While I am glad that I have the posts I've written in the last few years to look back on and think about how things have been, I find it's very hard to reread many of them. Like can't do it without crying, crying, crying and more crying.
So I don't. Mostly.
I took the plunge and read a few from this time last year. Hard, hard, hard. On Christmas Eve last year, I was less than a month out from Matthew dying. I remember finding it hard to write, much less contemplate what was going to fit me so I could go to church. I remember coming downstairs and the whole family being pretty impressed with how I cleaned up, after basically spending 3 weeks straight in sweats and looking like a truck had run me over. I was grateful that Christmas Eve services are SO packed that there is really no opportunity for people you know to do much other than smile or wave at you from a pew a little bit away. I was not in the mood for people to hug on me or tell me how they were praying for us or thinking about us. I was grateful for those sentiments, but really was just trying to make it through without crying since we had my nephews and niece with us. I remember my niece singing her little heart out with every song and at the end of the service, belting out "That was GREAT!"
I remember taking cookies to our Labor & Delivery and practically running out of there once they were delivered because I could barely breathe.
I used the post I had used a few days before Matthew was born that detailed things I was grateful for and adding little commentary with my 'after Matthew' insight. I think I'll do that again...only with my 'year after Matthew' insight added as well.
Dear Lord, I am most thankful for:
Your grace, mercy, faithfulness and salvation
2009**Without this...there is no hope. Hope is what I live for today and tomorrow. This hope is what I cling to in knowing I will hold my son again. I do not always understand, but am able to accept that the things going on in my life may be a test and I promised to give God glory in all things.**
2010**Again, I am so, so grateful for the promise of being with my sweet boy again one day. God's mercy has been abundant this year and I am so thankful."
My husband--he's brilliant, hard-working, an incredible father and provider
2009**Not only is he an amazing husband, I have had the privilege and honor of seeing him also be an incredible and devoted father.**
2010**Still so blessed.**
My precious, miraculous and stubborn little boy....I cannot wait to meet you
2009**Though our time after you were born was merely minutes...if that...I am so glad I got to meet you, caress your cheek and shoulder, and that you and your daddy got to hold hands.**
2010**My precious and miraculous little BOYS. Days from Luke, I just cannot wrap my arms around how blessed I am to be the mother of two precious little boys.**
My family--regardless of current relationship status, I know I am loved
2009**I have so many family members that I could not imagine this time of our lives without. I am truly blessed.**
2010**Still and continuing, we are so wrapped up with care and concern.**
My friends--I am overwhelmed with people who care for me, worry about me and shower me with their attention and well-wishes
2009**This has never been more shown to me--I have never seen God more in action--than I have in the last month.**
2010**Oh my word....I can't describe the overwhelming feelings of gratitude I've had for the amazing and healing thoughts, prayers and actions of so many I am able to call friends! Whether 'in real life' or through the computer...the kindness and generosity and heartfelt compassion of friends has been such a blessing!**
My sweet Dixie Belle--though she is a PISTOL, she is a pistol full of snuggles and devotion
2009**I get such joy out of watching her in the snow...and we've had tons of it!**
2010**I guess I should add Sammy to the list! While he came at a time that I absolutely would NOT have chosen, he is a sweet, sweet boy who makes us laugh. There is no doubt that he and Luke will have lots of fun together!**
My country--how I was blessed to be born here, I'll never know, but am eternally grateful for the blessing of America and her freedoms
2009**Again, we are so blessed to be Americans.**
My "children"--every little boy and girl for whom I have had the privilege of being a part of his or her life has touched mine so deeply...
2009**Bless their hearts...the little ones who have wrapped their arms around us have been so special to me.**
2010**It's no wonder Jesus loved the little children so specially as He did. They are just precious.**
People who are willing to sacrifice--whether it is for their faith, their convictions or their fellow human...realizing there is something more is so admirable
2009**I cannot express how much I admire the bravery and the courage these people show.**
2010**I am still so often amazed when I see something on tv or read about something that just inspires me. Grateful for so many who sacrifice.**
Loved ones that I have lost...though I miss them terribly, I'm thankful for their part in my life
2009**This is now even more true. As much as missing Matthew hurts my heart, his part in my life--his role as my first-born son--is something I am so grateful for...he gave me the gift of motherhood and nothing can ever change that.**
2010**I think I was trying to say the right thing when I wrote that--the first part was written a few days before Matthew was born, and the 2009 part after he died. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'd still rather have him here with me. His role in our family is still precious, but I'd rather him be here with me and for me to be thankful for him as I tucked him into bed.**
Wishing a peaceful and gentle Christmas and praying for all to feel the warmth and grace from a Savior who was born to save the world.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16