Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thoughts...

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Grief is a crazy thing -- sound familiar?  I think you are going to be hearing this phrase a lot for a while.  I'm learning that grief is a long process, one that cannot be understood and a process that changes almost daily.  Just as I think I've got things figured out in my mind and heart I seem to be thrusted into a new stage of the process.  I guess it's kinda like parenting -- once we think we have our children figured out they change and all the tricks we once used no longer work.


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Just today I was at the gym and thinking about life.  I was thinking about how at that moment our past reality was hard for me to even claim -- did that all really happen?  That's kinda what I was feeling.  I started to feel very numb, almost a little guilty that my heart wasn't overwhelmed with sadness and loss.  I was just kinda there -- not overly happy and not sad -- just kinda there.


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When we pulled into our driveway Madison and I took a little time to clean out our van, as she tends to use it as her own personal garbage can and like her little brother rips everything to shreds leaving a nice mess of little tiny papers behind.   We were about to get out of the van when I reached underneath the seat and pulled out an old used medical mask that my little boy once wore.  I held it to my nose trying to get any scent of what was once my little fighter -- it was gone.

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My heart and soul have been churning ever since.  I was once again pushed right back into the reality that was once ours, our sick little boy -- but more importantly our amazing child who defied the odds, who had a smile that could melt the coldest of heart and the sweet spirit only God could give.  Gosh -- grief sucks.  But as I have said before I welcome it in the same way I first welcomed my little boy into my arms -- it reminds me what I miss so much, it reminds me of special bond that only a mother can son can have, it reminds me that like his birth -- out of my pain can come the most beautiful of gifts.  

24 comments:

Jessica said...

"out of pain...a beautiful gift"
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm weeping at your reaction to the mask...to smell it. For a small hint of him.
Your story deeply touches me. Every time I read I cuddle my little ones closer. When they overwhelm me and I find the waves of loneliness and fatigue too much to bear, your story gives me hope.
Praying for your family. Thanking God for Gavin...and the story he has given you to share.
Keep writing. Keep speaking.
hugs.

Shari said...

I have tears for you today. The mask...under the seat. I can only imagine the flood of emotions and feelings. Your story brings me hope that I can get through this grief our family is experiencing. Grief....but on a whole different level. Thank you for your honesty.

Brayden'smom said...

I'm sitting with my little boy in my lap, crying for your little boy. He has touched so many people. He was and always will be a wonderful, inspirational boy. Please continue to share your story with us. Many of us learn so many things from you.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your story for some time now and it has touch my life in an amazing way. I was reading another family's blog today and ran across this message and I thought I would share it with you. I hope you find it as encouraging as I did.
“Hope and despair are not opposites. They are cut from the very same cloth, made from the very same material, shaped from the very same circumstances. Most of all, every life finds itself forced to choose one from the other, one day at a time, one circumstance after another. The only difference between the two is that despair shapes an attitude of mind; hope creates a quality of soul. Despair colors the way we look at things, makes us suspicious of the future, makes us negative about the present. Hope, on the other hand, takes life on its own terms, knows that whatever happens God lives in it, and expects that, whatever its twists and turns, it will ultimately yield its good to those who live it well. When tragedy strikes, when trouble comes, when life disappoints us, we stand at the crossroads beween hope and despair, torn and hurting. Despair cements us in the present; hope sends us dancing around dark corners trusting in a tomorrow we cannot see. Despair says that there is no place to go but here. Hope says that God is waiting for us someplace else. Begin again.”

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to see his smile again. You have such wonderful pictures.

all4boys said...

Love and prayers for you, sweet friend. Only God can keep you going~my prayers are with you.

Christina Egner said...

{{love & prayers}}

Cammie Heflin said...

Wow, shedding tears right now. You are so amazing, I truly enjoy reading your story and I am amazed by your strength. Keep telling your feelings they are so honest and true.

jocalyn said...

Tears are pouring out of my eyes too.

Like many others, I'd like to thank you for sharing your story. You are so inspirational and help put things into perspective for me!

Your beautiful family remains in my prayers daily.

gilda said...

With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes I read your blog today.I felt your loss as you wrote the about the mask you found and tried to find that smell of your baby boy. My heart just felt so sad, I love seeing those pictures of Gavin and those beautiful blue eyes. Like always we are thinking of you and praying still.

