Friday, November 13, 2009

Questions..

I have so many questions... almost all of them contain the word why.  Why did the Lord take Marie when she did?  Why that day?  Why did she go?  Why couldn't my girls have been together longer than 20 minuets?  Why couldn't we have taken a picture?  Why, why, why, why, why.

I know I won't get answers now, I have to wait for someday.  Then He'll tell me, or He won't.  Perhaps I'll need to know as I kneel before my Lord, perhaps I won't care anymore.  Perhaps He'll hold me while I cry in His arms, or He'll smile while I laugh for joy and cover my Marie with all the kisses I'm saving for her.  Just for her...

I will tell you that we had no idea that Marie was leaving...  She was teething, she had a bit of an ear infection.  Two year molars are rough.  She had cut one of them, the one on the lower right...  I snuggled her all day Wednesday.  She didn't feel good and wasn't sleeping well, but she was teething.  She was still smiley.  I bought her a new book, a pop up version of Princess and the Pea because she was such a trooper at the doctors that morning.  Thursday we left at 4 am after a sleepless night with Marie.  I had to check in to be induced to deliver the baby...  I sobbed when I left Rie.  I almost couldn't go, I couldn't stop crying and I could not bear to leave her.  It was the first time I had left Marie for the day for a long, long time.  Our good friends Marcus and Andrea were with her... they texted me a picture of her smiling later that morning. 

That afternoon my wonderful friend Christy came to be with Marie.  She was the perfect one to be there.  She loved Marie so much, she still does... She kissed, cuddled, played, read stories, loved all over Marie just as I would have.  I can't tell you the peace I have knowing Christy was there.

Princess Marie was surrounded that day by people who loved her.

Luke went home late afternoon, to get the girls.  He called to say Marie was really tired, she hadn't napped all day.  He was going to lay down with her, try to get her to sleep, then bring her to the hospital later.  I was stuck therewith a brand new Sarah, it was so hard for me not to run home...

She wouldn't sleep.  He told me over the phone that he didn't think she was doing very well... He brought Josie and Marie to the hospital to meet Sarah.  Our family doctor was there.  He looked her over, had no suggestions.  Teething is rough, particularly for Marie.  We had 20 minuets of being together, being a five family on earth.  I held Marie the entire time, I fed her butterscotch pudding.  It was precious... I will remember it for the rest of my life.

Luke took the girls home, he bathed them, he loved them.  He put Marie right next to him in our big bed, her favorite place... finally, she fell asleep.  We prayed that night, that Marie would have peaceful, healing sleep.  That she would wake refreshed.  Some time in the early morning she flew...

Our prayers were answered.  She slept peacefully, she was healed.  She woke in Jesus' arms refreshed and perfect.  I know that.  I just didn't expect our prayers to be answered in that way...

Why?  I have my theories... Only He knows...  I try to pray for peace rather than asking questions... I try to be grateful rather than sad...  I try.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail miserably.

We did not get much chance to celebrate Sarah's birth.  We were too busy, to overwhelmed, to broken hearted... we snuggled and loved on Sarah, but there were no blissful first weeks.  I am sometimes angry that time was robbed from us... we celebrate Sarah now.

There are some things that have been mentioned to me and I feel the need to set them straight.  I don't know who reads here, if it makes a difference, but I need to put it in writing for me.  Because I want everyone to know...

I do not believe that the pain of Marie's passing was lessened in any way by the arrival of Sarah.  If timing had been different we would have been just as upset, just as broken hearted.  Sarah's being here had/has nothing to do with Marie's being gone.  They are two different people.  One does not replace the other.  I love Sarah as much as my heart can, but she is not Marie and I miss Marie.  I miss everything about her.

I do not believe that God called Marie when He did because we could not have handled three children.  I would have had a lot to do, it would have been a lot of work but I was prepared.  I was ready, I was excited.  I do not think that it would have made a difference to any of my children's care.  Marie's needs were great, but she also had a lot to give.  It is the worst part for me, not getting to see her be big sister.  She would have been great at it.

