Monday, June 1, 2015

Summertime is Here

After longing for months for summer to be here, it has arrived! It is June. With the changing season, I have found myself in a good place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Walking at the beach
I went to therapy for a couple of months, for which I attribute some of this health to. I also attribute some of it to the longer days, the sunshine, and the smaller workload that comes with the new season. I am also learning who I am again now and feeling more comfortable with that person. I have learned it is essential for me to have grand and wonderful things to look forward to. So far, this has looked like--white water tubing, camping at the beach, and Hersheypark. In the future, it will look like--San Francisco and a Giants game, the Avett Brothers concert and a weekend trip to New Orleans. These things get me through each day and each week and each month without Sloane. Obviously they don't replace her, but they remind me that life is still worth living, and that there is beauty and goodness in so many aspects of life. Without these things, I would be easily and quickly overwhelmed by the heartwrenching trials of life.
The river we tubed on (not as much white water as I would've liked...)
Last week, there were 8 people I knew of who died. Some were nationally known, many were relatives of friends, but one I considered a friend, although she was in our life for a brief period of time. I know all too well that it doesn't take long for someone to make a lasting difference in your life. Two summers ago, we met a fun, vibrant 16 year old. We hung out with her and her family a few times over the summer. Several months later, she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. Last week, a year after being diagnosed, she died. My heart has ached for her parents and for her siblings and for her close friends who feel the sting of her absence. Her death has reminded me once again, that life is not fair. If it were fair, 18 year old girls would not die from cancer and babies would not die before they are born. There is simply nothing fair about it.

But we are not here to have a fair and balanced life. That's not the point. The point is for it to not be fair, because it is in these times that we come to rely on Christ. And so while some of my mental and emotional health is due to therapy and some of it is due to the nice weather, I know the bulk of it is due to Him. He knows it is not fair better than anyone else, and He will help ease these burdens because He knows just how unfair it is, and because He loves us.

Tomorrow will be 8 months since we met and said good-bye to our little angel. 8 months ago tonight that I was blissfully unaware of anything wrong and that she was most likely already gone. 8 months ago tonight I was happy to be in labor finally and soon be meeting our little baby girl. 8 months ago tomorrow morning my world crashed around me, and I have been picking up the pieces and trying to put it back together for these past 8 months. It seems so long ago and so far away since that other life I had.

Looking back at these 8 months, there are some things I wish I didn't do, like buy a new car and paint my walls green. In hindsight, I know these were decisions and distractions made in the midst of grief, but in the moment, they seemed perfectly rational. But it is so healing to see where I have been and how far I have come. I can say that I am ok, and actually mean it. I don't cry every week, and there are times when I can think of Sloane with nothing but joy and peace. A little girl at my preschool, remembering my big belly at the beginning of the year, looked up at me today and asked, "Where is your baby?" A few months ago, this would have ruined my day and I would be a disaster. Today I could tell this little girl that my baby is not here, and I could know--really know--that she is ok. She is not far from here, although I cannot see her.
Sloane's flower garden
Another sign to me that I am healing is that TTC does not consume me as it did a few months ago. I am nearing the end of my 2nd round of Clomid, and I almost feel indifferent to the outcome. That may be an automatic form of self-preservation, but I'm ok with that because apathy is a heck of a lot easier to live with than anxiety. I think in large part, this is because I have things to look forward to this year and I know that while motherhood is important to me, it is not all I am. It can't be. And if I get pregnant, I'll deal with those emotions when they come. For now, it's all ok.