Monday, March 26, 2012

To My Sister

To my sister Bekka,

Yesterday morning when I woke up I was complaining. Too little sleep- a baby who likes to vomit on me- a stubborn toddler- a persistent mouse in the basement and whatever creature ate that mouse out of the trap- a messy house- piles of dirty laundry.

Life was rough for me, and my poochy lip gave constant testament to that fact.

And then I got a call last night learning of your loss.

Your sweet little baby who was only with you for 7 days.

Like a bucket of ice water thrown onto my sleeping face, I realized what was really important in life. I realized how much I had that I wasn't thankful for. I realized how much I love you.

You endured a difficult pregnancy and I never once heard you complain. You lovingly grew your baby while chasing after little Lauren, working and maintaining a far more meticulous house than mine.

A C-section was necessary for you and yet even then you didn't say one negative word about the long recovery- having to take care of a toddler while recovering-the extra pain.

When I think of the physical pain you were still in when you had to say goodbye to your baby coupled with the emotional pain of your loss- my heart crumbles in an attempt to match your shredded one.

People say they're praying for all of us- but our only pain is the pain of empathy. We hurt with you.

You are the hero of this story. You are the mother with empty arms. You are the daughter that makes the rest of us look insufficient. You are the wife that is the closest thing to perfect on this earth. You are the sister that was there beside me every step of the way when I found out that my baby had Down syndrome- the one who always knew the right things to say.

I wish I knew the right things to say to you now.

To say I'm sorry feels trite. To confess to you that the mouse in my basement no longer scared me when I went down to do laundry to pack for my visit out to you sounds silly. To proclaim to you how thankful I am for my two children now seems cruel.

You had seven beautiful days with your baby. I know you'll treasure them always.

I wish I could have met him. I wish I could have celebrated with you more. I wish our sons could have played together. I wish John could have lived a happy, full life consisting of much longer than one week.

But the truth is, none of those became reality. And I hold tightly to the thought that there must be a reason even though I can't think of one to comfort you with now.

I thought the biggest struggle of motherhood was having to adjust to a disability that would never go away. But it turns out I was wrong. The biggest hardship of motherhood is having the one taken away from you that earned you that title.

Having to say goodbye simply a week after saying hello makes me scream of the unfairness of your life right now.

I know that God is good. I know that he giveth and he taketh away. I know that all things work together for good.

But that doesn't take away the brokenness of my heart when I envision everything you're facing right now.

God ultimately decides who should live and who should die and yet sometimes I want to say that he made the wrong decision.

God doesn't make mistakes. I know this. John is with him now.

But I know that doesn't take away the emptiness of your arms and the sorrow that seems permanently a part of you.

Sometimes life is pitted with such horror that it can't help but make heaven seem all the more sweet.

Perhaps when you get to heaven someday the first voice you will hear is little John calling you "mama".

The thought fills my eyes with tears because I know you would much rather hear that voice here and I'm beyond sorry it didn't work out that way for you.

I loved your baby fiercely and I will mourn him fiercely.

Nothing about this is easy, and I wish I could stop you from the hurt. I wish I could step in front of you and shield you from the pain.

I'm so sorry that I can't.

I hope you know how many people love you and are praying for you right now. If our support for you was like a boat on choppy waves keeping you dry- then you would be on an ocean liner in the height of luxury because you deserve nothing less.

I hope you can sleep tonight. I wish there was an anesthesia for emotions. I wish there was a magic pill that would make this all go away for you. I wish that fire wasn't a purifying source.

I love you. I'm hurting for you. I'm praying for you.

You are the most fantastic mother/sister/daughter/wife that I know. Thank you for your inspiration, example, and love. You are handling an unspeakable nightmare with more grace and dignity than most could even dream about. You are my hero.

I'm praying you can find comfort, peace and healing. Fire may be purifying, but the precious jewels don't  have to stay there forever. Eventually they come out of the fire, sparkling, vibrant, beautiful and cherished. You were already those things. I can only imagine how much  more beautiful you will be after the intensity of the fire dies down.

I'm coming tomorrow to give you another shoulder to cry on- a hand to hold. I'm bringing Addison because she spreads joy wherever she goes. I hope her face-consuming smile can help soothe your spirits. I hope her smile will remind you how my tears of devastation turned into a good thing.

I hope yours somehow will as well.

