Friday, October 2, 2015

I miss that little person...


Today, I overheard this conversation upstairs between Cayden and her little friend.

“The baby is dead! And it’s all your fault! We need to go to the real doctor STAT!”

The two girls were playing doctor and unfortunately, Cayden’s friend had taken too long to retrieve the life-saving pretend syringe.

Death is an experienced reality in my 4-year-old’s life.

Cayden Elizabeth Ann was named after my good friend and mentor, Beth, who died two months before Cayden was born. Beth’s parents have become like grandparents to my girls, and we often talk about how Beth is in heaven now.

Death came up again when my mom’s dog died.
Then it was the flowers.
Spiders die when she squishes them.
Simba’s dad died.
And baby brother died before she ever got to meet him.

Sometimes when I am chatting with some stranger at Les Schwab about how old my kids are and such, Cayden will matter-of-factly pipe in, “You had another baby too, but he died.” Like I forgot. Like this woman next to me needs to know that information to complete my story.

The thing is, that woman does need to know.
Because the story of my children is incomplete without a mention of Hunter.
But it’s an awkward thing to say.

It catches people off guard.
It catches me off guard.
And it makes me vulnerable.

In an instant, I have to decide how I want to present this sad reality of my life.
I want to be able to share my darkness along with my Light.

I lost a child.
But I have gained so much in that loss.
I have gained strength from a God who also lost His child.
I have learned a whole new level of compassion.
I have experienced how precious life is.

I have held a little tiny human in the palm of my hand.
He wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t alive, but he was a person.

And I miss that little person.

I remember when my friend Beth died, her mom told me that she couldn’t make it through the songs at church (especially the hymns) without crying.

I get that now.

I can’t even make it dry-eyed down the road with K-LOVE playing because there’s always a song with the perfect lyrics for my soul.

The best part is when I’m quietly trying to keep it together up front, and the chorus comes around and my sweet 4-year-old starts belting out, “I WILL CAST MY CARES ON YOU!”

Yes.

And the words from Finding Favour pour through my soul.

“This war's not what I would've chosen
But You see the future no one knows yet

“And there's still good when I can't
See the working of Your hands
You're holding it all

“I will cast my cares on You
You're the anchor of my hope
The only one who's in control
I will cast my cares on You
I'll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul.”

I was supposed to be 8 months pregnant right now.
I was supposed to be able to say, “I’m having a baby next month!”
But sometimes bad things happen.

Sometimes cancer takes our children.
Sometimes bullets take our children.
And sometimes we don’t know what took our children.

What we don’t want is for the world to forget our children.
Because we never will.

It’s ok to ask me about my son.
He was a gift to be shared.