So, here it is...
Her party was beautiful. Everything fell into place and I have lots to share about a few different things... but those will come later. I believe that God was in every detail, right down to the below freezing temperature and the wet snow.
But let me give you the brutal honesty people always say they love unless it refers to them.... I have been flooded with excuses today. Every time someone approached me this morning - and then through a long list of emails this afternoon - I would get the question 'how did it go?' followed by some excuse of why they didn't come. I started avoiding people and answering the question "God is good" as I walked away just to not have to hear the excuse that was bound to follow. People who should have been there... just 20 minutes of their life - and seemingly could have been if they really wanted to be. But I'm supposed to say "Oh, no problem" so they can feel good about their decisions.
Every excuse I have to half-heartily pardon makes me feel worse, not better. Just because someone is thinking about me, doesn't mean I feel supported by them. I had less people standing on her grave with me yesterday than I have had to say "it's okay" to today. And quite honestly, at the risk of sounding like I think I am entitled to 'never-ending support' as I've been accused of (which I don't feel that way for the record), there are some things that you just do. And if you don't do something you should have and could have, you say I'm sorry - not make me endure an excuse so you can feel better.
I'm not talking about people with legitimate reasons - that's different than an excuse. But if you gave me an excuse over a reason, you know who you are... and I may say 'it's okay' because honestly, what else am I going to say? If I say anything else, I once again become the person who expects too much or isn't handling my grief well. But regardless of what I say, it is extremely painful to listen to people, who insisted they were my friends when Rachel wasn't old news and now are nowhere to be found, give me sad excuses. I'd rather just pretend it didn't happen then have to listen to what I had to listen to today. I really wanted to just tell a few people how wrong they were, and how the same 'things' that came in their way yesterday wouldn't have stopped them two years ago when THEY were emotionally affected by her death, but there is no way that would be heard coming from me - the one who needs their support and is STILL affected by her death... it would just sound like I'm mad that they didn't do what I want. And so I just nodded and smiled... and tried to help them feel better about the ridiculous things they were saying. And then I came home and cried.
But at the end of the day yesterday, before I had to listen to lame excuses all day today, I felt like things went well. And so I'm trying to not let today take away from yesterday - because it was beautiful and I felt loved - and I felt like Rachel was loved. I know that the people here were the ones who were supposed to be - and I'm trying not to eat all the leftover cake myself - but I won't lie and say it doesn't bother me. It does. And it's exactly what I was afraid of.... that it would be obvious that people are moving on. I know that some people stand at their baby's graves all alone so I'm trying to just be thankful for the time I have had a huge circle of support - and thankful for the smaller, yet devoted, group of people who still show up now. And really thankful for the snow, which proved just how devoted these people are to us. ♥
I am just having a hard time finding my way in this new stage of her absence, which is more lonely than ever before. I am getting better at smiling and nodding when people say stupid things for their own benefit... but it doesn't hurt any less. I'm not sure if it's better or worse... part of me thinks it's a good thing because some look at that like 'grace', but in a way, I miss the days that I could say what I was feeling because I have a few things I'd like to say to a few people right now. But honestly, if by now they haven't gotten it, they don't care as much as they claim they do anyway. And I really don't want friends who have half their heart in and half their heart out. I'd rather be alone.
We had a nice ceremony at her grave - it was only 23 degrees out and snowing - but people came and Sue D. sang two songs that I picked. Both by Fernando Ortega. One is "I will praise Him, still" and the other is "Give me Jesus". I wish I could still put music on my blog because I'd love for you to listen to them, they are perfect... reminding me that HE gives me the grace to praise Him even when things are hard and life doesn't go how I want... even when people let me down, even when my child dies...HE does that for me and I'm so thankful. The second song reminds me that she has everything she wants and needs in heaven. Jesus is all she wants and on her birthday, that's what she has. What more could I give her? nothing. And so what more can I need or want? He is all I need. Just give me Jesus...... you can have all this world, but give me Jesus....
We came back here and I was nervous on the way that nobody was going to come. But we had about 10 people here. Not nearly enough to eat a cake that can feed 44 (43 cause Matt eats big pieces) :o) But, based on the people who TOLD ME THEY WERE COMING and the fact that it was an open invite and some people I (apparently by mistake) expected, we needed a cake that big. I was wrong. But it was pretty. Thanks, Molly! I loved it! We're bringing the top to her grave tomorrow to sing to her and eat 'with her'.
We had a few people who were here that had met Rachel, including our nurse who is now a dear friend. We had a few people I have met from my blog who have become great friends. And both of our moms were here (that's it from both of our families....) But I was excited that they came with the roads being bad since they both had quite a drive. I wish at least our families could make it a priority. But that's really no different than anything we do, even for our live children, these days.
We had a really nice, intimate time reading the letters that came in about how people have been impacted by Rachel. I also showed them the 'new endeavor' and it was received really well. I was encouraged by the response.
I guess the hard part is trying to make something beautiful out of something so painful. Her birthday is also the day she died and it's hard to 'celebrate' when she died. But I've been balancing on the tightrope of grief and joy for 2 years and 4 months now. I wish it got less complicated with time, but it doesn't.
So, that's how yesterday went. I wish I could just say 'it was perfect' because I know it was - because I believe God is in control and He cares for me and my heart... but I've also become really aware that His 'perfect' and mine don't always look the same. I just need to continue to trust His plan... His "perfect".
|Matt's mom & my sister|