Today marks the heaven date of Max, who would be 4 and Ethan, who would be 3. I worried a lot about leaving Italy and leaving the memory of Max and Ethan there, as if the impact ended after our time there. What I didn't know then was that these losses would stay in my heart forever, they are literally sweet little footprints that have left an imprint on my heart that will never leave me.
The box above carries all of their things that were collected during each of the times we lost. in this box there are about three layers of stuff in it and as soon as I open it, it takes me back to those days as if I was standing right there in those moments. The smell that seeps out of the box each time I open it is the smell of our Italian home and the candles we've kept over from their first heaven date celebration. I remember telling the counselor that I saw last year after the loss of Samson that something weird happened to me while I was going through the loss of Max, it was like I had separated myself - there was this wall that didn't let out any emotions during that time of finding out and the days and weeks after. Now that I look back at it I know that it was purely survival mode action that kept me afloat and helped me feel "normal". Back then I didn't know how to handle an overwhelming amount of emotions, criticism and gossip - I usually detached, shutdown and sleep through it, but as the losses have come I have evolved as a woman and a mother. I have learned how to handle loss, gossip and knowing the difference between constructive criticism and negative criticism. I have learned how to handle the overwhelming emotions that have come with loss, not perfectly, but with God's grace and help. I have learned when to guard my heart and I've learned when to allow my wall down.
The loss of Max was the start of breaking who I was - his loss allowed me to be angry, it allowed me to quench & grasp what true grieving and anger was and it allowed me to simply be with God exactly how I was - imperfect and broken. Once I thought I picked myself up and repaired myself with a lot of glue and duct tape I was ready to start trying again. It's almost funny looking back to see how I tried to control everything when it came to pregnancy, grieving, and my anger An just by throwing myself into work again I was able to hide from all of the emotions. When we found out I was expecting - I was relieved, I thought that the rain would stop even though I hadn't dealt with all of the anger with God, I figured I could just avoid it - even though it was the white elephant in the room. The day that I found out that I lost Ethan there was this overwhelming amount of angry prayers that flowed through my mouth - you would have thought I totaled my brand new Land Rover HSE or something (if you don't know what that is, it's a $90,000 SUV) because they were that angry and bitter. As crazy as it might sound, releasing that anger, bitterness and sadness to God took so much weight off of my back. I was able to handle the loss in a whole different way than the loss of Max, I was able to handle people's hurtful words so much better than before and I was able to not carry the anger or bittnerness and when it arose I knew to hand over, because it was devisive and truly only wrecked my heart.
I do not believe that I would be so faithful to God's plan if he hadn't taken me to my lowest points in life and helped repair me and fill the cracks in which only he can. Without these losses we wouldn't have had Ellie and although this was not the loveliest of seasons my life I can only praise him for breaking me and showing me that he will cover me in all of it.
I cannot believe it's been this long, but I cannot wait to see my sweet babies in Heaven.