Monday, February 18, 2013

Cayla's little grave marker and Hope

 "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? 
Hope thou in God:  
for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."  
Psalm 42:11

Years ago I used to wonder how people could let themselves get so despondent to the point they were unable to get out of that deep pit of depression.  "Just get up and do something for someone else."  "Ask for help."  "Look around you at all the good there still is in life."  These are thoughts you just want them to think about and do.  It's not that hard...  Yeah.  Right.  I'd have to say my thoughts have changed a bit this past year.  I do admit it's hard to get out once you've let yourself go there, because as long as you stay there, you keep moving deeper into the pit.

I've been blessed being God's child, that even when I was working my way down into that pit, I always had a life line attached to me.  I've been in that pit, hung over the edge, hovered at the top, walked away from it, and went back to the edge many times this past year in my grieving process.  Thanks to Jesus, I've been able to get out and walk away from it.   Yes, I've had bouts of depression as I've grieved over Cayla, and even these past couple of days, I've just found myself missing her so much.  I cry wanting to hold her, kiss her and just love all over her again.  I can't help it.  I cried hearing the song Saturday, "Serenaded by Angels".  I've not been able to focus on the words I read in the Bible, or to pray and talk to God.  Then all of the sudden, I read a verse like Psalm 42:11 and my hope and peace are there replacing grieving and sadness.  I guess I need to remember to keep reading the Bible even when I don't want to or don't think I can.  God will speak to me and remind me of the hope I have in Him.

Tonight, Monday, I'm still just seeming to be on the verge of tears at any given moment, yet haven't cried.  I still feel that heaviness in my heart, but it's okay, because even though right now I can't seem to get it to go away, I'm still somehow at peace because I know God is there.  I know God is still working in me and holding me.  He will heal my countenance.  He is my God.  These feelings will come, but I know they won't stay. He will let me cry and comfort me.  He doesn't say He'll take all the pain away, just be there with me through it to ease it.  That's kind of where I'm at right now.  Well, now that I'm typing my thoughts out, it's making me cry.  Of course I'm laughing now too because I'm crying over my writing.  Crazy emotions and I'm not even hormonal... :o)

Who knew that our countenance could have health issues?  I love the part where He "is the health of my countenance".  He is my ability to smile, laugh, sing no matter what.  He heals the frowns, tears and crying.   I will praise Him.  Yes, I will praise Him!   The struggles will still be there, but so will my hope because of Him.

Yesterday, we all (Lowell, his mom, Samuel, and I) went to Cayla's grave.  We haven't had the money to put a headstone at her grave yet.  This summer we are planning on doing that.  Meanwhile, it's been bothering Lowell that there's nothing there saying who she was or even what her little precious name was.  So, Lowell went to Hobby Lobby, and he and Samuel bought a plain wood plaque, some plain wooden letters, stickers, spray paint and shellac.  He painted the letters and the background and asked me to put them on the plaque somehow and then he shellacked the whole thing.

We've kept the wreath up from her funeral and a while ago, put some fake red berries around it for the winter.  Well, Lowell was ready to put his plaque up for Cayla for the next couple of months.  So that's what we did yesterday after church.  It's just a sign telling all that our precious Cayla Joy's little body lies here.  It's sweet though, especially since Daddy did it with lots of love.  Once the weather clears up and spring decides to come, we'll do a little something more there, but until then, I just love our reminder of our precious Cayla Joy.  :o)   Lots of love!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thoughts... Emotions...

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm realizing it's February 3rd.  This day last year was on a Friday and was our first visit with the specialist, Dr. Rajabi.  That was when we found out for the first time that Cayla had a problem with her heart.  This Sunday a year ago, I started my blog.  A lifetime has happened since then, yet in some ways, I remember sitting here in the same place trying to set this up and find just the right background for Cayla's blog.  I still love the roses and colors.  It's her.  Okay so it's her and me.  I love flowers and had visions of what my little girl's room would look like someday.  Of course with her input and permission to make it the way I pictured it...  ;o)  Oh well.  It's still fun to dream.

I'm trying to remember what it was like being pregnant.  So much joy and anticipation.  I just LOVED going to every OB visit because I got to see her every time.  It made it seem somewhat more real.  Even though I could feel her moving, it all was so hard to grasp at times.  I loved having my mother-in-law there too.  What sweet times all those drives out to Hillcrest were with her.  Thanks Mom!!

