So, it's been a while...
I've spent the last few days thinking of my little girl. I'm not sure what it is about these changing of seasons that makes me miss her more than normal. Don't get me wrong, I miss her all the time, but the last few days it has been poignant. I feel the weight on my chest, I am back to listening to her song, and reading my Bible and listening to devotions on loss and pain.
I think I'm at a new place. I don't remember the day we lost Ava with such clarity. The things I remember clearly: her dear smile, how she looked just like my mom in baby pictures, how she would hold onto the neck of my shirt while I fed her, how Noah loved to bite her toes and make her scream (crazy this is a good memory!), how laid back and easy-going she was. She was a real blessing. So why is she a blessing when so much heartache has accompanied her memory. I used to wonder if having her for three months was worth it. Would I choose to go through a difficult pregnancy, have her with us for such a short time, be blessed by her just "being" if I knew we would lose her? I look back and think of how much I have grown since she died. I don't even know if I'm the same person as I was almost 3 years ago. I think I take life a little more seriously, take my relationship with God much more seriously, and notice the small things in life much more than before. For a long time after she died, it bothered me that Ava never got to see the snow. I know, there are kids all over the world who never experience snow, but it is just a thing I have. In my mind, childhood is tasting snow, going sledding with mom and dad, and building a snowman. She never got to do these things. A few months later God gave me a memory that I hold onto tightly. Ava was only a few days old, it was a few days after May 5th. I distinctly remember looking out our front window at our house in Kalamazoo, and seeing it snow. At the time, I'm sure I was disgusted (flurries in MAY? Come on!). Now I treasure this- Ava got her snow.
A friend of ours wrote a song after Ava died. He was one of the few who came to the house during the flurry of ambulances, fire trucks and police officers. He was there when we held her one last time. He listened to us, heard us cry and held Josh when he thought he would die from the pain. After everything that he was there for, he wrote a song that encapsulates what we said and described to him. We are currently waiting for permission to post it.
Life here is in slow motion right now. The kids are gone with G'ma and G'pa B for spring break. Josh and I are in "married with no children" heaven. :-) Yes, I miss them. No, I'm not ready for them to come home. They'll be gone until Sunday and I will enjoy every extra minute of sleep, every less dish that goes into the dishwasher, every sippy cup I don't find under the couch, etc. I will also continue to look forward to when they come home. Funny how that works.
Josh is doing okay. His spasms are pretty bad which seems to affect a lot of other things. He has been pretty frustrated over the past week. They have had to up his meds which he hates because he knows it's hard on his liver. The higher the dose, the more side effects. Please be praying with us that we get his spasms under control again so that we can lower the dose and minimize the side effects. Please be praying for his spirits to remain positive. Considering how frustrated he's been, he's doing very well. We have an amazing group of family and friends who love and support us. This is very encouraging to us both. Thank you to all of you who continue to lift us up in prayer as we continue on this journey of life God has carved out for us.