saturday

30 June 2007

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steve took me to the jeweler that made his wedding band today, to get the memorial ring i want. i want a piece of Jorai's memory with me at all times and the one thing i never take off is rings. so i created a ring and this super cool guy is going to create it. it's nothing too inventive. i just want a simple band with the name Jorai Mae inscribed on the face and i was a pearl to dot the i in Jorai. pearl is the birthstone for june. the jeweler is even going to free script it in our style of writing. so steve and i are going to write out Jorai's name and he'll copy it. i'm excited to get it.

but as we walked into the store we recognized one of the workers. she's a mother of a friend and we haven't seen her in a few months. i guess i just assumed she heard about Jorai. but she didn't. she came up to me and said 'you don't look any bigger than the last time i saw you!'. alright...so with the obvious hurt, i had to tell her the story. i made it through, but it was hard. and i could see how bad she felt too, so i tried to make her feel ok as well. but then it hit me again...do i still look pregnant, 5 months pregnant? when i look in the mirror, i see the pre-preggo kim...with a bit more tummy and back, but not enough to make me look pregnant...at least i didn't think so!

oye!

we hung the pictures up in Jorai's room today as well. it was bittersweet. it's easier for me to spend time in her room. it's even a bit healing. i like to go in there a few times a day. so it's nice to see it completed. to see how it would look like for her to come home to. but sad too, to know that she'll never come home to it. but it's complete. maybe one day the room will be her brothers or sisters. i have to have hope for that.

i miss our little girl.

a lesson learned today

28 June 2007

it is better to know God than to know answers.

we MUST trust God in spite of not having the answers to why we suffer.

does prayer really work?

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i think it does, but then, sometimes, i don't think it really does. what do you think. i'm not rethinking my faith...so don't go there. i've just been thinking about it. i know people have been praying for us, i feel it. i know that God has been really pulling us through this time and with everyone praying for us, i feel very comforted. so why am i asking if prayer really works?

God has his plans for us. He's will, will happen. we cannot change it. we have no control. i prayed almost everyday for Jorai's health. for her to stay healthy, for her birth to be safe for both of us and for her to live a healthy, happy life. for us to raise her in the way of the Lord. i prayed for both steve and i to continually grow in Christ so that we can not only please God and live a Christ centered life, showing others His love and bringing others to Him, but also to show our children that kind of love and sacrifice. i know that my friend, who also just lost her son at 6 months gestation, fervently prayed each night for her son. yet we both lost our children.

i know that we don't always get what we want. i'm not trying to sound like a spoiled kid here. please don't get me wrong. and i haven't given up on prayer. i'm still praying like mad. i've actually prayed more since losing Jorai, then i did prior to our loss. i'm just trying to figure it out. and i know it's probably one of those 'you won't find out until you get to ask God' things, but i'm curious what y'all think.

what happens when we pray? does it help to pray? a friend of ours wife has been in kind of an awake coma for 2 years now. both of them were two of the most devoted, amazingly faithful believers i have ever met. their children were faithful, they had tons of incredibly believing friends surrounding them. when she slipped into this coma, people surrounded her day and night. they laid hands on her and prayed for any kind of healing. people who had never met her prior to this, have since became her friend, praying for her and sitting at her bedside. it's been 2 years, and change has been minimal. she lives at the diamondale care center. i know there are miracles and i know there are times God keeps us in trials to use us to reach others. i know everything is in His hands for the greater good. so where does prayer come in? what role does it play?

as i was puling into the holt library just a few moments ago, there was a kid backing up and of course, not looking. thank goodness i saw him, so i stopped, frustrated that he was pulling out so slow. finally, he left the parking lot, so i pulled up, parked and ran frantically threw the rain to return the season 2 of house m.d.. by the time i ran back into my car and pulled out to leave the parking lot, i saw the same green car in the middle of the road. and to the right, that same kid, college age, bawling and pacing, holding his phone as he ran up to my car yelling how he totally screwed up this life and that he didn't know what to do. i called 911. i told him to sit in my car, since we were in a torrential downpour, but he was gone. his mind was frantic.

this young kid felt like he had nothing left because he totalled his car. he was thinking that he would lose his job and fall into debt. i felt to bad for the kid. he was in shock.

losing Jorai has taught me so much. what's important and what's not. although i felt for the kid and realized how scary it is to get into a bad accident like that. i also realized that maybe God just thew this kid a wake up call. i wonder if he'll see it.

i love thunder. it makes me feel like i'm not the only one screaming.

it's eerily dark yet light at the same time. the trees are moving in crazy directions and the rain is flying sideways.

i'm not alone in my anger. i love it. bring it on.

getting screwed

so my boss is trying to screw me once again. not only have my hours been decreased from 40 to 16, but now they are making it as hard for me to find other employment as possible. they are screwing with my schedule. maybe it's time to simply cut my losses with this place. i'm just sick of it all. they tell me that one week i'll work monday and thursday and the next i'll work tuesday and thursday. who would hire me if i can only work certain days each week and that those days will change every week. this whole thing is silly and i seriously can't believe a department would do this to someone who has worked there for over 2 years. but then again, i guess i have to remember that the only thing they care about is the money and not their employees.

i'll keep the job for now, but i'm looking for other employment all together. i'm just completely astounded that they would do this to someone who just got 3 of their 5 days taken away. especially since i completely transformed that department. if it weren't for me, the educator would still be seeing only 1 client a week if that...when i left i was seeing up to 6 a day. they know that i want to find another job to fill in the gap, why would they make it as difficult as they can?

