Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rossford Park Bench

Summer is when things finally slow down for us and since I don't have to be at work at 7 in the morning I normally walk and/or run in the mornings before anyone else wakes up.  I have learned that it is good for the soul.  It is necessary this time of year especially as I walk towards Charlie's birthday and then angel day.

This morning after my walk I made my way to Rossford Park.  I have been running several miles there each morning, breaking to sit on Charlie's bench after each mile.  This morning a sweet man walked by and said, "Good morning."  His dog slowed him down and as I talked to his dog he stopped and then said, "It is a beautiful morning, isn't it?"  I agreed and then our conversation continued.  I can't remember exactly what we were talking about but at some point I explained why he would see me on this bench all summer long most mornings.

There are so many times I don't let people into this part of my heart.  So many people that ask me
"How many kids do you have?" and I answer "...just two." But some people make grieving people feel safe.  Without even knowing it they seem to have this quiet spirit about them that lets you know it is ok to say your child's name.  Apparently this gentleman this morning was one of those people.  I explained a bit more about Charlie's story and then he continued on his walk and I ran an additional mile.

We both finished our walk/run around the same time and as I walked towards the hill to go home we crossed paths one last time.  He reached out and said, "Can I ask you something?"  I responded with, "Of course!" And he continued to ask if he could pray with me.  I have no idea if my heart was heavy and hanging out of my chest or what made him stop me but if that was not the Holy Spirit telling him to stop me and pray for me I don't know what is.  It was the kindest most special prayer and from someone that I don't even know but who lives just up the street from us.

I will cherish that moment for a long time and I'll remain thankful that this morning was a moment I was able to say Charlie's name to a perfect stranger.            

Monday, June 5, 2017

Family Day at Coney Island

Today was the perfect family Coney Day.  The twins and I headed over early for swim lessons while John helped his brother at the new house for just a bit.  I'll start off by saying the twins were not excited at first about their swim lessons.  I mentioned it last night and John started crying hysterically which then caused Macy to start moaning also.  In hindsight, we were all tired and it may not have been the most ideal time to mention it started the next day.  But when John came down this morning he came and grabbed my leg and said, "Momma, I am excited about swim lessons after all.  I was just nervous and sleepy last night." And yes, he said those words exactly.  He really gets it when he's tired.

So we packed up the car and made our way to Coney Island.  We arrived just in time for lessons and they grabbed their towel and headed over without any coaxing from me.  It was like riding a bike.  They remembered exactly what to do and just like routine habit they did it.  The first day for them in swim lessons is always a bit of a get to know you/Can you swim at all? kind of day.  Their teachers learned quickly they are not afraid of the water and if they let them they would have gone to the deep end alone.  So they have begun and will continue through the entire month of June.

John arrived just after we ate lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the twins in the pool.  They went down the slide, played ball, jumped off the "island", and got ice cream treats.  Their dad is way cooler than I will ever be!  They loved every second.  Once we finished up at the pool we rode several rides before returning home to rest for the afternoon.  They are wiped out but it was well worth it for our family day full of memories at Coney Island.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fear No Evil

Today is June 4th.  It wasn't a special day or a memorable day for me but I saw a picture today that took me by surprise and helped me remember exactly where I was three years ago.  I am sure it was posted on Facebook for the many families whose children are in the picture but for me I noticed something completely different. My son Charlie was in that picture.  I was pregnant with Charlie.

I have very few pictures of myself pregnant with Charlie.  I suppose the usual "having two other children keeping us busy" is our excuse for the limited pictures, so when I see myself pregnant I always assume it's with the twins.  I realized quickly when I saw this particular picture there is no way it could have been with the twins because the timing is all wrong.  My water broke on the second day of school with the twins and this picture is on awards day towards the end of the school year.

It is amazing to me that Charlie was completely healthy, completely safe, and completely perfect in my belly.  And the fear that surrounds me so often now, didn't exist when I had Charlie safe in my belly.  Satan let me relish in the perfection that seemed to surround us before Charlie until he was finally able to blindside us.  I still feel him close.  I can still tell in my darkest moments and my hardest days that Satan is a powerful force, a force to be reckoned with and I have come to trust the Lord in those moments and ask for him to take Satan away from me.  

As I look at this picture now I get to think about how amazing our reunion will be in heaven.  I can't wait to see his sweet chubby face again and hold his sweet chubby hands.  Hope is an amazing thing and while the truth I have found in Psalm 23 is powerful, fear is still also a real thing.  He leads me beside still waters and I will fear no evil.  I am clinging desperately to this truth and longing for my Shepherd to come near me this evening.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Your Father Remembers"

Sunday, Mother's Day, has come and gone.  It always seems to be this inflated holiday that never quite lives up to all the hype that surrounds it.  I have learned to tame the hype in my head.  I have learned that life does not always bring a big party for Mother's Day or any day for that matter.  The real problem I have now is not that I want a big party or have any high expectation for my husband or kids, rather I have this desire for everyone to remember and recognize that I am missing Charlie.  After all, he is one of my babies.  He is my third baby.  He is one of the reasons I am a mom; the reason I get to celebrate Mother's day in such a special and unique way.    

So this weekend I had one sweet dear friend from college write me a quick note on Facebook that said, "...missing Charlie with you."  My heart burst open and I was suddenly overwhelmed by that note.  My heart was happy and my head was full of memories of my boy that were released when I knew someone missed him with me.  I told her thank you for thinking of him and I briefly explained that some days I feel like I am the only one that remembers him.  In as simple a response as she sent the first time she said, "...your Father will never forget."  It was then that I stopped and brought it all before my Heavenly Father and said, "Remember with me God."

It was another Mother's Day without one of my babies but I was happy to remember all the memories I have of him with my Heavenly Father.  I was happy to get time with someone that knows the deepest, darkest parts of my heart.  It was the perfect end to my Mother's Day.  It was a good day.    

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