Monday, February 24, 2014

The Sun Flooded In

I woke up that morning and had realized that I just had the best night's sleep in 5 months. February 23 was a day that is forever etched in my mind. I mean, of course, the 22nd is the day my son died and I will never forget it, as long as I live. I will forever remember the last breath he took, when I had to give him up, leave him there. I will always remember that, but I will remember the next day because, as it might sound really cold, there was a spirit of relief in my heart that I had not felt since September 24. From the day Noah was born, I could not get to sleep at night, I could not sleep deeply, I could not wake up without immediately calling the NICU or CVICU. I could not leave the hospital without making sure I had a full charge or a charger with me, just in case they called, just in case something went wrong and I had to rush back. I didn't leave often, away from the campus of the hospital, but when I did I was on egg shells. When I would force myself to go sleep in the room at the RMH, I would stay up just laying there, sometimes reading, sometimes deep in journaling and the occasional netflix binge on my laptop. I  just couldn't sleep. My husband was 6 hours away, as was my baby girl, my son was in critical condition, always, and I could not rest. I could not relax. My body and mind were in a constant battle with my heart. I trusted the Lord, sometimes it was harder than others and often I had to force myself to really hold tight to the TRUTH, but I could not actually release myself into deep sleep or comfort. There was always too much to be aware of. But, that morning, it was different. For the first time in 5 months I slept. I really slept. We didn't set an alarm that night, once we got back to our room from leaving the hospital. We just went to bed and wept awhile. We held each other and both of us slept the best we had in months. I remember waking up and the sun was pouring into the room. We had just checked into that room earlier in the week and I had been sleeping up in the CVICU since Noah was so critical. I hadn't realized the morning sun was so heavy in that room, but that morning it welcomed me and hugged me tight. It was like the Lord saying, "good morning dear, I'm still in control". Don't get me wrong, there was this heaviness in my heart that my son was truly dead and nothing I could do would change that. Out of habit I picked up my phone and realized that I didn't need to call. Noah was fine. I showered and got ready for the day, we packed up our jeep, made one last stop by the CVICU for a memento we made of Noah's hand and then we said goodbye. We stopped by the Starbucks, walked passed the dining hall and walked out the doors to the parking garage. 5 months. done. For 5 months I lived there, I was rooted there. I never really left there and then all of a sudden it was all over. I keep the last parking garage ticket in my Bible as a bookmark. It is like a little altar that every time I see it I thank God for that season. I also thank him for that day we left the hospital, because even though it didn't end like I wanted it to, God was still answering my prayers. I was coming home. I was coming back to my husband and daughter, my family, my church, my own bed. There were things that I had prayed for since we left home that God was giving me back and I realized that. I needed to be reminded, especially in the heartbreak of leaving my son "behind" that I was headed towards good things. I knew life wouldn't be the same as when I left. I knew that our home would be comfy and inviting, but as soon as I walked in, I knew I WAS DIFFERENT. I felt that I didn't belong, that I wasn't needed there. Nick had done such an amazing job at raising our girl, keeping our home and making life keep going here that I longed to be back at that hospital. Yet, I  knew the way God worked it all out, would be ok, someday. I would probably never understand it, but I would learn to accept it. As I sit here, in this home, Ava is sleeping soundly in her bed after a full day of snuggles, giggles, outings and "the good life". Nick doesn't travel every Friday-Sunday. He doesn't have to be a single dad nor does he have to sacrifice being with his son to keep a job and stay committed to it to provide for our home. We are able to go to the park together, minister at church again, be involved, soak up the times in life like dance parties in the living room, watching Ava pretend to be a ballerina on the "stage", to sit at the dinner table together, to laugh until our sides hurt. These things make life good again. They lessen the sting of the loss and fill it with healing. There will never be a time when I don't miss my son, but I can tell you that after one year of him being gone and earnestly seeking God and his goodness, He has not let me down. I am learning and growing, changing and I guess you could say, getting to know myself. After such a life changing event, one has to stop a minute (months) and re-evaluate, make decisions and changes as well as realize just how amazing you were to begin with. God has done this and is still doing this in me. Seasons are meant for change. We must seek out ALL that God is asking of us and also what He is doing in us, for His plan and glory. It makes it all worth it.

Somehow this year has been relief, even in the deepest and darkest grieving of my life, there is relief. There have been days where I couldn't get out of bed, some days I was hateful and mean to everyone I came in contact with, and some days I didn't say a word. All of these days were hard and I am not "past" it. I know there are days coming that will be dark and hard as well, but amongst it all, there is a peace beyond understanding (Phil 4:7).

We came back to Ft Worth this weekend and being in that place reminds me that it all REALLY happened. Life was lived there. Our life was lived there. Our son came into the world, changed it and then left it, all in that place. This weekend was blessed, it was so perfect to take it all in, fresh air, the three of us just enjoying each other and the "relief" of being in the middle of God's will, not the life we all begged God for, a life with Noah in it. I will tell you though, Noah is still in it. Everyday we see how he has touched our life, touched others' lives; we are amazed and blessed by all the outpouring of encouragement, love and support. WOW! God is so gracious to us through y'all and we could not have made it this year without you. Thank you and we love y'all.

Noah's momma

Here are some of our favorite pictures from Noah's celebration last year.

1 comment:

Kathy grieser said...

Shauna you and your family are such a witness for our loving Father. Noah will always be remembered!