does anyone know of a job? i'd love to leave this place. i'd love to screw them. ohh...that's not the person i should be...i know. i should suck it up and turn the other cheek and show the new person all of the educational materials i created, everything i use and all of the handouts...but what i really want to do is delete everything i've created and leave that office not telling anyone what i do. i mean, i had to completely self teach myself to bring the department where it is today, why should i allow them to screw me as much as possible and simply take it? but then again...isn't that what i'm called to do, take it and turn the other cheek? where is the line drawn. how long do i stand strong and where's the point that i simply turn the other cheek?

damn i'm confused. i want to screw them. i want to throw my hands up into the air and scream. i can't believe that they really don't care that they're screwing me. but i also know that i'm not called to be a jerk. i'm called to show people the other way. right now though, i just really don't feel like being the better person. i really don't feel like showing people the good.

God is really working on me right now, isn't He? i started re-reading Job last night. Job went through so much. God allowed satan to 'test' him by killing all his livestock and children. turning his friends and wife against him and inflicting him with painful sores all over his body. God allowed satan to do all of this, to take everything from him to prove His point and to teach Job lessons through his pain and suffering. i'm starting to realize just how much He's testing me too.

the bible compares going through Gods lessons as being refined like gold.

1 Peter 1:7

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
i hope i don't fail these trails. some moments i feel strong. i can look at Jorai's short life within my belly and though i miss her, i can see the grace of God through her sacrifice. i don't like it...but i can see the good in it. but then i get blown by something or someone else and the self loathing hits again. why me? why something else? is it ever going to stop? i wish i could look to the heavens like Job and simply say
Job 1:21
"I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The LORD gave me everything I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!"
why is it so hard for me to be faithful? i want to have Job's strength. i want to praise God through all of this. but instead i feel weak and worthless. please pray for me to be the woman God wants me to be instead of a selfish little girl. please pray that i will be able to see the good in all this crap. help me to grow in Christ. this whole process just helps me to see what a crappy, selfish, self loathing christian i am. i suck. i scream out at God. i feel sorry for myself and at times blame the One who breathes life into me everyday. i'm completely worthless and undeserving of His love, yet He continues to love me. i'm so grateful that God is God. if i were Him, i'd have dropped me eons ago.

a song on my heart

25 June 2007

Broken Things ~ Julie Miller (listen to it here)

You can have my heart
Though it isn't new
It's been used and broken
And only comes in blue
It's been down a long road
And it got dirty on the way
If I give it to you will you make it clean
And wash the shame away

You can have my heart
If you don't mind broken things
You can have my life if you don't mind these tears
Well I heard that you make old things new
So I give these pieces all to you
If you want it you can have my heart

So beyond repair
Nothing I could do
I tried to fix it myself
But it was only worse when I got through
Then you walked into my darkness
And you speak words so sweet
And you hold me like a child
Till my frozen tears fall at your feet

steve and i went to see evan almighty this weekend. we went to lansing 6 theater, by the lansing mall. it was only $3.00 for the matinee and it was actually really nice. we were in the big theater, so that my be part of it...but the seats were nice and there were probably only 15 folks in the theater..we did go to the 11am showing, but it was nice...go check it out.

i may have gotten more out of the movie because what we've been through these past 3 weeks, but something hit me hard...in a conversation between God and Evan's wife, God says this:

If you pray for patience, do you think God just… gives you patience? Or does he give you opportunities to be patient? If you pray for courage, do you think he just gives you courage, or opportunities to be courageous? When you pray for your family to grow closer, does God send warm fuzzy feelings, or opportunities to stand together?
this reminds me to focus of what Christ is constantly trying to teach me and how i'm constantly not listening. i am constantly praying for God to move in my life. for His to show steve and i where we're suppose to be, what we're suppose to be doing. i pray for our ministry. what is should be, where we should be focusing our attention. but instead of really taking the time to listen, i just go about my day. i ask and then shut off my hearing.

when i first became a believer, 'my song' became phoenix with a heartache by kids in the way. and still, every time i hear it, it reminds me of where i came from, but what i need to remember is that i continue to come from there. every day i wake up, i need to nail myself to the cross. i need to nail my sorrow to the cross. i need to nail my self loathing and frustration to the cross. why do i keep forgetting this?


Christ is constantly trying to teach me. Christ is standing there, waiting for me to hear Him. waiting for me to see Him. why am i so deaf? why am i so blind? Jorai was brought into our lives to teach us. to form us. maybe for us to help others. i need to remember this. i need to keep this close.

phoenix with a heartache ~ kids in the way

It's a bone cold night.
I'm breathing in the air.
It's freezing up my lungs, as I
fight for words to share with you,
to tell you what you've done to me.
You ripped me from my set in stone complacency.
You rose from the ashes
Like a phoenix with a heartache.
Now you're taking me away with you
tonight and I know that I can't fly.

But when I'm in your arms, I'm holding up the sky.
It's a bone cold night.
I'm writhing in despair.
It's freezing up my heart, as you
fight for words to share with me,
to tell me what my eyes can't see.
You ripped me from my set in stone complacency.
And there you were, standing there,
Like an answer to a dream I never had.
You showed me everything, showed me everything,
showed me everything I never knew about me.


