Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas, Maren

Last night in Christmas Eve worship, candles were lit and the lights were turned down. Halfway through the first verse of Silent Night, Maren gave a big kick to remind me she was present, too. I couldn't sing the rest of the song.

It's hard to believe this is the only Christmas memory I'll have of her.

Thank you, everyone, for everything. We've read every email and blog. We've listened to every voicemail. We've followed the links you sent and read the blogs and watched the videos from other families with Trisomy 13. I apologize that I haven't personally responded to every one. It takes an amount of emotional energy I don't have right now.

And for those of you who don't know what to say, don't worry. We don't know what to say either. When people ask how I'm doing, I usually say, "I'm hanging in there," or "As well as can be expected, I guess." The real answer is much harder and much longer. It's not "day to day" so much as "moment to moment." There are moments of real joy in every day, watching James or laughing at something Kevin says. There are moments when something hits me in just the right way and I burst into tears. There are moments when I feel oddly disconnected, like I'm watching this play out in a movie and it's not really me. "I'm hanging in there," seems like an easier answer.

Kevin is amazing. I don't know how I'd get through this without him. Last night over dinner he reminded me how blessed we are. We are facing this surrounded by family, friends, and a gorgeous little boy. We have a warm house, stable jobs, and a nest egg. Rather than being kicked while we're down, we're in a pretty good place physically and emotionally. We can handle this.

And yet.

And yet.

I don't know how people get through things like this without faith. The greatest hope I have is seeing my children again in heaven someday. I never dreamed I would carry three children but only get to parent one. If I didn't have faith that the ones I lost on earth were held tightly in the arms of Jesus in heaven, I don't think I could go on.

I've been singing "Away in a Manger" to James as a lullaby this week. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care . . . the ones here on earth, the ones already in heaven, and the ones returning to you soon. Amen.