Friday, January 21, 2011

Who Am I?

Ever since I became a baby loss mama (new jargon I've learned on the web. Acronym = BLM), my emotions have run wild. It really started once we conceived Andrew. I cry at the silliest things. Commercials, sitcoms, sad stories, you name it. Well maybe not happy stories. I'm not a happy crier-- at least not yet. I've learned recently enough that life's circumstances change you and who you are as a personal and emotional being. It sounds obvious to many, but that wasn't always me-- because I'd never felt this broken before.

I was watching the first episode of American Idol just now (a few days late). They always try to grip you. Those emotional stories that tug at your heartstrings. That last story definitely got me. Just a little moisture in my eyes welled up thinking about a hope for that family of twins who had been down on their luck for so long.

Everyone experiences heartache. It's not all the same kind or at the same time, but we all have our battles and crosses to bear.

It got me thinking about our situation and how though I am physically and emotionally changed forever, it does not define me. I am reminded of this when I go somewhere no one knows me. I stop in at the grocery store or sub at a school where no one recognizes me. To them, I'm a somewhat young, relatively composed person just living life. I'm buying bread, fruit and normal things. I'm teaching a lesson because their teacher is out for some reason. To them, they don't see the scars unless I break down randomly crying ...which has happened a few times. They don't know I just lost someone so incredibly dear to my heart-- part of my heart actually. In a way, I want them to know that my son died and in some ways I wish no one ever knew so that I wouldn't have to deal with the discomfort and awkwardness we will forever face.

But this doesn't define me. I am still a wife to the most loving husband I could've ever married, a sister, a daughter to my supportive parents (and in-laws), a teacher to many, a friend to so many amazingly supportive friends (even those I apologetically have not called back... I will soon friends. I'm getting there), a home owner, a sort-of runner, a blogger, an independent woman... and the list can go on.

I will not let sadness define forever. I know hope is out there for us and that our son is not in pain. Selfishly, we are the ones in pain. He never knew to be sad, to hurt. He never scraped his knee, felt rejection, pain, suffering. This world is full of that. Though we're selfishly mourning the life we anticipated with him, we know he's not coming back. But I refuse to live my life like he is forgotten. He is not forgotten. He will never be forgotten. He was our firstborn. The fact that I had Andrew does not define who I still am, but it does define how I will continue my life.

Having him has given me more compassion for others and their struggles. I've always had a hard shell coating and struggled with this. Of all the sadness I am experiencing, Andrew is teaching me the ability to be compassionate. I've always been an advocate for children, but I have an even stronger desire now that I have become a BLM.

Thanks, Andrew. Though I miss you terribly, you're teaching me so much about love.


boo and stacy arnold said... [Reply to comment]

This is a very special post.....

Dave and Megan Lockridge said... [Reply to comment]

I've been reading your blog since you left us in California and I've followed your fun adventures, your new home and now this terrible loss. As a sort of friend of a friend/one time Bible study co-member I wasn't sure how to respond or if you would even want another person reaching out. But after reading through to these recent posts I just wanted to say that we're devastated with you and for you. You are such a great writer and have an incredible way of expressing yourself through this tragedy and I have often found myself weeping as I read along. I don't think that it requires any sort of apologies or warnings and I agree that this is an outlet for you to do with it what you want. I just wanted to say that we love you and are praying for you and hope that if we ever encounter such a loss that we would have half the courage, poise and honestness that you have shown. Keep at it and know that you have so many people pulling for you and encouraged by you.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

You just write so beautifully. I wish I could write like that. I have so many emotions and just can never find the right words to type it all out. Although just reading your story I feel like you have covered all of the emotions I have not been able to write down. You are definitely a very compassionate strong person