**mood: pissed off
**noise: cowboy junkies

i just found out that my friend, who's 24 weeks pregnant with twins, was just in the hospital over night with tachycardia. she's fine. the babies are fine. but she's on modified bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. what is going on here? another strong christian women having complications? i'm really trying hard not to get mad here. i'm really trying to remember that God's good, that He has everything in control. but how can i see the good when all i keep seeing is the bad and unexplainable?

i had a crappy day yesterday. i was sad all morning and then i fell down the stairs and i caught myself by smacking my head against the corner of the wall. pissed off i elbowed the wall..i know...stupid. but i don't care. then for some silly reason, i decided to start a gardening project and after multiple finger cuts i banged my knuckles against the lone piece of wood in the bed. so i swore out to God. that sucked. i've never sworn at God before. but give me a break here. can i have an ounce of sun in my day? just a second without pain. i feel like if i'm not being berated with emotional pain, the physical pain starts.

this morning started out alright, but then that went to crap as well. what is it with the weekends that are so difficult? the work weeks are tolerable but then the weekends...i've been trying like mad to pull myself together here. i was even going to blog about a lesson learned today, but now i'm just too pissed. it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

please pray for my friend. pray that those babies are safe and healthy in her womb. pray that she'll hold them until her due date. please pray fervently for her.

and if you have a sec. pray for me too please. help me to see the good in the madness. i want this horrible loss to mean something. i want to know that it all meant something and i want to honor my little girl instead of getting stuck in the muck of madness.

steve and i went to hear brandon play last night in east lansing. it was nice seeing and hearing him. and although i liked being outside on a beautiful night listening to some amazing blue grass, it was so hard for me.

there was a woman standing next to me that was probably 8 months preggo. she looked so cute. and as i looked around, i was amazed to see about 5 more preggo women. i kept touching the softness of my belly and holding back the tears.

but the worst part was all the kids. i'm fine with children. i love being around them, but in the mix of kids dancing to the music stood 1 girl. 3ish. totally beatnik. blonde curly hair and was wearing this curled up straw cowboy hat. she looked like such a spitfire. all i could think of was Jorai. that was how i always thought she would look like. i couldn't stop looking at her. and each time it brought tears. i had a lump in my throat the entire evening.

there's a part of me that wants to pack up all of the cards and dried up roses next to Jorai's picture. a part of me even wants to put away Jorai's picture. a part of me feels so sad every time i look into the living room and see it filled with reminders of our little girl. but then i get the tinge of guilt that i've become so accustom to and the other side of me cries out in fear about the thought of removing anything from the room that has memories of Jorai.

i still forget what she looked like. as soon as that feeling takes hold, i have to run over and look at her. but i can only see her face. i have to imagine the rest. how do you remember someone you only saw for a few hours. yet how can you forget what your child looks like?

i want to move on. i want to move past the pain. i want to get a sense of normality back into my life, but how can i when i'm surrounded by the pain of losing Jorai. yet how can i pack up my little girls memories in a box. for the most part these cards and dead flowers, the books and ornament, the memorial stones and plants and the only memories we have.

i have memories of carrying her. i have memories of birthing her and meeting her for the few short hours we had together. i have the clothes she wore for so briefly, but they don't smell like her. i can't even remember how she smelled. that kills me. i have the memory of her lifeless, feather - like body in my arms and the tears streaming down my husbands face. these aren't happy memories. the only happy memories we have to hold onto are when i was carrying her and when we got to feel her move within me and all of the love everyone has out poured on us since her passing. if these well wishes and beautiful gifts are the only happy memories we have to touch and hold, how can i pack them away? and if i can't pack them away, how can i let go of this pain?

i miss our daughter so much at times, i feel like a part of me dies. i know it doesn't. but the pain is so intense, it feels like death. i remember when i was praying one day when i first became a believer. i was having a rough day and i bowed my head while i sat in front of my computer at work and called out to God for comfort. i wanted so much to be held and it was the only time that i actually felt His presence. i could actually feel His arms wrapped around me. i went from feeling so sad and alone to elated. my entire body shivered. i would do anything to feel His presence like that again. i would do anything to feel Jesus wrap His arms around me.

2 things i learned today

1.

Christ heals all pain. it might not be instantaneous and pieces will always be apart of you helping to remind you of the lessons you learned though it. but Jesus is the great healer.
today, i was remembering my friend that committed suicide back in 94 . i never understand how he could take his life. i never could understand how someone could be that desperate. i can see that desperation now. i would never take my life. but now i can feel the same desperation he must have felt. but instead of lying in my grief, i know that it's Christ that keep me breathing. it's Christ that keeps my lips from pressing against the bottle. i never understood the desperation that comes along the side of grief and guilt and pain and loss and i've never fully known the healing power of Christ until now. what a beautiful lesson. painful, yet so very beautiful.


2.

i have 2 choices. i can either feel sorry for myself or i can honor my daughter.

i choose to honor Jorai.

i miss feeling Jorai within me.

