I haven't had a blog entry for a while. I have been busy in body and mind. Sometimes this grief I am wading through can make me feel very wearied and tired all on it's own. However, since losing Paige I went back to work, quit to stay home with Trent again, bought a new house, and stay busy trying to make it our home in the hopes that I will find myself again. Sometimes, I think that saying is silly. You don't need to own a house to have a home. It may sound cliche, but it is true that home is where your heart is.
We drove past our old rental house on Brittlebush Lane last night and I got very sentimental. We lived in that house for over 3 years. Trent had almost all of his "firsts" there. A tiny part of me felt sad to know that we can't go back there. It may have only been a small rental, but there was a lot of love and fun times shared in that house. Those are the things that really matter. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Paige's short life and death is that much in life is very trivial. What really matters in life are your relationships.
First, you need to constantly be seeking God with all your heart and really nurturing your relationship with Him. After all, "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19 NIV). Secondly, when it comes right down to it our relationships with family and close friends are what complete us, comfort us, and bring us joy. People are what matter. There is not one material thing on this earth that could ever bring me such pure happiness as when my husband kisses me before he leaves for work in the mornings or when I am crawling on the living room floor chasing Trent playing our "kitty game" and when I finally catch him and he falls into my lap with his arms around my neck and we are both laughing so hard...it's nothing but pure joy. Those two boys mean the world to me. I am blessed. Even though Paige is in heaven, she is still very much alive in my heart and in my home. She too brought me so much joy in the short while we had together. I was so happy when I was pregnant with her...so excited about our future together. I truly am thankful for that time. She was definitely taken from me much sooner than I wanted, but we don't always get a choice in life.
Actually, we humans are not in control of as much as we think we are. That has been a tough lesson for me to learn. It is hard to feel helpless and out of control, but God knows that. He tells us that trials will come and that we are to lean on Him for strength. "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10)
For months I felt like I was walking around in a fog of "Why me?" "Why my baby?" I never got an answer. Am I mad at God? I think I was in the beginning. Or maybe I was only confused and looking for answers. Somehow, just waking up, putting one foot in front of the other and managing to breathe has shown me that you just have to deal. When you think you can't, that is okay, He can for you. And you just find a way.
When Paige died I thought I could never be happy again. But I have been happy since then. No matter how fleeting or far apart the truly happy feelings have been I have tried really hard to make myself aware. Really, really aware of them. It is nice to feel something other than pain and sadness. I am beginning to see that time does heal. Although, slowly and not completely, but at least enough to keep you going.
I have had to really deal with myself. I needed to. It was hard and dirty. I had to face feelings of embarrassment, guilt, jealousy, disappointment, and abandonment. All things I wish I hadn't felt and are even now difficult to admit. I have learned that I am human. Not immune to tragedy and not immune to having negative emotions. I have spent much of my life trying to please others no matter the cost to me and not ever showing any emotion that wasn't happy. That isn't realistic.
When Paige died, my world crumbled. I was sad that she died, embarrassed that I wasn't able to sustain my pregnancy, felt guilty because somehow maybe it was my fault, jealous of others who could carry healthy babies to term, disappointed that I would have to tell Trent that his baby sister died and along with her, all the hopes and dreams I had for our family died too, and finally I even felt a little abandoned by God. Those are yucky feelings. But they are just that. Feelings. Human emotions. I can acknowledge them and say, "Yeah, I felt that way." But those feelings don't define me. I don't have to live my life stuck in them. But it was very necessary for me to accept them and own them for a while before I could begin to move forward. Looking back at times when I had those feelings and felt like a horrible person for having them...I wasn't a horrible person. My baby had just died and I was trying to cope and process.
I think it is human nature to compare. At least it seemed natural to me. I couldn't help but compare myself, my pregnancy, and my body to other women and their experiences. What was wrong with me? Bearing children is such a natural process, but it is SO hard for me. Conceiving easily, carrying, and delivering a healthy, full-term baby is something I know nothing about. I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks, Trent was born prematurely at 29 weeks, and Paige was stillborn at 22 weeks. Not a great track record. It is hard to not get down about that sometimes. So, I let myself be sad for a moment - or longer - and then I go on with my day.
People constantly ask if we are going to try again. I feel confident that we will someday have 2 living children. I'm just not sure of when. I still feel conflicted in my heart about it. I worry that miscarriage or stillbirth could happen again. It would be devastating. However, then I look at Trent. He deserves to have a sibling here with him to play with and love. It breaks my heart that we go to the cemetery to see his sister. Yet, at the same time he is such an awesome kid. He is not quite 4 years old and he has the purest acceptance of God's will. He doesn't doubt that his sister is in heaven. He accepts it. That is so cool! I wish that faith in God was as easy and pure for adults as it is for children.
Honestly, I don't think I could have ever dealt with Paige's death if I didn't have Trent in my life. He is my best friend. He is my concrete proof that life goes on. When I had days that I thought I wanted to die too, in the back of my mind I knew I couldn't. Trent needed a mom. He needed me. So, though I miss Paige with all that I am, I have to rest in the promise that I will see her again when my time here on earth is over. And it isn't over yet. She isn't sad. I gave her all that I had while she was here and then she went straight into the arms of Christ. She never knew any sadness. It's hard to imagine a life like that. For that, I am happy. It might not make sense to others. And that's okay. I am not in the people pleasing business anymore. ;)