Thursday, January 26, 2012

After A Year

This past year has been so hard. Harder than we could have imagined. I still remember every detail about the day I said goodbye to Waverley (and I know that Molly does as well). What the weather was like, what the last thing I said to her was, how the last hug I gave her felt. I remember walking to the car with Harper, worried how she was doing – how she would do. I remember sitting there - knowing that this was it. Barring some crazy miracle, this would be the last time I would see Waverley. The last image I have of her is her standing at the front door of her birthfather’s house, arms crossed, looking out of the glass storm door. I used to play this game with Waverley right around when she was turning 2 and sassy. She would cross her arms in defiance of whatever we were telling her and I would then immediately reach over and uncross her arms and she would immediately break into her signature chuckle-laugh and then do whatever it was she had been refusing to do.  By the time January 28, 2011 came I had known for awhile that we would have to say goodbye to her, but seeing her at that door with her arms crossed knowing that I’d never get to play that game with her again and hear her laugh…that’s when I think the reality of it finally and completely set in for me.

That vivid moment has been with me constantly this whole year along with many others. But those moments have been especially present lately as we have, in different ways, relived what we lived through a year ago. December 24th through today have been the most difficult days we’ve seen this year. Molly and I have both felt it and it affects every part of our every day, and while we’ve wanted to update this blog so many different times the last few weeks, we’ve found that neither of us have had the wherewithal to do so. Whenever people talked about the stages of grief I always thought of those stages being linear, that one came after another until you had moved through the grief and found healing. I’m sure healing does come, at least partially, but grief is anything but linear and come more like waves with small peaks and huge valleys. Right now, we’re in a valley. We won’t always be and there is some comfort in that – in knowing that there will be better days ahead – but in the valleys, we just survive. In these times it’s difficult to see that God is at work or that He’s there at all. It seems like just when all I can see is the disappointment of our unanswered prayer - He reveals something. Most of the time it’s something small and it always feels unexpected. There have been a few of those moments the last few months. A few weeks ago I was looking back over some of the posts we wrote at this time last year. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I wanted to remember, maybe I was hoping to see something that would make me think “we’re doing so much better now than we were then”. Who knows. What I did read that ended up resonating with me was a post we wrote on January 12th (my birthday no less – Happy Birthday, me) updating everyone on where we were with transitioning Waverley out of our home and asking for specific prayer requests. Now, I have no idea whether God has answered the prayers we asked people to pray for Waverley or her birthfather. What was abundantly clear, though, is that he’s been answering the prayers we asked people to pray for Molly and I and Harper. As hard as this year has been, Harper has done amazingly well. I’m amazed that her 5 year old mind understands what happened with her sister. She grieves appropriately and she misses her sister, but she feels secure in our family and had grown leaps and bounds in so many areas. You would never know she lost her sister, her best friend, unless she told you. Molly and I, for as hard as this has been have remained close. We have been kind and gracious to each other and have somehow managed to parent Harper well through all of this.

There have been these moments in the valleys. Not as much as we’d like, but enough. These moments don’t alleviate our grief, but what they do is give us hope. It’s a reminder that He is still here, that he still cares, that he is unfailing in his love and that he is a redeemer and a restorer of all things. How will he redeem all of this? How will he restore us individually and as a family? I have no idea. Not a clue. But I know that He will. Somehow. Someday. And I’m thankful that even in the valleys He finds ways to remind us that he hasn’t forgotten.


Unknown said...

I am so happy to have an update. I think of you all often, and pray for you. I love seeing your faith shine through, even in the valley. You are so right that He is still here, He does care, and He will restore and redeem your family. I know that our God is so big and so faithful, and He does have amazingly good plans for you.
Lots of Love,
The Bells

Katy said...

I still check your blog for updates as well! I pray for your family and Waverly as well. I pray she is happy and is living a normal life too. God is there for you and will continue to be as long as you seek him. Prayers are still being said for your wonderful family.

Jami Nato said...

glad you updated. i think it's so good to process through writing and make things swimming around in your head concrete.
i can't imagine your pain. i cried thinking of you guys staring at your daughter as you left. uggg. my heart hurts.
i think about your grief and i can only compare it to my grief over the years..even though completely unrelated. and i remember the waves of grief. the little reminders that make you drop to your knees in pain. it's awful.
and God is there. i love that you remember that. that you know he is called Redeemer.