Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Holding Him, Holding Her, Holding Me

Tonight Noble fell and bumped his head on the tile. It wasn't a very bad bonk. He kept his head up enough to cushion the blow. But it scared him and he wanted his mom to hold him afterward. So I picked him up and after his initial cries he settled down. But he still just wanted me to hold him. I was ever so happy to oblige. 

I sat on our green rocking chair. Someone had taken Noble's clothes off after dinner so he was only wearing a diaper. I sat rocking on the chair with him sitting in my lap facing me. He laid his head down on my chest and I sat with my arms around him rocking his little body.

He is so white. His skin is like my husbands. There is no "olive undertone" there. It is just as fair as can be. I laid my cheek down on his soft hair. He was totally still except I could feel him breathing.

And I was taken back to holding her, that last time, when she stopped breathing in my arms. She was the same size and felt the same weight. Her skin was so white and soft against mine. And she was totally still. And I felt the last breaths go out of her.

Noble has been so healing for me in so many ways. But there are moments like this when he takes me back to another time and another child and my heart lives again some other life that was. Perhaps there is healing in the reliving as well. Perhaps we must learn to sip from the cup of our bitter memories to truly say we have become accustomed to their taste in our mouth. Or perhaps it is tasting them again that helps us see how far we have come.

I looked at the pictures my sister-in-law Elizabeth took in that moment when I last held her. It was so like my moment today only so filled with pain and sorrow instead of the sweetness and joy of today. I marveled as I looked at myself in that image. How did I do that? How am I still here? How did I ever let anyone take her out of my arms? How did I get up and use my legs again?

People talk about miracles where loved ones are healed and the sick are made well. Looking at that picture tonight I could see that there was a miracle happening in that room and in that very frame. I had prayed so hard for a miracle for her but the Lord intended to show His miracle by helping me. How else could I have kept breathing when she stopped? And how else could I be where I am today - feeling whole and peaceful and hopeful and joyful despite my bitter cup. Yes there was a miracle happening. But it has taken time to see and realize that all the while He has been holding Me.

33 comments:

Panni said...

I can not imagine your pain but I admire your strength. This post is so touching and I am sure He will always be comforting you.

Chelsa said...

i understand what you're saying. i feel this way as well sometimes. heartbroken and peaceful all at the same time.

LL said...

I LOVED this post!
How incredibly strong you are to recognize the miracle there.
You amaze me, I love reading your thoughts and hearing about your sweet family.
Thank you for sharing this!

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Beautiful. You are so very wise Stephanie, your words so inspiring. I am learning so much from you about faith. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts.

Heather H said...

Simply beautiful....

e said...

I could write a very long talk about how you and camille have increased my faith ten fold (did you watch stellie's talk?).

Thank you for sharing and building us all up yet again.

It was fabulous being together on sunday. I love you!

Kami Beck said...

I have no words for you beautiful post . . . just, I love you!

Melanie said...

Wow... tears fell freely as I read this post. I've never met you before, but I love reading your blog. You are so strong and inspirational, and have changed my life for the better. Thank you for being such an amazing woman, and sharing that strength with strangers. I've prayed for you on several occasions, and just finished another. I hope you can continue to feel the loving arms of our Heavenly Father wrapped around you.

The Robinson's said...

That was beautiful!

Thank you!

Andrea said...

Beautiful post stephanie!

Kate said...

What a profound view of the miracles around us each day. Truly.

Judy said...

Such a beautiful post! You are simply amazing - I can't even imagine how hard those moments were, I know Heavenly Father has the whole greater picture in his view, but sometimes it is so hard in those moments for us to remember or comprehend! I think he does leave those feelings and pictures in our minds so that we do remember and so we can see how far we have come. He loves us and wants us to be able to look back and see where & when he has carried us! Thank you for sharing your special moments with us!

NMmom10 said...

Brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully said.

Anonymous said...

stepanie,
you are all inspiring. you sharing the process of healing has truly helped me. thank you for sharing.

Brad, Rebecca, Jacob said...

This post brings tears to my eyes. I'm glad to know that He was holding you while you were holding her. May you remember the peace and hope even during times when it would be easy not too. Thank you for reminding me how precious my own little ones are.

Larsen said...

That was so poetic. I loved it. Thank you for sharing that, Stephanie.

Michelle
Gavins Mom

chanel said...

so raw, so real, so incredible.

Angie Larkin said...

That took my breath right out of me. I am glad you have learned what you've learned. I can't imagine it. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Tears are streaming down my face as I read your post. This is the first time I've visited your blog. Wow, powerful & heartwretching. My heart goes out to you and your family...may God bless you & hold you always.

Whitney said...

I just found your blog today. I have been reading for a couple hours since putting my kids down, I started with the day you found your angel in the spa. Thank you for your testimony, it inspires me to find more faith in our Savior, our gospel, and our after life. Thank you also for the reminder to hold my babies tight and never forget to appreciate every little thing they do.

We are a part of a happy family said...

you carry the poetic genes from your mother. i love the imagery coming full circle and greater understanding with a little perspective. great lesson for all of us.

Jane said...

xoxo

Jane

Magnolia Designs said...

I can only imagine what pain you must feel, and my heart is truly broken for your experience. As I read your post, tears streamed down my face and my sweet daughter, who is only 2 months younger than Camille, asked me, "oh, what's wrong Mommy?"...as I replied, "Mommy's just really sad for another mommy who doesn't have her baby girl with her anymore", she said "I'm sorry Mommy". Thank you for sharing and helping me see clearly that I need to cherish everyday with them even more!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing beyond words!!

Kr!sty said...

WOW! Some days I come to your blog & just smile. Other days I feel like I learn. But today I just felt your heart. I LOVE when I get to read your true, raw emotion & think of how amazing you are and the gift you give to others through your blog. Thank you for letting me share your beautiful world.

Kelly said...

Stephanie, you wrote...

"Perhaps we must learn to sip from the cup of our bitter memories to truly say we have become accustomed to their taste in our mouth. Or perhaps it is tasting them again that helps us see how far we have come."

Wow. This touched me deeply. It really did. Thank you for this. It was a touching post and a wonderful way to state this bittersweet pain/pleasure mix. God Bless you.

Kelly

rebecca said...

Stephanie, this is beautiful - your thoughts are so touching.

JJB said...

This is one of your most beautiful and touching posts. What a powerful testimony! You should publish this as a devotional so that even more people can be touched and inspired by it. Thank you for sharing this with us.

russandkatie said...

that was so beautiful! you are very inspiring to me!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Stephanie,

You and Camille continue to teach me.

And I thank you both.

Leslie

Christina said...

So many goosebumps! Thank you for sharing those beautiful moments and inspiring others :)
Christina

The Jessee Journal said...

Thanks for this post. Beautifully written and expressed. My sister-in-law just lost her almost two-year-old daughter a week ago. She drowned in a swimming pool on vacation. Our world has been forever changed ... and touched. I'm grateful there are people out there willing to share their experiences ... to give hope to others.

Melissa said...

I have revisited this post. Simply by accident as I peruse my husband's old emails. Nearly 18 months since your post and nearly 4 months since his passing. While our stories are so different, I can certainly relate as I look at photos from the lunch after the funeral. How was I standing up? How did I let them close that coffin?

Thanks for your blog and sharing your story. I didn't know then how much it would impact me now.