Monday, March 25, 2013

I wish someone could come and bear my burdens, just for a while.  I'm so exhausted.  I'm tired of smiling when I don't feel like it.  If I have a day where things are just hard I get really tired.  Grief affects a lot of aspects of  my life.  My relationships with friends or family have changed.  Some are stronger now and some relationships are just simply over.  I can't handle stress the same way.  Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  At our church some of the kids participate in a parade through the sanctuary during worship with palm branches.  I've never actually seen Noah participate, but this would have been his last year to do it.  At first I thought I should hide out because I knew it was going to be hard for me.  I decided to stay and watch.  It was hard for me to see his friends without him there.  My friend Jenn told me earlier in the week to think about Noah doing the same parade in Heaven, in front of Jesus.  I didn't think about that until later.  It would have helped.  Instead I took a little break after they left and cried in the bathroom.  Thank you to the lady who knocked on the door and told me she was praying for me, whoever you were.  Not only was I having a difficult morning because of that, but Theo was also having some issues.  He sometimes has difficulty getting a handle on his aggression and grumpiness.  Don't we all?  When we were on our way home from lunch he told me that he missed Noah and then he fell asleep.  Maybe that had something to do with his actions.  I can see the change in him and how he is dealing with his brother being gone.  That combined with his almost 3 year old behavior scares me a little.  All I can do is pray for and love him and not worry about it so much.  At least I can try not to.

All I could think about that morning was that life would just be better if Noah were here.  That's the first thing that comes to mind when anything difficult happens.  It doesn't even have to be related to Noah.  One of my fellow grieving mothers and I talked about this recently.  Grief is all-consuming.

The lyrics of the song that I sang with the choir were very fitting yesterday. "I want Jesus to walk with me. In my trials Lord, walk with me. When my whole life becomes a burden, I want Jesus to walk with me. In my sorry Lord, please walk with me. When my poor heart is almost breaking, I want Jesus to walk with me." I have this burden of not having Noah here on this earth with me.  Can Jesus bear this burden with me?  Will He help me see that this life is not all there is?  Can He help me understand that I will see Noah again in Heaven and on the New Earth and it will all be perfect?  Will He teach me that it is all about Him and not about me?

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Forever Friend

When we first moved to Oregon, Noah was pretty much my only friend. We hardly knew anyone here so Noah and I did a lot of stuff together, just the two of us. We explored a lot: beach, cheese factory, children's museum, the mall, Target, parks, etc. We even discovered our church one day just driving around. We were the best of friends. Other than the fact that he is my son, I think that time of our lives enabled us to have a close bond.

Noah loved his daddy so much. They always had a good time together, no matter what they did.

This was before our date together to see The Lion King on Broadway. 

I loved doing fun activities with him. Baking was one of my favorites. 

May 14, 2010. Theo was born. We became a family of 4. 

Haha. I love how he could just be silly at the drop of a hat. So much joy in his heart. 

Playing Legos together, a favorite activity. 

They were instant best friends.
Well, an older brother has the right to torture little brother once in a while, right?

Home Depot projects, another favorite activity. 

My boys. 

Theo wouldn't go down this slide unless big brother went with him at first. 

Trip to the zoo with some friends. Noah always loved playing with the little kids. 

Having fun with friends. 
What a silly face. He had fun playing with Dylan.
Riding the motorcycle at the amusement park with Lauren.

He LOVED having his friends over for parties. He would always ask if we could have a party and he would try to help me plan it.

I'm sorry if I left anyone out on this post. I couldn't get through more photos because I couldn't hold back the tears. 

Dear Noah, 

Hey pal. I'm so glad you were a friend to many. I know the parties and get-togethers won't be the same without you, but I'd like to think that you are with us in our hearts. It's comforting to know that you are at a great big party in Heaven. I hope that doing the things you loved to do will bring me joy. I love you so much, Noah. I'm really thankful that you are my son and that you are perfect in Heaven. I'm thankful that you are being taken care of by God. I really miss you. See you later alligator. 

Love you to the moon and back, 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear God,

I'm still here. Still aching, longing, sad, bitter, angry, lonely. I'm lonely because Noah was a big part of my world and I feel lost without him. I miss his smile, his stories, his questions, his hugs. I feel like nothing will ever be the same God. I don't understand. I do understand that your ways are higher than mine. I just want things to be different. I want life to be the way it was before Noah died. Life can't be, though. So, please God, I need your help. Hear my prayer. Give me joy. Joy that only you can give. Even though I feel all of these stupid unfair feelings of bitterness and sadness, I'm still thankful for your LOVE. I'm thankful for the JOY that comes from Theo. He makes me laugh. I'm thankful for my husband who loves me and our little family. I'm thankful for a few friends who are always there to listen to me talk about Noah and who aren't afraid to talk to me. I'm thankful for a family that supports us. I'm thankful that you have Noah and that he is safe. Please tell him that I love him. Please use his life to bring glory to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
My sweet boy. I love you. See you later alligator. 

This is from last Easter. I like how Noah is holding his brother's hand. It won't be the same this year without him.

I'm glad that I took this picture. His name in his own writing.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What If?

Sometimes I get a sudden feeling that he's just going to come back. I see a picture of him and I feel like he's just in the next room. Then I come back to reality and remember that he is not coming back. Next comes "what if?" What if God could have saved Noah? I know He has the power. What if I would have had some supernatural motherly instinct that he was going to die? What if the symptoms that he had (if any) would have made him more sick so that we would have taken him to the hospital? What if, what if, what if?!

What if Noah's life had a purpose? Since he was born my brother has told me that he knew God had great plans for Noah. Some people might say that those plans are gone because he's gone at only 5 and a half years old.  Noah brought joy to our family. He changed us forever.  Let me tell you what Noah did for me. I became a Christian in 1998. Since then, there have been two roads I have walked; one following God's direction and the other not so much. Before Noah I was on the wrong road A LOT. I didn't know how to listen to Him. When I went in to labor with Noah at 24 weeks, I prayed and prayed, and prayed some more. I learned what it meant to pray without ceasing. I've prayed for him continuously. Through that prayer I became closer to God. I also learned how to love a person more than myself. Noah gave me joy. He will always be in my heart and on my mind. I will always cherish the joy he gives me. I thank the Lord for his gift to me. 

I have been asking God for an image of Noah in Heaven. I didn't want the image of him on the morning he passed away to be what I remember most. I wrote about this last week. A few days later I had a dream. I was looking through a window and I saw Noah. I was so excited. I waved at him. He winked at me. I remember his big brown eyes. Then I blew him a kiss. To my right I saw an animal. It was an alpaca. I have no idea why that's what I saw, but it's the truth. Haha. I pointed out the alpaca to him and then I saw him run over with a bunch of other kids. There were two boys with dark hair that stood out to me, not sure why. What if this dream was an answer to my prayer? What if that is what it's really like in Heaven? 

Noah is in a perfect place. He can't come back to me, but I will meet him there someday, when it's my time. My friend Melanie sent me this scripture: 

"He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:22-23

King David is talking about his son. He said, "I will go to him." We will see Noah again, in Heaven. I was talking to Steven about Heaven the other day. He made a good point. If we didn't have to suffer in this world, and experience pain, we wouldn't understand just how great and perfect Heaven is. I can only imagine. 

Hi pal! I love you so much! Daddy and Theo love you so much, too. I saw you in a dream the other night. It was so nice to see your face again. I hope you are making lots of friends in Heaven. You are such a good friend.
(photo taken Nov. 11th, 2012)