Friday, June 24, 2011

Damaged At Best

We went to celebrate Rachel's friend Rose's birthday last night with her family.  It was special.  I almost didn't feel worthy to eat her cake.  She's been with Jesus for 2 years... long years for the people who love her, but I'm sure they've gone by like the blink of an eye to her.  I can't wait to meet her and find out what all our babies have been doing up there without us... I bet it's amazing.

This afternoon Des left for JAM (Jesus And Me) Camp for the weekend so I had to get her ready for that.  I had a rough morning and it's hard to believe it's already another Friday...  another week without Rachel... another trip to visit my baby at the cemetery.

I finally signed the final draft on the changes we're making to Rachel's stone.  I'm praying I'm not going to wish we would have left it alone.  Picking out a stone was hard enough... getting it to be good enough for her is impossible.  I know I'll be looking at it for the rest of my life so I want to like it - unfortunately to start over would have cost over $1000.  These changes don't fix the major things I didn't like, but they make it "better" - for a headstone.  Still, if money wasn't an issue, I'd start over and do it right.  I'm also getting really tired of pulling up to a mess when I go see her.  Her flowers are always knocked over, the grass is REALLY long around her grave (they have to mow away from it) and then all uneven on her grave.  Her bench is still broken.  It's all just a mess.

I left there today really upset about her stone and the details I can't change on it.  If I would have been able to think straight while making the decisions on it back in December, I NEVER would have chosen what I/we did. 

I heard the song (I used to hear all the time on the way to the cemetery) today on my way home..."Barely Breathing".  It says:
"I'm still here waiting, I still have my doubts, I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out - I'm falling apart, barely breathing, with a broken heart that's still beating, in the pain there is meaning, in Your name I find healing, so I'm holdin' on, I'm barely holdin' on to You"
I felt the heaviness of those days right after Rachel's death come back to me.  I can see how my pain has changed.  The line that used to get me was "a broken heart that's still beating" cause I couldn't believe I was living through my pain, as dramatic as that may sound, it was true.  Today the line that spoke to me was "I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out" because that's how I feel: damaged.  And I also feel like everyone already knows...what more can I say about it?   My pain does feel less intense now, but it doesn't take much to bring me right back there.  The difference is that now this has become more of what my life is and who I am than something I'm going through.  My life will never be the same as it was before.  I'm no longer a mother going through the birth and death of her daughter... I'm a mother who will never hold her baby.  Nothing will change, there's no hoping for the best or expecting a miracle.  She's dead.  The story has already been written and read.  I've tried to keep Rachel's Legacy going in a few different ways and they all leave me wanting.  None of it compares to coming home and snuggling with my baby those first few days...watching her grow, nursing her, seeing her smile... oh God how I miss her.

And on that note, this entire 5K thing is making me wish I wasn't such a go-getter.  I'm discouraged... trying to do most of the footwork with minimal help... and the biggest problem... I'm not a "non-profit".  I had started the paperwork for it, had a bunch of random people sign the form, decided I wanted to be more responsible than that and started over getting new signatures... can't even come up with 4 people I know that aren't related that I trust enough to put on something for Rachel...only to find out that there's more to it all anyway and I just don't have the energy to attack this right now.  I have a "business acct" for something that isn't a business, which carries all sorts of issues, not the least of which being that people who donate want a tax receipt and I can't give them one.  I'm ready to call the entire thing off... but we all know that isn't my style.  So instead, I cried a lot this most of it.  This afternoon I tried numbing my pain with a king size Symphony chocolate bar, didn't work.  Not to mention, when I went in to buy it, the lady behind me abrubtly yelled "Is Rachel here" to the guy ringing me up - he just shook his head no... my heart sank into my stomach.  nope, not here I thought...

Trusting God is in control is easier when I'm not the one who has to do the footwork.  I tend to forget He's with me when there's so much to do, not enough time to do it, and only a couple people helping.  I just don't want this to be a flop - for Rachel and for my heart.  So many people said they would come, but the registration wouldn't prove that.  I've emailed our families about this and nobody responds.  My church feels like they've already approached the congregation about enough for me (plus other recent fundraisers they've done) so they don't want to announce it there, but were willing to let me put something in the bulletin. This race is going to cost me around $2500 to put on and I've got nowhere near that and I might have mentioned before that we're broke.  I want to be able to donate money in Rachel's memory... I can't afford to have this cost me money in the end.  The thing that really stinks is that Rachel has $1900 sitting in an acct at church for her playground that is finished.  If I was smart, I would have specified that the money collected would transfer to the walk after if not used.  But apparently I'm not smart - so there it sits to pay for future upkeep.  I should have just stuck to walking in someone else's race.  Why do I always have to be the one who goes big?... I've done it my whole life - even with my arrest! 

OK, that was my vent for the day.  I hate that I have to plan a memorial anything.  I hate all of this.  I hate Fridays, I hate cemeteries, I hate it when people don't do what they say they will, I hate headstones, I hate tax receipts, I hate feeling alone, I hate that everything seems to be so difficult, I hate that I'm a grieving mother.  I hate that I'm damaged at best.

But my love for my girl helps me to overlook all that - all my disappointment, frustration and fear - and keep going - even though tear-stained eyes.  Sometimes I wish a mother's love wasn't so strong.  I'm thankful that my Father's love is stronger.

God, please help me do this


  1. Stacy,

    You are the strongest person I know! You are absolutely amazing & so is Rachel! You CAN & WILL always "go big." I hope you will entrust your family/ friends to help & relieve some of the stress you endure. Please just ask. I can help in some way, I would love to help. Please just let me know what I can do.

    I love you!

  2. Stacy,

    Of all the words you wrote, "I hate Fridays" made my heart ache. I'm with you on that, but for a totally different reason. Regardless, I hate them too - currently. Ugh!
    I pray for you on Fridays & try to find my way through them the best I can as well.
    And some days my hope is solely on when we will all see Jesus! (& you will see Rachel then too!)

    Sorry this is random & not too uplifting. You're in my thoughts!


  3. Wishing that I could hug you now. I have read your blog and thankfully have had the opportunity to exchange emails with you. While I know there will always be unbearable days . . . I want you to know you have touched me deeply and I have so much admiration for all you have done in honor of your beautiful girl. Trust me, my family has heard all about it! :) Hugs to you, Stacy!

  4. You are SUCH an inspiration! And I agree with Kellie, you ARE the STRONGEST person I know too!

    BIG hugs, my sweet!


  5. Isn't it funny how people keep wondering when we will be back to our "normal" selves? Our "normal" lives. We know things will never be "normal" again. We have a new "normal"... whatever the word "normal" means exactly. We are forever changed, and things will NEVER be the same. ...We are, just like you said, "damaged, at best"! Too beautiful, too true!

    Thank you for that.



We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes