Sunday, June 10, 2007

On the wings of an eagle

Ken and Ariel are both napping, so I figured I'd blog about the dedication while I had some time to myself. We just got home from a great lunch at Nana's following the service. My cupcakes kinda had an accident in the car, so I am glad I got a picture of them yesterday. Hehe. Happy Birthday Josee! Ok, now on to the details of the service.

Woke up feeling pretty calm about the whole thing today, maybe because I got all my crying out yesterday, either way, I was feeling good.

Arrived early for Ken to set up his class. Boy were the numbers lacking today. Apparently, it was one of those days people either slept in or had something else going on. We had 4 regulars and Mike and Jo. Usually we have about 15 to 20 max... too bad, it was a good topic. Ken was having to make due with a borrowed laptop, as he discovered late last night, the one he brought home from work (not the usual one) had no sound card. Oops. So the one he used didn't have the special feature to type in the time to which scene he wanted to go to, so he had to fast forward. But ever the trooper, he made it work for the most part and got through the class.

We had lots of family coming for the dedication today, and it was nice to have them all visit. During the worship, I ducked out with Ariel who was in need of a diaper change, and decided to sit in the back so she could play in the nursery. I knew my letter was to be read, and I didn't want all eyes staring at the back of my head, so in typical fashion, I stayed out of sight. Sometimes that shy thing comes out in a big way. Anyways, here is what I wrote.

On April 1st 2000, my life changed forever... my mom was gone... and it wasn't just a moment of change. Like dropping a stone into a still pond, the ripples of this event are still coming and affecting me. At the time, the hardest things were the firsts... first christmas without her, first missed birthday...first anniversary of her death. It all was difficult and challenging, testing my faith at every corner. In midst of this tragedy, there was still joy... was it ok to feel that joy? Would that lead to forgetting her? This was something I struggled with for a long time.

As my family changed, people moved on and yet I felt like I stood still. One of the hardest moments during that first year was my upcoming marriage. It was the little things you never think of. I had just attended a friend's bridal shower who was getting married a few months before me. I sat there smiling as I watched her and her mom get pictures taken, laughing and sharing stories of her daughter growing up... how proud she was of her. When Ken picked me up, I broke down and cried all the way home. I was angry and jealous. It wasn't fair. When the time drew near to my own shower, I was scared.... I am so thankful to the women of Cedar Park and how much love I was given. I felt like I had a room full of moms, all with stories and love. I consider these people to be family.

On my wedding day I remember waking up so happy, then remembering she wasn't there. She wouldn't see the woman I became, and she wouldn't see the commitment I was prepared to make, the same one I saw her and my dad live out, the one I grew to watch as my model. I remember the words spoken of her that day, I remember the tears shed for her. I remember how frustrated I was that it was a wedding and people were crying, and not of joy but of loss, for the one who wasn't there. It hurt. But on route to the ferry after everything was done, there sat an eagle on top of a street lamp. We stopped the car and just stared... my mom's bird... A reminder of her and wishing me well, and a sign from the Lord.

The moments when everything was still were scary ones. When my mind could wander and I would lose myself in the moments after the heart attack. The images that forever are ingrained in my mind forever. The ones that only come to me in the worst nightmares. After much prayer and tears, those are starting to fade finally.

As Ken and I prepared to welcome Ariel into our family, I faced the return of the same feelings that came with our wedding. As I walked around the maternity wing, looking into the rooms, I saw the daughters and mothers... and for a moment was overwhelmed with sadness. Another first... you think they are done after that first year, but as your family changes, so do the things you never thought of... the ones that knock you backwards. Then came the visitors from church. I had the most people come and see our new family in the entire wing. I had so many nurses comment to me how blessed I was to have such a wonderful support in my life... they were right.

Ariel is a gift I never thought I could receive... how nervous I was to take on such a role, and facing the fears in my heart. Throughout my pregnancy, I saw an eagle daily, reminding me of the presence of both my mom and my God. Now I have a new link in our chain that was broken 7 years ago. It will never be forgotten, nor will it be easier with time.... I don't understand when people say it gets easier... it doesn't. You will always be missing something, and we try to fill it with work, life and things... and in the end, that doesn't help, because there will always be that moment when things stop, and everything is still and quiet... Those moments that your heart is breaking. The only thing that fills that void and makes you able to face it, is the love of Christ. I heard a wonderful song last year called God shaped hole by Plumb, and it really struck a cord with me....

Every point of view has another angle
And every angle has its merit
But it all comes down to faith
That's the way I see it

You can say that love is not divine and
You can say that life is not eternal
"All we have is now"
But I don't believe it

Does the world seem grey with empty longing
Wearing every shade of cynical
And do you ever feel that
There is something missing?

There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only He can fill

That's my point of view

The lyrics really make me remember that He is my saving grace, and that no matter the darkness I feel like I am drowning in at times swells up, I have him to guide me to shore. Death isn't the end... I will see her again, and until then, I see her in the eyes of my daughter.

We then headed outside to unveil the temp plaque (with spelling oops, hehe) on the rock. (Did you know those things take up to six weeks to make the real ones?). Upon coming outside, Ken pointed to the sky, as an eagle was soaring high above the church. Sometimes life is too awesome for words. What an illustration of what my letter said. Wow. We sang 'on the wings of an eagle', which was a favorite of my mom's. Ken got a little snipet of video during that, I am glad he did, its very special to have.

I had lots of people come up and hug me, and told me how touched they were with my sharing, and that meant a lot to me. I told Linda that this was one of those 'unclutter my life' moments. As you may remember, my new years resolution was to unclutter my life, and not just in my home, but in my heart. I got out so much emotion and publicly sharing it felt really good. When mom died 7 years ago, I hid. I never got to really say good bye, or share something at her funeral... I always regretted it, but today I did what I was longing to do and it feels like the end of a chapter. Like I said, its never going to be easier, it just changes as I grow... thats my point of view.


missmarble said...

That post should have come with a disclaimer - grab kleenex before reading. I still have tears. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. ((hugs))

kelly said...

beautiful letter - thanks for sharing it here too.
nice that Ken could get some video - and Ariel looks so precious in it.

Dynamitedianne said...

That really was a beautiful letter, Janet. Thanks so much for sharing the raw truth with us. **hugs!**

I want to see you when I'm out there in July!

Kristie said...

That was beautiful, Jay. I also still have tears. I'm sure your mother was very proud of you today.

Brian & Amy said...

thanks for taking the time to look at my blog. After reading a little of yours I see that we can truly understand a little of each other's pain.

I too am thankful that I have my faith in the Lord to get me through this time. I don't see how others can face loss on their own.
I have to say the Lord's grace is the only thing that sustained me this year as I have dealt with the loss of my daughter, my mom and my dad.

if you ever need a place to vent where you know that you will not be judged please find my e-mail on my blog.

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