Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Broken Hallelujah

I'm going to start with my day in photos and the general info first....

We were up to the last second, but we made it.... 10 amazingly beautiful care packages created for other grieving families.  Thank you to everyone who contributed either by donating or purchasing supplies.  Absolutely no way we could have done this without you... "Love beyond words" sums it up.  Thank you.

I woke up with a horrible headache this morning. Sam kept asking when we were going to go to "Rachel's Place".  He was really excited about going.  In the middle of trying to get ready, Kim (Rachel's nurse) called and said that our original plans of eating lunch with her and Dr Hunt (the dr who delivered Rachel) was not going to be possible.  On top of that, she wasn't sure if she would even be able to see us.  My headache warned me that crying was a really bad idea, so I just sucked it up and trusted God with another one of my plans falling apart on me. 
We left much later than we were hoping, I wanted to be there by 10:25 because we planned to let 3 balloons go for her 3rd birthday and I wanted to do it at the time she was born.  Another plan I had to let go of...
The balloons we have are ones from the day she was born - heart shape ones with her name and year on them.  Matt & I got out and let the balloons go from the top of the parking garage.  Just a few spots down from where we were parked the night we left the hospital without our daughter.  For me, this was very symbolic
When we got back in the car, the clock read 11:11 - so I'm thinking I "just happened" to release those balloons at 11:10 - the exact time to the minute 3 years ago that I had to release my girl to the Lord.  If you think that it is crazy that it could happen without trying, how about the fact that when I made that collage of those photos, the collage somehow "mysteriously" got saved as "Eternal Hope".... and I did NOT do that! 
When we got in to "the hall" I had everyone stop and we took a picture.  This hallway is a hard one to travel for me no matter how many times I do it.  I'm thankful that today, I was able to share with the kids about when I was walking in to have Ezra and had to stop for contractions.  God has given me some good memories in this hall too. (sigh)

