Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Four Quartets

What we call the beginning
is often the end.
And to make our ends
is to make a beginning
The end is where we start from.
~ T. S. Eliot

We're planning a party to commemorate the anniversary of the day Liam was born. His birthday. I've pulled out a book, Still to be Born which has an order form in the back for birth announcements for subsequent children, as well as invitations to a first birthday party. I'll admit it, I'm using their text as a guide for the invitation we're designing. Might be out and out plagiarism, but somehow I think the authors would understand. They're not out to make money, they just want to give people someplace to go to order these sorts of things. Cause I'll tell you, the internet has a lot of things, but I haven't found anything for this (yet). As I was flipping through the book, I found this T.S. Eliot quote and remembered how much I enjoyed Four Quartets. I'm going to have to find it somewhere and re-read it. Mr. Eliot quotes Julian of Norwich in the same poem:

All shall be well 
and all manner of thing shall be well.

Julian's version was a bit longer.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

And she said that God told her that. What comforting words! Even the rhythm is soothing. To think that God gave her such amazing revelation... I think that those are words every bereft parent needs to hear. Maybe not in the first week, or the first month. But with almost a year under my belt, I can hear those words and the truth rings through. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part Two

I realized today that yesterday's post was somewhat incomplete, and I sort of stopped mid-thought. So, where was I?

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. The truth is, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with my plan, how I'd like my life to work out. It's just that God's plan is better. He sees my whole life, and to Him there are good and probably manifold reasons why it was not in His plan for us to have a baby this past January. Someday, when I get to heaven, I'll get my answers, and all of the pain and frustration will be gone. Does that make me feel better today? A little. Do I spend my days skipping around like a little ray of sunshine? Uh, no. But I haven't lost hope. Even when it feels like it will be forever until I get the answers I seek, I know that the answers exist and that whatever God holds for the Rooster and me is infinitely better than what I can imagine. In the mean time, I hope that I can find a way to reach others who have been through the pain I've been through, ways to do good in honor of Liam. Every good deed I do because of him is a brick in what I hope will be the grand castle of his legacy. It's a way to take all of my frustrated energy, all the effort I ought to be putting into motherhood, and giving it another outlet.

Life is not always simple, easy, or clear, but God is always there to catch me when it feels like everything is falling apart.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm dealing with a couple of situations in my life right now where I just have to wait and see what happens. Waiting is not my strong suit. If I have to wait for something, I distract myself. When I wait in line, I play Angry Birds on my phone or check Facebook. When I wait for a doctor, I read or knit. When I wait for documents to print at work, I do other work. Waiting at traffic lights makes me crazy. I rarely just sit and wait for anything. So when the timing of an event is out of my control, I don't know what to do.

Losing Liam has taught me that pretty much everything is out of my control, and that's not a fun realization to make. I used to think that I knew how my life would go. I did well in high school and participated in plenty of activities so I could get into a good college with a scholarship. I studied hard (and had lots of fun) and graduated college with honors. I met a wonderful man and after an appropriate length of time we got engaged. We got married, we bought a house, we got a dog. And after a reasonable amount of time, we decided to have a baby. For me, through all of that, I knew I wanted to be a mom. It was in the back of my mind all through college: what kind of job can I get so that I can be at home with my kids as much as possible? When I married my Rooster, I thought the right thing to do would be to wait several years to enjoy being young and somewhat free before we started having kids, even though I didn't want to wait that long. It was the right thing to do. I am so sick of doing the right thing.
 All of my life leading up to that horrifying moment in the hospital was planned. It all worked the way I expected it to work. I was a good person, I loved God, and I lived my life the right way, so God would bless me. I never had to work that hard for anything, and I didn't see why that should change. It's not as if I didn't work hard in school. I did, it just wasn't difficult for me. Being good wasn't difficult either. I don't know why, I'm just wired that way. I'm not saying I'm perfect, far from it. I'm just saying the most rebellious thing I've ever done is get my belly button pierced, and when I called my mom to tell her I was going, she said she thought it would be really cute (I was a bit disappointed). I've totally run off on a tangent, but the point is that my life has been pretty easy. This is the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me, and I pray it's the most difficult thing that ever will happen to me. I can't imagine anything much worse than burying your child.
Now I know how true the saying is, "Man plans, God laughs." I know what the plan would be if I was in charge. I can't see any flaws in the plan, even when I'm at my most objective. The things I want are good things, but there's nothing I can do to make those things happen in my timing. I used to believe that God would give me good things because I was a good person. Now I know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.