Tuesday, March 27

No rain

I have always liked the rain. The tiny pitter patters changing to heavy drops on the skylight over my bed that I would listen to as I fell asleep. The crisp freshness that the world takes on after the rain is over. This is how I remember the rain in Maryland as I was growing up. When we moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, the rain took on a whole new face. Spring brought deluges of rain down upon us that soaked the ground until it spilled over because it could not take any more. The gentle little stream near our house turned into a raging river as its flooded waters spilled onto backyards nearby. It was beautiful but terrifying at the same time. Greenness blossomed everywhere from these rains. Now that we are in El Paso, it is rare that we see the rain. There are over 300 days of sunshine here. I never thought that I would miss it as much as I do. The desert has a unique beauty in its dryness, in the flowers on the cactuses, in the shades of beige that surround us. But sometimes I miss the rain.

Today a friend sent me a message on facebook. I have received many touching messages from friends the past few weeks following Rachel's death but in this message, my friend asked if I had heard of a song called "I will carry you (Audrey's song)" by the group Selah. The title of it sounded slightly familiar but I was not sure why. I went onto itunes and looked up the song. I admit that I have never been into Christian music except for a brief period of time as a teenager so I had not heard of the song or the group before this. I played an excerpt of the song and then bought the whole album. Tears rolled down my face as I listened to it because surely the song was meant for someone like me.

Someone who had lost their precious baby.

There had to be a story behind it.

After a bit of searching, I found the website. "Bring the rain" is a website created by Angie Smith, the wife of one of the members of the group Selah. The website was started after she received the news that their baby Audrey probably would not survive long after birth.

It was my story too.

The one exception being that they had turned to God during the worst time in their lives and I had turned away.

Somehow, reading their story and listening to that song was what I needed to take a tiny, tentative step back toward God. I have always thought I had a pretty good relationship with God but since the day of the ultrasound, I have been angry with Him. I will carry you is about a mother carrying her child but it is also about God carrying the mother. Maybe I will let Him carry me too.

Wednesday, March 21

A year gone by

It has been a really long time since I have written here. More than a year actually and so much has happened. There is so much to say and yet, I have not been able to find the time or the words or even the energy to do so. I thought I would start up again and that perhaps by writing in this blog, it would be a way to heal. For as most of you know, our beautiful daughter Rachel died. She would have been a month old today. I can't believe it really. Any of it. It all seems so completely unreal to me even though it has been almost 4 weeks since she died.

Although I seem to have more "normal" moments (whatever that is now), I continue to feel like I am walking around in a daze. Like a zombie mother. I get up, help the boys get ready for school, feed them breakfast, make their lunches...all things I used to do but now it is all different. I suppose nothing will ever be the same for me. The other day, we were driving somewhere and I found a dry cleaners receipt and I started to cry because when I had dropped the clothes off, I had been pregnant. Now I was not pregnant and I had no baby. The grief just engulfed me for a moment. Those moments happen quite frequently I must admit. Everything for me has become "before Rachel" and "after Rachel" when I reference things in my head. Never could I have imagined that I would be experiencing a pain so raw and so deep one year ago. I read a very poignant article in a recent issue of JAMA (a medical journal) which was titled "The Before." The physician basically talked about giving a patient the diagnosis of cancer and how the patient gets the bad news, everything becomes divided into before/after. Having given bad news like that to many patients myself, I have now been on both sides of "The Before." Neither side is easy but being on the receiving end of that life changing moment has forever changed me.