Friday, July 31, 2009

grandma and grandpa iowa

My parents came down last week for a nice long visit. It was so great having them both here. My mom has come several times in the last couple of years, but it was the first time my dad had been here in over 2 years. It was great fun having them both around and watching them interact with Micah and Beatrix. My mom can sit for hours and play with Micah. It is truly amazing! They played play dough one morning for almost 3 hours! Needless to say, he really misses her. Dad cuddled with Beatrix and Micah and really relaxed and got caught up on some much needed rest.

Yes, my mom brought some Iowa sweet corn to her uprooted baby! It was delicious!

Too cute!
A bunny from Grandpa. Bea giggled and giggled.

Story time with grandpa before bed. [Like my new chairs? I got them for only $20 a piece!!! just a fun little side note]
Look what Bea can do.
Monday we drove to Sea World in Orlando. It was great fun!
Enjoying the shows!
Dinner at Perkin's after Sea World.
Superman Ice Cream at the Pier. This was the bluest ice cream I have ever seen in my life. The funnier part 2 of the story is that the next day it came out just as blue as it went in. Micah yelled from the bathroom, "mommy, come quick and look at my blue poopies!" I found it hilarious, Matt not so much.
The best family picture we could get. Sorry mom
This is a picture I will treasure for the rest of my life....

Beatrix fell asleep in my dad's arms the morning he had to fly back home.
Beatrix helping Grandma with dishes.
[ Me looking tired, but happy] Thank you mom and dad for coming for such a nice long visit. It was wonderful and was super hard to let you go back to Iowa. We love and miss you both!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

something is brewing...

and i can feel it stirring inside of me. something is on the horizon. a way of thinking, or being or doing... i am not quite sure what it is, but it is there churning around inside of me. i am looking forward to sharing it with you soon. at least the beginings of these mullings. i am piecing it together slowly, but surely and it is tough.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

sunrise over the beach

today is the last day of our week of rememberance. i have struggled through this anniversary more than in those past and i think i have nailed down why, finally. i haven't really had any sort of tradition or way of really thinking about him. until this year. matt came up with the idea, after boxing class, that he should write a liturgy for our son. a liturgy, for those of you who are not familiar with this part of a church service, is "a communal response to the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication, or repentance. Ritualization may be associated with life events such as birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. It thus forms the basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy." --wikipedia

it was a relief to realize that there was in fact a way to name what it was i felt i was missing...that was having a ritual. i needed some kind of ritual that i could count on every year. a week set aside to remember him, which will change, but i also realized i needed it to a have a begining and an end. something to mark it so that i could mentally turn it on and off. knowing that he was being remembered and being remembered well.

this morning we got up right before sunrise. loaded the sleepy-eyed, pajama wearing yet smiley kids into the car and headed to the beach. i felt my blood racing as i knew that there was something special about to happen. we lit a white candle for finn and then read this beautiful liturgy below that was written for us by calvin seerveld. matt did write one, but he wasn't happy with it yet. i think we should use his to start the week and end with cal's. anyway, it was a beautiful morning and just as we were giving each other communion the sun peeked over the was perfect.

for those who have followed my writings this past week....thank you for your love, prayers and comments to me. i have felt held up by you and so loved and listened to. this year was unusually tough and i needed you. so thank you.... i value your love and friendship.

blessings to you and to those who you love. tell them every day that you do.

the liturgy follows below if you would like to read it.
A Brief Service of Remembrance for our son Finnigan Scott Harrison
born July 7th 2004 and died July 10th, 2004
written by Calvin Seerveld July 12th, 2009


We have come together to remember Finnigan who was born into God's world out of our love on July 7th. God took him from us much too soon, after just three days. So we are sad, but without reproach to the LORD. We trust God knows what God is doing with our lives, and that Finnigan has redemptive meaning for us even today.


Psalm 139 (whole, including the imprecation, since early death is God's enemy!)


reader - Lord Jesus, teach us, as we remember our beloved Finnigan, to number our days so we are grateful for the breath of life which comes from your hand.
ALL - The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.
Thank you, LORD God, for letting us be sad about Finnigan in faith, since it hurts that he touched our lives so briefly and then went to be with you before he could grow up to be our child.
The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.
O Holy Spirit, please take our sorrow about missing Finnigan, and convert it into a deep love for our family and friends, for those who are healthy and for those who are sick, so we may celebrate our love for him as your child.
The LORD's steadfast love endures forever.


We ask, Lord, for your blessing on our lives, on our memories, on our trust in You, and our hope for the day when we will be reunited with our son.
We pray in Jesus'name.
Deal with us gently, O Lord, for we too are fragile. And give us good surprises that will testify of your love for us.
We pray in Jesus'name.
Thank you that we are safe in your covenanting care, and teach us to live out of faith with joy in anticipation of your coming again, to wipe away all our tears.
We pray in Jesus'name.


Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer: That I am not my own,
but belong--body and soul, in life and in death--
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26)

May the LORD God bless you.
May God keep you safe.
May the LORD God turns Gods friendly face toward you,
ánd be gracious to you.
May the LORD God give you God's smile of love,
and present you with shalom.

