Last night, my husband and I decided to take our boat out for an evening cruise for a little "us" time because we haven't had that in such a long, long time. After Christian died, we talked about getting away, just the two of us, but never really made any plans to do so. We've been trying to get back to normal...back to the same old routines...but, what we've really been doing is spinning in circles. Not moving forward...just suspended between celebrating Christian's life and mourning his death.
For me, I've been hiding out... I've been staying at home afraid to get out for fear that I would have to explain, yet again, that Christian died. Saying those words over and over again does not get easier, trust me. What's worse is the look of pity I receive afterwards...the awkward moments...and finally, a rushed attempt to scatter...to be anywhere but near me.
I understand that people aren't trying to be mean or rude. It's a natural tendency to feel uncomfortable in such a situation, but it adds to my feeling of isolation. Every day I try to venture out to do the most menial tasks... shopping, banking, just regular everyday errands and, on most days, I come home in tears.
People always want to talk about new babies...and they have a million questions. With faces lit up, they ask, "How old is your baby?", "Boy or Girl?", "What is their name"... and gush all sorts of congratulatory comments! And then I tell them the news and it's as if my child just turned into an alien.... no more smiles...no more questions... no more engaging conversation... no more looking you in the eye.
What happened?? My beautiful and precious boy is still beautiful and precious... he is still a joy... I have amazing stories I can share...and I was Blessed to have him.
Awkward silence... and then I skulk away like I've done something wrong.
I know people feel bad for me and family... They are hurting too... It's a terrible thing to lose a child. So I've been hiding out... avoiding the stares... avoiding the silence.
But, yesterday, my dear husband suggested we go on an evening cruise...and it sounded GREAT...just what we needed.
I'd had another one of those moments I previously described after picking up Christian's baby rattle which I had engraved... Fresh air away from everyone sounded perfect and I needed the pick me up.
And so, off we went. As we were cruising along the coastline toward downtown, I reclined back in my seat just marveling how gorgeous the day was. I smiled up at the sky taking in big gulps of fresh air. Overhead, little fluffy clouds dotted the brightest and bluest sky. I couldn't help thinking about Christian... and how I wished he was there with us enjoying the moment... and then it happened.
I sensed his presence so close to me I could almost feel him...it was that tangible. I sat up and looked around... and opened my eyes and ears. I mean, truly opened my eyes and ears to everything going on around me.
On the radio, George Strait's song, I saw God Today, was playing. And at that moment, I heard the words to the verse, "...the flashin' lights, the honkin' horns all seemed to fade away in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08, I saw God today....". At the same time, I noticed a little rainbow hovering in the foamy spray of water which splashed beside our boat as we cruised downtown.
I hollered at Ryan and we just stared at each with goofy grins on our faces... completely immersed in that moment. We sang along with the song...out loud and off key...laughing and smiling away. We felt God around us and we felt Christian with us...
My friends, Christian was born August 18, 2008.... at 5:08 p.m.
I am constantly amazed by how God chooses to continually reveal himself to us... Throughout our entire journey with our son, we have felt His presence. He's held us up when we were at our lowest points when Christian was alive...and now he lets us know he has not abandoned us after Christian's death.
It was a great moment...
BUT...for reasons I don't fully understand yet (obviously), God has a way of bringing home the point that life has it ups and downs... and it's okay.
Not that I was thinking about it too much last night. But, on our way home from dinner...we were the lone boat on the water engulfed in complete darkness...hugging the coastline in very, very rough water. I felt like Ryan and I were Gilligan and The Skipper out on the 3 hour tour... I had my feet wedged in between the seat cushions trying to keep from bouncing out of the boat... a white knuckled death grip on my seat and glaring at Ryan for purposefully trying to hit every tidal wave that ventured near our boat. (Not that he was trying to do so...but I still had to blame him, nonetheless!)
I guess what I'm trying to say... is that our outing as perfect as it was in the beginning...still had it's bumps in the road... I think that's what God has been trying to tell me... There is beauty in everything.... I just have to notice it...BUT, there is always a balance... it makes us appreciate the good that much more.
I don't believe in coincidences...
Last night was amazing...
"I saw God Today"...