Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Box

-7

It's been awhile.  I've actually been trying to sit down and write for some time now but for some reason my heart and mind just haven't allowed me to do it -- until now.  So many changes in our lives, all which are so exciting and are sitting stashed away in my brain for me to write about.  But for some reason my heart isn't letting my creativity flow until I get this post out -- the post which I have dreaded every year for the past four years.  

Seven years ago, my life changed.  Normal life was over.  Like for real -- everything that I knew that was safe and comfortable was about to slowly drift outside my reality.  Seven years ago my sweet Gavin was born.  

-2-3-3-3

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I remember the excitement -- I remember the fear.  I remember wanting to be so excited yet all the medical staff was preparing me for the worst.  The room was full. That sweet spirit that normally accompanies a birth just wasn't there.  But I didn't care.  I enjoyed every moment and remember the pride that filled my heart when I saw his tiny body.  

It's kinda crazy how his birth and death were so similar.  

Obviously I wasn't excited to watch my child suffer and die but at the same time, in the deepest parts of my soul I was excited to see his suffering end. 

I remember the excitement -- I remember the fear.  I remember wanting to see my baby at peace yet the medical staff prepared us for the worst.  The room was full.  The solemn spirit that normally accompanies a death just wasn't there -- there as a sense of joy that our baby was finally receiving the healing we petitioned and cried out to God for.  I remember looking at his lifeless body with pride -- he was mine and his body was a symbol of a battle well fought.

It's kinda crazy how his death and birth were so similar.

-8

Instead of celebrating his birth I now carry a box, both literally and figuratively.

This year on the day of Gavin's birth our family packed and left the house that was made for Gavin to live out his final days.  Emotionally it was a difficult day, but there just wasn't time to grieve or mourn -- we were moving and so much needed to be done.  

As I drove to the new house with a load of boxes filling our van my heart was heavy.  I spent the drive blankly staring out the window as my mind replayed the past seven years.  It was a moment of grief where my inner soul was being twisted and tormented but life was just not allowing me to have my time -- a time to cry; a time to heal.  

Then I looked over my shoulder.

There it was.  The box.  His box.  A box that holds the few physical items that represent his life.  I never open that box.  I can't and I'm not sure I ever will.  But every once in a while, while searching for things I over look the label and innocently open the top just a bit only to see his life and the pain that accompanies his death and immediately slam it shut in horror.  

I hate that box -- yet I love it so much.  

-6-5-2

I am a women who is forever changed.  I am a women who has endured the unthinkable.  I am a women who carries a box.

I guess if you really think about it we all carry a box of some sort.  It may not hold the memories of a child who has died but it most likely holds pain.  We all have that box.

After I looked over my should on the drive to the new house and saw that box, God began to speak to me in that amazing small silent voice I long to hear.  If was as if He said, Karen, I helped you pack that box and I can help you slowly unpack.  It doesn't have to be now and it doesn't have to be in ten years and maybe we will never unpack on this side of heaven, but one day we will unpack that box together.

Ugh.  

Grief sucks, but healing is possible.  

I will never forget that beautiful life.  The profound legacy He left behind leaves me speechless.  

Happy Birthday sweet boy.  






17 comments:

Kyla said...

Happy birthday, Gavi!

Becky said...

Sending hugs and prayers your way. Your strength and courage are amazing

Anonymous said...

Karen...I have been praying for you. When I don't see apostrophe for a long time I know God is working on something big for you. Peace to you on this most special day.

Julie

Nathan Duvall said...

Great post, as always Karen. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if God led you to write a book about all of this one day. So many people's lives have been changed and impacted, just by your little family's faithfulness - including ours. Love you guys and excited to see what's in store for you in the years ahead.

Nathan Duvall said...

Great post, as always Karen. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if God led you to write a book about all of this one day. So many people's lives have been changed and impacted, just by your little family's faithfulness - including ours. Love you guys and excited to see what's in store for you in the years ahead.

Laura said...

what beautiful words for a beautiful boy....

julie said...

so touching , thank you for giving me the courage to think about my box- beautifully written -

dannette said...

Your sweet boy touched so many lives and continues to as you carry on his legacy!

Lorra said...

Beautiful post Karen, Happy Birthday Gavin! God Bless the Owens Family!

Chris, Molly, and Baby said...

you write the words that are on so many peoples heart.

I have a box.

I open my box sometimes because I want to feel the pain. Because I simply want to feel because that's all that is left.

Not very often do I open the box. About once a year. I peer in, smell a few things, shut the lid and let the pain of grief wash over me. I need that pain. It's been 3 years since my June was born with SMA.

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.

Happy Birthday sweet Gavin!!

Molly

Anita @ Losing Austin said...

Knowing God can unpack it, and being ready to let Him are sometimes very separate, but He is patient.

Happy birthday sweet Gavin. I never knew you, yet you have had an impact on me. What a powerful life in short years. <3

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Gavin.
Thank you, Karen.

Sarah Thomas said...

Holding you and your sweet Gavin close in my heart. You are an amazing mother and have such honorable strength.

Sarah, Nora's mom

jessieg said...

Thank you for sharing. I think about Gavin a lot since reading your blog. You've touched my life in an unmeasurable way. I look at my 2 year old son and I pray to Gavin and that you and your family can heal. Happy Birthday Gavin. Your legacy will live forever.

Laura said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your pain in such a real way. It's sad to say, but it does bring me comfort in the things I am going through. I realize I am not the only one with a horrible, scarred, yet beautiful life. The comfort Jesus has comforted you with has comforted me. Thank you and I will continue to pray for you.

Xan said...

This was so beautiful, poignant, and heartbreaking. I have a (literal) box, too.