Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beauty Day 13


I miss my son, Ian, terribly. The ache and the pain is still so real after over seven years. Today is the anniversary of his due date. Seven years!! My baby boy should be a first grader. I should be planning a birthday party at the bowling alley or the skating rink. I should be wrapping the latest video game he so desperately wanted, or a bike without training wheels, or a new basketball. He should be learning to read and excited about losing a tooth. He should be playing with legos and looking forward to trying out for spring baseball or soccer. He should be here. He should be 14 months younger than Riley. He should...he should...he should.

But he's not. And he never will be. He's gone and that's all there is to that. No amount of begging or pleading to God will bring him back to me. I know that. Trust me, I've tried. I've spent hours upon hours pleading for God to return him to me. To have one more chance to kiss his tiny head. I've begged for the chance to watch him take a breath. To hear him giggle. To wipe a tear from his eye. To sing and rock him to sleep. I want to be able to take him into my arms and never let him go. But I can't. And I have to learn to live with that, no matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. I need to keep on keepin' on.

So what is the beauty that I find in a day that is so sad and hurts me so much? Oh there is so much beauty. So much to be thankful for. And I need to remind myself of that. Of how blessed I am. Of how thankful I am. Where do I even start? What is the gift that Ian and God has given me? How can I be so thankful when I have lost so much?

Losing Ian was the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. The worst. And yet, in so many ways, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Seems very contradictary doesn't it? You're probably thinking I must be crazy. What is so great about losing your baby?

So let me just tell you. First off, losing Ian brought me to God. How incredible is that?! What a gift! Prior to losing Ian, I didn't know God. When Ian died, I was angry. Oh I was so angry. How could such a so-called loving God take a baby from a family that wanted him so much? I hated Him for doing that to me. Hated him. As the weeks and months passed, I was sitting in my darkest of dark days, feeling alone and helpless, feeling as though my world was falling apart, separated from my husband and heading towards divorce. My pain was too heavy for me to carry alone. The thought of my son laying in a cold grave, never for me to see him again, made me seek out this God of Comfort that so many people told me about. I began to read my Bible. I began to pray. I began to see that this God had made so many promises to me. That He was holding a place for Ian. That one day I would be reunited with him. He showed me that I was blessed to be the mother of a son that knew only pure love for his entire life. That he was taken from my womb and carried into the arms of God, never knowing pain. My son was chosen for this! He had learned everything that he needed to learn about life in such a short amount of time, never having ever seen the sunlight or felt the wind on his cheeks. I was the lucky one because it was my son who was special enough for this.

Climbing out of my grief and despair, with the help of God, allowed me to renew and strengthen my relationship with my husband as well. We are stronger than we ever were. We are happier than we ever were, and I can't say that would hold true had we not gone through what we did by losing Ian. His death also threw me into membership into the Club. The club that no one wants to be a part of, but that every member is so thankful for knowing that there are others out there that understand the gamut of feelings we go through. I never knew anyone who had a loss prior to my loss. Losing Ian changed the woman I am, the compassion I feel. I have made some wonderful friends through this grief journey. I know that I have also helped a few others just by sharing my story about Ian. What a wonderful legacy Ian has left.

Finally, it is because of Ian that I am the mother of Matthew. Ah, Matthew John, the newest light in our lives. My little Punky, Chunkamunka, and Punkster McMunkster. After Ian's death, I prayed and prayed for another baby. I needed that other baby. And God made me wait. Five long, heartache-filled years. But I know now that I needed that time to grow and learn and to heal. And when the time was right, as God always knows the right time, I became pregnant with my miracle boy. The boy who put us through so much just to safely get him here safely. The boy who had two major surgeries before he turned 6 months old. The boy who had medical issue after medical issue and who is now, by the grace of God, the healthiest little man. Matthew makes our lives so much more full, so much happier, so much more tired (that boy is busy busy busy and never stops!). Matthew is exactly who we needed as a family to recover from our loss and to complete the Halters. He's perfect for us. Perfect.

