Friday, June 22, 2012

Keeping Faith..

I had hopes and dreams for her. I was planning her future. I often imagined who she’d become. I imagined her being a walking testimony for God. She surely had a story to tell. All those dreams and hopes and plans for her future came to an abrupt end that hot summer day in 2006. Our little girl would leave Earth and make her way through the gates of Heaven, leaving behind everyone who loved her.

While standing in the hospital hallway, receiving the worst news I have ever heard someone softly speak from their lips, it felt like an out of body experience. I heard the doctor. I understood the words. Yet my mind could not fully comprehend what he was telling me. I fell to my knees, screamed, cried, and became physically ill. The world seemed to rotate as my husband and I stood still. Our sweet Zoey was gone. There would be no miracle for us tonight. We would leave that hospital empty handed. We would come home to a house full of baby items and no baby to fill them. It was a numbing, utterly painful, soul changing experience.

That night, I went into her empty room. Our house was eerily silent. Again, I was on my knees. I wasn’t asking God to bring her back. I was yelling at him for taking her. I prayed to you and you ignored me, I screamed. I was faithful to you and you turned your back on me, I cried. I felt alone. The months after Zoey’s birth, I was probably the closest to God I had been since accepting him in my life. I had faith that he would utilize the doctors to heal her broken heart, and when that didn’t happen, I was furious.

I continued down the path of bitterness for months after she was gone. I forgot how to smile. I knew how to pretend to be ‘happy’ for those around me, but inside I was dying. I had just lost my baby girl, and I was on my way to losing my faith in God. My faith had been my solace and comfort for so long, but my anger with him ‘taking’ her was crushing it.

My relationships with friends and family suffered as well. I wanted people to understand. But I neglected to realize that they were hurting, too. It wasn’t until my sister made a comment that I finally grasped some concept of Zoey’s death. I was mumbling “Why us?” which seems to be the mantra of parents who experience the same magnitude of loss as us. She replied, Why not you?”

I stopped to think, after my initial anger at her presumption that I could learn to cope and live without Zoey, and her words stuck in my head. Why not me? Right. I think God knew that eventually I would stop questioning his reasoning behind our loss and would learn to find a place in my heart to keep Zoey and allow my faith to grow. He knew that one day I would find him again. I would find my faith and tell Zoey’s testimony. I would be her voice on Earth.

When I stopped blaming God, I began to heal. I will never, ever be “over” her absence from our family, but I have learned to accept that it was a card we were dealt. God knew exactly how I would react before he brought Zoey home. He knew that eventually I would forgive him, and in turn myself. I would allow his love to radiate from me rather than living under the bitter cloud that originally followed me everywhere.

It isn’t my place to question him. It isn’t my place to wonder why me and not the other mothers whom my own biases presume are unfit. It is my place to ensure we see her again by living a life of faith. It is my goal, my sincerest hope and dream to one day be reunited with her. It is carved into the inner depths of my soul to tell her story and to make her proud. I can’t do that if I am consumed with anger and bitterness.

When parents are first faced with a loss this painful, I don’t think it’s even a tad bit abnormal to feel the way I did originally. I do, however, know it takes a lot more energy and strength to be angry than happy. Our little girl would want us to be happy. She would want us to tell her story and comfort those traveling down this same road. She taught us to be courageous through her own actions while she was here.

She inspired everyone who met her, even those who’ve never met her in the physical sense. Her story still inspires those I tell about her. She was beautiful. Brave. Courageous. She was a miracle. I forever miss her. My soul will never be fully complete until we meet again, but knowing that my faith is strong allows me to remember her life rather than her death.

Although she’ll never be able to share her testimony with the world, I can. I do my best to honor her. I try my hardest to let the world know who she was and what she meant to me and her family. She is my beautiful Zoey Faith. Her name, by definition, means “Life dedicated to God.” And I think she accomplished that.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

McKenzie's first dance recital

She did so great. I cannot believe how much dance has brought her out of her 'shy' shell and allowed her to shine. She loved every second of it and I was so, so, proud!

 I'd say she's a bit excited!
 1 can of Aqua net later
 Still excited
 A serious moment
 Made up like a perfect ballerina
 Skipping her way to the dressing room
 After the show.. She did two numbers, in two costumes. We weren't allowed to photograph the actual show- but we did purchase the video. So, hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to post it!