When they checked us in at security, they gave us badges that said 12-3-13 on them... kind of hard for me to see for some reason.  But wouldn't you know it, our being late made it 'perfect timing' for Kim and she was able to walk us up and visit with us while we delivered the boxes!  When we got up to the room where they go, Sam asked "Is this the room Rachel is in?"  and I realized that he thought we were finally going to see Rachel.... :(   I felt bad telling him no.  I was also disappointed to hear that eventually the hospital won't be accepting packages, they are going to start making uniform ones.  So much for making this an annual project... another plan down the tubes....
We went to Friendly's after we left Maine Med and we were all wearing our Rachel shirts. (except Asa, Ezra has taken over his so he needs a new one)  and the people behind us all asked us who Rachel was.  We talked to them a bit - one of the women got teary as she hugged her little girl and told me she couldn't imagine)  and since I "just happened" to have a blog card in my pocket, I handed it to her so she could learn more about Rachel.  Her little girl came over to our table and was showing us her nail polish.  I asked how old she is and she said 3....  Rachel would be that big.... sigh.
After the woman and her 3 year old left, the waitress came over and told us that she had paid for our meal and had mentioned it was someone's birthday.  She even tipped for us.  I cried.  I swear, before Rachel, nobody used to buy our meals.  And it's not like we tell everyone about her and that's why they pay for us (usually it's because the other kids are so cute!) but this Friendly's meal was definitely a birthday gift for Rachel.  My heart needed that even more than our bank account did.  And I know it came straight from God through this generous woman who He placed behind us...
From there, we headed to Rachel' grave to set up her Christmas stuff, I felt like on her birthday (my Christmas baby!), setting up our Christmas trees (evergreen, representing everlasting LIFE) would be a nice tradition and help me to feel like Rachel is part of our Christmas.  December is an extremely painful month for me. I'm trying to find ways to make her feel closer to help my heart.
 I can't remember if I blogged this or just thought about blogging it (I'm losing my mind) but last Friday, when I got to Rachel's grave, her flag was gone.  I cried all the way home.  I'm not one to give up though so today on the way in towards Rachel's grave, I said "Everyone keep your eyes peeled for Rachel's flag, it's got to be around here somewhere!" and guess what?  It was... it was on the edge of the woods pretty far from where Rachel is, but Matt saw it!  Victory!!  I am so happy about this!
We set up her grave... it looks pretty.  Decorated her tree and made her a kissing ball, put her flag back up (have a winter one coming soon) and brought her a balloon I got her at Friendly's. 
I'm on a big kick about needing to have matching stuff here and at Rachel's grave - her tree, the kissing ball, the flag and this cute little stocking are all things I have here as well.... yeah, pretty much everything I guess. :/
Isaiah found a live dandelion while I was decorating.... he brought it to me and then propped it up on Rachel's flag holder - sweet boy.
Before we left, I stood looking at her name for a while and I cried a lot.  I don't think I'll ever get used to the idea that my baby is in the ground.
On the way home, the temperature in town read 43 degrees......
Yesterday I set up lights outside on the fence, I didn't turn them on though, I told the kids it would be for Rachel's birthday - so when we got home, I went out and turned them on... She is my bright light in the dark days.... and it is BRIGHT. 
And then we set up our tree.  I was doing okay until Frosty the Snowman came on... I hate that she isn't here to dance and sing with these guys.  I know she has it better where she is, but I'm as human as they come and very selfish - I still want her here.  I actually got angry at the song.  Who would have ever thought?
My ornament came from my friend Lisa today - she put part of Rachel's blanket in there and made her hat to match the one Rachel wore.  Hard to see all the details in this photo, but it's perfect and the timing was clearly perfect.
I got a couple other gifts that I will share in another post.  I don't even know who they are all from!  I was disappointed to see that Rachel's PO Box only had one thing in it.  I'm used to an overflow of cards.  I did kind of expect it, but that doesn't make it easy.  I have gotten a few very thoughtful and meaningful messages and a couple of cards too though.  And tonight my Grandpa called me to say Happy birthday to Rachel... so I have been blessed in many ways.  And I believe deeper ways....  But all that being said, I've really struggled today.
I haven't struggled with how the day went, everything went well.  I didn't struggle with even needing more recognition from others or anything like that.  Today, I struggle with still being broken.
I just feel so damaged still.  I can't think of a better word than damaged.
And I guess back in year one, I thought by year three, that wouldn't be the case.  But it is. 
Today went as good as a day like this can.... I smiled, we laughed, we got out and did something for someone else to use my pain for something good.  But I hurt, I cried, I felt impatient and lonely. And honestly, I wonder if it will ever let up. 
I live my 'normal' life stuff.  I do the daily grind.  I do the family get togethers and the birthday parties.  I do all the things I would do if she was still here, but I feel so heavy doing it.  We take a family photo with extended family and it HURTS that she isn't in it... but only me.  She never escapes my mind...  but I don't want her to.
I had wanted to listen to the CD I made of songs that encouraged me while I was pregnant with Rachel today - we made a CD we gave out at her celebration of life.... but I couldn't get myself to do it.  It's like I'm afraid to bring that much back to mind - I'm afraid to feel so deeply... I'm worn out from the never ending pain.  And I started to wonder if I'm not still truly praising God.  I never want that to be the case.  And even at the hardest times when I have been so sad and in deep pain, I have always been able to praise God. 
But, just because I hurt, doesn't mean I don't trust Him.... just because she is dead, doesn't mean she didn't live.   Just because things are hard, doesn't mean He isn't in control. And just because I am broken, doesn't mean I can't praise Him...
I heard this song tonight that I could identify with. (lyrics and video below)  I feel like this is exactly where I have been at -
I've seen joy, pain.... I've got nothing left to hold onto...  I need Him to make beauty from the ashes... do something with this mess.  I raise these empty hands to You Lord.  I will always sing... It might be broken Jesus, but here's my hallelujah... 
Thank you for allowing me to be Rachel Alice Aubes Mama.  Thank you for every tear you have sent my way and comforted me through.  Thank you for the beauty you have blessed me to be a part of in this journey with Rachel - and thank you for every. single. difficult thing I have endured... Thank you for always using those things for my good and your glory.  Thank you that even though you didn't need me in order to accomplish what you have and will do with Rachel's life and death, but that you chose me!  I praise you Lord that you have given me this opportunity.  It has been more than worth every ounce of pain and I am so thankful for Rachel.
Rachel, Happy 3rd heavenly birthday my pretty girl.  I have been missing you so much. I love you sweet girl. 
"Broken Hallelujah"

I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down,
And I wonder where You are.

I try to find the words to pray.
I don't always know what to say,
But You're the one that can hear my heart.

Even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know You're making beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

You know the things that have brought me here.
You know the story of every tear.
‘Cause You've been here from the very start.

Even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know You're making beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

When all is taken away, don't let my heart be changed.
Let me always sing Hallelujah
When I feel afraid, don't let my hope be erased
Let me always sing Hallelujah.
Let me always sing Hallelujah.

I will always sing
I will always sing
Here's my broken hallelujah.

1 comment:

  1. I see you posted this at 1:43 <3 I have no words really. I know words wouldn't really help, but I do want you to know that Rachel's life has had a profound impact on my life. The time I spent with her while doing your portraits will always remain in my heart, it was obvious from the very beginning that I was dealing with a very special individual. I wish she was here. I wish you could hug her and hold her on her birthday and I wish you didn't have to decorate a grave.

    We are very human, and we miss our babies. We want to be able to be mamas to them the way we feel we need to be. I do think that you are still being a wonderful mama to Rachel, but I also get the pain of not being able to mama her here.

    Sending so much love, so many hugs, and countless prayers as you smile, laugh, cry, hug your babies and ache for your baby girl that God will be there every step of the way.

    Love and prayers, my special friend.

    And Happy Birthday, Rachel. Say hi to Hope for me <3


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