Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hilton Head

The night of Monday, June 18 Kirk started to talk about going somewhere, just him and me. The next day we did some brainstorming on where and decided Hilton Head. Just far enough, but not spending too much money. We did Priceline and we're out the door Wednesday (20th- original c-section date), after packing ourselves and the kids for staying with grandparents.

I was a little torn on going Monday night, trying to convince myself I deserved to go. We could spend the money on things at home that I really wanted done (painting- a project that I was ready to do before finding out about Kendall's anencephaly, but ended up not caring about it afterward). I wasn't sure if going and coming back would all be good for the time being or a "waste" when we returned. I'm happy we went, but still struggle with what is "deserved", almost like our consolation prize for losing a child... nothing can fill that. But as I got the chance to read two very good books on the trip, I would discover that the good memories of the trip would be positive things to think about in the future.

We'll be taking a family trip later in the year to include the kids, when it's not so hot.

So, as I have said before, I'm not a big reader. I figured out why... I started reading Heaven in for Real on the trip down and finished it 10 mins after we arrived in the hotel room, barely putting it down. I discovered a few things. I like reading about people's real lives. And I want to know the story beginning to end without having to put it down. So knowing this second fact, I realized that it's not that I don't have time to read at home, it's that I don't have time to read a whole book in one sitting. The second book I read was Choosing to See. Next on my list will be I Will Carry You.
These both were books friends had given me within days of finding out we'd lose Kendall. I wasn't ready to read anyone's else struggles while still going through our own. I almost thought I'd never have time to read them, but very glad I did. I might have to send the kids off for a day to read the third book. I'm at a place where I can finally step back and see the joy within the struggles; see God working through them.

Kirk and I got a chance to talk a little more about our feelings while driving to play putt putt at Adventure Cove, one of two places we played putt putt, which meant we played four rounds, 18 holes each. Yes, he beat me every time, but only by 3-5 strokes. But back to our feelings on Kendall. They weren't feelings of sadness. I do miss Kendall and love remembering her, but it's a deeper sense of love and life now. And now I seem to ask myself what I'll do with this new me? I have a sense to help others, but how and when? I am a stay at home mom to little kids still, and that comes first (so I say now, just hope God agrees). I will toy with the idea of putting all this in a book form, but it will take some time. And there's being a Steven Minister at church, maybe in due time. We'll see how things play out.

I didn't have my computer on the beach, so I took Kirk's journal and started writing, so not to forget anything. And I wrote...

"As I people watch, I see a 10-12ish year old boy that seems to have autism, being guided around by a parent. I hear his name is Joe. Watching Joe, I could go up and give him a HUGE hug! Knowing his life is an everyday challenge to him and his parents. But they willingly love and probably give up so much for him. And it makes me smile and tear up to know that is like God's love for us. It might not run through their minds that they have a choice to care for their son, but they do. And everyday they wake up and make the right choice. The choice to keep on loving and caring for him, no matter where it takes them."

I also told Kirk on that car ride that I haven't cried or gotten too emotional over losing Kendall  (probably b/c I know I can't bring her back), but I cry over the deepness of love that we now have experienced because of everything we have been through. Our love for Kendall and others love for us. And though it's not fair that people have to go through something to this degree to feel this way, it's worth it.

I wouldn't say that Kirk or I would wish this on anyone or to say we'd want to go through this again, but we are at a better place in our lives. A better understanding. And now not only do we have Kendall in our hearts, but she is and will be a huge part of our lives. So when I'm caught up in the hub-bub of life with what seems to be "mom of two", there is always going to be another. I'm a mom of three wonderful children and proud of it!

Never in my mind have I thought of having more than three kids, but God has now opened that door. What I'm about to type is a mere recording, so people might believe me in the future... I have told Kirk and a few friends... before having any kids, in a quiet time, I felt that I heard God pretty plainly say that we would have twins. Kristen went by, no. Drew, no. Kendall, no. I thought we were in the clear and I must have heard wrong because we'd be done after three. Maybe he meant twins in another way?? Now I have a silent laugh and shake my head that God is teasing me, for that chance might come. Twins, I was okay for Kristen, a little less with Drew, but still accepting. And with Kendall I was checking for her not to be a twin! But now I'd be thrilled! (Kirk, a little scared) Through it all, I love seeing God work in ways we can't even imagine!

Sitting on the beach I overheard two girl friends, probably newly engaged or married (both had rings), one saying to the other, "I don't even want a child." I know it's not meant for everyone, but oh the joys she could be missing!

What I learned from the two books:
1)  I'm happy I feel like I have been real with God. Don't need any "churchy, holy-sounding prayer to be heard in Heaven". Tell God what you think (even the bad), because he already knows it anyway.
2) Telling a child about a lost one can be hard, but the Chapman's put it as "going on a really long road trip. It's going to be a long time before we see her again, but we will see her again!" I've regained the hope that I thought I had lost in my prayers.
3) It's ok if you if you don't know what to say, "there are no words" is just fine with a hug.
4) God healed Kendall in a way I might not have picked to heal her (as I wanted her here, although I know that Heaven is a better alternative), but He is also healing us, in a way that will make us new for Him.

1Thess 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Kendall's up there somewhere! XOXO

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