Well...I'd like to say that a year ago today, this post would be a long, distant memory for which I would feel completely and totally ashamed of myself for thinking and feeling.
And yet...sadly, still somewhat appropriate. Even a little bit ironic, if you will.
We are going back to Shady Grove at the end of January. Our hope is that we will be able to start a new cycle sometime mid-February/March...which I may or may not have mentioned is just about the time of year that we started Matthew's cycle.
Am I hopeful? Of course. I wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't it. Am I apprehensive? How can I not be? I think I put it best in my post last year when I said that optimistic and realistic are not always the best of friends. I think, in light of the past year, I am entitled to say that I have every reason in the world to be nervous, not as expectant, skeptical and yep--even a little bit bitter about the fact that I spent nearly a year feeling like Matthew was invincible and ordained by God...and yet, I still don't have him. Still my arms are empty. Now, though, not only do I have the seemingly-always empty arms, but the gaping, crushing hole in my heart. A hole that will never be filled and has made me a new person: a mother who lost her precious miracle. Now, there is a dimension to my heartache that I never even imagined could physically be possible.
And yet...yesterday, I bought two ornaments that one puts pictures in. I have several ornaments I have bought for Matthew over the past few months, and they really are heartbreaking to look at when I think about the joy I had in buying them and the desperate ache I feel in them now only being reminders of what I don't have. Still I bought two more. One, a train to match his stocking and Granddad's love of trains, for Matthew. One, a sled full of toys, for Matthew's brother or sister. In this, I am once again putting my heart out there and believing that Matthew *will* have a brother or sister and even if it is just a sonogram picture we'll place in that ornament, next Christmas, we will put our tree up and remember the blessing we were given in being Matthew's parents and will celebrate the joy we will have in knowing his brother or sister is part of our life.
I am hopeful.
However, it is not the same kind of innocent faith and hope I once enjoyed. Even though the post from last year obviously shows my frustration, I still had not yet experienced the grief that has stolen my ability to blindly and joyfully jump out, knowing it will all be ok. The reality is that it MAY not. In fact, sad as I am to say it, I think that the facts are on my argument's side: It does not always work out the way you want, even if you are at the very last part of the race. This year, my faith will continue to be placed in God's bigger picture...one that I've learned allows for bad things to happen to good people because the world in which we live is simply a flawed world. My prayer is that should more tragedy befall us, we will be able to continue to give God glory, even though I admit that I struggle on a daily basis with dark, dark thoughts and places. I'd be lying if I said that I was completely ok with this bigger picture because in the end, it's for God's glory--I *want* to be there, but in my heart, I admit...I want Matthew more.
I think God, in losing His son, can understand that.
I think C.S. Lewis sums up my feelings right now... "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." I'm not exactly doubting that there are blessings in store...for Matthew was such a blessing, and always will be. I just wonder how much more painful the road to the blessings in store may turn out to be...