Doxology (all present sing)

Isaac Watts' text ,"O God, Our help in Ages Past" (1719) to William Croft tune (1708).

Friday, July 10, 2009


d-day has come and gone. all i wanted to do was disappear today.... i fear i have made a mess of it. in my quest for isolation i have done just that and i have isolated myself from the person that loves me the most. i have wounded him i fear.... it seems we have grown into a new phase of grief and that would be that we are greiving differently now. it shocks and scares me as all of these years we have handled it very similarly, up until this year. i want to be alone with it. roll around in it. sometimes ignore it for awhile and then rehash it again. lunging out in anger and ignoring the concequences of whatever may happen because of this. i feel it coming and yet do nothing to prevent the inevidable seperation that follows. i guess cause i am having a hard time feeling anything this year. i haven't really cried in 10 months. i mean racking sobs. i feel it bubbling inside of me and i am trying, flailing around in a vain attempt to get it out, to really try to get it out of me. it is bottled inside. tightly closed. words are inadequate. screams are silenced and shouting seems ridiculous! where is this anger coming from? i struggle to name it, to give it a place in which i can even begin to deal with it. he spent the day writing a liturgey to our deceased son. it is beautifully written and i trivialized it with arguments and threw a bomb into the beauty. blowing it up into a disaster area. we are seperate. and earthly seperation feels a thousand times worse then death right now. how to begin to repair it? a meager apology followed by helpless pleading for forgiveness? i hate hurting. i hate hurting someone i love. and yet in a sick and twisted way i feel something. though it is awful... at least i feel. oh, how it is misdirected though.

on this day 5 years ago, we drove home from the hospital, empty. an empty drive home through a crowded city, full of people who knew nothing of what we had just witnessed in a hospital in the middle of toronto. i wanted to scream at them. "can't you just stop what you are doing? can't you just freeze for a moment? can't you see that we have witnessed suffering? we stared at it this morning. we looked death in the eye only moments ago and you keep going on with your lives. you get on your street cars headed for who knows where and we are going home to an empty nursery. a prepared home. " i had never felt so alone in such a crowded place and yet my best friend was sitting next to me in that truck. tears running down our faces as we whispered his name....finnigan....finnigan...i just want to see finn again. and realizing right there that his name would forever be a reminder of what was to come some day....what we wanted at that moment. to see finn again.

we will see him again....i hope. i know i should write with assurance and the shame that quickly follows upon writing that last statement lets me know that my hurt may be bottled up with those few thoughts. my belief system is weak. what if i don't see him again? what if life is just a cruel joke and our son was taken, like so many well meaning christians said to us, cause God wanted him in heaven with him? obviously i have not come to terms with that part of his death. deep down in this quiet and unmentionable place inside of me there is a fear that that may never happen.... and i hope God is big enough, no i know God is big enough to meet me in this place of doubt and fear. this place that i find myself in. i don't know how it will happen. maybe my entry next year will be filled with strength and hope, and an ssurance that i will see my first born again someday.

when we found out we were pregnant in toronto i started a count down calender on our chalk board on our kitchen wall. i think the first number i wrote down was 164 days. the picture below was taken 11 days out from my due date of july 1st, which is canada day. it came and went and the numbers stopped at zero. but the hope remained. the naive hope that nothing would go wrong and that soon there would be baby cries filling our apartment. those did not come instead what followed was, well you know what followed. tears, sadness, and the plans for a funeral in michigan on the 14th of july. matt and i have never been closer then we were those few days and the months following. i am thankful for that. i long for that closeness. that feeling that we were totally 100 percent in sinc with each other. no need for words....we just felt the same. i have withdrawn into my solitude wearing it like armour. trying desperately to self protect. and with self protection comes only isolation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

a deep sigh...

a deep sigh escapes me as i look at the whiteness of this empty post. i long to express what today and the days leading up to today have felt like. i guess i will start with yesterday and work backwards and then forwards again.

i worked last night. my very good friend michelle was in labor all day yesterday, awaiting the arrival of their new little girl. i had watched her son all morning to give her some much needed resting time. while i was at their house picking up their son michelle told me that her mom was on her way from north carolina but if for some reason she didn't make it in time, did i think i would be willing to come to the hospital to help when the time came to deliver the baby? really? i asked. yes, she said that matt had a hard time with that stuff and it would really help her out. sure. i replied thinking to myself that i doubted she would go before her mom got there as she had left in the morning and was expecting to make it to west palm by 6:30. sure, i will come, i said looking at her thinking, there is no way you will need me as it is 2:30 already and that is only 4 hours from now. sure. at 5:40 i recieved a call that they were at the hospital, the baby was coming fast, michelle was too far along to get an epidural, and the daddy sounded nervous. so i left work, promising to return in an hour. but when i got to the hospital i waited outside her door wondering if i should knock or just sneak away as if i had never been there. did she really want me there? would i be interfering? i knocked...waited and the doctor poked his head out. announced to michelle that lydia was outside and i heard a weak voice say, oh it's lydia, she can come in. i walked into the room and there was my friend, looking scared and very nervous. you can do this i said. you can do this! and she did, with me right there watching, she pushed out that little baby not even 15 minutes after i got there. we both cried, i filmed her matt cutting the cord, we stared at that little baby who hadn't even been there moments before and i took a deep breath trying desperately to not faint.... life....just like that a little life was laying there on michelle's body.

