Friday, June 20, 2014

Learning to Breathe Again

A week ago, I was in a hospital knowing that my son was about to be stillborn and the world felt as if it was crashing down around us. Today, we decided to find a way to say goodbye. We were given time to say goodbye at the hospital, but we wanted to find a way that we controlled. The most frustrating part of all of this is how little we controlled. We couldn't stop our son's birth defect, we didn't control how much time we spent in ultrasounds, or when he would be born, the hospital staff was compassionate, but we didn't have any control over what happened there. I still remember the man who kept making jokes as we walked into pre-op. He had no idea why we were there, but every joke felt like a knife.

Today, with clearance from the doctor, we set off to Drift Creek Falls. For me, water is holy. River, ocean, or waterfall and I feel connected to God and the world in a way I don't anywhere else. The falls were beautiful, but I was struck by a small flower growing on the side of the falls. There, on the sheer face of the cliff, in a small crag grew a beautiful purple bell flower. It bloomed out of rock. There were no other flowers or plants around it. Its sheer survival was a miracle. Against all odds, this seed found a home in an inhospitable place. It fought to survive, and now blooms next to the monstrous force of the waterfall. I took it as a sign to keep hoping. If that flower can bloom there, God will help me find a way to bloom again too. 

When all of this started, we thought we would have a memorial, but we realized we weren't ready to share our chance of saying goodbye with others. Being in presence of a such glorious beauty, marveling at the wonder of Creator who can let a flower bloom from a cliff and manage a powerful and raging ocean, we were able to find the words we needed to say goodbye. We will still mourn, we are still working through, but today we got to say goodbye in our own way. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for my husband, who hiked down and back with me. I am thankful for a body that can heal and move. I am thankful to live in a place were awesome beauty is less than an hour away. I am thankful that I am slowly losing that numbness and learning how to breathe again. 

Breathing is hard and life still feels overwhelming, but I am holding onto the image of that flower, and following it's plan:"Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are."  I will continue to have faith and hope that God has us in his hands. No matter how sheer the cliff, no matter how powerful the roaring waterfall, we will find a way to bloom and grow. 

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