Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stand in the Rain

I started a post the other day to share how our day on August 4th played out and ended up putting it down for the night, expecting to go back to it the next day - well, let's just say it's been an eventful week I didn't get back to it.

Many of you know the stuff that has been happening from facebook... but I'll give the run down for those who don't.

I had been having some high blood pressures and issues with swollen feet and legs - along with horrible migraines earlier in the week.  On Friday, I went to the ER locally because my blood pressure was extremely high.  They sent me away saying I was fine.  The next day, I woke up and it was even higher.  I called Maine Med and they wanted me to come up there to be monitored for the day.  Again, they sent me home saying I was fine. (I've since been put on blood pressure medication after a follow up appointment on Tuesday - My obgyn thinks I had undiagnosed postpartum preeclampsia - please pray this all clears up soon... I just want to enjoy my new baby)

I was discouraged that I had spent the whole weekend in hospitals when I wanted to be getting things ready to decorate Rachel's grave on Sunday.  We stopped at a Walmart at 9pm to get fake flowers on the way home from the heart was just aching to do something for her for this anniversary since I wasn't doing the race and I was running out of time...

August 4th started off like it did 3 years ago... me being naïve and thinking that the plans I had made would actually come to be.  I was determined to make the day special and light hearted.  I was determined to make it meaningful and enjoy our family time together.  I was determined to smile when my heart really hurt.  I guess not really much different than any other day of my life, but for this day - the 3 year anniversary of her diagnosis - I wanted it to be special in a way that would ease my pain.  Expectations can be so dangerous.

We left the house way later than I wanted to and decided we'd better get lunch first.  On the way, the song on the radio reminded me to keep the tears tucked away.... or else if I start, they might not stop.

"She never slows down.
She doesn't know why but she knows that when she's all alone, feels like its all coming down
She won't turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down"
I held them back, but a few escaped my eyes without anyone in my family noticing. 

We ate at Roger's Pizza with gift cards that Options for Women had sent as a welcome Ezra gift for us.  They gave us $30 and our pizza came to $30.43.  Our portion... .43 cents!  Imagine that, hi Rachel!   She's always with us everywhere we go....

Matt went in and ordered and asked her to let us know when it was ready and we waited outside to avoid the before meal craziness that always ruins meals out.  It worked like a charm.  The boys ran around in the grass, Des & I sat in the AC in the van and I nursed the baby so he wouldn't want to eat as soon as I was trying to.  When they called us in, the table was ready to go, the kids had energy out, the baby was content and we just prayed and ate.  It was all going so well. 

We decided to play a song on the jukebox.  I made a mistake... I picked "Don't take the girl"  The last part is talking about them having a baby and the mom was dying.... but as I listened along, all I could think of was my reaction on August 4, 2010.... "Please God, not my baby girl.... please let me keep her, please...."  and I had to fight the tears again....

"Johnny hit his knees and there he prayed
"Take the very breath you gave me.
Take the heart from my chest.
I'll gladly take her place if you'll let me,
Make this my last request.
Take me out of this world
God, please don't take the girl"
We gathered our stuff and went to Rachel's grave.  As expected, it was a mess as I haven't been in almost a month.  We started cleaning up and about 5 minutes into it, Matt sliced his finger open with his utility knife and was bleeding everywhere.  We left everything scattered all over the place and I brought him to the ER thinking he'd get some stitches and be on his way. 

I went back to finish Rachel's grave while he was waiting and I felt one drop of rain.... I said "ooh, it's starting to rain." and before I finished my sentence, it was a complete downpour.  I could not believe it.  Was God serious?  Matt's in the ER and I'm stuck in the rain all by myself with a van full of kids trying to clean up my daughter's grave....  I know I can't always have my way, but why did God have to take away the sun that had been shining ALL DAY until that very MOMENT when I was there and trying to make it pretty?  Why all this on August 4th?  I tried to put a spin on it... "There must be a rainbow somewhere" I heard myself say... there was sun all around, it was just pouring on me....  "I just can't see it" I continued softly.... and that was it - I started to cry.  And I couldn't stop. "Ironically" on this video, all you can hear is the first part.... there must be a rainbow somewhere....

I got a call from Matt saying I shouldn't wait for him, to go home because he had to have an x-ray and see the hand surgeon because they thought he hit his tendon.  I cried harder.

