I started this blog shortly after we had our second child Olivia with the intention of posting home design ideas. As you can see by my measly 2 posts prior to this one, life as mommy to a 3 year old and a newborn interfered with that plan. Only now, after loosing our 9 month old baby girl to SIDS, do I know to be THANKFUL that I didn't have the time to blog back then and that "The Best From Our Nest" would be about the most inappropriate name for my blog ever. But because it was already up and running, I am going with it. That and the fact that the bird motif has such a special meaning to me (more on that tomorrow).
Until this tragedy happened to us I never really gave that much thought to human loss. I assumed, like most people, that I would have my entire lifetime with my babies because that is the way it is SUPPOSED to be. I would often say to people who told me of tragedies, "I could never survive that." And until Olivia died I didn't think I could survive without her. But after she passed away I remember thinking-either I trust in Jesus or I don't. And it has amazed me that in the midst of my grief the Lord has met me right where I am-full of all the whys and what-ifs-and comforted me and revealed himself to me more than I ever thought possible. I used to pray that the Lord would give me a hunger for His word like I knew I should have. Since Olivia went home to be with Jesus I have devoured the bible like never before because I want to personally know the man who is holding my baby girl in heaven. I have to KNOW that I believe what the bible says-not just THINK I do. But after I realized that it has taken something as life shattering as the loss of a child to crave God's word I have shouted out to God--"No! Not this way! This is not what I meant. It wasn't worth loosing my baby girl over. Couldn't you have taught me to love you completely some other way?" The answer of course is yes, He could have. But the fact I have to live with is that He didn't and I may never understand why. But I have a choice to make. I can either wallow in self-pity and despair or choose to try to have some happy moments and look for the good that is coming from this and not the bad. That is easier said than done. I am still in the pit of despair and often think I will always be. This doesn't seem like something I will ever get through and so often it feels like a betrayal to Olivia if I laugh or smile or forget that she's not here for just a second. But the truth is that I know that Livy would want me to be happy and I want her to be proud of her mommy when I see her again in heaven one day. I want to learn to live again for Olivia and Parrish. It would be so easy to just throw in the towel-but I want Parrish to look back on this dark time one day and be grateful that we didn't give up. That we fought hard against Satan's thoughts and lies and refused to let him win. I also want to ask you to please continue to pray for our family. Sometimes it seems as if the more time that passes, the harder it gets without Olivia. We so desperately want to have something to be hopeful for in the new year. So far though, we have only rec'd more bad news. Parrish is going to have to have surgery on his foot (most likely this spring). He was born with a bone deformity that was at first thought to be just a slight curve or turning in of his foot because of the way he was positioned in the womb. After a year of wearing corrective shoes at night without success, the doctor started monitoring his feet with x rays every six month. Apparently, bones do not appear in x rays until children are older so there was no way until 6 months ago to tell if there was a deformity or not. Unfortunately, a deformity was discovered and Parrish was diagnosed with "skew foot." Although this minor deformity does not currently hinder him from running, jumping and playing, the older he has gotten the more he has complained of pain in his foot and finding a shoe that will correctly and comfortably fit him has been a challenge which will only continue to get worse as his bones grow and stiffen. This condition will eventually require surgery in which he will be in a full leg cast and wheelchair and have to go under anesthesia three different times for cast changes over the course of about 10 weeks. About a month after Olivia passed on November 6, 2010 we had a previously scheduled 6 month check-up for Parrish. Every other time we had gone the doctor had said Parrish's bones were too small for the surgery and there was no rush. So of course, when we went back in for this check-up we were hoping and expecting to hear the same. But wouldn't you just know it? After reviewing Parrish's xrays, he suggested that we do the surgery as soon as possible and absolutely no later than September or he may have to do more in surgery to correct the damage. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Why do the hits just keep on coming? I could barely breathe as we told the doctor of our recent loss and tried to figure out what we were going to do. The thought of putting my son under only months after loosing my daughter was too much. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Why do we have to make this decision now? The fact is, we still don't know what we are going to do. We know he needs the surgery, but we don't want him to have to have it now. We are scared something is going to go wrong one of the 3 times he has to be under anesthesia and we are scared that with our mental state we are not going to be able to do all that is going to be required to care for him after the surgery. It is going to take a lot of emotional and physical strength to nurse him back to health. Somehow we are supposed to keep him on the couch and not moving for the 2 weeks immediately following the surgery. Friends and family who know Parrish and his spunky, energetic self know that this is not going to be an easy feat. Also, we have no guest room on the main floor and I can't carry him up and down the stairs, so we are going to have to prepare a makeshift bedroom for him on the first floor. Just thinking about all the challenges and decisions that we are being faced with exhausts me. My reason for sharing all of this is to ask for your prayers. We need God's wisdom in making the decision about when to have the surgery and what to do afterward. We need friends to faithfully ask that God grant that Parrish will come through this with flying colors and that all of our worries will have been for nothing. I listened to a bible study on grief by Kelly Buck of Briarwood Pres Church yesterday and she quoted Sittser, who wrote the book, "A Grace Disguised." In his book he writes of the "terror of randomness" and how out of control we would feel if we believed everything was the result of random acts and how freeing it is to know that God is ultimately in control over everything and is working to knit together a far bigger and better plan than we can ever imagine (Jeremiah 29:11), so much so that when it is finally revealed to us we will be able to look back on our darkest hours and laugh. I can't imagine ever being able to do that. But in God, I have the hope that one day I will. Because on that day I will be standing with my baby girl in the presence of Jesus and all will be right in the world.