Jorai Mae

20 June 2007

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steve and i have created a slide show so people can meet Jorai. if you'd like to see it, click below to start. i can't seem to make it any bigger. sorry.




to see the photos, click here.

i woke last night at 1:15 with a terror. i don't remember what my dream was but as i woke, all i could think of was Jorai. i was scared. i couldn't settle down. i prayed but i still felt this sense of despair taking over me. i fell into and out of sleep for the next hour, each time waking as before. petrified.

what was that? why did i wake scared? this constant hell i'm in is so consuming. i'm sick of it. i pray, i trust God, i try to hold onto the good, and my sorrow is decreasing, i'm healing more each day, yet i'm not. yesterday was a good day. i had a great conversation with a friend. i learned to knit. and steve and i laughed together. it feels so good to laugh with my best friend again. but then, out of no where. out of a sleep i'm wracked with fear. why does this happen? where does it come from? why does this continue?

i'm trying so hard to trust God. i'm trying so hard to not be angry. i want to be positive, i want to honor Jorai and not fall into despair. but it's so hard. you try so hard. you trust and heal and laugh and dream. and then out of no where you're in that hospital room with you lifeless child in your arms. you look down at her body and realize she will be taken away soon. the child you were suppose to
love and raise with your best friend will never be heard in your house, will never feel your touch.

i still question everything i did. did i take care of myself properly, stay away from all toxins as best as i could? did i hold her long enough? did we take as many photos as we should have? did i gaze at her body and take in all the memories i could? these questions paralyze me. i'll never be in her presence again here on this earth. i'll never see her or be able to kiss her until i meet her again. how do i let this go?

will this pain ever lessen? i want her memory to be a beautiful one, not one filled with questions and terrors. why do the questions and terrors keep coming? haven't we been through enough? haven't i been tested enough? why am i filled with terror? help me to find peace. help me to let go of the pain and allow my heart to only be filled with her beauty and grace rather than my fear and sorrow.

2 things someone reminded me today:

19 June 2007

1.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow,sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.


2.

if God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it.

something i hope to learn:

to live in the land of the living while at the same time keeping Jorai close to me.

keeping what she continues to teach me at the forefront of my being, being able to talk about her and think about her with other people, knowing she's in a far better place and not being sad about the fact that she not here with her momma and papa. rather than living in 2 separate worlds. a world without Jorai and a world with her. a world with living, breathing, beautiful souls, and a world with Jorai. i'm in 2 worlds. i want to live in this world. i want to laugh and play and enjoy. i want to learn and teach and live. yet i also want Jorai, and i just can't seem to keep her close to me in this world. i haven't been able to mesh my two worlds into one. i try. i go out and be with friends, but it just seems too hard. how do i mesh my two worlds together?

something i've learned

i could by no means continue to breath without Christ.

i have seen friends and watched myself throughout the years, turn to anything to drown their sorrows. alcohol, drugs, the simple act to running away....anything to numb and ignore the pain. i think of it sometimes...when the pain gets too much, picking up a bottle to numb myself. but i stop. instead i look to the cross. losing Jorai was and continues to be devastating. yet because of my belief, i know that her passing was for a reason. i know, although i have to wait for a long time, that i will see her again. we will be together some day. i know that she is being taken of far better than we could have ever taken care of her and i know she's being loved far greater than we love her. without Christ, i wouldn't have this. i'd have nothing but probably an empty bottle of whisky and tear stained cheeks. people keep asking me how i can be so strong, how i can see the good in this. first of all, i'm not strong. i just have this amazing Savior holding me up and delivering me each day! and second, i have to see the good. the good surrounds me because Christ surrounds me. i may be angry at times. i may be sad most times. but i have to constantly fall to the ground at the Cross and lay my burden down. that's the only place i'll find comfort. without Christ i have nothing, i'm nothing. but with Him, i have everything. Jorai may have been taken too soon in my eyes. but she was taken at the right time in Gods eyes. and although i don't see His time line. i have to trust in it. i have to know that God has a plan for us. for Jorai

for those of you who do not believe, let me be a living testament that God is such a far better listener and giver than the empty bottle of whisky at your feet, or the warm body next to you in bed. sorrow sucks. it's deafening. it seems to hover over you for too long. but know that the love of Christ chips away at that sorrow. the love of Christ is what will bring you through.

i love you all so much. thank you for supporting me and loving me and being patient with me. you have all shown so much kindness and support through these very trying days. please continue to keep us in your prayers.

i just got back from my first morning walk. it felt so empty. it was refreshing and sweat filled, but empty. 'the plan' was, after i had Jorai, i would throw her in the sling and leave the house, when steve left, for a morning walk. this morning i felt so alone. i looked to the sky and there was a beautiful break in the clouds where the suns rays broke through. it was beautiful. i felt comforted in a way.

last night steve and i were talking about Jorai and he said that when we're sitting at the dinner table is when he really misses her. he still can't believe that she not there with us. throwing food and what not.. it's the everyday mundane activities that leave an emptiness. each night when i roll over, i expect to see her, hear her, as she sleeps between steve and i. but there's nothing but the 2 of us.

this weekend was hard on me. again, it was the little things. not being able to figure something out on the mac, blew my fuse. it almost ended up in the street. and i broke down. the anger turned to sorrow. steve and i went to riv this weekend for the first time. i was trying to be so strong. but the message was just too hard. i kept tearing up. and it didn't help that just 2 rows ahead of us was a 3 week old baby. i wanted so much to hold him. then sunday we went to steve's parents church, the river, in hartford. the message was great and it didn't spark any tears. but then it happened. the pastor, an amazing man, came up to steve and i right after the service to give us big hugs and tell us he loved us and has been thinking of and praying for us the past 2 weeks. that did me in. the tears came. when that happens, when the tears come, it's hard for me to snap back to reality. the rest of the afternoon was miserable. i was with Jorai. i felt bad. it was fathers day. i wanted to make it special for steve, and i was miserable.

