Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter a reminder that Heaven is for Real

I've always been a procrastinator.  I thought maybe having Harper here would change that a bit--WRONG! I ordered her Easter basket from Etsy over 6 weeks ago but didn't give much thought as to what I would put in the basket. So I decided yesterday, I should probably go get a few things to put in it. But seriously, she's 3 months old, what do you give a baby? Especially one who has so much already!9 As I was browsing Target's baby section, a book in the next section over caught my eye. There, sitting at then end of an aisle, was a big yellow book, just calling my name. Heaven is for Real for Kids was place just right and instantly I knew it was the perfect gift. 

This may seem like an odd book for a baby and she certainly won't understand for a few years but I was so excited for the placement of this book. I wouldn't have sought it out as an Easter present but it was perfect. A book reminding us of all that we have waiting for us because of what Jesus did for us. How fitting for Easter. Thankfully, I had enough sense not to read it until I got home. And oh what I book. 

It's written perfectly for kids to understand that Jesus loves them and what Heaven is like. (SPOILER ALERT). The part that got me the most was when he talks about how he gets to meet his big sister for the first time and how she wouldn't stop hugging him. (Oh, be still my heart). The thought of Avery knowing Harper already is overwhelmingly beautiful. Even though she hasn't met her little sister yet, she knows her and loves her. And one day, one day I pray is many, many, many years away, she will know her when they finally meet. But not only that, it reminds me that she will know us too. 

I always worry that in her six days, she was too small to know us and understand who we are to her. I've always worried she didn't know our love enough. But this book, like the adult version, reminds me that I don't have to worry about that. She will know us and she knows she is loved. 

Some believe that it gets easier as time passes but that isn't true. It just gets different. Last year, I was feeling very empty Easter morning. No baby to make a basket for, no cute dresses to choose from. This Easter, I have all of that with Harper but Avery is still missing and that will never change. Harper is both a distraction and a reminder of all we have and all that is missing. Every holiday we celebrate with Harper helps us to feel like real parents  and we get to start traditions yet every holiday we celebrate reminds us of all the time, milestones, holidays and pictures we are missing out on with Avery. 

Today I am thankful the He is Risen. Today I am reminded that because of Him, one day we will all be together again. And like we are reminded in the book, Heaven is for Real and it's pretty awesome. 

Happy Easter from Harper. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Back to Work

Monday marks the end of my maternity leave. And I am absolutely dreading it. If you would have asked me my feelings about being a stay at home mom before Avery was born, my response would have been that it's not for me. Prior to June of 2012, I was very much career driven. I would never been able to imagine staying home with my kids all day. I thought I would go stir crazy. At that time, I very much found a lot of my identity in my work. It was part of who I was. 

Going back to work after losing Avery was hard. She gave me a brief glimpse into motherhood. Returning to work after losing her was wrong in so many ways. It wasn't the return I imagined. I was back sooner than planned and on the outside nothing had changed. I got up alone, got ready alone and left the house alone. It was just wrong. She should have been there with me, I should have been stressing about getting both of us ready, I should have been taking a different route to work to drop off at daycare. Mentally, I was checked out. I didn't want to be there. I had no focus, no drive, I was still grieving deeply and beyond exhausted. Over time, I got back into the swing of work. But my heart never fully was back into it. Work no longer held my identity like it had in the past. I was no longer driven mainly by work, it was no longer who I was. Instead I became a mix of career and bereaved mother. 

Now with Harper my mindset has changed so much more. I would give up my career in a second to be a stay at home mom. To be one of those moms who goes to mommy and me groups, to be one of those moms who has time to make my own baby food, to spend all day with Harper-loving her, teaching her and watching her grow. No part of me is ready to go back. I feel so guilty that I'm leaving her. I'm so overwhelmed with anxiety about returning, I've been making myself sick. I. Don't. Want. To. Go. 

Never would I have imagined I would lose my drive for my career. But truth be told, I have. Going back is going to be the hardest thing I've done since we had to say bye to Avery. I don't know how I'm going to get through each day. I don't know how I will stay focused and do the level and quality of work I once did. I don't know how I'll leave her every morning. I don't know if I'll be able to put in long hours or handle the stress like I use to. That's not who I am anymore. I'm no longer, Crystal the HR professional. Now, I'm Crystal, the mother of two amazing girls. 

I know so many women balance work and motherhood but as I sit here, holding my sleeping rainbow, I really worry about losing this time with her. There aren't enough hours in the day already and now I'll be spending 8+ hours a day away from this precious girl. 

Motherhood has changed me yet again and I wouldn't have it any other way. I just hope both of my girls know that I do it for them. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

22 Months

Avery's 2nd birthday is 2 months from yesterday. How is that even possible? It still feels like it was just yesterday I was pregnant with her. Yet at the same time it's been 2 long years. Many say time heals all wounds, if that were the case, (which I know it isn't), how much time is supposed to heal a wound like this? For those who believe this trite statement, I can confidently tell you, It's been 2 years and the pain is still very real, I am not healed. 

Yesterday a song came on the radio and it brought me right back to the early days after Avery died. The days where it hurt to breathe and I wanted to hide under the covers everyday. Almost two years, and the pain is still very much present. My heart is broken still and it aches and longs for her. Every. Single. Day. 

Last night I internally debated if I would have rather known what was going to happen on her 6th day. Would I have been any more prepared to deal with the heartache? Would I have lived in each moment more, absorbing each and every second we were given? Or would I have been so overwhelmed with knowing what was coming that I would have just been worrying the whole time, plagued with what was coming? I'm sure parents who've lost have felt this way too. Those who knew their time was short I'm sure have thought about how it would have been if they didn't know and others like me wonder how they would have done more had they known. After debating scenarios in my head, I snapped out if it. The truth is, neither scenario is better because in the end, we are still without a huge piece of our hearts. 

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. I've just rambled. I still feel so lost without Avery. And it's really starting to hit me that her birthday is quickly approaching. Another year has flown by without her here. Another year of missed milestones. Another year of living through the pain. 

Time does not heal, it just pushes us further away from what we had but closer to one day being back together. 

One day. 

One day we will reunite. 

One day we will reunite and be a complete family again. 

Until that time, my heart will ache and that piece marked Avery will always be missing.