Monday, September 22, 2014

One step forward

and two steps back...

I had one day without uncontrollable sobbing.  It was good.  It gave me hope.  I started this Blog and that actually gave me a moment of “feeling” something besides profound unbearable loss.  Then today – two steps back.  

All of my life I have heard that "God will not put on you more than you are able to stand."  I now have a whole new perspective on what that really means.  God will most certainly put on you more than you are able to stand.  This is more than any one is able to stand.  But God will not give it to you all at once but in tiny bits and pieces as you are able to stand it.  And so the words that used to comfort are now scary.  very scary.
When you lose three members of your family at one time you cannot even absorb it all at once and they all three takes turns at you one at a time and so today is Paxton's day again.

When Kara and Brian married she didn't think she would ever be able to carry a baby.  She had to have an ovary removed at eighteen and then a year after they married she had a cyst to rupture in her existing ovary and was afraid they would have to remove it as well.  She was beside herself fearful that she would never be able to have a baby.  About a month after she was hospitalized for the ruptured cyst I had a dream that I saw a toddler standing in my den wearing a little hat that had puppy ears and a puppy face on the front of it.  I had really never seen a hat like that but thought it was the cutest thing.  I did not recognize the child and did not know who he belonged to but oh my gosh did I love that little boy.  It was the deepest, strongest love that I have ever known.  A love that I would look back and say had to have been the Agape Love that the bible speaks of.  I loved that child with the purest, deepest, soul-love --a love unlike any I had ever experienced in real life.  I only saw him for maybe two minutes.  He never spoke and I never saw parents or knew who he actually belonged to.  I just knew I loved him so very much.  It was not until I awoke that I knew whose child he was.

 I remember calling Kara that next morning and told her to stop worrying about never being able to have a baby.  God had shown me that she was going to have a baby.  It was a little boy and  "please hurry because I already love him so much!"  She laughed and cried and was so excited it was as if I had just put him in her arms.  About thirty days later she was pregnant.

She and Brian were in the midst of a major remodel on a foreclosure that they had bought for a song.  It was about 12 miles from us.  It was in pretty bad shape cosmetically but had great bones.  It was big enough to accommodate his other two teenage children until such a time as they left home and it even had unfinished rooms in the basement for future growth.  

Brian was very good with his hands and was a skilled carpenter and loved always having a project to work on.  It had always been his dream to build his own home from the ground up.  I convinced them that as many foreclosures as were on the market and in the shape some were in – it would feel like he had built it from the ground up by the time he got it livable.  So he took my advice and once closed, they worked on the house every free moment they had and I kept the baby while they worked.

We had a nursery set up for him in our home with a baby bed given to us by a girl at church.  We kept a full stock of diapers, toiletries and clothes for him here and from Friday to Sunday – he was ours.  I rocked, I changed, I bathed, I walked the floor when he wouldn’t sleep.  I realized quickly why God gives babies to young people.  It was exhausting.  Being older and more aware of things like SIDS,  I could hardly sleep when he was there because I was up checking on him every hour on the hour.  I feared him smothering.  I feared him getting cold.  I feared him crying and me not being able to hear him.  So finally I just gave in and went to the spare bed in the room with him.

Sunday mornings I loaded up literally everything in the house and fought with that god-forsaken complicated car seat and off we’d go to Sunday School.  I lived in secret fear that I was going to latch him into that car seat and not be able to get him out.  On several occasions I thought I was going to have to call 911 to come and bring the "jaws of life" to get him out.  Life with a baby never used to be this complicated. 
He would never stay in the nursery at church.  We tried that exactly once and you could hear him screaming all the way from the back of the building.  I retrieved him and we just never did that again.  If he got restless – we both went to the nursery.  Most of the time my seniors Sunday- School class took it in stride that our Sunday School table was going to double as a race track as he sat quietly in my lap and rolled tiny cars back and forth as far as he could reach.  Since he was literally raised from birth in my Sunday School class, he learned never to talk or make noise and he really never cried or never tried to get down.  He knew the drill and he quietly played in my lap until Sunday- School was over.  Then we moved to the Sanctuary for church service.  He recognized where we always sat in church from the time he was about 6 months old.  And he did play up and down the pew but only tried to run loose in the church once. 

When we got home it was our Sunday afternoon playtime.  He had me down in the floor crawling around the sofa playing hide and seek while he squealed with delight when I “found” him.  We played hide and seek behind the sofa pillows too my personal favorite as it kept my 60 year old overweight behind out of the floor.  As it turned out it was also his favorite game.  He would take a throw pillow and put it up in front of his face and waited for me to search him out and “find” him.  I would look under flower vases, behind 5X7 photographs, under the couch cushions, under his feet and I would say:  “Where is Paxton?  Is he under here?  Noooooo.  How about here?  Nooooooo.  Is he under here?  Noooooooooooooo.”  Each time I said my exaggerated “No” it would bring a fit of giggles from behind the pillow.  Finally he would pop his head out from behind the pillow and “surprise” me with the fact that he was right there under my nose the whole time.  And of course I would gasp in mock surprise and he would laugh hysterically and pull the pillow back in front of his face and we’d start all over.  We played this game for hours. 

No one understands why I have no problem looking at the toys scattered about but look at sofa pillows and sob uncontrollably.

He is literally everywhere in my house.  He did not visit here occasionally.  He lived here.  Not every day.  Not even every weekend – but he lived here.  His presence is in every single room.   His handmade wooden rocking horse which he called "Ye Ha" has been permanently corralled in front of my den window where he can "watch for Paxton to come" since we dragged it out of the attic and cleaned it up to see if Paxton could hold himself up on it yet.  His favorite fire truck sits parked behind the couch where he kept it because it rolled easily on the hard floor and encountered the least amount of obstacles when we got down on the floor and rolled it back and forth to each other – crashing into walls and furniture while my grown children cringed in disbelief.  His little red and yellow swing hangs from the maple tree in the back yard.  The Big Wheel that he could not quite reach the pedals on yet sits under the porch.  His CARS tent set up in the spare bedroom still.

 It seems like these would be torture to me - but they are so not.  It is me pretending he is just at his home and according to all of this – he may come bounding through the door at any minute.

Like his videos on my phone.  I play them periodically throughout the day because they bring him back to me for a little while.  I can see him running, squealing, playing, dancing and singing.  He is here-- with me -- for a little longer.  I am happy.   From the moment he came into our lives – he was the most joy I had ever known.  He was my world.  The joy has gone out of my life. 

Sometimes though I know it and have of course not spent one minute of the last several weeks that it was not on my mind.  It hits me again like it is brand new.  Just like I am hearing it for the first time.  What is amazing to me is that my body even reacts like it is brand new.  I gasp for breath and literally feel like my airway is blocked.  My heart starts to race.  My hands begin to sweat and shake and I go into a full panic and it hits me all over again with a literally physical pain that is all but unbearable.  That was today.

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