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

My heart hurts for you -

amwz photography said...

you are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Karen,
I, too, have tears for you today. Your story reminds me of my own. My daughter departed us 10 years ago in February. She was only 4 months old. Though the process of grief never really goes away, it does soften over the years. Your story today brought about a new round of emotions for me that I thought had long passed. It proves that you will never forget how you feel right now. There will be several days and then weeks and even months that will go by and you won't think of your sadness, and then just like today, a memory will bring it all back in an instance. I really believe it is Gods way of keeping us connected forever to those we have loved and lost. Sometimes I feel I am forgetting my dear Micayla, but then one tiny thing will bring me her smell, her warmth, her cry, and then I feel that grief all over again, but it keeps me alive to continue to have these feelings. It let's me know that she will always be with me until we meet again. Your Gavin has etched a place in my heart. I refer to him as one of my "kiddos". I feel as though I could walk into your life and pick up a conversation as if we had known each other for years. Please keep writing and sharing. You touch so many and we would be lost if you ever decide to not do this anymore. My prayers are with you and it will get easier.

All my love,
Jessica Davis
jessicadavis2009@live.com

britta said...

Grief does suck...

I love you guys and think about you and Gavin often!

Peace be with you.

Katrina said...

Tears are flowing as I read your blog. It ceases to amaze me how you are able to put it "all" out there. Praying for you and your family everyday!

Anonymous said...

After my brother died I kept calling his cell phone so I could keep hearing his voice. Then one day, I called and his voice was no longer there because the service was finally shut off....oh the grief was overwhelming!
Karen, thank you for sharing your thoughts and especially thank you for sharing the pictures...it is so good to see Gavin's smile again!! Oh, the family reunions that will take place one day!! What a glorious hope we have in our Lord! I continue to pray for all that concerns you and your family. Be blessed and be safe in Him!! ~Debbie Heisey

JayCee said...

Beautiful smiles.....

Mark Lopa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Lopa said...

Tears seem to be the common response to this post, Karen. When I came here today I was first struck by these wonderful pictures of that great little man I have not seen before. Then I read your post and when you talked about the mask, it was like reading something out of a book that someone could only make up. But this was real. I wish you could have caught a scent of Gavin. That would make this post have a little Hollywood ending, but we all know sometimes it just doesn't happen that way. I guess like grief, that also sucks.

Looking at pictures of Gavin and Madi strike me as wonderful. Madi is always smiling, seeming oblivious to anything other than the fact Gavin is her little brother that she loves so much. It reminds me of a story I heard about a little boy who was born with a soft head, so he had to wear a special helmet for a period of time. He also had an older sister. They were with their mother in a grocery store and the mother ran into someone she knew. Not meaning to sound rude or cruel, he pointed to her son's helmet and said, "what's wrong with him." The little girl, who was about three years old, interrupted, was quite annoyed, and said, "there's nothing wrong with him. He's my brother!" So there! That's the kind of relationship I sense Madi had with Gavin. Just looking at pictures of the two of them, I can tell there is a special and strong relationship that transcends something as trivial as death. That bond will never be broken.

The Sutherlands said...

Those pictures are amazing!

I pray for you every day... Like I have said before, you are an amazing woman! I appreciate your story, and that you share your wonderful family with the world!

Baylee and Blair's page said...

So precious seeing their pictures together. I miss seeing his sweet little face. I can ONLY imagine the hurt you and your family go through on a daily basis. Continue to stay strong... I think it's great that you are working to help other families at the hospital!

Hugs - Tiffany

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I watched your video of your story and I was in tears for most of it...Gavin was a amazing, strong little boy...Madison is so Beautiful! I can't believe I actually remember you but why wouldn't I...I saw you once at Manderach Park with Gavin and it isn't until I heard your story I did not know how sick he was...I wish I would of known you personally...I don't know how you do it get up every day after what you have been through...I am a mother of three and pray for the strength you have....I am also a nurse at CHOP I see sick kiddos day in and day out I really don't know how you got out and about, you truly are amazing! Maybe one day we will meet in person. Your family is always in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I watched your video of your story and I was in tears for most of it...Gavin was a amazing, strong little boy...Madison is so Beautiful! I can't believe I actually remember you but why wouldn't I...I saw you once at Manderach Park with Gavin and it isn't until I heard your story I did not know how sick he was...I wish I would of known you personally...I don't know how you do it get up every day after what you have been through...I am a mother of three and pray for the strength you have....I am also a nurse at CHOP I see sick kiddos day in and day out I really don't know how you got out and about, you truly are amazing! Maybe one day we will meet in person. Your family is always in my prayers.

Becky said...

Karen, thank you so much for being so transparent-- I had tears streaming down my face reading this post and am sending some extra prayers up for you guys. You are such a beautiful mother and I am so thankful for all you have taught and reminded me.