bad things happen to good people. It happens every day. It has taken a lot of therapy, processing, and faith for me to believe that. And Taylor was not my son. He was a family friend. A dear, sweet boy who taught my four year old how to throw a football...and who lost his life on a football field a few months later.
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are in my prayers.