I had a son that died. Full term. At birth. Unexpected.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you may not know that about me because I have only mentioned it once – though it shaped me and my faith.
Why don’t I write about it? Because I choose to chuckle. I choose not to dwell on it.
Though his death shaped me, I refuse to let it define me in a negative way.
I was raised by a dad whose favorite motto and motivator was, “If the sun doesn’t come up, grab a lantern and march on.”
Tonight, I went into my closet to search for a piece of paper and God met me there. I had a speaking engagement approaching and I remembered years ago scribbling something on a few pieces of paper that I wanted to share with these women.
Side note: as a writer, for years I have scribbled notes and stories and thoughts on random pieces of paper. Yes, I have always had lovely journal books and notebooks – but I can’t always find them when inspiration hits.
I was sitting on my closest floor going through boxes filled with files labeled “writing stuff” looking for the important notes for my talk. I knew I had written it in a small notebook with red ink so I was flipping quickly.
The following words snuck up on me.
December 19, 1995 was such a cold, winter day. Though the sun shone bright, the wind cut through me. The wind’s razor edge could not cut my heart open any wider because when you left us, my heart split in two. While the winter’s sun cast its rays on my face, I was not warmed because my beloved, anticipated son was gone forever.
Now as I sit here almost four years later, next to the place where we “laid you to rest,” the warm October breeze still does not warm me…
…I know that you are not here, next to this busy highway, under this pecan tree. I rejoice that you are waiting for me with our heavenly Father. I am sure you are keeping my grandmothers busy.
Love Always and Deeply,
It’s been almost 20 years since Zachary died but the words blurred due to the tears in my eyes. I flipped the page and read this.
My son. Born: four years ago. Died: four years ago. It’s Christmas time. A time when most people are bustling about – enjoying the holidays with family and friends.
As I sit next to Zachary’s grave and grieve, I notice all of the fresh flowers, poinsettias, miniature Christmas trees, stuffed Santa’s, toy trucks, and Santa snow globes strewn on the tiny grave markers. I see the love, heartache and thought that permeates Baby Land – this part of the cemetery dedicated only to the graves of babies.
I can see the love that each parent had for their child as they made the trek that I have just made. To stop, remember, grieve. Life will never be the same.
As I sit and sob, the cars zoom by on the nearby freeway. Do they wonder about the women kneeling and crying? Do any of them hug their family members tighter tonight? Is someone reminded of their own grief? Or do they not even notice due to their hurried lifestyle? Lord, please do not let me get too busy to see and respond to another’s hurt and pain.
Now, I must rise from my spot next to Zach’s grave under the Pecan tree and return to the living – my three daughters and husband. They still need me. Zach is lovingly being cared for by my heavenly Father.
The tears ran down my face and the sobs racked my body.
Then the words of a worship song that was playing pierced my sorrow and reminded me of God’s goodness, His faithfulness and His HOPE. I sat in a pile of papers on my closet floor at 1:30am with tears flowing down my face and my arms stretched up saying the words of the song…
Let the weight of your goodness fall ~ Let the weight of your goodness fall ~
I don’t often decide to go through boxes in my closet at 1:30am. Nor do I take my laptop with me so that I can listen to worship music. In fact, I’ve never done that before. I don’t normally use my laptop to play music. But on this night (morning) I did. And I’m glad.
Because God met me there, in my closet, in my sorrow and reminded me that God’s goodness falls on us – and I choose to chuckle.
In spite of it all, I choose to chuckle.
Blessed are those that mourn for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4