You know, I've seen a bunch of OB's and doctors in my life, even in the last month, but I have to say that Dr. Rajabi's quiet, listening, completely in tune attitude was so refreshing.  He was Cayla's doctor for 3 months and reminds me of an extremely special time in our lives.  During those months, he was our connection to Cayla and how she was doing.  I could tell he was about to tell me some bad news that day Samuel and I met him.  As I listened to all he was trying to explain about Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, he kept repeating info and terms slowly to let it all sink in.  I am just saying all this because this day a year ago, changed our lives. It was really a blessing from the Lord to not have a doctor that lines up all his patients in rooms and runs down the line spending 5 minutes with each one.  We could talk, listen, ask every possible question and get such clear, easy to understand answers.  I just forgot how that's not always the case.  Cayla was in good hands.  We were blessed.  Thanks again, Dr. Rajabi.

I still find myself wondering what my life would be like with Cayla here.  She'd be a little over 9 months old.  My mind wanders a lot.  I can't go there.  Ok, moving on to the next thought this afternoon....

I've had people tell me over these past months to be angry.  It's okay to be angry.  It's okay to be angry with God.   Let it all out.  I can honestly say that I have not had that emotion in regards to Cayla's death.  I would get angry with God about as much as I would shoot my foot off to get rid of an itch. (Not sure where that comparison came from, just the first thing that popped in my head... scary.)  It's true though.  Anger was not something I had to deal with, especially toward God.

Well, those of you that told me this, you'll be glad to know it happened.  I was angry.  I was angry at the loss of a dream for Samuel.  It was strange in a way, but while Cayla was alive, one of the many pictures I conjured up in my head was of Samuel pulling Cayla in a little red wagon.   I had tried at times to picture Samuel and Cayla together over the years ahead and what it would be like for Samuel to have this precious little sister.  I was so ecstatic for him to finally have a sister even if she was 16 and 1/2 years younger.  HE was so ecstatic to have a little sister.   Well, I saw a picture recently of a friend on facebook with her teenage son pulling a red wagon with his little sister in it.  Who'd of ever thought this would have had a profound impact on me, but I started crying before I consciously even realized what the picture was.  A chord was hit inside me and within a few seconds a flood of tears came.  It didn't help that the little girl I'd been seeing pictures of had beautiful red hair, kind of what I'd pictured Cayla's would be like.  I saw Samuel and Cayla  in that picture and realized the death of a dream.  The death of a dream for Samuel.  A little while later, I went upstairs feeling overwhelmed and said so to Lowell.  He told me I need to say "No." to all these things I'm volunteering for.  I told him it was Cayla.  He got up and put his arms around me, and I cried all over again.  Then, I started getting angry.  If he wouldn't have been holding me, I'd have put my fist through the wall, or at least attempted it.  I squeezed him instead.  I just pulled my hands up to the back of his shoulders and squeezed his arms so hard, yet he didn't even flinch.  He just told me to get it all out.  At one point I tried to get control and he told me to not stifle it just keep crying if I wanted to. I felt angry that Samuel never got to do much with his little sister.  The more I thought of all the dreams that were shattered for him, and I'm sure all of us even though he was on my mind, I got angrier and angrier.  I always said I never wanted Samuel to grow up an only child.  I know I don't have control over that.  I started thinking about him not even getting to spend a lot of time with her for the 8 weeks he did have her.  She was only home for 3 weeks and before that was weekends and a day here or there with her in the hospital.  Not very quality time.  We were really just getting to that stage of him getting to really enjoy her and not feel like he was going to break her every time he picked her up.  It was such a release to feel this and deal with it.  I still can say I wasn't angry at God, just angry.  It came and it went, but God conquered.  I am very thankful for Lowell.  He's not always sure what to do with me, but neither am I.  I haven't felt that strong emotion of anger again.  I think I must have cried and got it all out that night.  It's all part of the healing I think.  I just wanted to share this because I think some have felt that I've not been honest with myself saying that I've not been angry.  This truly was the first time I've felt that way.  It could happen again, I'm sure and maybe I'll write more then too.

Woah. It's now almost midnight  Just thinking of this again, makes me want to cry.  I did cry while typing most of the previous paragraph earlier today.  We have our struggles, but we get through them.  They reappear - we get through them again with God keeping our perspective right.  I know these next 6 months will be hard always thinking of what was going on a year ago... but we will get through each day one step at a time and thank God along the way for the precious gift He gave us in Cayla Joy.  Goodnight all.

My first pregnant picture taken in February of  2012.