Love,
Your little sis

46 comments:

  1. I've been thinking of your sister and praying for her ever since your text last night. I just cannot fathom her pain. I just feel so silly for crying over a baby I haven't even met yet and might be losing, when she went through 9 months of carrying one and then losing him. I hope somehow she feels the grace and comfort of a thousand prayers sent her way. Please give her a hug from me when you see her tomorrow, and I'll be praying for your time together. Lots of love from Oregon. oxox

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  2. Praying for your family.

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  3. Praying for your sister. Cannot imagine.

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  4. Praying for your entire family..your sister especially. There are some questions in this life that its impossible to understand the answers to.
    RIP sweet baby.

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  5. I'm so sad and continue to pray and think about your sister and your family! This letter brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat - I can't even begin to imagine the pain, heartache and loss your sister and her husband are dealing with. I hope in time she can make peace with the loss and find comfort in the 7 short, short days she had with her beautiful baby boy!

    Travel safe, your sister is lucky to have you coming to be by her side in what's sure to be the hardest days of her life!

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  6. I don't know what else to say except that I will keep your sister and brother in law in my prayers.

    I cannot let myself even fathom the pain they are in.

    This is one of the most heart wrenching, yet beautiful displays of sisterly love I've ever seen.

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  7. Beautiful, Deanna. ;( I can't help but be taken back to when my brother and his wife lost their first baby when he was just 9 days old. I was unsaved at the time, and their unfaltering faith during this greatest of sorrows, was nothing short of miraculous to me. In all of the sadness, it would one day prove to be a pivotal time that the Lord would call to my mind, and use in my life, to bring me to Him. We cannot imagine the pain your sister is feeling, but we can believe that God will bring them through this and be glorified in it all. May His boundless love be felt by all of your family, when nothing else can truly suffice.

    Praying for you all.

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  8. These eyes don't tear up often but they are now for the loss you all have endured. My prayers are in harmony with all the others.

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  9. "I thought the biggest struggle of motherhood was having to adjust to a disability that would never go away. But it turns out I was wrong. The biggest hardship of motherhood is having the one taken away from you that earned you that title."

    Oh, Deanna. I've been in tears all day after hearing the news. Prayers and love for your sister and your family. My heart is aching for you.

    Love,
    Jenni

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  10. Thank you for sharing this Deanna. I don't think a parent should ever have to bury a child, but we live in a fallen world! Heaven sounds sweeter almost daily!!!
    I'm praying for you as you minister to your sister.

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  11. Oh, Deanna... I have no words... Praying for you guys.

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  12. Deanna, I know that this also must have been a difficult post to write. Please tell your sister that there are many people praying for her and her family, and that although we can not fully understand the depths of this loss, we are truly praying for the One who can comfort her the best, to make His presence in this fully real to her. Safe travels and godspeed as you go to her side! <3

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  13. I'm so very, very sorry. My heart is broken for her.

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  14. My heart breaks for your family and I just can't even imagine what this feels like. Praying.

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  15. You put into words so well the tragic unfairness that stares us in the face when the unthinkable happens. When my youngest was a week old, we attended the funeral of a friend's baby - Our babies were born a day apart. They had the same first name. They would have been in the same Church nursery. But at that funeral, I was holding my baby, and she was burying hers. We had prayed for miracles to spare her baby's life; but God chose a different miracle. He chose the miracle of healing that sweet family, and surrounding them with His comfort and grace. Praying for that same miracle for your sister.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss! Please see that your sister gets a copy of the book "Symphony in the Dark" by Barbara Rainey and Rebecca Rainey Mutz. Available from Family Life Publisher. A beautiful story of Molly who only lived a week but the effect her short life had on so many,
    Lynda Smith

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  17. I know that this loss deeply affects your whole family, Deanna, and we are praying for each of you. I'm so sorry for your broken hearts. Thanks for sharing yours with all of us.

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  18. Sending prayers right now for the entire family in the face of such a horrible tragedy!! Love to all!

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  19. I'm so, so, sorry for your family's loss.

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  20. I am so sorry Deanna. Tell your sister that she has prayers being sent her way right now. For all of you.

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  21. I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for your sister and her husband and the rest of the family.

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  22. There are no words that can provide comfort in such a tragic loss. Your sister and all your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love x

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  23. Trying to write but can't see for the tears. Praying for your sweet sister and her family. Praying for you.

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  24. my heart is breaking for your sister and her husband and everyone that loves them and has to see them suffer so. praying for your family....

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  25. Tears in my eyes this morning reading this....no mother can ever imagine what your sister is going through, and how the rest of your family is grieving as well....just be there for her and let her wear your shoulder out. Praying for all of you through this time, and for safety for you and addison as you travel to be with your sister. <3
    -Kellie

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  26. Your sister is beautiful. I'm also amazed at the grace and strength with which she is handling this awful tragedy. She truly is a hero, and I'm thankful you could put all of our thoughts into words. God, continue to give Bekka strength...

