Posts filed under "ava"


Grief is complicated. It is all consuming. I know about grief. But I also know about the reprieve that God has given to me. I consider it a gift. An amazing one at that. But one I do not want all the time. Today, I want to miss my little girl. I went to a friends house tonight who just had a baby girl three days ago. She was yellow from jaundice, had dark hair galore and reminded me of my little girl. I came home and decided that I wanted to feel bad. Does that sound stupid? With Ava being gone for over three years, my grief is not usually as heart-wrenching on a day to day basis. It feels good to grieve sometimes. It makes her feel close. 

So, when does my grief end? I never really thought about that until a few days ago. You'd think I'd have thought of that before, considering how many books I've read regarding losing a child but I never really thought about when I'd be done. I was running the track at the YMCA, talking (or rather huffing) with a friend and we got to talking about Ava. As we talked, I came to this realization that most of you probably already realize, but to me, it was eye-opening. My grief will never be over in this lifetime. When I am 80, I will still miss my little girl. I will still hurt for all that was lost, or that was never to be. Instead of it seeming like a death sentence though, I find it comforting. Knowing that my baby will always be a part of me, that God has allowed my heart to love so deeply, to know that I never have to be "over it."
Posted on December 27, 2008 and filed under "ava", "vulnerable".


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.

Posted on April 8, 2008 and filed under "ava".

8/1/07 11:45 p.m.

Today was the 2 year anniversary since Ava went to heaven. The day was very similar to today, here in West Michigan. It was in the low 90's and not a cloud in the sky. I remember sitting on the hill in front of our house on Auburn, with my mom, waiting for the paramedics to give us updates on their attempts at CPR. I remember the sun beating down on us and being aware of the heat but not really feeling it. That day forever changed who I was. I went from being a carefree, innocent mother of three to who I am today. So, who am I? I'm still figuring that one out. I know I am no longer carefree- I spent many nights checking on my three living children, making sure all are breathing. When you find your child like I found Ava, your innocence is forever lost. I miss that innocence but also treasure the changes that have taken place. I now know that no matter how bad things get, I can still rely on God. When things are so bad you don't think you can take another breath, he is often the most real thing you feel. It's when things start to feel a bit more normal that the desperation of needing God seems a bit less poignant. I know that I pray for my kids so much more than I did before we lost Ava. I never felt like I didn't pray for them, I just know how desperately they need it now. I feel honored to be able to go before a God who loves my children more than I and has all of our best interests in mind.

Today was a day of traditions that are just beginning. This being only the second anniversary, we are still trying to feel out what we think is important to do on this day. We went to the cemetery, let off pink balloons, talked about what we remember the most about Ava, and prayed. All of our kids were climbing all over her headstone and posing for pictures. Ephram never made it out of the car, he was taking his afternoon nap. I brought him out to the cemetery a few weeks ago so he has already "met" his sister. We then went out to Grand Haven and sat outside at a local burrito joint and just spent time together. The kids enjoyed running around in the sand and just being together. After this, everyone else went swimming and Josh and I headed off on a walk and got some ice cream. After nearly passing out from heat stroke, we decided to find someplace air conditioned and headed off to see a movie. We had a nice time together and had some time to ourselves to just talk.

Tomorrow is a busy day so need to head off to bed. I did want to mention some close friends of ours who are in desperate need of our prayers. I know how many of you pray for us when you read this so I thought I would put this out into blog land. Tiffany and Jason are in Ohio, adopting a baby who was just born at 24 weeks. You can imagine all the implications of a baby born this early. Isaac continues to fight but they all need prayer. You can visit their blog at  Hopefully the link works, I've never tried to create one like this before (and I'm not the most computer savvy girl on the planet).  Much love to you all.

Prayer Requests:


-guidance in regards to moving to a new house

-for God to show us where to go from here, what does he want us to be doing in regards to this ministry we are setting up?

Posted on August 1, 2007 and filed under "ava".