I cried for the longest I have cried since I first lost Rachel.  I could not stop.  It was hours - six of them to be exact.  And if I really put a reason to why I was crying?  Well, it was because all of my plans were falling apart in front of my eyes and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  The same feeling I had 3 years before on this date.

I remembered the song from earlier....I knew once the tears started, they'd be hard to stop....the rest of the lyrics ran thru my mind...

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain
I feel like I've been standing in the rain for 3 years.  I've put so much effort into dancing in it... making it lighter... more carefree...more beautiful. But this day, all I could do was stand.  Survive it.  Believe that the storm would pass.  But I just couldn't dance in it.

I pulled myself together long enough to get her grave looking as pretty as I could without Matt's help.  The sun came back out and I was able to get a photo of Ezra's first time at his sister's spot.  And maybe this is all part of my 'dance'....  maybe dancing in it is less about knowing the steps and making them look easy and more about following His lead....even if I jumble it up at times.

I left 3 daisies for her - one for each year since I began this journey with her.  Unfortunately, I noticed that we also have some blood stains on our stone now (right by "girl") where Matt's cut apparently sprayed.  I'm hoping I will be able to get it off the next time I go since this photo was taken after the rain storm and it was still there.... 

So, Matt returned home after his ER visit with news that he might not be able to use his hand for up to 3 months.  Neither of us saw anything like this coming.  And honestly, it took a couple of days to come to terms with what that would mean for us.  And since we still have no way of knowing exactly how long he can't use his hand, we still don't know what this means for us. 
What I know is that I kept questioning.... "Why August 4th?"  As if it wasn't bad enough that I had to get the news that our daughter was going to die 3 years ago... or as if calling off her race this year wasn't heart breaking enough.... or as if I could really handle all of this on top of having a new baby and the financial stress we already had with our van repairs we need, along with all the medical complications I had been having....  I mean, how much did He think I could take?
And then I realized "Why August 4th"....  because August 4th might hold the reminder of the worst words I have ever heard in my entire life.... but it also holds the beginning of an unbelievable journey where God proved Himself faithful over and over and over again and provided in ways I never imagined possible and loved me in ways I never knew existed and surely didn't deserve. 
When I think of August 4th, I think how hard and heartbreaking it was - I know the endless road of pain ahead of me - and then I think about how on that day I had no clue at all how anything good could come of it - but He did it.  He made something good out of it.  He turned in ashes for beauty and gave me eyes to see it.  And when I think of that and how far worse losing Rachel has been than anything like what we're up against now, I know that He used this all happening on August 4th to remind me that He is in the details and He will meet us in this.  I have no doubt in my mind that He will.
I might still be a human being with real fears and feelings - and heck, I'm not even afraid to admit it - but believe me when I say that if there is one thing I have learned through the death of my sweet little girl, it's that God never fails me.  No matter how hard the road.  I've also learned the hard lesson that just because I have faith in Him does not mean that I will get what I want or that He will make everything in my life just go smoothly and without pain.  But somehow He grants me peace even so... and somehow it is all still well with my soul.
So, I continue to stand - with arms high, heart abandoned, and soul surrendered - as I walk through each day of a plan unlike my own.  Knowing that everything He chooses for me is for my good and His glory....I stand firm in His promise that this is all temporary, that heaven is my real home - and secure in the knowledge that even if I am crying like a baby when it's pouring, He loves me and understands.  I'm so thankful to serve a God Who is aware of our suffering and has grieved and cried real tears too.
I heard there was a double rainbow that day....Although I looked for it, I couldn't see it from under the dark cloud that hovered over me, but I know that many people who did were thinking of me and my girl and God's faithfulness to us through our trial.  Rachel isn't forgotten - and I'm okay with standing in rain to make sure that she isn't.


  1. Oh Stacy, hug hug hug! Praying for you!
    Love, anja who is so impressed how wisely God speaks through you...

  2. We saw it here in Biddeford, a double rainbow! And I thought of you and Rachel! Your strength, the magnitude of your's simply inspirational! I know you don't always feel your're strong and no doubt at times I'm sure you just want to curl up onto a ball and disappear...but your strength is amazing and it makes me see just how truly weak I am. You're an amazing person, an amazing friend, an amazing mother and an amazing wife!Thank you for sharing your heart with us over and over. BIG hugs!

  3. Hi Stacy...I tagged you on my blog for a question and answer game. Go and take a look:P) Hugs!


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