I do not think that my ability to mother my girls is in any way compromised by my grieving and grieving hard.  It would be worse to act as though it was okay.  Someone told me not long after Marie passed that I needed to be strong for Josie and Sarah, to pick up the pieces, one foot in front of another and soldier on.  There is no soldiering on through this.  I hug my babies and we cry together.  There is no being tough or sucking it up.  This is like nothing else and I pray that no one reading this must endure it.  Unfortunately this is a broken and sinful world so it happens.  Babies die...  Perhaps my words will help someone.  If nothing else, perhaps they will help others to appreciate their children.

Why today?  Why am I spilling these words, telling this part of the story?  I don't know.  I had to get it out, write it down, set it free.

We never saw Marie as anything less that perfect.  To us, she was not a sick or disabled child.  She was beautiful, she was funny, she was naughty, she was adored.  We chose not to live as though she were dying, we chose to LIVE...  and I think she benefited from that.  She was just a kid, a kid who had a terrible disease but that disease was not who she was.  She fought it hard and it did not defeat her, God just stepped in and healed her in the only way He could... because He loves her so much. 

Our world is shattered but we are rebuilding.  I am dreading the holidays.  I am upset that the world goes on and I know it must...  I hate getting used to Marie being gone.  I am sad for Josie in her loss, I hate that Sarah will grow to know Marie through pictures and stories and not by her being around.  What can I do?  It's my life, it is the way it is.  We have to make the best of it, move forward and all of that.  It is not easy.  It is not fun.  It is so painful...

Still life does go on.  Sarah smiles and coo's.  Josie reads words.  Cooper the super dog ran around with a chunk of cement in his mouth this morning and made me laugh.  I watch movies, I read books.  I try new recipes, I try...  Life is still beautiful, but it is hard...

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13 comments:

Shasta Jones said...

Thinking of you EVERY DAY!!!
Fellow mom of a mito ANGEL!!
Riley's mom
Shasta.

Colleen said...

I also think of you often! (((hugs)))

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Oh Shan ... thank you for having the strength to share with us Marie's last days. I don't think I will ever eat butterscotch pudding again without thinking of your beautiful Angel.

(wiping away tears)

Anonymous said...

thinking, praying, hoping, for all of you...

Violet said...

Oh, I don't understand why people make speculations, and say hurtful things. I don't know if it's just because they have never experience and cannot fathom loss, or if they have not allowed compassion and empathy to cultivate from their loss.

Sometimes being strong for your girls means being strong enough to show them your pain, to let them know grieving is a normal process. Your teaching them that when they hurt, it's ok not to bottle it up or hide it. If/when Josie or Sarah Kate ever experience hurt, loss, grief, they will have a Mama who they feel comfortable sharing the heartache with, because Mama shared hers with them. That is a gift.

Thank you for sharing those precious last few days of Marie's life. I think anyone reading your blog through the last several months/years, anyone following your story, those of us who loved Marie and all your girls through the blog word, have wondered WHY God chose the time he chose... but we aren't meant to know that. I find myself thankful Marie didn't suffer. She was so beautiful, and precious. Her Summer months were so happy, and full. You had said winter/illness would have been hard for her. I'm so glad you, your husband, us, didn't have to hold our breath wondering if Marie would have caught that nasty H1N1.... or some other bug. When I was reading a blog about a sweet boy who passed on last week of Mito and struggled, I thanked God he whisked Marie away snuggled with her Daddy at home. As heart wrenching as it all is... it's also sort of a beautiful story. She smiled on her last day. She DID meet her sister. You all got to be a five family, without the foreknowledge or fret of that 5 family looking different in just hours.

I'm praying for you all.

The VW's said...

This life's questions are so mind boggling! I have so many unanswered questions, that only God can answer. Of course, none of my questions are as heart-wrenching as yours!

WHY?!.....I think that many who read your blog have wondered some of the very thoughts that you just expressed here. I wish that I could help you to answer these questions and I wish that you weren't even having to find answers to these questions to begin with!

