Sunday, November 28, 2010

Without Him...

We got our family pictures taken today. It's the first time since just after E was born... 2 years ago! Its such a bittersweet feeling when I think about pictures. Pictures are a huge part of my life... if you know me, you know that. Everywhere we go, every new event, milestone, etc. requires a picture! I am so excited to capture new memories... to "freeze" these moments with a photo.

As the same breath it is still so difficult to have "family" pictures taken knowing that ours is incomplete. I feel as though our pictures, as well as our lives will always have a void. I still stop and ask myself, "how can we take a picture together without him?" This came up this week as well as our family gathered for Thanksgiving. As we always do when were together, we piled all the grandkids together for a picture. Again, it felt so wrong... so incomplete. The only comfort I could feel that day was that my neice Zoey, was also missing from the picture as she is far away and couldn't come.

How I wish it could be different. What I wouldn't give to see these photo's 'complete'. Such a sight it would be to watch Brayden interact with all his cousins and siblings.

I had every intention to bring one of Brayden's Bears with us today and/or a pinwheel to use in the pictures as we have done before... but I forgot. We were already in the car, on the way, late. So I passed on going back.

Jake and I both wore Awareness ribbon pins as well as our BecauseofBRAYDEN bracelets. We also have our tattoo's that represent in a close way. As Jake said he's with us, all around us.

I allowed this to comfort me today as we went on with the shoot. I am so glad we will have these memories to save for years to come. Though it was so hard to be there ... without him.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chosing to be Thankful

Today, on Thanksgiving I am filled with such a mix of emotions... It is a day of celebration, a day of family, ... a day of Thanks.

I saw this sign and was both encouraged and challenged.

As we teach our children about this day, and encourage them to think of all the many blessings we have, all the many things we should be thankful for...
And its true. There is Always something to be thankful for. We are so blessed.

Yet the feelings of sadness still come over me. I find it hard as I wake up to be filled with gratitude. There are parts of me that want nothing to do with celebrating with family... when mine is still incomplete. Without him, it feels hard to be family. These kind of get togethers and affairs just don't feel the same... I don't think they ever will again.

Yet, it is a choice I must make. I want Nathaniel and Elliana to realize all the things that we should be thankful for. They need to see in me the gratitude for so much.
We are loved, we are cared for, we are together.
And today, I am reminded that I am blessed.
I will keep my head up, I will enjoy the time I am given.
I will choose to be thankful.

Still stabs like a knife...

Another day, another wave..
It creeps up out of nowhere.
Just when you least expect it... when things seem to be going "fine".

They say this is to be expected. Grief will always be coming and going like this. It's hard to know what will be the "trigger" at any given moment.

It happened in church... near the end of the service. Response time begins, and the couple in front of us slips out... to return moments later with their children. As the worship team began to sing, I could feel the welt begin in my throat.. Mom, Dad, and a friend or family member took turns holding the little blonde boy... pacifier in his mouth. Swaying back and forth, singing and smiling with the little one... clapping his hands.
Though a smile crept across my face, the knot worked its way down to my stomach.
Why does this have to bother me so much!? It's a beautiful sight to see this family praising and worshiping with their little ones.
The little boy, who appeared to be just about 17 months old--or close to it, was then handed to his father. Who proceeded to pick him up to his chest, then onto his shoulders. Holding his hands to sway and praise.. dancing to the music.

The waves of memories began. The weight of loss grew heavy like a rock. The flashbacks overtook me. As I could no longer hold the tears or bear the pain I ran out of the sanctuary.
I needed to let the tears flow in private. I hated how much this upset me. It hurts so badly and still seems so unfair.
That should be my Brayden. He should be perched up on his daddy's shoulders, on daddy's chest.. dancing away in worship. Oh, how he would light up, how he made all of us smile to see him. Those behind us expected it, the enjoyed him and would talk about his special time of worship.
Jake should be that daddy holding his son, being swayed back and forth from the weight of his boy dancing.
How desperately I miss those moments. What I wouldn't give to experience it again.
More than two years... 70 some odd services later...
It still stabs right to the heart like a knife.

I can only take a deep breath, and think about what the scene in heaven must look like. The endless worship, right at our saviour's feet. The sounds of angels, the singing, the dancing. Brayden must be the hit... in the center of it all... loving every moment.
So though it's hurts so deeply now, I will choose to look up, to look ahead... to keep taking steps forward to the future ahead.
Knowing a day, very soon.. we will be worshiping with him again.