October 1. The beginning of a new month, the beginning of my new life. I can't believe it has been a week today since I have buried my baby. Time is a measurement that I can't wrap my brain around. It feels like it has been months....maybe years since that has happened.
Rod and I escaped last week not just for my birthday, but for a refresher course on what it is like to be a "normal" married couple. We parked ourselves in the Great Smokey Mountains and had time to grasp onto the reality that Viv was gone, but that together, we will always keep her close to our heart and miss her, but we will get through. While we were having Old Time Photos taken of us, Rod said, "People would never know our baby just died the way we are....do you think thats bad?" Not at all! We are so blessed to be so healthy!
I would be lying if I said I was excited to come home. Although we experienced all the Smokies offered, there was a part of me that never wanted to leave. In all honesty, I was scared to come home to my new reality....this reality that was my greatest fear. Facing the new reality was a new thing for me. My whole life when things got uncomfortable or I didn't like what was going on, or I wanted something new and exciting I would run. I would run away from pain, the grief the hardness of whatever the situation was to mask those realities with something new...something that was unknown...a new adventure. This time, that isn't an option. I had to come back. I had to open the door of my apartment and see the empty stroller, the empty high chair, the empty room--all these things that when I had opened them or set them up I saw Vivi in them; and now she never will be.
I bit back tears most of the ride home. That was silly--I knew as soon as I walked in the door the flood gates would open... and they did. I am not sad my baby died--she is in Heaven seeign God's face like no one on this earth ever will. My insides are just empty. I hurt, and I miss her. I am readjusting to a life I never though I would see again....one I thought I would so badly miss but it sucks.
Being home, I have my moments...I will be having them forever. I will always miss Viv, I will always wonder what my life on this earth what would be like with her in it longer. The funny thing is, I can't detour around this mountain. I have to climb up the path marked for me. Amazingly enough, I am being given a strength I never knew I had because I would never take the climb. Now that I am doing it, as terrible as this is going to sound, it is kinda exciting. Rod has been so wonderfully supportive and wants for me to take my time getting back on my feet. I want to go back to work, to get back in the world, but I need to create order here at home. I need to unpack, pack things up, reorganize. I need to finish putting our family pictures up...the most important of those being Vivi's.
I had someone ask me what the hardest thing is for me in this new phase of my life. Bluntly, the hardest thing is thinking about having another baby. Knowing where Vivi is...knowing that my job as a parent is to return my child back to God in Heaven, knowing that Viv was too easy and she is experiencing God so perfectly...I hate to think about jeopardizing that for another child. It won't be a clean path back to God and the God each of them will see isn't the same as Vivian....and I hate that. Yet at the same time, I am a mom from here until eternity, so I can't imagine my life without having other babies. God's timing is perfect...God's blessings are what we need...God knows.
Today's first reading comes from Job. In 1:21, after all that is important to Job is taken away from him he responds to it saying, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord" . The Lord has given me the great gift of Vivian to share with this world and perhaps more importantly, to change my heart. And as we all know, her sweet soul was too good for this earth. But for the time she was here, and maybe even moreso since she has gone to heaven, she has only given us on the earth the opportunities to show our goodness. For all of that, how can I not proclaim, "blessed be the name of the Lord"!