For nine months the excitement builds and builds. You go from morning sickness to cravings, from utterly tired to sleepless, from wishing for a big round belly to wishing your big round belly would go away. You go to your first doctors visit and discover when your little one will arrive. You go next time and hear his or her tiny little heart racing. You go have an ultrasound to determing the sex of your little one. You go from monthly to bimonthly and then finally weekly visits to your doctor. Each time you learn how much weight you have gained and on and on until finally the day comes that your little blessing arrives. That is probably the most anticipated day of all. That day you find out who your baby is.
Today was supposed to be that day for us. Eli was due to arrive April 16, 2010. One day after tax season. Jamie and I as well our entire family should be holding, loving, and learning a new baby today. We should be bracing ourselves for many sleepless nights. We should be worried about all of the things that parents of a new baby worry about. Instead we are broken. Broken in a way that will never be fixed here on earth. It is almost too much tonight. I find myself asking why so often. I feel like I should not be asking this question of my LORD because he has taken such tender care of us and carried us so graciously these last eight weeks. He has given us His peace and blessed us so mightily. But I still feel shattered. I still do not know why God has chosen this for us. I'm torn because I know Eli is perfect now and will never know the pain he would have certainly known here but I want to hold him. It is not enough tonight to hold him in my heart and memory. The ache in my arms is almost physical. My friend Amy told me that I would crave my baby and I do. The pain of lossing a child is not as intense as it was eight weeks ago I must admit. It is different. It is a longing for that which was lost. All that is left of him are pictures, memories, and a scar I wear on my belly. A scar which my children have lovingly named Eli's smile. That name came about right after I came home from the hospital. The boys being curious wanted to see my incision. Since it was on my belly we decided it would be alright for them to see. Jay commented that it looked like a smile, so Cooper immediately came back with, "that's Eli's smile." Being that I had staples at the time my witty little Jay then added that his smile even had braces. That may sound silly to most, but it is almost comforting to me. It is just one way that the boys chose to remember a brother they only got to know briefly. A brother they should be holding tonight...
We went to the cemetary this morning and I found myself wanting to do something for my son. I wanted to tidy up his grave...but there was really nothing to do. I felt helpless just standing there wanting to do something but having nothing that I could do. It hit me then...there is nothing that I can do for Eli. His heavenly Father has taken care of him. He has done more for him than I ever could. He has kissed his hurts and made him all better. Eli will never have need of a bandaid, a kiss from me, or my arms around him and that hurts deeply. So I am going to pray tonight that God would put a bandaid over my heart until He puts it back together. Not just my heart, but my entire family's. We all miss him.
My friend Corie sent part of this passage to me yesterday.
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It is a beautiful invitation from God to allow him to carry the heavy load. All we have to do is give it to Him.