after a few hours of reading and writing and vegging, i was able to snap back to reality. i took steve to spags for some pizza. gorgonzola and sun dried tomato. we had never gone there before and that's where he wanted to go, so we went. it was amazing pizza. i highly recommend it. we then went to hawk island for a walk. it felt nice to back in the land of the living, but every time i step into it, i remember that i'm leaving someone behind.

but i feel like i'm turning over a new leaf. each day gets a bit easier. each day brings more healing. and today i started charting my basal temperature to start tracking my ovulation cycles. i know my cycle will be all crazy since delivering, so i thought i'd get a head start on my tracking. it brings me joy to think of becoming pregnant again. it brings me more joy to think that someday soon, steve and i will be able to be intimate again. it's so hard when you lose something so dear, and your heart aches and all you want is to feel the closeness of your best friend. yet you can't. you have to wait. i truly feel it's torture.

judgement

17 June 2007

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what is it within ourselves that causes us to judge one another? is it jealousy? insecurity? or just our sinful nature? i see it more with women and i'm constantly amazed by it's cutting nature, but lately, it just pisses me off. in the past week, i have see this happen 3 times now. this judgement on folks is just silly. why do we constantly look to others in judgement?

in matthew 7: 1-5 it says
"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.

i'm not immune to this. i judge and each time i feel the ping of failure. and although i don't spread rumors or gossip, i listen to it. and lately, when i see mothers and fathers, i inwardly judge them. i wonder why they deserve to have children when our child was taken from us. i have to admit this. but i also have to say that we, as women, don't need to do it. it's not necessary. it doesn't create unity or understanding and it doesn't show Christ's love to others, which, isn't this what we're suppose to do? aren't we suppose to imitate Christ?

as paul says in 1 corinthians 11:1

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.


can you picture Jesus complaining to peter about judas? or about some leper He just healed? do you think Jesus would talk badly about how someone looked? about how they live? or the choices they made? do you think Jesus looked down at all us sinners as He hung on that cross and thought 'I don't deserve this!'

since Jorai has passed. i see this world differently. i see the good in it. i see the possibility. i see the way we treat one another and it frustrates me. it angers me. don't we all have logs in our eyes? why do we continue to point out the specks in others eyes when we ignore our logs?

i think it's time to start meeting people where they are. let go of our anger, frustration, insecurities..whatever causes us to judge. let it all go and love one another exactly where they're at. show Christ instead of darkness. maybe if we start showing each other Christ and stop knocking each other down, we'll find common ground. maybe we'll even find the love that's been hidden behind the wall that they built up to protect themselves. maybe we'll find a friend that we never expected to find.

next time you find yourself judging some one. take a breath and ask yourself why. and while your at it...go look in the mirror.

i love all of you. i hope you know it.

frustration, anger

16 June 2007

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i learned to day how shakable i still am. trying to create something on the computer and not being able to do it, almost caused me to literally chuck the mac out the window. when i decided that wasn't the best choice, i sat and cried. such a silly little task really. yet as i continued not comprehending and unable to finish the project, i almost snapped.

i still have my bursts of emotions that i just can't control. i want to control them. i want to feel normal again. i want to have the desire to leave my house and do things. i want to laugh on my own again, not just when people make me. i want to look into the mirror and smile. i want to love me again. i want to trust that life may have it's ups and downs but that in the end everything will work out. i want to be carefree. i want to be intimate with my husband. i want to feel that closeness. i want to stop bleeding. i want the roses next to Jorai's picture to come back alive. i want death to stop surrounding me and penetrating my thoughts. i want to feel alive. i want my breath to mean something. i want to be able to touch someone without wanting to break down and sob in their arms. i want to stop crying. i want my heart to stop breaking every time i think of Jorai.

will it every stop breaking?

2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

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a friend of mine told me that a doctor she knows said that most of the couples he sees go though the loss of stillborns has been strong Christian couples. all 3 of the couples i know that have gone through this loss within the past 3 months have all been strong Christian couples. there has to be a reason why God chose us to go through this. although i don't understand why God had to make us endure this pain, and it still makes me mad that He has, i also understand that He has His reasons. He has His plans. He is in control.

another slice of Gods' word which proves to me that Jorai was taken for a reason.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God's comfort.

1 peter 1:7

these trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. it is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. so if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

it still surprises me when i look down and can see my feet, my legs. they are normal feet and legs too. no swelling. when i look down i'm thinking i'm going to be seeing Jorai, but it's just an empty stomach. and that stomach seems to be getting smaller and smaller. and my breasts. they're smaller and soft. i told my friend that they were supple the other day and she laughed at me...but they are. i can't remember what they felt like before i got pregnant, but they just feel so foreign.

before i got pregnant, i was trying to lose weight. i was trying to lose my little belly and i would have done almost anything to have smaller breasts. now i want to be big. i want my tummy back. i want Jorai to be flipping inside of me again. i want to look down and feel her move and see my belly getting bigger and bigger. i want to see that brown line moving my my belly and i want my breast to be firm and ready to provide nutrition to our child again.

