Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our other children...

I was thinking about our other little boy today… I should give some background for this journal before I say what I was thinking…

Some time ago… gosh I can’t even remember when it was now… sometime not long after Evan was born (maybe a year?), I experienced a miscarriage. It’s interesting because I didn’t know I was pregnant until it happened, but now I know… in that moment I knew… beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was so crystal clear.

About a week prior to that, I woke up one morning and started feeling like I was missing a child. It was a strange phenomenon. I would look around the room… there was Ethan… and there was Evan… and yet it was a nagging, like someone was still missing. It was such a strong feeling that it began almost driving me crazy. Everywhere I went, I had a constant (I mean CONSTANT) feeling that someone was missing… there was someone missing from the dinner table… someone missing when we’d go out in the car… everywhere I went, someone missing, 24 hours a day. I started to get almost panicky about it. I think about times when I’ve been a store and have temporarily lost site of Ethan or Evan and that little panic that sets in… that feeling that what if I don’t find them… what if they are gone? It was that sort of feeling. Whoever it was, I missed them and wanted them to be found. So strange to try and put complex feelings into words, because when I read the words, they don’t really do a good job of conveying the feelings.

A couple of days later, something strange happened… I thought I heard a baby crying in the house… in a back room with the door closed. It was too loud to be a neighbor. But it was too soft to be really close. It sounded exactly like that… a baby in the back room with the door closed. But every time I would venture down the hallway in search of this crying, it would get faint and stop. So I’d go back to the kitchen or living room and I’d hear it again. I opened the window but it wasn’t there.

And then something even more amazing happened. I saw him. He was just a little boy. But here was there… I never did catch a full view of him, but I caught sideways glimpses of him here or there for a few days. It was as though he didn’t want to be fully seen. He just wanted me to know that he was there and I wasn’t crazy. He was there… it was his way of saying, “I can’t stay. But I want you to know that I WAS here and I care and I love you.” I wondered who this boy was and if or when I would ever get to meet him “for real”.

About a week after all of this began, I woke up one morning and just as strongly as the feelings had been there, they were gone… vanished… all of them. I no longer felt like someone was missing. I no longer heard the crying… no longer saw the little boy… no longer could feel any of it. It was all gone. And about two hours later it happened… I started bleeding… and bleeding and bleeding and bleeding… much heavier than a normal period. And in that moment I realized what was happening. I felt the spirit confirm it to me… I was pregnant and I was losing that pregnancy. And boy did it hurt… not physically… but emotionally. Oh did it hurt. I cried and cried and I just wanted that bleeding to stop. I wanted to keep that little boy and I felt crushed that he was there one moment and gone the next. I felt my world just shatter because at the time he was there, I hadn’t recognized that he was THERE… inside me… I didn’t see it. And I grieved over that for a long time and it was so painful.

But the gift was yet to come…

Eventually, the initial pain was gone and I was able to mentally move on. I had to work through a lot of feelings over it. And as I moved on with my life, I began realizing that contrary to what I had thought, he wasn’t gone at all. In fact, I had gained an amazing gift out of the experience… our own, personal family angel. My sweet little boy… he comes and he is with me when I need him the most… or when someone else does.

About a year ago, when Mike and I were going through a particularly hard trial between us and I was feeling as though I was in the depths of despair, he came to me. As I sat there, sobbing and sobbing, I suddenly realized that he was sitting with me and his presence was beyond comforting. It was as though he was saying, “It’s okay mom. I’m here and it’s going to be okay.” And indeed it was. Things were better than okay and it was an experience that brought Mike and I closer together.

One night Evan was very sick. He had a fever and was acting strangely and I didn’t really know what was going on with him. I was worried… the way a mother worries over her children. I wondered if he would be okay… I began trying very hard to listen to the spirit to tell me what I should do for him. I can remember lying on the bed in our room. Evan was asleep in the middle of the bed. It was just the two of us. He was fast asleep and very hot and I was just kissing his head and running my fingers through his hair, worrying. And in that moment, I felt him there with me… with us… my little lost boy… he was right there in my bedroom and my heart heard him say, “its okay, mom. I’m here. I’m here to look after him and it will be okay. He will be okay. You don’t need to do anything more than what you’ve done for him. Don’t worry anymore.” I am crying even as I write this. What an amazing gift to be given. So I kissed Evan and got up and walked out of the room, totally confident in knowing that his brother in the spirit world was there to sit with him and protect and watch over him. And the next time I checked in on him, his fever was gone and he was sleeping peacefully.

This past Monday night, we went and saw Daniel in the hospital. At one point, I was in the room all alone with him and I felt him again… my little boy… I felt that he was there, right over the foot of Daniel’s bed… just above his body. It was as though he was a guard at the foot of his bed, protecting him from harm. And it warmed my heart to know that he was there for his cousin.

So now that I’ve given all this background, I can move on to say what I was thinking about today.

I no longer grieve the loss of my little boy. Yes, I wish I could have cuddled him in my arms. Yes, I would have loved to have felt him nursing at my breast and smelled his wonderful newborn breath. I would have loved to have gotten to know him in the physical sense, but that was not meant to be. Further, I still have him! And he is beautiful. He is on the Lord’s errand now, but I am blessed that the Lord sees fit to share him with us on occasion. How could I not be the proudest mother on the planet? How could I want to interfere with his heavenly work? I have my own personal guardian angel and I am so proud that it is my son. He is my protector.

My memory of him has changed… because I have been able to see things for what they really were. I was too self-absorbed to see the picture clearly at the time, but my eyes have been washed and I have seen it now… the real scene… and the eternal perspective.

When I first miscarried him, it was a harrowing feeling. I imagined that he had slipped off a cliff and I was at the top, holding his hand and grasping him with everything I had in me, seeing his body dangling over the side. I could see the misty, rocky shore below and I was losing my grip on him… and then without a warning, I lost my grip and he fell… I saw him falling… and he slipped into the mists below and I could see him no more. And my heart was torn… absolutely ripped apart and I thought I would die.

But I don’t see that scenario anymore because I have been shown what really happened.

He hadn’t slipped over the edge at all… he was standing at the edge. The misty shores were below… the heavens above… we were holding hands and I didn’t want to let go. But he said, “It’s okay mama. Let go. Let me fly free… and I’ll come back… just not like this. You’ll see. Trust me. Have faith. I won’t leave you.” And so I let go… and it hurt… but he flew… up and away into the heavens to reach his full potential. And true to his word, he has returned and continues to return, just when he is needed most. How amazing. What a gift! How blessed I am! How blessed our family is! I didn’t drop him… I allowed him to go. And the feeling is immensely surreal and amazing.

As a side note… somewhere up there I believe there is a little girl as well. When Evan was just about two years old, he brought me a newborn picture of Ethan excitedly put it in my face, over and over and over again… furiously pointing to it and saying, “It’s my baby sister!” Mind you, this was before he could speak well. I remember thinking how amazing it was that he was putting all these words together when he didn’t speak well. But he kept saying it over and over. I gently corrected him, saying, “No Evan. That’s Ethan when he was a baby.” But this only frustrated him and he kept saying, “NO! NO! It’s my baby sister!” And then the spirit very, very quietly confirmed to me that he did have a sister… and I wonder if she looks like Ethan and that’s why he “recognized” her in the picture. It really warmed my heart!

Someday I pray that I will hold all of my children together… I imagine us all sitting on a couch together… the six of us… having a grand time together. Someday it will happen…

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