I went to a playgroup with Isaac today. Isaac did his usual – running round like a headless chicken, excited by all the toys to play with, not entirely sure what to settle on.
Eventually he did. He settled down with a dolly in a car seat. He took it out, covered it with a blanket, and rocked it. He told me “look mummy! This is your baby. I will look after it for you!”. And my heart broke.
I thought I’d gotten over our recent miscarriage. It was a couple of months ago, and often now, I don’t think about it. I don’t find myself crying every day. I don’t hate the sight of babies anymore. I can cope with it.
But it’s not gone. My heart still hurts. My mind still wonders “what if?” I still look at Isaac – the most tender hearted, cheeky little monkey a mummy could ever hope to have, and wish so desperately he could have the little brother or sister he – and I – would love so much. I look at him and I have so much love and I know that if we had another child, the love wouldn’t be shared but multiplied. And after all, who doesn’t want more love in the world?
And then in the afternoon, I spent time with treasured friends and their newly adopted son. They are a family who constantly speak to me of hope and love and trust, but they’ve all faced brokeness and pain, and I think would still say that healing is an ongoing journey.
I guess my question – and it is a question, one i’m constantly working on – is how do we keep going, when everything in us wants to give up and weep?
I guess part of it is about acknowledging that. There’s great value in taking the time to stop and cry and shout. And if it’s at God, that’s ok too – He’s big enough to take it. Sometimes life isn’t fine, regardless of what we tell ourselves with our gritted teeth smiles.
There’s something about finding the right friends too – the friends that will sit with you in the silence and the grief, and just remind you that you are loved. I’m so lucky to have several of those – thanks guys. I’m thinking of two friends in particular – the recent miscarriage was a very long event, and I think the hardest part of it was just that waiting for it to be over. Throughout all of it, these two friends sent me messages on facebook – no answers, just letting me know they cared. Just to know i wasn’t alone meant more to me than I can explain.
And I guess for me, the last part is looking to the cross. I blogged earlier about how I love the symbol of the crucifix – the sheer, bloody, “I get it” that it conveys to me. For me, it shows me that though the going is bloody rough, the end result can be marvellous. And that’s the hope that keeps me trudging on some days. Oh, and chocolate. Let’s not forget that!
Earlier this week, I thought I might have to cancel a pack holiday my Brownies have been fundraising like hell to go on. The thought had me in tears – these are girls that are handed a fairly large pile of crap in life, and I really hated the idea of disappointing them. When I got home, I found an incredible card in the post. It contained a cheque that is likely to mean the holiday can go ahead, as well as some much needed personal encouragement. Although the person who sent it is someone I’ve only “met” this week, she managed something that made a huge difference – not only to my girls, but to me, too.
I’m aware in writing this that a lot of people who read my blog aren’t Christians, and I always hate to come across like I believe that Christians have the monopoly on the good things. But one of the things that most gives me hope when I want to give up is the sheer – wonder, I guess – of fellow humans. The heart that could reach out to those they don’t know with such love and grace. It’s the hope that makes me keep on. Because however I feel, there’s beauty. There’s always beauty.