Kiss Your Miracle

motherhood after infertility

Reminded March 29, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Family — Linnea @ 8:41 pm

Meeting up with my mom and sisters was definitely the highlight of my weekend. They stopped in Ocala for dinner on their way down to Sanibel Island for a week of sunshine with my aunt, uncle and cousins. They plan to stay at our house for a few days on their way home, but I was excited to see them now too, even though it was just for a quick hour at Panera.

I especially wanted to see my mom. Last Friday she took a horrible fall off her bike after her dog, Jack, got spooked by a squirrel and ran top speed into her front wheel (you can read the full story on her blog, Getting Through This). Though she managed to escape major damage, half of her face and her left eye are now an unnatural combination of red and purple. She’d told me over the phone she didn’t feel that bad, but I didn’t believe her since she rarely complains about anything.

When Sky first saw my mom yesterday she studied her carefully and then solemnly said, “Midgee owie,” several times before chattering away as usual. But I felt like crying. Why did this have to happen to my mom? Hasn’t she dealt with enough recently? My dad’s death was less than five months ago. It seems to me that my family doesn’t need another reminder that life is fragile.

But later that night when I said those very words to Adam, he responded, “You know, as hard as it is, I only benefit from being reminded of how fragile we are.” And as I thought about it, I realized he’s right. I would never welcome pain into my life or the lives of the people I love. But when I’m forced to acknowledge just how delicate we really are, it’s more difficult for me to take others for granted. I’m less casual with my words, more motivated to serve, and more willing to pay attention and listen carefully. Like Adam said, I benefit every time I’m reminded to be less self-centered.

I just wish I’d been reminded differently and that my mom didn’t have to suffer such an awful fall.


Pumping March 25, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood,Skylar Grace — Linnea @ 12:15 pm

Whenever I sit down with the breast pump, Sky immediately comes running over with her arms stretched out. “Skylar pumping! Skylar pumping!” she says, wanting a turn for herself. So when I’m finished I hand it over.

Life as a mom is sometimes stressful. I’m thankful for any chance I get to laugh during the day and grateful Sky gives me plenty of opportunities.


Child March 22, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Family — Linnea @ 1:00 pm

The other day I opened a package from my mom. In it I found my dad’s old cell phone. The service was cancelled several months ago after his death, but the SIM card and battery still work fine and my mom thought Sky would like to play with it. The first time I handed it to Sky she immediately turned it on and began chattering away, thrilled to have a “real” phone of her own.

For me, the phone stirred up a sudden rush of emotions. When Sky set it aside, I picked it up and held it for a long time, turning it over, looking at the scratches across the front. My dad used this phone to call me last year on September 22nd. He and my mom were on their way home from the hospital, where they’d just learned of his terminal cancer.

A month later, I was in the car with them, heading home from another trip to the hospital for treatment. I’m not sure if the cancer was in his brain at that point or if the heavy pain meds were clouding his thoughts, but he was very confused by then. He could no longer make calls by himself, but he still wanted to use his phone. “I need to call Nelson,” he told my mom, who was driving. “Okay,” said my mom, pushing my brother’s name on the contact list and handing the phone back. When my dad got Nelson’s voice mail, he left a long, rambling message and then paused at the end. He stumbled over his words and then instead of saying goodbye, wrapped up with, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” My mom’s eyes met mine in the rearview mirror and we were suddenly both smiling. It was sweet to think that when dad was confused and couldn’t find the proper words, he defaulted to prayer.

Memories of the last two months of my dad’s life – both good and bad – and the reality that yes, he really is gone from this world forever crashed over me harder than they ever have and I started to cry. I cried so hard it seemed like the tears would never stop. Images of my father in the last days of his life are difficult to forget, and when I remember them I can’t help but wonder why he had to go through so much pain and then die. It’s still confusing to me.

The next morning I listened to a podcast by Francis Chan, who pointed out that we tend to think God owes us answers to the questions we have about life and pain and death. We like to imagine ourselves arriving in heaven and hearing God’s great explanation of suffering in the world. But Chan pointed out that God will not be the one on trial; it will be our judgment day. God is the Father and we are the children.

It made me think about Skylar. She fights me when I want to change her poopy diapers and it’s really annoying. I know she doesn’t understand right now that it’s better to be clean than dirty, and that being clean involves the process of being changed. I’ve explained it to her before, but her little brain isn’t able to understand just yet. I find myself saying to her, “Sky, just stop fighting and trust me on this one, okay? Hold still and let me change you.”

The day after my crying session this week, God reminded me that he is the Father and I am the child. There are things I will never understand during my life on earth. But instead of feeling frustrated at being put in my place, I actually felt relieved. My dad’s sudden and horrific death doesn’t make sense to me or probably to anyone in my family, and that’s okay. Living a life of faith means trusting God in the middle of our confusion, not intellectually working our way out of it. A child is under no pressure to have things all figured out and I’m grateful God doesn’t require that of me; He only asks me to come to Him.


Someday March 18, 2010

Filed under: Family,Motherhood — Linnea @ 2:23 pm

In my little world these days, the only sound worse than Skylar throwing a temper tantrum is Micah screaming his brains out. There are times when our house is a very loud place. But the Bible tells us to “seek peace and pursue it,” which I take literally. So if it’s possible to avoid a total meltdown for all three of us, then that’s what I want to do.

When Micah’s fussy, there are two things that rarely fail to calm him down: the Ergo carrier and the bouncy ball. The combination of the two usually puts him to sleep (at least for a little while). But Sky is still adjusting to her brother, and the minute he goes into the Ergo she comes running at me with her arms out. “Hold you mommy!” she’ll cry over and over. So I do. And we all bounce together on the ball.

When Adam first took this photo he said, “Wow, you look so happy!” I am happy; having two kids is a dream come true for me. Though I can’t claim to be happy about all the time I spend these days pacing the floor or bouncing on that ball, I know someday I’ll look back at this picture and laugh. People even say I’ll feel wistful and nostalgic for this time in my life. Right now exhaustion keeps me from imagining that, but I’ve always believed that anything’s possible.


Coffeetime March 15, 2010

Filed under: Family — Linnea @ 7:45 pm

Almost everyone in my extended family drinks coffee obsessively and any drop-by guests are an immediate excuse for a coffee break. I have countless childhood memories of my mom and Aunt Mary deciding to have a “quick” coffee break together after school, which usually meant an hour or two of playtime for us with our cousins.

Sometimes I think that’s what I miss most about living near my family – all the time to sit and talk face to face. Adam and I travel north to see them as much as we can and it’s great to have our vacation weeks with them. But each trip is a major excursion involving the effort to plan and pack, long travel, and days off work for Adam, which means we can only do it a couple times a year. It’s all more than worth it of course, and I count down the days before each trip. But we still only get that day-to-day interaction for a short while before we have to pack up again and come home. There are many days I find myself alone in the kitchen with my kids, wishing for a random, unscheduled coffee break with family.

Maybe that’s why I appreciated this past Saturday morning so much. My Uncle Bervin and Aunt Mary called and said they were in Florida, passing through Ocala on their way to Sanibel Island. “We’d love to stop by for a few minutes and meet the baby,” they said. “Of course!” I said immediately. Thirty minutes later they were in our house. Mary cuddled Micah up in her arms and we all sat down with coffee and the donuts they’d brought with them.

My mom always tells me not to want what I don’t have. “Just gratefully receive what you’re given,” she says. So that’s what I’m trying to do. It was just one hour with a bit of my family, but it was special to me.


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