today is the anniversary of finn's birth. he would be 5 today. 5 years old... 5 is when you go to school. 5 year old boys, from what i have been told, begin a love affair with star wars. 5 does not seem like a toddler any longer. he would have been 5 today. (a deep sigh) every year on this day it feels as if i am ripped back open. i feel as if i am walking around raw. raw and bumping into things. raw and numb and there is no joy associated with this day at all for me. it feels like the begining of the end instead. sometimes i think, if he would have just stayed inside of me i could have protected him. i could have kept him safe for a little while longer. but he had to come out. he was 6 days late after all. he had to be born. the memories are getting alittle bit foggy. especially this year. i tell myself i am too busy to think about it. i don't want to think about it. i don't want to hurt. i don't want to be raw. i don't want to talk about it with micah. i don't want to explain it to him. i don't want the questions that only a 3 almost 4 year old can ask and the answers that lead to more questions. i don't want to deal with it anymore. aren't i horrible? i feel horrible. i have been trying to piece the events of yesterday with the events 5 years ago. 5 years ago yesterday...i too was in labor. that is crazy. i prayed all day yesterday that she would be born on the 6th.... the 7th seems to personal. i want to claim it as mine. though until i die i am sure it will be the anniversary of micheal jackson's funeral. but you know what that is ok with me.

cause what i am learning is that life is going to keep right on going. every year the anniversary of the 7th-14th is going to look and feel just a little bit differently. micah will have more understanding of it and then we will have to explain it all again to beatrix. then it will become just a part of our year and later when they are gone from our house and it is just matt and i again, we can move around quietly if we want. stopping to whisper about the little baby who has been gone now 20, 25, 30, even 40 years. i think i keep hoping that it will feel the same every year. i need to give that up. it will never be predictable. it will never be the same.

matt was holding micah last night. telling him what tomorrow (today) would probably be like in our house. holding micah in his arms matt began, "mommy and daddy are going to be kind of sad tomorrow", he said. "why?" micah asked. "cause tomorrow is your brother finnigan's birthday." "oh, where is he?" micah asked. "finn died when he was just a baby", matt answered. "well, how did he die daddy?" "we don't really know buddy," matt continued. "the doctor's don't really know what happened to finn". micah thought to himself for awhile and then said, "like the dinosaurs?" matt looked at me and we allowed an exchange of smiles, "yeah, like the dinosaurs. but finn is in heaven." micah started to look alittle worried, "well, am i going to die?" matt looked at me again, searching for a little help. i said, "yes honey. we all die. but most people die when they are very very old. not very often do babies die." "hmmm, that IS sad mommy." micah said and with that the conversation was over for the night. these are the kind of dialogs that i know are "good" but i hate them. i find the longer finn has been gone the more i want to wrap it up and keep it my secret. my untold story. i feel like no one really understands anyway. selfish maybe, but he was real. he was a baby. he carried with him so many hopes and naive dreams.

i had a dream a few nights before finn's birthday. it was about micah. we were walking down some steps and micah had on his little red crocs. he tripped down the steps and his neck snapped. he woke up in the hospital not able to talk or walk or anything. it was a terrifying dream.... i know i am all over the place with this post and the empty white is filling up too fast now. a rapid fire of thoughts are streaming out of my fingers. i am unable to stop this purge. i am not writing this for anyone to read....i write cause i need to get it out of me. get this out!

i witnessed life yesterday. i didn't just go and see a baby already out and laying on its mother. i came in looking at a belly, seeing my friend and watching life spring from her. that is amazing! life is amazing! it is so unbelievably fragile..... i have two beautiful babies now. micah asked me today in the car if i had had 3 eggs. yes, i told him. finn was one egg, you were my second egg and beatrix was my third egg. i had three eggs.
i had three eggs.
sigh. i get to look at two of them every day, but there is one egg that was broken and when i see him again he will be whole. perfect.
happy birthday my darling finn.
mommy and daddy love you and miss you and think of you often.

"Close your eyes,
Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He's on the run and your daddy's here,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It's getting better and better,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we'll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime,
Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,
Darling" finn.

beautiful boy by john lennon. - as sung by me to my belly while i was pregnant with finn....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My kind of witty!

This morning we were all in our bed. Micah was rolling Beatrix around like they were both linebackers. Though she was grinning from ear to ear I was starting to get frustrated and alittle bit nervous cause, you know shes a baby! Anyway, he did it yet again and I said, "Good grief Micah! Quit! Your sister is going to have to be one tough cookie with you around!" Without blinking an eye Micah looked at me and said, "Well, I'm going to be one tough corn!" We all disolved into giggles. Matt muttered under his breath, "Oh no, you have your mother's humor." Admittidly, I thought it was pretty funny and it was, MY kind of witty!