today finally came. it's done. all over. our year of firsts is finished. and can i say......thank you, Lord for this year. i NEVER thought that i could get to this side of losing a child and say thank you.....thank you, Lord for getting us through it. thank you all for praying us through this past year. we especially felt them today. i awoke with a peace that washed through the secret parts of me.....a peace that passed understanding. i think that our "tidal wave of grief" came over us this passed weekend and we're just now re-surfacing and seeing the sun shine again.
a dear friend of mine emailed me last week encouraging me to see myself as moses. remember the story.....moses needed to keep his arms raised in order for the israelites to win the battle and he began to get very tired, exhausted, and i'm sure....wanting to give up. then along came his family and friends telling him that they'd hold his arms up for him when he couldn't any longer. you all have been that to us - holding our arms up....encouraging us to keep going - and for that we will be eternally grateful. it's such a beautiful picture of people loving people enough to go through a storm with each other....just to help them get through. we've heard many of you tell us that you mourn with us for seth. you miss seth just as we do. you laugh at the memories you have of him. i'm not sure if any of you will EVER understand what it means to us when you tell us that....it's like you are trying to keep him alive as much as we are....again, eternally grateful.
i know how awkward it is at times for you all when you see me, greg, or the kids....'do we ask them how they're doing?' 'maybe it'll just be too hard for them to hear seth's name' ' we don't want to say anything wrong'. we understand those feelings and worries....we've been there too. please, let me just say....i LOVE hearing seth's name. i LOVE hearing that you still think about him. i LOVE when you say that you're still thinking and praying for us. like abby just told me yesterday "mom, i don't mind them bringing up seth...sometimes i'm going to be sad and sometimes i'm going to be ok." out of a 10 year old's mouth! so please, never stop reminding us how much you're missing our boy.....because we're all in the same boat on that storm.
greg shared with me his devotion that he had the other day.....it was just for us, as if God was speaking directly to our hurting hearts. "Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks? through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. (fellowship with Jesus!!! - i am so honored to be in His presence!) Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God's purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. (i LOVE the next sentence - absolutely BEAUTIFUL!) He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says - "enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine (like the stars in the Heavens!!!) If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart." arise and shine, people!!! :) like the stars of the heavens! WOW!! how cool was that!!
God is so very close to us....if we just let Him in. if we just go to Him - He wants to fellowship with ME! WOW! THAT is how i can say today, on this first heaven birthday of our son.....thank you, Lord. thank you for letting us rest in Your arms. thank you for holding us so close and telling us that we WILL get through this. peace. one that passes ALL understanding.
today was a good day. greg stayed home, kids all decided to go to school (even andrew!:)). we dropped off lydie and ben to marcy's house (thank you!!! thank you!!! thank you!!!) and we went out to breakfast (of course, the only place a crc couple go to - russ') and sat for hours talking. just us. no interruptions. just me and my hero. we then left and did our civic duty and voted. and then went to the cemetary. can i suggest to anyone the most beautiful place in the fall is georgetown's cemetary. absolutely breathtaking. it was such a gorgeous day - thank you, Lord for that! we sat at seth's stone and talked about bringing him home from russia, about how he could WHINE - oh, how that child could WHINE!. we talked about what we miss most about him, about how each of the kids are doing, and how amazing God has helped us through this year.
then i got to go get some pampering. greg had scheduled a facial and pedicure for me and my dear, dear friend. i was so pampered (anyone wanting/needing to get pampered - MGB in grandville is THE place to do it!!) i felt so relaxed. it was wonderful. we then picked up the kids from school and took them to ihop - yes, ihop. it was one of seth's favorite restaurants. half way through the meal we realized that we should have ordered a platter full of sausages!!! seth LOVED, LOVED, LOVED sausages....it was quite strange - he even wrote about them!!! boys!
we were going to take the ones who wanted to go to the cemetary there, but we ran out of sunlight, so we'll do that tomorrow. all in all ..... a very sweet, tender day.
last year at this time, when we had to finally say goodbye to seth, the wonderful nurses in the PICU gave us our 'seth bracelets'. one for each of us. we all wore them. wore them until they wore out - and then we restrung them again and again. so for today and greg's bday (on thursday - say happy bday if you see him!! :)) i got us both more permanent matching seth bracelets (picture uptop again - UGH!!!) when we got home i went and cut off my other seth bracelet. i kissed it 3 times like i always do (i would ask seth for a kiss, he'd give me one. i'd ask for another one, he'd reluctantly give me one. and then i'd ask for a 3rd to which i'd get a 'muuuuuummmmm', but he'd always comply. i'd tell him that i had to get 3 kisses from him to make up for the first 5 years when i didn't have him!). so i kissed my seth bracelet 3 times and then cut it off. it was HUGE for me. it sounds so strange....for pete's sake it's just a bracelet! but it felt as if i was looking ahead to a new chapter. never giving up on the previous ones... NEVER, EVER forgetting them, just going ahead with the new ones. it felt good. it felt as if God was telling me....he's still alive, he's just with Me for now. so happy heaven birthday, seffers....i can't wait to see you blow out your candles - TOGETHER someday.