i still just can't believe what we've been through. our grief is better. each day is 'easier'. my hunger is finally starting to come back. as i sit here typing, i actually want something to eat. i don't have to force myself to chew, which is nice. i can look at Jorai without tears and i can think of the future without guilt. but she's still there each moment. being in her room is manageable, yet devastating. i dreamt of having a baby last night. touching her and to make sure she was alive. i don't know if it was Jorai or a future child. but i loved holding her.

what's in a name

15 June 2007

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a friend of mine asked me what the middle name we chose for Jorai was and i immediately cringed remembering that i questioned whether we would even name her and if we did would we name her Jorai? i feel ashamed for even thinking that we wouldn't give her the name we had originally picked out for her. but at the time, i was so lost. so devastated, maybe it was a way to hold onto her. if we never gave her a name, she would have to stay? and if we kept her name for another child, there would be a part of her in our next child.

we were told that naming our child would be healing, but i can't express to you enough just how healing it is.

we named our little girl Jorai Mae. Jorai Mae Newman. i'm so glad we named her. i wasn't sure if we were going to. we loved the name and quite honestly, i wanted to keep it. but the minute i thought about keeping the name, something in me cringed. i knew our baby girl needed a name and i knew even more, that she needed her name.

we didn't know that Jorai was a girl. i mean, we knew in our hearts she was. i almost always called her, her. we always knew, but we didn't know 'for sure' until she was born. every one else said she was a boy. both our families 'knew' we were going to have a boy, people thought by the way i was carrying her that she was a boy, but steve and i knew. that made it even cooler. knowing that we knew she was a girl before she was born was amazing and giving her the name we had originally chosen seemed right.

when i look back on it, i can't even believe that i ever thought about not giving her a name. how could i think that? how could i not give our daughter a name? i can't express to you enough how joyful i am that we gave her that name. the name Jorai, meant so much to us. the meaning, the way it sounded, the uniqueness of it. we just loved it. and it fits her perfectly.

it was so important to us to name her and give her a predominate place in our family and in our hearts. she will always be our child, our little girl, a big sister. she will always be part of our family. she will always be our Jorai Mae.

fathers day

14 June 2007

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i keep thinking about fathers day. since having Jorai and learning from her i have so much more admiration of parents. of everyone really. but mostly of parents. i can more deeply understand my own parents. see their point of view more and where they were coming from. but mostly i've been aching about this sunday and what it will mean to steve. i pray that Jesus will be standing right next to him and that Jorai will be holding his hand all day.

he would have been such a wonderful father. i would have loved to watch him sing her to sleep and teach her to read and ride a bike. i know all these dreams are silly. they'll never happen with Jorai. but i hope someday they will happen. i pray that someday we'll get pregnant again and become parents to a healthy, happy child. i would love to see my amazing husband be a father. he is the best man i know.

lessons

13 June 2007

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i am continued to be amazed at how many people our little girl has touched and how much she is teaching us all. a dear friend of my posted this on her blog today. i felt that it's just another example of how Jorai has changed someones life. so i felt a sudden urge to respond, which is something i haven't done since the Jorais' birth.

a beautiful friend of mine lost her baby girl...and it has reminded me again that children are gifts that God entrusts us to take care of and look over, but they are HIS children more than they are ours. as a mother, realizing that stings in part...but it also brings me peace. if they are after all His children, isn't He always looking over them? if they are no longer in this world, isn't He taking care of them better than we could ever dream of? as parents here on earth we are unable to meet all of their needs. we cannot shelter them from all of the pain this world has to offer. children don't ever suffer when they are in the arms of Jesus.
i know your mama misses you, baby girl, but i am glad that you won't ever have to experience all of the hurts down here on earth. tell Jesus to send your mama some peace with a side of joy. she needs it...
my response:
you made me cry, both tears of sorrow for my little girl and tears of joy reminding me that Jorai's now in Jesus' arms. thank you for thinking of us.

isn't it cool to think that such a little girl has touched all of our lives? i wanted so much to see her grow and watch how she touched this world. but what i'm realizing is that she never needed to be in this world to touch the people in it. she has changed our lives so drastically for the better and i see her healing touch in those around us as well.

what an amazing little girl steve and i had. i can't wait to meet her one day so i can hold her and kiss her and say thank you my sweet, precious child. you have taught me so much and i have loved you all of my days
i can't express to you enough how amazing this has been to watch. my sorrow at times is all consuming, but to see all the love and lessons that have come out of this is beautiful. to know that Jorais' passing didn't go in vain, revives me. to see how many people she has affected and changed inspires me.

she truly is an amazing little girl.

steve is so strong. he amazes me. his pain is so real, so fresh, yet he stands strong in his faith. he knows without a shadow of a doubt that God has His reasons for taking Jorai. he told me last night that he believes Jorai was so perfect and so innocent that Christ didn't want her to suffer here on this earth. that's a beautiful picture. one that brings me comfort. knowing that she'll never feel pain or sadness. only light and joy and love.

but at the same time, i'm selfish. i still want her here. what kind of mother would want her child to live here on earth rather than in splendor?

a friend gave me some scripture to read. and to tell you the truth, the bible is where i first went last monday morning. i tried to submerge myself in His word, but i couldn't. this morning was the first time i opened up my bible since last monday. and this is what i read.

Romans 8: 28-39


28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.

Nothing Can Separate Us from God's Love

31What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?

33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.

35Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36(Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. 39Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

thank you my friend. this helps.
35Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36(Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
a small part of me felt separated from Christ. i couldn't, and still can't, understand why this happened to us. why we had to go through this valley. this torture. but i can't focus on that anymore. i can't focus on the loss. i need to focus on the love. Gods love. the sacrifice of Jesus. our love for our Father, our Redeemer, our Lover, our Friend. and i need to focus on the simple fact that our little girl, our Jorai, is in the arms our Friend. what better arms to be held in? thank you Jesus for holding my sweet little girl. please love her as only You can.

for Jorai

12 June 2007

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there are no goodbyes for us.
wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.

-Mahatma Gandhi

email from a friend

i got this just moments ago and loved it. i had to share.

'It's okay to feel all the things you are feeling. It all comes from God. WHY - I have no idea!!!! Things like this are so upsetting. We see people every day who we believe (DON'T DESERVE) to be parents!!! so when this happens - IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to understand. I can picture my Grandpa up there in heaven this very minute giving God the once over on this one!!!

ALL I KNOW FOR SURE - is that as time has gone by in my life - I have understood that everything God has done for me has been for the best. I will never however UNDERSTAND THIS!!!

My belief is this - GOD NEEDS E-MAIL - that way he could tell us what's up and we wouldn't have to wonder, or doubt. I do know this though - It's easy for me to have faith when everything is going my way. I also know there are days when I think - what's the point of it all!!!! Doesn't being a good person and believing in God and loving him with all your heart and living for him entitle you to something?????? NO - God loves all of his children - (sometimes I think NO FAIR!!!!) I sound like I am having a tantrum don't I. Well some days you just feel like it. I was listening to Joel on tv one Sunday night and he was going on about having a good attitude etc. etc. and out loud I said - I ALREADY DID THAT - I AM SICK OF IT - I AM NOT GOING TO BE A GOOD POSITIVE PERSON ANYMORE - then of course I had to laugh because what an idiot am I?????
i agree...God needs email.

things i've learned

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  • pregnancy is a miracle.
  • God's creation is miraculous.
  • a growing child within your womb is unexplainable to anyone who has never experienced it.
  • the magnitude of changes that occur when you're pregnant is crazy. some conditions lessen, some increase.
  • pregnancy is frightening.
  • the moment you become pregnant, you become a mother or a father.
  • the moment you become a mother or a father, dreams, hopes and a love you can't put to words come to fruition.
  • each new day brings more anticipation.
  • each pain, discharge or strange feeling becomes frightening.
  • the first movement is exhilarating.
  • the first ultrasound picture is unexplainable. to see your child within you, within your wife, is utterly amazing. relish in these first images.
  • each new pain or condition is manageable because as you look down at your belly you know that your baby is growing in there. that's all that matters.
  • the minute you think you've lost your growing child, your world stops.
  • laying, waiting to hear your doctor find a heart beat is excruciating.
  • seeing a still heart on the ultrasound screen is devastating.
  • walking the back hall in labor and delivery and being placed in the last room is indescribable. is this meant to be comforting? it's not.
  • being asked to decide about burial, cremation and autopsy within an hour of learning your child is gone, is plain and simply wrong. but these questions need answers, how else do they get answered?
  • laying on a bed weeping, while a doctor inserts seaweed sticks into your cervix and then stuffing your vagina with wet gauze to start the thinning process is wrong.
  • laying on a bed for 17 hours waiting to deliver your child, a child you dreamt about raising and loving but now know that she will come out lifeless is beyond words.
  • wanting to feel every last pain because that will be the last time you'll ever feel your little girl, is death.
  • delivering your lifeless daughter, cutting the cord, holding her as she gets colder and colder and seeing a trickle of blood roll out her nose is deafening.
  • handing your baby girl to the nurse and knowing you'll never see her again is gut wrenching. where did she go?
  • walking into your house 4 hours after delivering your daughter, walking past her room, seeing pregnancy books and shower gifts is death.
  • lying awake, wanting to sleep, but only seeing the face of your baby girl and realizing that she'll never sleep in between you and your husband, she will never feed from your breasts, you'll never hear her cries or laughter, you'll never be able to teach her or learn from her, laugh with her, cry with her. you're dreams of her are blackened. they're empty. they we're ripped from you in vain. this is a hell i can't explain.
  • seeing your flattened belly, feeling it's softness and emptiness. seeing your breasts getting bigger and bigger until they look as if they'll burst. feeling their cement like composition. seeing trickles of milk run down. and knowing that this nourishing supply will go wasted is despair.
  • feeling like you want to tear out your insides is ok. that's grief. that's despair. that's emptiness.
  • bleeding every day reminds you of your loss and it's cruel that women have to go through all of this after their loss.
  • feeling like this was all you fault is ok, that's grief. but it's not your fault.
  • love is the most important thing this world has.
  • family and friends are invaluable. hold to them and love them and appreciate them everyday of your lives.
  • loss sucks.
  • the stillness of death is haunting and excruciating.
  • love heals. love wins.
  • my husband rocks and i love him more today and i ever have and that's amazing because i didn't think i could ever love him more. but i do.
  • laughter creates fissures in the darkness that surrounds you. everyday conversations and hearing how your family and friends are doing is refreshing. let the laughter break away the darkness.
  • the sound of children laughing, crying and playing with Jorai's toys is heartbreaking yet so very healing and lovely and filled with light that i can't express enough. let children into your house. let them into your lives. don't let your grief block you from the healing nature of children.
  • the sight of neighbors riding bikes with their toddlers or pushing strollers is painful yet healing. to see the miracle of birth and the gentle nature of parents fills me with hope.
  • learning to let go of my dreams of Jorai is excruciating and at times impossible.
  • learning to be a mother without a child is indescribable.
  • learning to be a better person gives me hope.
  • knowing that Jorai's death has to have reason gives me hope.
  • thinking of becoming pregnant again fills me with joy yet anguish at the same time.
  • finding a way to memorialize Jorai and other children keeps me walking.
  • feeling all of the out pour of love and support from our family and friends is life saving, it's amazing and wonderfully beautiful.
  • seeing old friendships growing stronger and making new friendships is beautiful.
  • learning to open my heart again is more difficult than i ever expected.
  • Jorai will be with us every day of our lives. we have been changed forever. and although at times it's hard to know that we'll always have this loss, i realize now, that even though we have to walk through the valley and it's dark and cold and vast and empty, we got to have this amazing little girl in our lives for 7 months. we only got to hold her after she passed, we'll never know the girl and woman she would have become, but we got to feel her and love her and dream about a life with her for 7 months. she was a part of us and us a part of her. she was our little girl and i will always cherish her and our time together. she will always be with me. i will love her for all time. she was my daughter and i her mother. nothing can take that away from me. not even death.

