Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just doing the next thing

Apology beforehand of the rambling state of this post. Sometimes I just have to type and let it be whether it's good, makes sense or not.

It feels really awful not writing here on a regular basis. Just further evidence that Hannah is no longer with us. She's been gone 5 months now. We still miss her terribly. Not a day goes by that I do not shed some tears at the thought of not having her with me. I just miss her beyond belief. She was the light in our lives. A light that is irreplaceable. We'll never experience that light again in this lifetime. It's incredibly sad and immensely painful.

I don't know how other parents who have lost children feel but I know that everything feels strange for me. I've never been an angry person and for the last month I've really been dealing with some anger. I cannot even begin to describe what it is like to watch your family, friends, neighbors, and the world go on with life as it was before when your life has been so painfully altered. It's just the strangest feeling. I certainly don't blame everyone for going on with life, and I realize I have to somehow go on too, however, just the fact that I have to do it without Hannah is infuriating sometimes. I'd have to say that right now it's infuriating a lot of the time. My heart LONGS for her beautiful face and the sound of her voice. There are times when I'd sell my soul if I could have one more day with her. The whole experience is just indescibable. It's merciless almost.

Don't worry about my soul(I would never sell it!) ;) I talk to God and listen to Him regularly. I KNOW God is at work in all of this. My faith is intact. I can tell you this...God does not take the pain away. He does not ease it. He does help me tolerate it. I'm sure that really messed with some of your theology but it's the truth. I will never get over losing Hannah. It will never not hurt. I will however by the grace of God learn to live with it, and my hope is that I can learn to live well despite the constant pain in my heart.

I believe I will have a great life. I'll have an enjoyable life. I'll strive to use my experiences with Hannah and her loss to help other people. I know God has a plan and I'm trying to really let life happen. Whatever that might be. I did a one day workshop about a year ago. Billie had just passed away and I really thought that what I had learned that day applied to life without her. I had no idea I'd be living a life without Hannah nearly a year later. One of the phrases used in this workshop was "just do the next thing". I am a pro at attempting to figure out life. You'd think by now I'd learn that things just don't happen the way I think they are supposed to. My plans never pan out. I do know that when I "just do the next thing" life is so much more pleasant. It's flowing and freeing. I've been doing a lot more of "just doing the next thing" lately and it's working for me. I cannot live beyond the day right now. Actually I can't live beyond the moment. I love to read scripture in several bibles when I do my Bible study time. Matthew 6:34in The Message translation reads, "34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." He does help me. He's there every time I call. He doesn't rescue me from my pain but he sure makes it bearable. Thank you Lord for your constant care and please give my angel a big kiss on the forehead for me tonight!

God bless all and please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Hannah's home

So, we're in our Arlington home pretty much and we're loving it. We are really enjoying the house even though it is full of boxes and nothing is in place. The move was exhausting and hard but it's done and I'm thanking God for all He has provided.

Hannah lived in three homes with us in Hillsboro. The last one was the longest. 5 years. The night before we started moving I cried and decided we weren't going to move. I was serious too. It was late at night, everyone was in bed, and I was going to announce to David that next morning I had changed my mind. Regardless of being out lots of money, etc. I wasn't leaving my girl. I then went and sat in the floor of Hannah's room with all it's boxes and empty shelves and prayed and cried. It's sad to say but I pray more now than I ever did before. Don't get me wrong, I prayed regularly before, however my prayers have changed and I honestly feel like I have a friend I can go to when no one else can help me or hear me. It's an amazing feeling. As I sat there talking to my friend I felt a peace and calm descend on me. I've felt that so many times in the past nearly 5 months. God spoke quietness to my anxious heart. He reminded me that Hannah wasn't in that house anymore. Her stuff was there but she was being well cared for in a place where she feels no pain. She is free from all her earthly limitations. She is surrounded by family and friends that have gone before her and they are enjoying her immensely. When it's my time I'll see her again. I came in crying and asking for help because I didn't think I could make it and left feeling encouraged and peaceful about it all. I do not know how people survive the loss of a child without a faith to sustain them. It's got to be horrible.

