I am so busy with everything that my mind feels like mush. I miss Rachel so much that my heart feels like a ton of bricks. And I'm so tired and drained from new baby that just accomplishing taking care of my 3 little ones and homeschooling wipes me out, never mind trying to coordinate all the playground details and take care of the house. So, I kinda feel like I'm going under. Good thing we're building an ark. :o)
As we move further away from December 3 and closer to fun things like Rachel's playground, I am experiencing one of the things I knew would happen and was afraid of... the time when everyone else moves on. Life is back to normal for everyone else. I can't tell you how many people in just the last week have told me that they "had followed my blog" (past tense) One lady said "that was so hard" (past tense again) I ask if they still are... nope. They followed it cause they were caught up in the sad emotions of the reality of Rachel's condition, but they think the journey is done. And for them it is. I am SO grateful for all of you who continue to love me and support me even now. The fact that anybody could even think that once Rachel was in the ground it was done hurts my heart.
I do want to acknowledge a couple of people who have shown me that they haven't forgotten us this week. For Easter, Amanda W. left a few bags on our porch FULL of stuff for the kids Easter baskets. She even left Sam some allergen free candy (very thoughtful!) and she gave me a bag (I haven't had an Easter Basket in YEARS) and she gave Rachel one, which of course made me cry.
The other thing that I'm so excited about is that from Tri-City Christian Academy invited Des and Isaiah to come to their summer camp as a gift for a couple of days a week this summer. I cannot tell you how much this is going to help me! I can make all my Dr appt's and errands for the days they are gone and then when we're together the rest of the week, I will be more free to just hang out with them. I won't be much fun this summer being so pregnant and they will still get to do lots of fun stuff. It's also going to give Sam & I time alone which we never get. It is going to all around be a huge blessing to all of us as I prepare our home for another Aube baby - and gear up for another year of homeschool, hopefully with a baby in my arms.
I remember a day not so long ago that I was getting numerous cards in the mail for Rachel daily, tons of comments on my blog... a day when she wasn't old news. This week, these two people reached out and let me know that they have not forgotten about me or Rachel and that they know my trial isn't over.
And it is so far from over.
All the playground planning has turned losing Rachel into something exciting to many. They stop me to talk about how great this all is and how exciting it is that we're building a playground... and it is great and exciting, but that is not my first emotion. They rub my arm and smile and say things like "at least you're turning this into something positive" *deep sigh*. I am not turning this into anything.
Rachel died. That sucks.
We're building a playground. That is awesome.
Two totally different things. But I don't try to explain, I just smile and say things like "I'm really grateful that I have this to keep me busy right now".... and "God has been so good". and that is about as much of an honest response as I can give. I want to shake my head and tell them how much I still hurt... tell them how I wish I wasn't building a memorial playground... tell them how there is NO turning the loss of my girl into a positive. Yes, God has done amazing things with her life. Yes, I think He will continue to for a while to come... Yes, a memorial playground will be cool. No, her death isn't a positive in my eyes. Sorry if that sounds like a negative thing to say. I will always wish it could have been different. But just as I wrote in my first email ever telling friends and family what was happening:
"....As much as we don't want to drink of this cup, we are surrendering to whatever He wants to do through this. Our desire during this time is that we can celebrate her life even in the midst of our sadness and cherish the time we have with her, however limited it may be, until we see her again in heaven...."
And so we continue to surrender, to love and to hope - in the midst of our sadness - as we await the day we'll see her again in heaven. I will be doing this long after her playground is built. And it hurts bad. I am often in awe of the blessing that she has been and God's amazing grace that has carried me, but that doesn't remove my pain or mean my grief will be any less difficult. In fact, this week, thinking about the playground has made me sad cause the only thing I can think of when I picture it all done is "I wish she was going to be playing on it" or "I'd still rather have Rachel". My heart still just wants her. I do what I do for her, not for me. Everything I do to remember her is not because I need the reminder or because it takes the pain away- it's because as her mother I refuse to let the world forget she existed. She was too amazing for that.
I, on the other hand, will be in the same exact place after her playground is complete:
A mother with a broken heart missing my sweet baby.
I'm not sure many people get that... God does. And when it seems like no one in this whole world cares (which I know is just a feeling) all I have to do is call His name and He is there. He gets it and He cares more than I know.
And 'ironically' I heard a song this morning that said just that and had me in tears, so I'm playing it for you now...