I pray that you can feel comfort from the knowledge that there is a perfect purpose in all of this. I'm sure that this does bring you comfort at times, but then there are many more times that you just want Marie here with you and that is all that could possibly comfort you!

All that you are feeling must be so difficult on you! I wish that I had words that could erase your pain. I could say, "Marie went peacefully and without suffering.", or some other thing like this, but they would just be that.....words. Words can not take away your pain or your questions, and I am truly sorry for this!

I think of you and pray for you often! I pray that God shows you His grace, strength, peace and hope that only He can provide. Take care of yourself and know that you are thought of often! HUGS!!!!!

Val said...

There will never be a word, advice or opinions that will console the darkness in your heart right now. Nor my sister's. The pain is wrenching- I feel it too. The only thing I can say is that certain people will be bonded for life. When you get to Heaven...you won't even greet God first..(sorry if this sounds UNchristian) it will be Marie. You will bust down those gates and find her. Her smell, her touch, her laughter...she will be there waiting Shannon...but with PEACE.

You have a role as a mother...of 2 here and one in Heaven. You will "soldier" through it, but not without breakdowns...screaming..and doubts. I tell my sister to be normal...to cry, get mad, anything that is natural. She asks me on a very consistant basis...how can I be strong? For Shannon? For Aidyn? For Josie? How? I tell her, you have to be realistic and feel what is perfectly natural. You will with time- years- decades -heal. BUT..I know that you will be able to help so many others that will someday go through what you are dealing with now. You will have already felt all of the emotions and will be able to help with your words of wisdom another mom that is ready to hate the world.

I am glad to have read your writing today...actually wondering when it would be written. I hope to someday see you...hug you and thank you for being YOU. Your family has taught me so much.....you are unbelieveably wonderful Shannon. I really, honestly mean and feel that....as if you were my own sister. There is not one day that I don't think of you and your family....

Melinda said...

I wish I had something profound to offer but all I can say is that my heart aches for you and Luke and Josie and Sarah too. I cannot imagine the void you feel. I'm praying for you all!

Nena said...

Dear Shan. Thank you for sharing. Your beautiful words made me cry tears that have been stuck for a while and now I feel a smidge better. I am grateful for your sweet Marie and her amazing mama. Thank you. Sending you peace and light, Nena

Maijken from Oregon said...

I don't have anything deep and meaningful to say. I sit here with tears streaming down my face for a sweet little girl that I never even knew. I check for updates everyday, to see how you're doing and how you're coping. And I know you're doing the best that you can.
Thank you for writing here, and sharing your grief with all of us. I followed your little girl's story for a long time. And my heart wishes I could just hug you.
I miss Marie too, and I never even met her. But I knew her through your words and pictures. I felt like I KNEW her. I just sobbed the day I read that she had passed. Most likely for the pain I knew you and your family were feeling. And I still cry now for you and your little family. I think of you all often.

Anonymous said...

i have been a reader of your blog for a couple of years now. while i have no idea the depth of pain of losing a child, i too experienced a loss shortly after my 3rd child's birth this past september. my husband of almost 6 years, my partner for over 11, left me 3 weeks after my son was born, and it feels like a death. and people tell me to soldier on for the kids, to be strong, but it is so very hard and i break down often. but i know it's not nearly the same as what you're going through...just wanted to tell you in some miniscule way i understand. and i am so glad you have such a loving husband to help you through your tough times ahead. God bless your family.

Betty said...

Shannon my heart goes out to you, Luke and your beautiful girls. I can not, in any way understand what you all are going through. I've never had a loss so great,even when My Mom passed on...it's not the same as a child. I read your words....scattered with pain, disappointment but mostly love, and it helps me to be a better person, a better Mom. Thank you for that Shannon. You truly are a wonderful person and I'm lucky to count you as a friend. I pray that God will watch over you.

Cinnamon*Sticks Boutique said...

HI Shan,

Can you send me an e-mail?
jewelrybycanela@yahoo.com
Hugs
Canela