Thursday, July 12, 2012

waking to life

the anniversary has come and gone and i have laid in bed thinking about writing the events for the last two nights. really, off and on through out this last weekend i have had beginnings of posts partially written in my mind. but as is the case whenever there is a baby in the house around the time of finn's week of remembrance i really don't have time to sit. to think. to be alone. to write. thus it falls to late nights, 1:30 in the morning to be exact, as the time in which i can record my thoughts. sporadic though they may be. 

last thursday night matt and i had a heated argument, err...discussion. i am sure it was because we both were feeling the imminence of the anniversary, but we both refused to acknowledge that the vehemence for our defense was due to this fact. so thursday night we had a discussion about boys, primarily their roll in a house that has a majority of females. micah has been asking for a pet for a couple of years now. namely, a pet snake. i have been loudly opposed to the notion of having a reptile in our home. we were debating the snake and matt stopped mid-argument to ask me if this was in fact the real issue. i had to admit that it wasn't. it had bothered me that a couple of days before micah had made the comment while we were at a friend's house that he was the only boy in our family. he was lamenting that he would never have a brother. when i admitted to matt that this comment from him had stuck with me, matt asked me why. i told him, through tears, because he had a brother. never mind the ridiculously long discussion that could take place debating whether or not micah would even exist if finn hadn't of died, but i was just stuck on the fact that he did have a brother and i was sad for micah that he will never have that. after we talked about that some more matt said something that i hope i never forget, he told me that i needed to create a space for micah in our mostly female home. one that he felt comfortable in to be a boy. all boy. even if that means having some things in our home that i wouldn't normally enjoy. i went to bed that night thinking about what he said for a long time.  

when i woke up the next morning i knew exactly how i wanted to spend finn's birthday this year. carving out a space for the son who lives and breaths in our home. it may sound strange. in fact i had a really hard time verbalizing to matt why i wanted to do this, but i knew deep down that i needed to do it for me. for us. friday i spent the morning getting paint and finding fabric. i had already asked micah what color he wanted to paint his room a few months earlier and he had described, in detail, how he wanted it to look. he really wanted a sun some where on the wall too. friday evening i found myself alone with micah and i told him that finn's birthday was the next day, he nodded and i went on to say that if mommy and daddy seemed sad that was why and that he could ask us anything if he had any questions. he hugged me and went on his way.

saturday morning, we woke to sunshine. matt gave me a kiss and a hug. we didn't need to say anything more.  later that morning we started stripping micah's room and matt started painting it. 





we found having a project to do on his birthday helpful. matt especially enjoyed the time to think and remember while he was doing something. i always find his birthday and the week following difficult when there is a baby in the house. i find myself wanting to sneak away, disappear during those few days. most years, i want to curl up in a ball with my journal and the few pictures we have of those days and re-live it all. but, when i don't have time to do that it feels long ago. this year especially felt like that. he would have been 8 this year. eight. i feel like it should be longer, like it happened a lifetime ago. like it happened to two totally different people. 
that lydia doesn't exist any more. 
sunday while everyone was napping i worked on the sun and listened to song after song with words that talked about love. God's love. God's love for me. it was good and hard...and sad and good. occasionally while i was painting i would get a flash. a flash back to what i had been doing at that exact moment 8 years previously. i thought about it during church earlier that morning too as the tears made a steady stream down my face. i remembered the day before he died and exactly what i had been doing. we were at the hospital early. i had been up most of the night writing in his baby book. i wanted to record his birth story. i knew that i needed to do it. don't ask me why. i just knew. i wrote in it as if i was writing it to him some day in the future. i wrote it like he would read it to his wife or his kids. ...later that day we got the results from his ekg. they told us he had no viable brain waves and i lost it. i mean i blanked out. i sobbed on the floor of that hospital and finally when i was spent i curled up into a little ball and my mom held my head in her lap and i guess i laid there for two hours.... while i was sitting in church last sunday morning, i looked around our church. our pastor had said that it had been a hard week for our church family. there had been several deaths...and i knew he was thinking of matt and i too. i started to wonder where the people were who loved those that had just died. i knew the daughter of one of the ladies was sitting just in front of me. i wondered why she wasn't sobbing. then i started to wonder what would the church do if i started to wail. wail like i did in that hospital 8 years previous. wail like i kind of wanted to do at that moment. what would they do? i mean really? sometimes, i think church is a little too clean. a little too put together.... 
but, i guess that is a tangent for another day. 

so sunday, i worked on micah's sun. 
it was healing. it was helpful. it was hard. 
thankfully everyone slept until i was finished. 
micah loved his new room. i love it too. i walk by it everyday and grin. it makes me happy. i will always remember the weekend we did it. 

we lit his candle on the seventh. the eighth. the ninth. and the tenth. 
it's good to remember. even if every year remembering looks different. 
this year i didn't have alot of time to think about it all on my own. but someday i will.
someday i will have nothing but time to think about it. 
but this year....this year we woke up to a bed full of life. i mean overflowing with life.
monday, the morning of the tenth, we woke to all the kids in our bed. 
...and once again i got a flash of that morning 8 years ago. the morning matt and i woke to death. we had been told he would only hang on for an hour or two. but he fought all night and around 6 when we were all exhausted, we fell asleep and when we woke two hours later, he was gone. we woke up to death. 
this year, on the 8th anniversary, we woke up to life. and i was struck with the strangeness of time. the difference 8 years makes on pain. how different i am 8 years later. how different matt is. i wrote "waking to life" on the wall of our bathroom. i don't want to forget it. i don't want to take it for granted. every day we wake up to life is a gift. a gift. and waking up to death taught me this. 

6 comments:

Andrea said...

Thank you for being so raw and vulnerable, Lydia. I agree that church can be a place of masks instead of true community at times. Quite sad. Sending a hug across miles.

Ashlea said...

His room looks incredibly awesome! What a great way to remember. Love you all tenderly and dearly and was sending some prayers up for you to feel warmed by God's love. Hope to see you soon and give you a huge "I don't do hugs" Ashlea hug! :)

Lisa said...

Amazing post Lydia ;). Everything. We love you guys ... Thanks for taking the time to share those few days with us. I LOVE micahs room ;)

Nicole said...

thanks for sharing.. been thinking about you and the fam. xo.

marcy said...

That was tearfully beautiful (as aways) Lydia! We love you guys!!

Jenn Neufeld said...

Lovely post, Lydia. Thinking of you all.