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  27. So sorry for your loss. A good friend of mine lost her baby at 7 weeks old as well. They found comfort at a retreat called Faith's Lodge. When you sister is ready please tell her about this amazing place for healing. http://www.faithslodge.org

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  28. I am so sorry about your sister and her baby. May he rest in peace.Someday she will see John again. She can take comfort in that. Please get her a copy of Angel Unaware and she will see that it was part of a plan and her baby completed his mission.He now will play in God's nursery.He will be waiting for the day when she will join him.

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  29. Deanna, I don't know you that well - and I don't know your sister at all, but I sat at work & cried as I read this blog post. Safe travels & I know many are praying for your family & for your sister in particular as she heals from this terrible loss.

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  30. Praying for your family and your sister. My sister went through something similar years ago. It was so hard on everyone. know that he is with God as my nephew is and he is perfect and healthy now. I have grown to love your family just by reading your blog! SO glad you are going to be with your sister.

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  31. Oh Deanna, what a beautiful, heartwrenching post. Prayers for you and especially your sister! It is so hard to watch those you love suffer this loss!

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  32. Your sister and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so, so very sorry for your loss...

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  33. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Praying for all of you, but especially for your sister as she deals with what no mother should ever have to go through.

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  34. So sorry for your loss. What a sweet sister you are. We cannot imagine but we KNOW that His ways are PERFECT. Praying for peace that only He can give to your sister and your entire family.

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  35. Sending so much love to all here on earth, and the angel in heaven.

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  36. "Farther along we'll know all about it, farther along we'll understand why."

    You and your family are in my prayers- very sorry for her loss.

    Jessica

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  37. I just read your blog for the first time last week. My two daughters follow your blog and recommended that I read the one about blaming God. This is the second entry I have read. Although we lost a 6 week old, very healthy baby boy many years ago to SIDS, I still cannot imagine the pain that your sister Bekka is going through right now. There will be vivid dreams that it is not really true and waking up to the reality that it is true. Praying for the family at this time. Look up the poem, "A Child Loaned" for a little encouragement. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

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  38. I am so sorry for the loss that your family is going through.

    Your friend from high school, Amber showed me your blog and I will certainly be following.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  39. I am crying. This is so sad and I cannot image. But to know your sister was strong shows she will be through this too! But, she doesn't have to be either. I hope she knows that.

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  40. Sad. Hugs for Bekka going her way. And yours.
    - Molly

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  41. Oh D. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry to you and to your sister and to your entire family.

    I took a break from writing Casey's diagnosis story to check in on you when I found this. I had been feeling SUPER sorry for myself and the things that I have been through. That life had dealt me a sucky hand. I was bitter.

    And then this. And now I'm a puddle of tears. My heart ACHES so much for you and for your family. People I have never met. Just like you said with the Down syndrome. You thought that would be the hardest thing. Not even close. I couldn't even begin to imagine what you all are feeling right now. I know how much I hurt FOR you, and that can only be a millionth part.

    I do know that God brings comfort. That your sister will feel the prayers. I'm sure she is. We are not meant to walk through these sort of things on our own, and I'm glad we don't. God is with your sister. I pray that any bit of comfort that can be felt will be.

    I'm so sorry. My words suck. I just don't know what to say.

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  42. Hi, and thanks for sharing this in your blog.. I popped by and became a follower as an added entry for the giveaway. I read the first half or so of this entry and had to stop because flashbacks of what my mother went through with one of my baby sisters came flooding to mind.. :( The pain of such a loss is indescribable. My heart goes out to your sister and family. May God bless you all..<3

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  43. Angie Smith (wife of lead singer for the group Selah) wrote a marvelous book about her personal journey - I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Joy & Grief ... as a mother of 4 kids (with zero spare time), I managed to cruise through this book as it applied so many spiritual truths through her personal testimony of losing a child

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  44. I lost a beautiful daughter at 15 years of age. She is still with me every single day. (Just not the way I'd like her to be)....It hurts, at 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 years, 15 years, or more....

    But life goes on - that's why it hurts. You want to scream "Wait! Haven't you noticed? The world is sadder, not the same, without this beautiful life in it?" It isn't something to get over, or get through, or get past. It is a part of her now. Her life is forever changed. God's never ending love and grace will indeed give her strength, though. I wish she didn't have to know this pain or loss, and my prayers are with her and her family.

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