And I laughed at the truth of that statement... cause the funny part is that I never know what I'm going to write! And at the end of yesterday, I had serious second thoughts on hitting "publish"! I know it appears to come easy to me to be real and sometimes it is, but there are just some things that I would rather hide away and not have to worry about being judged on. I'm relieved to know that you (or at least the majority of you!) see this as a good thing!
The thought that came to mind when I read Leila's comment is Forest Gump. I watched that movie a million times and know almost every line... and all I could think was "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get".
You know how we all love the boxes of chocolate that have the filling info on the bottom of the box?? And if you flip it over to find that there isn't a map to the good ones, you're never less than disappointed. It's almost a guarantee that you're going to pick one you don't like and then have to decide: eat it anyway or put it back?" depends if you're sharing the box and if anyone is looking....oh, and of course whether or not your husband is near by and you can pawn it off on him.
Too bad life's box didn't come with a map on the back to which way is the yummiest. Oh how I would love to know before I bite if it's going to taste good. And what I wouldn't give to never have to bite into another coconut filled chocolate again for the rest of my life. If we could look at a situation and know what we would find inside, it would be so much easier to make decisions in life... but we can't... and so we close our eyes, bite and wait for the flavor to fill our mouths - and hope that it holds the taste that we are looking for.
This afternoon I brought the kids to swim lessons. I've had some major disappointments today - from church issues to Rachel's headstone and I really didn't want to be at swimming. I usually go in with Sam and today I didn't feel like getting my bathing suit on so I sat on the sidelines. I was feeling pretty heavy hearted and up walks a mom with a baby in a stroller. My first thought was "oh good, I'll have someone to chat with to pass the time". She parked the stroller right next to me and I peeked in... it was a baby girl. My heart sank, but my face smiled.
"I like your tattoo" she said, pointing at my wrist. "Is it a real hand print?"
"oh, thanks, yeah, it's my daughter's hand" (Yummy chocolate... I love to talk about Rachel)
"How did they do that? I mean, how did they get a hand print?"
Looking confused, I answered "it's a copy of her hand print"
"Yeah, but how did they get her to leave her hand open? Babies' hands are usually curled tight."
"ummm...well... she didn't live - But I never thought of that, I guess you're right, their hands are usually curled." - my shoulders sinking into my chair.
I officially want to return today's box of chocolates. Her hand print has always been my favorite thing. I have it permanently on my wrist and we put it on all the playground shirts. I had no idea that it was proof of her lifeless body. I had never realized that it should be very difficult to get a hand print - and we got dozens, literally.
My new company went on to talk about how she can get her baby's foot prints, showing me her cute little toes, but has not been able to get her hand print, holding up the little girl's hand to show me how it's curled tight.
My face probably couldn't hide my sadness. I'm about 20 pounds overweight in body and about 100 in my heart. It's getting hard to carry this weight around. I feel like I have eaten coconut filled chocolates all day long....all year long, really. I sat the rest of swim lessons watching the baby with the curled fists nurse. I miss my baby. So much so that it makes me wonder why I bother wasting my emotional energy on anything or anyone else.
I've spent more than half of the day totally upset in tears by this ridiculous email I got today and the other half crying over Rachel's stone and the email I got from them this afternoon. I might just stop checking my email. (note: if you've sent me an email to my RachelsMama address, I haven't been able to check it yet since after the playground build... not ignoring you!) But I wonder, really, do I care about any of it? Do I care if every single person at church misunderstands me and criticizes me? Do I really care if they don't want to support me in this trial? Do I care if they talk about me behind my back instead of calling me to see how I am? Do I really care if the stone guy doesn't want to work with me to get her stone fixed without raking me through the coals financially? Do I care if her stone isn't perfect? Do I really care if that lady's baby has curled hands? Does any of it really matter?
None of it changes the chocolates I've been given.
Nothing is bringing my baby back. Even if my church family was supportive of me (I know, comes as a surprise), even if everybody was compassionate towards me, even if her stone was perfect... even if it was normal for babies to let you get their hand prints...
My Baby Girl is still gone... and I will never hold her again on this side of heaven. I'm sorry, but with what I'm going through right now, I don't really care what anyone thinks about me. I know where I stand with God. I know who I am and what is worth standing up for. I don't claim to do anything perfect. But the same people who are always demanding grace out of me fail to give me any in return at a time when I'm in great need of it. (although if you ask them, they give me lots of it) I have more important things to do than try to get these people to see who I really am... like make it through my days with my broken heart. So go ahead, call me ungracious and ungrateful. I'm neither and God knows it.
Since I started writing this, I went and got out Rachel's hand & foot molds since I remember one of them being curled. In the one we did, her hand is nice and curled. The one we had the funeral home do, is straight and flat. Apparently her hands held the "live baby" shape for quite a while after she died. And I took advantage of every moment to slip my finger right in there... I would love to do it again. I took a picture of her curled fist cause it made me feel better. She had the cutest hands I've ever seen.
|Sadly, her fingertips didn't come out on 3 of her fingers, |
but she had my hands and her Daddy's feet.
I was looking at her foot molds and caught her booties on the shelf out of the corner of my eye. These were the first things I ever bought her after we found out she had anencephaly. I wrote a post titled "girls love shoes" - I brought them to the hospital and forgot to put them on her. When I realized it I was devastated. I put them out next to her casket at her service, but my heart broke to know that I didn't have a second chance to try them on her. I was going to bury them with her, but decided to keep them. Tonight I decided to put her molds in them... and they fit just right. As I went to take a picture, I noticed something I had not seen before... they have little daisies on them. And of course, hearts. *sigh*
Whenever I meet a new baby, I always touch their toes. Tonight, I sat here sobbing rubbing my fingers over a hard mold of Rachel's toes in her booties and for a moment, I almost felt like I was touching her...
These are the moments worth my tears...
I was so sad that my chest actually hurt. Matt came in and sat with me... he said "I can't understand your pain, I wish I could". I appreciated his honesty, but you can see why this road is so lonely for a Mama... I am sad to know that many of you reading this know what I mean. I'm praying for all your hearts tonight.