Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First Christmas

Usually I get a sentence out before starting to tear up, but just trying to think about how I'd start this one off I already need a tissue.

It's our first Christmas. Not first to celebrate or first as a Christian. And not even just the first without Kendall, but the first as our "new selves". And I did tear up a little today as the day went through. Once, I was remembering that I haven't journaled for Kristen and Drew lately. And remembering back to my last journal for Kendall before starting this blog. Just to remember back to when we thought everything was going perfect.

We had Christmas Eve with Kirk's family and my family came to our house early this morning. And normal activities with family were fine. Everyone excited to watch the kids rip into things. The one thing tangible on my list that I wanted the most was a new machine to use for the foundation. The foundation is my thing to keep me connected to Kendall and the pay-it-forward part is what is keeping me sane.

And just staying real, I don't have a tissue and just wiped my nose with my arm... I'm good... too lazy to get up... And my mom would ask why I would write that... and it's basically to show that through the day smiles and laughter wins through some tears.

With a break in the rain this afternoon, Kirk, Kristen, Drew, and myself went to visit Kendall. My second cry came from Kirk bending down and telling her "Bye-bye and Merry Christmas" as we were about to leave. My mind was thinking, "You shouldn't have to say that. It's just not fair."

And the third, not having much to do with Kendall, but God just letting me know He's listening.... Tucking Kristen into bed, she usually says her silent prayer and then I'll pray out loud. I had a little thought before she started to pray.... *I wish I could hear her prayer*

And a split second later, "Mommy, I wanna pray so you can hear me."

"Okay." Playing like it was no big deal... *HUGE GRIN*

I finished up and went to take out my contacts... And was thinking about what was my best present to receive. We asked Kristen what hers was. And we were talking about if Jesus gave Kendall a present. (Side note: Kristen thinks of Kendall as a 2-3-ish year old as well) And as much as I needed (I say "needed" b/c if I can't have my child, I better at least get the one material thing I wanted that connects me to her) the machine... it wasn't the machine. But continue to know God is listening and to hear Kristen's sweet voice as she prayed.

Merry Christmas baby girl... Kristen said Jesus knows how to braid your hair like hers!

Update on Foundation- check is written with paper work in the mail. Literally just waiting on the IRS! Who knows how long that will take. But now I have to learn how to use my Christmas present!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Needed An "Ugly Cry"

Haven't cried too much till Thursday night before bed, but haven't let up since with the CT kids.
It started off with something personal and on going; something I don't want to go I to detail here. Little things that would be stupid if anyone else talked about them sneak up and hit me when least expecting.
Then Friday came. I am saddened for the families of the ones killed. But my sadness is different. People post that they "can't imagine". I might not be able to imagine a horrific scene that took place, but I can imagine and will for the rest of my life, what it is like to live without one of your children.
And then some jealousy comes in. I'm aware that sounds wrong... Those families will have each other to lean on. Memories of their children laughing and playing. People who knew their children and can say "remember when..." And I'm sure there will be many events to come in remembrance and huge gatherings of love to continue to pour out.
When you lose an infant, there aren't too many people that can truly understand. The people I turn to the most, besides Kirk, are moms online who I will never meet. I somewhat look forward to "A Walk to Remember" with other families, but I don't know them either. And now not too many, even family, say much about Kendall.
Yes, I know that there's not that much to say. Sometimes I don't have the words either. But I rather talk about her than hide her. The pain is and will always be there, even when I have a smile on my face.
I'm thankful for a friend, Kathy, today for reminding us that other people are closer to home are hurting as much as those families in CT. I needed someone to remember (me- and I hate to be selfish or self centered) It made me cry but it was a cry of thankfulness.
Typing this on a dying phone, so I will edit mistakes later...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Thank you everyone for all your prayers through the holidays! Thanksgiving wasn't that bad. I think it's because it was "normal". I don't have any memories or traditions with the kids, that we would have continued with Kendall. Today might be a different story.

Kendall would be 6 months old today. And doing so much that I won't dwell on. But we started a tradition with Kristen and Drew that we will continue today with Kendall. Unfortunately we're squeezing it in, but it is happening, and that's what counts the most... that we don't skip it. Kirk and I have been to O'Charley's on each first 1/2 birthday for the kids. And with Kristen's school play tonight, we'll be there for the "realllly early bird".

That said, we're really excited that Kristen gets to be the angel Gabriel tonight!She's a beautiful angel today as well, with her little sister watching over her.

Today's Song:
Amy Grant- Breath of Heaven

I have traveled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside,
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy father you have come,
And chosen me now to carry your son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now.
Be with me now.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of heaven.

Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.

Christmas cards are in the mail for a lot of you... but I wanted to post our Christmas letter here as well:

Dear Family and Friends,

    We're not ones who usually type up anything with our Christmas cards, but this year hasn't been like any other. We'd like to continue our "thanks" for all you have done for us this year and for your continued prayers.
    I recently gave my testimony to the high schoolers at our church. Part of it told about my last days as a senior in high school, where I was handed a note card and asked to write where I'd like to be in 10 years. I wrote "1) Graduated college 2) Married 3) with kids". I realized that God let me do my check list. Thankfully God was still apart of the those ten years for Kirk and I to build a foundation on our marriage. This passed year God basically said, "You had your ten years, and now it's my turn".
    The hardest part of my journey with Kendall was the day we found out she had anencephaly. I never said "Why me?" but "What am I to learn from this?" Looking back on this passed year, I can see where things fit together like a puzzle to where we are now. God has broken us. But He has broken us to remold us (Is. 64:8). And Kendall was sent with a purpose (Is. 6:8).
    Since being in the hospital, I've wanted to be able to help others in similar situations. My sister-in-law felt called to help and we've started The Kendall Keepsake Foundation. Our non-profit will be encouraging families to go full term, letting them know their babies have a purpose and helping families that lose babies too soon capture moments with hand and foot print art. I know that I could not have started this without knowing how it is to be in their shoes (2 Cor. 1:3-7). He has called me to let them know their child is in Heaven with Him, and to share how they guarantee that they will be their baby again (John 3:16).
    God lit a fire under me. I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I'm learning how to be a better disciple (Matt. 28:19, Acts 1:8, Rom. 1:6). So please keep the foundation in your prayers, so that we continue to put God first and walk in His path.
    November is the month of Thankfulness with Thanksgiving Day, although we should be thankful all the time. And people did their days on Facebook, but this year I did "thankful verses". I started that with a heavy heart at the beginning of November, because it had been a year since we knew Kendall was on the way. Yes, I'm thankful for a lot, but I found it hard to actually write "I'm thankful for..." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Was I truly thankful for Kendall's death? So I prayed over those verses and remembered Isaiah 6:8, as it was Kendall who was sent. And if she were able to tell God, "Here I am Lord, send me". How could I not be proud of her and how could I not be thankful for how our lives have changed, as we grow closer to God because of her?
    I could have just blogged all this, and I might also post this, but not everyone who is reading this would have read the blog. It's Christmas time, and I'm truly putting Christ in Christmas, because if He's not, then what are you celebrating? Our baby came to die, just as God sent His Son... to change us. Jesus was not just sent for us, but for everyone (1 John 4). Without the Lord, how do we survive moments as these?
    We took our family pictures this Fall with Kendall represented by the lamb we had at the hospital and a doll a friend made us. She is always with us. The kids are doing very well. And Kirk and I will never be the same. But we can truly thank God for that!

May God bless you and Merry Christmas,
The Cribb's