grief and faith

Most of the time I feel pretty great. Capable, energetic, positive. And then something happens, and I feel flooded by stress, guilt, and worry.

A few minutes ago Tyler scratched my back, and it sent me into silent tears. Something about his loving touch made all those emotions that I don't feel 90% of the day come rushing to the surface. This has been happening recently, and it catches me completely off guard.

I think the impact of those eight days ( a pretty short stay, really ), first in the hospital nearby, then in Phoenix Children's Hospital's NICU, is something I haven't really processed yet. I spent the first week home just glad to be here. I think part of me, a very large part of me, was happy to pretend life would just return to normal and I could forget the whole thing never happened.

I can easily look at James in his beautiful wide eyes, and try to coax a fleeting smile from him, and feel like everything is perfect. How can it not be? I mean, he is perfect. He is perfect even though his body isn't perfect. He is a gift of joy and delight.

All that is true. Also true is that as his parent I need to be prepared, educated, and equipped to support him in living his fullest life possible. It's the same goal I have for my other children, but my part in it is different. It's different and unknown, and a large part of it I'll have to figure it out as I go.

Of course, it's okay, probably even good to feel overwhelmed and unsure at times. It helps me recognize the ways in which I need to grow and change. And the tears are good, too, I'm sure. But I don't yet exactly know why.

I do know I have had many trying, even heartbreaking experiences in my life. I have at times felt completely alone, and the only solace I could find was in prayer to my loving Father in Heaven. This last month has not been like that. Our entire family has been uplifted, supported, loved, prayed for, fasted for, encouraged, helped and fed by wonderful, generous, and thoughtful family, friends, and strangers. This means so much to us. I will always be grateful.


Real said...

Yeah. And don't forget you're still quite post-partum, too, with all the REGULAR hormonal stuff going on. I'm sure that enhances everything you're feeling.

One time I had completely misunderstood the scope of an assignment in my master's program. Everybody else had done thorough research and written it up really well. And I a kindergartener's version of the same thing. It was horrible. Luckily, I didn't have time to present mine in class that day. After class I immediately went up to the professor to tell her that I had not understood what she wanted and now that I DID understand, I just really didn't know HOW to do it anyway. Humiliatingly, I started to cry.

She was a great teacher and helped me out. She let me give a good presentation about a week later. And she told me that tears were a sign of personal growth. Over the years when I've wondered why I was crying about something, it's usually been when the task was too big for little me and I was stretching and growing in new ways to meet the challenge.

You're doing great, Mama!

Martie said...

My heart aches for you when you have those hard moments. All I can tell you is that I pray for you and know Heavenly Father is so, so mindful of you. You're doing a great job! And as much as I can, I understand.

I love you SO much.