So, we packed everything up that was left to pack and we started our move. Moves are insanity anyway but this one was beyond that. We have way too much stuff. The move was hard but went well I think. I cried a few times when I found something of Hannah's hidden in and under things. When everything was gone I did a final walk through and I was surprised at what I felt. I had prepared myself for feeling another great loss. I didn't feel that at all. I hated the house we were in. I was thankful for it but didn't like it. I thought I'd feel like I was abandoning Hannah. Nope, didn't feel that. I realized once again that she isn't here. What I moved was her things and things that I will cherish but they aren't her. What I did was do something for me, for our family, in making this move. We were all affected by the constant reminding of our great loss. Hannah was known and loved deeply by everyone that knew her. That was most of Hillsboro. Everyday in that house day in and day out without her was a constant reminder of the fact that I had lost her. I couldn't cook, do dishes, go shopping, go to church, or anything without feeling my loss. That loss is so painful that I can't feel it constantly. I won't survive it if I do. I will never forget my girl and I will never stop missing her, but we needed this change to learn to live life without her. It's the hardest part of losing something as precious as your child. Learning how to Continue living life without them.

Hannah loved living. I don't know how she did it. She'd be in the hospital and they'd be doing things that I know were painful and uncomfortable. Sometimes she'd cry a little and sometimes she wouldn't cry at all. She always smiled though. Even when she was ticked and aggrevated, she smiled. She was just incredible that way. She loved life. It's the one constant comfort I have. My Hannah was a happy girl.

So far moving has been a good thing. I have had back and neck pain for years, and severe headaches constantly. It was all tension related. I felt like I had to be on alert all the time. That Hannah's life depended on me being available to her should she need me. Even since Hannah's passing that "alertness" has not left me. I still walk around ready for a seizure to strike. I really didn't know that changing houses would help that but it has. I have felt some tension release and it feels pretty good. Not blaming Hannah for my tension. Like I said, I'd gladly do it all again if given the chance. I won't be given that chance though so I'm happy that my body can get some relief.

We're going to miss our Hillsboro friends so much. Wish we could have moved them all with us. Other than that though we are LOVING being here so far. This house was an answer to a long time prayer and we are so thankful for it!

Please keep us in your prayers. We thank you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Hannah

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday DEAR Hannah, Happy Birthday to you!

I love my Hannah, She loves me too, I love my Hannah, in everything we do! (((Big hugs and lots of kisses)))

I thought I knew heartache but no heartache compares to the one I feel not having you with me today. You would have been 9. We would have had so much fun and you would of had us laughing because you'd be singing happy birthday to Zachary even though it was your birthday. I'd try fruitlessly to get you to sing Happy birthday Hannah and we'd all finally just let you sing what you wanted and enjoy our quirky corny girl.

None of that was to be this year. I tried to celebrate. Thought it would be the "right" thing to do. I'm glad we did what we did but to say it helped would be dishonest. As I stood there looking at your grave all decked out in spongebob nothing made sense and it all seemed so unfair. You were so good and brave. You fought hard and I fought right with you. It's so hard for me not to feel like I let you down. Like I didn't research enough, or get you to the right doctors quick enough, or did I miss something the night you had the seizure and could I have intervened more quickly. I just feel so defeated sometimes. I miss you so much. I struggle to find meaning in life anymore. I find it but it's a struggle.

I was excited for you. You came alive this year and you were doing so well. You had friends, you were learning, you were interacting and communicating. I had so much fun with you. Things were turning around for us after a rough couple years it seemed, and in the midst of all the celebration and renewed hope we were feeling, you left us. I didn't see that coming. None of us did. Our lives were altered forever.

One thing I do know without a were loved deeply. You were loved by people I did not even know. When I think about how much you were loved, I do feel there is one thing I did right, and that was to share you. I'm so glad I let the world know you. You did more for people than your mom ever shall Hannah. You fought with a dignity and strength beyond your years. I'm so very proud to have been your mommy. You were the best little girl a mom could have ever wanted. I hope you knew how much I loved and admired you.

I hope your birthday is celebrated in heaven. I hope they have spongebob there and that all the friends you've made were able to come celebrate with you. I know y'all probably celebrate often. I imagine heaven is one grand celebration. Still I hope this day was extra special and that you got to see the balloons we sent your way. Happy Birthday sweetheart. You are missed beyond words. All my love, Mommy

Pictures from the day in no particular order.