September 17, 2013

The Marring of a Mother

I have been thinking about this blog post for some time now. I wondered if I should just ignore posting the monumental change that has occurred in our family, or if I need to post it where, eventually, I will make into memory books for my children.

I have decided to write.

Spencer W. Kimball wrote,
"Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there. … Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. … What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. … Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your going and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. ... This is what the Lord has commanded and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance their daily lives."

And so, I will tearfully, with a humble and grateful heart, share with you my Devin.

This was my first post about him, after he had come into our lives.

He was is a perfect baby. Looking back over the past year and a half I cannot believe that Heavenly Father blessed us with such a remarkable little spirit. With Devin in the house, there was a different feeling. Truly, our spirits knew we were in the presence of perfection.

The morning of has got to be the most perfect morning we have had. I remember I was putting clothes away in the closet, Kurt was on the computer, the older ones were downstairs playing with toys, and our Devin was asleep in the bed. Moments later he sits up, looks at me sleepily, rubs his eyes, and just smiles. I tell Kurt to look up from the computer to "look at who's awake now". Perfection.

Later that afternoon he took a nap on my chest outside. He NEVER takes a nap on top of me. He always likes to be "spooned" or just put in our bed. Hours before he left us, I got to cuddle him and have him lay on my chest for an hour. I commented to Kurt and to my sister how this never happens, and I was so happy.

Nights leading up to that day, he was having the worst time sleeping. He was so good at sleeping through the night, or just waking up to nurse, and then going back to a peaceful sleep. Two nights straight all he did was cry and cry with absolutely nothing to comfort him. It was so out of character for him.  I wonder if he knew he was going to leave and was very upset about it. I would like to think so.

It was July 8th 2013, 6:45pm. I found him. His mother, protector, first love. The one who gave him life, found him in death. His father was second. His uncle was third.

Driving to the hospital in the patrol car, a voice spoke to me and told me "Alex, Devin is gone. Your baby is gone." I knew this was not going to end how I wanted it to.

The hospital was a nightmarish blur.

Our poor Reese threw up. Everett was our strength.

Devin is a donor. He has the rarest blood.

 Of course, he does.

I am so incredibly grateful for my older brother Brandon.  He stayed by our side the whole time. He was our strength, our sound advice, our protector.

I don't know how I got through the funeral. I don't know how or what I spoke on. The only thing I had somewhat prepared was the Cinderella analogy. And even then, I didn't know how to put into words what I had observed laying in my bed with my Reese.

But really, I do know how. It was from the constant prayers, our merciful Heavenly Father and our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we laid Devin to rest, gave him our sunflowers, Everett sweetly gave an unadulterated "Goodbye Devin" as if he was just going to see him later.

Now here we are almost three months later and I am having one of the worst weeks of my life. Since Sunday I have barely been able to keep it together. I have been crying at least three times a day.

I love my children. I love Devin. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting him in my life. I am so hurt that he left us. I hate that I have to live without him. I am disgusted that people tell me I chose this life. I don't believe them when they say that I am strong. I miss him every minute of everyday. I hate that I dream about him only to wake up alone. I love his 'sunflower love notes' {adopted from a friend of mine - Keri}. I am humbled that he chose me as his mother. I hope that we have paid our dues for awful things to happen to us. I feel fragile. I pray that my children, nieces, nephews, and cousins remain out of harm.  I am confused by people who tell me they know how I feel. I want to believe that we are sealed together. I want to see him again. I don't understand what people mean when they bring up the millennium-raising-of-our-children thing. It hurts to see other baby boys. It hurts to read stories of miracles. It's hard to go to church. It's difficult to hear lessons on answered prayers. It comforts me to know that he is with Heavenly Father. It brings me hope that he is watching over us. It makes my heart happy to hear Reese and Everett reminisce about their baby brother. I feel like a failure. I miss my baby.

In essence, I just don't know how to live the rest of my life.

My children [and everyone else] need to know that I am a human being with real emotions; not just an introverted bossy mommy. I need them to know that I love Devin. Even though it pains me to say his name, and I hardly say it, doesn't mean that I don't think about him constantly. I need them to know that if it wasn't for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the knowledge and belief of Eternal Families, and the two of them, I would not be here today.  Those things are the only possessions that have any sort of worth in any world and that give my life any sort of meaning.

What purpose would this life on earth serve if we didn't have something before this and something after this? What would be the point of having emotions, inclinations, spiritual awakenings, and heartbreak if we were living only for this brief moment on earth? What would be Devin's purpose? I don't think a Heavenly Father would have children pass away and not have them return to a heaven, or enable them to be reunited with family. That would mean that he was a cruel and unforgiving God. Not a merciful one, as it says in the scriptures.

I look forward to the day when my eternal family is reunited.

Until then, I am trying to keep myself busy, starting school, broaden my understanding of the Gospel, becoming more patient and soft spoken, and striving to just be a better human being.

There will be times and people who just will, for some reason, put me in a really dark place. I will avoid you. I will say hateful things. I am sorry. I do feel what I say, but I shouldn't let it leave my mouth. I will not care what you think. I am sorry. Be patient with me and I will try to tolerate you, and will strive to become more forgiving.

I am so incredibly grateful for the other people who pull me out of the darkness, the texts, the assignments, my basketball ladies, for the funny things, for the inspiring things, and for my sunflower love notes.

I love you. Thank you for reading. I still need your love, help, and understanding.

1 year, 3 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days 

Total Days: 472 
 Total Weeks: 67.4285714285714 
 Total Hours: 11328 
 Total Minutes: 679680 
 Total Seconds: 40780800


mc lenz said...

Thank you for this post, Shash.
I love you.

Tigersue said...

Hugs to you Alex. I remember a sweet sister you know that lost her baby at birth, once said the only way she made it through her first year was reading the scriptures. I think you will find what you need to get you by dad to day. The one thing I know is this perfect child of yours loves you, and is watching you every day.

Mortality is grief, we are to be happy but it really is grief. It will come in waves, where you have a bad week, and tell people you are having a bad week. Let your children know you love them, that bad days come, but it doesn't mean you don't love them. Allow yourself that grief and the healing you need. You will always have that missing part of you, but you will find moments when he is with you.

Living with a sister that has had a traumatic brain injury, we have all had dreams about her. I think dreams are Heavenly Father's way of letting us acclimate to sorrowful situations, and what you are going through is every parents worst nightmare. You will cry, we are supposed to cry, and at that same time continue to thank Heavenly Father for that beautiful son. He knows what it is to loose a child, he can send you that comfort you need.

Ashley Griffiths said...

I love you Alex.

Jana said...

Ohhh Alex. I'm sure this was so difficult to write, but I think you'll be glad you did. I always think of your artistic side (photography) but you are also an incredible writer. The paragraph where you describe the gamut of emotions you run through on what I assume to be an hourly basis is haunting. Thank you for trusting all of us and sharing this part of you and your grief - I hope it brings you some comfort.

Missy said...

I tried to comment from my phone last night, but the dang thing wouldn't let I'll try again.
I agree with Pres. Kimball about writing. It is such a blessing and teaching tool for our posterity, but it also heals. Little by little, word by painful word, the one doing the writing is able to process her thoughts and deepest feelings. It's ok to have hard days. It's ok to struggle. It's ok to cry. I love you and pray for you often.
Keep writing and taking pictures. Keep creating. XOXOX

Jennifer Boyer said...

I love this and how honest it is.

Unknown said...

you have inspired me to be a better person, and mother. Thank you.