But he wouldn't be here if Ian was here. How do you live with that? I yearn for Ian. I miss him so much and I want him back. I'd give anything to have him here. But if he was here with us, Matthew wouldn't. I'd give anything, but would I give up Matthew for Ian? How do you choose? The baby that you have grieved for for 7 years or the new child in your life who is only 18 months? The good thing is I don't get to choose! God has made the choice. I get Matthew. I get to pour all the love I have for Ian onto Matthew. I get to watch him sleep. I get to kiss his head. I get to hear him giggle. I get to wipe his tears. I get to rock him and sing him to sleep. I get to!

And one day, God willing, I'll plan Matthew's 7th birthday party. I'll wrap that video game up for him. I'll hear him read his first book and I'll get to see his big toothless smile. I'll take him to baseball tryouts. I'll do all the things that I wanted to do with Ian, and Ian will be right there with us, tucked safely in my heart. Matthew is a lucky boy. And I'm an even luckier mommy.

10 comments:

McKay Family said...

What a very touching post! I hope you continue to heal, but never forget.

~Melissa~ said...

{{{Hugs}}}, Meg! I'm glad that you reminded us of Ian's day so that we could pray for you. And, what a wonderful gift Matthew is! :)

Melissa in Waco

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Meg,

I found your blog from your comment on Stacy's blog (He Will Carry Me), and just wanted to stop by and read about your Ian. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I, too, have walked the journey of loss...first in 1996 when my twin daughers (Faith and Grace) were stillborn and then in 1998, when our son Thomas was born full term and with us for six hours before he went home to heaven. God carried us through the years of grief with His sufficient grace...and He has made beauty from ashes in our lives. He has blessed us with a ministry for mothers and families who have lost a baby. (Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women, Inc. - www.sufficientgrace.net). If you would like to learn more about our journey and our babies, please visit me at http://sufficientgrace-kelly.blogspot.com and click on Our Story on the sidebar. Praying God's peace and continued comfort for you and your family...

In His Grace,
Kelly Gerken

Traci said...

What a horrible thing to have happen, but by sharing your story and testimony you've surely honored your sweet baby. God is so good, even in ways that we can't understand, and you are walking proof of his faithfulness.

God has also blessed you with a wonderful way with words.. your posts really speak to the hearts of others.

Jackietex said...

I was that baby--the one that came after the loss. My mother lost twin boys, born too soon. She told me several times that if they had lived then I wouldn't be here. She didn't mean it in a bad way and I didn't take it that way. I was just glad to be here! :) I'm glad you see God's goodness in such a dark time.

Kim said...

Meg,
You don't know me but I found your blog from SS. This is such a beautiful tribute to your precious baby Ian! Thank you so much for sharing him with us. I, too, lost a baby and have felt so many of the same feelings in your post. A title of a book I received after Joshua went to heaven was called, "I'll Hold You in Heaven". Those words always bring comfort to me. My little Joshua would have turned 5 years old this past Novemeber. I remember when I left the hospital after my next baby was born I cried as they were wheeling me out. I so had not expected that! But the pain of never having that with Joshua just came crashing down. That was just the beginning of realizing all the milestones I missed out on with him. Every time Sarah crossed one of the milestones it was bittersweet. However, one neat thing I believed. You know how babies will smile in their sleep? I always knew those were smiles from Joshua. Sorry this is so long but I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for God's comfort and many blessings upon you and your family!
God bless,
Kim

Amiee said...

Hi Meg,
Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and thanks for sharing your amazing story!
Hugs!
Amiee

Michal Ann said...

I also came over from Stacy's blog (He Will Carry Me) so I could read and yeah, "You know I want to read this"! Thank you for so eloquently sharing about your precious kids. Your authenticity about the raw and tortured moments is so helpful. No platitudes.

I appreciate your hard-won testimony of God's goodness through it all.

In His Grip, Michal

Buckeye Benita said...

What a touching tribute to Ian and Matthew. I have never experienced such loss but thank you for sharing just a small glimpse into your pain.

sumi said...

I had a discussion with a friend once about Jenna getting a crown from Jesus for living such a short life here but yet affecting so many lives. She burst out: "It will be the ultimate princess party!"

I took such comfort from that. I am missing her here, (and missing the princess party that was never held for her here) but when we get to heaven we will find that God restores everything so perfectly. We won't feel like we ever missed anything - I really believe this.

praying for you...