i've realized today how many people read this blog...i thought it was just a few. i'm amazed. i also realized how dark my posts have been since losing Jorai and how friends are really starting to worry. thank you for you worry. but do know that the times i write, are the times that i'm stuck in the darkness unable to see the light of Christ. these words are written in darkness and through a veil of tears.

these posts have been healing. each time i sit down and type, i weep. whether it's am email to a friend or a blog post, i weep. but i also heal. a bit more at each key stroke. thank you for reading, for praying, for supporting and loving us. thank you every one.

i've also learned today that steve and i aren't alone in our thoughts and grief. i hate the fact that anyone has to go through this pain and it's still hard for me to see it happen to others, and knowing that as we speak someone is delivering silently in a cold hospital room somewhere on this planet kills me. but to know that someone feels as i do, someone understands my pain and eerily has my same thoughts and feelings, is comforting. steve and i don't feel alone. with all of our family and friends supporting us, that's the last thing we feel. although to know someone who truly knows everything we've gone through and continue to go through, is comforting. this kind of loss is indescribable. everyone is at a loss of words, because there are no words to express. but between couples who have walked through the same valley there are silent understandings and pains. there are bridges that don't exist between other couples. there is a love that heals in a way that's unexplainable.

today i couldn't wake up with steve. i felt bad, but i've been so exhausted. we went to bed at 10 last night. i woke at 9:54. that's crazy. i woke to an empty house. and although i would have thought it would be too difficult for me to take, as always Jesus is here. as mad as i am with Him, i realize that He's still here, holding my hand, weeping as i weep. that comforts me. knowing that He is allowing me to be mad at him and he's still loving me through this hell is amazing. i know understand the true love of Christ. i don't understand why He allows this, but i understand His love. i'm mad at Him, but love Him dearly. i still can't open my bible. i can't read His words. but i'm going to try again today. i have a feeling it's more of the enemy trying to pull me away from my Savior, than my own anger.

last night i saw hope in my husbands eyes. i heard his laughter fill the house. it filled me with joy. yet at the same time, i felt guilt. guilt, that we're starting to move on. Jorai is still, yet we're starting to move. sometimes i feel trapped between 2 worlds. a world with Jorai in it and a world without her. how does a mother choose what world to exist in? i know Jorai is gone. but she's my daughter. i'm her mother. how does a mother leave her little girl and move on, maybe start another family another life? how can i move on and leave my little girl as a memory?

phantom kicks

11 June 2007

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i swear i can still feel kicks every now and then. i just felt one. i don't know if it's my grief, or my innards just flopping back to their normal places after being squished for 7 months, or if they're real phantom kicks.

what ever they are, i love feeling them. it makes me feel close to Jorai. i miss feeling her so.

today

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this morning was rough, as you could have probably told through the morning post, yet after i started my day, it went surprisingly well. i was and still am exhausted, yet i'm functioning. today i got my tire fixed, cleaned steves bathroom, cleaned the bedroom, did a load of laundry, took the trash out, went to meijer, scanned in all the pictures sparrow took of Jorai, took out and smelled all of Jorai's clothes from the hospital and hung a mirror in Jorai's room. ohh...and i took a shower.

i broke down this morning and a bit this afternoon while talking with a friend on the phone, but i felt strong this afternoon. i have a feeling people were praying hard for me
after this mornings post. i do appreciate it. thank y'all so much. every one has been so kind, y'all have really taught us to be better people. to support and love one another unconditionally. i want to be a better person for Jorai.

i don't know who i've told and if i've even talked about this already...i apologize if i have...but i lost 3 of my 5 work days due to michigan cuts. on july 1st, i start my new hours. a whopping 16 hours a week. but it's actually a really cool thing. i mean the loss of money kinda sucks, but steve and i don't need it to live on and i can do something i really want to do. i just have to find what i want to do.

i don't need cash...although it would be nice...i just want to help people. this is an opportunity i don't want to mess up or let slip by. maybe i can work for the lansing area AIDS network or an advocacy group...i want to do something with meaning. something that really helps. i want to use this time to reach people and get into the mission field rather than the money field. any suggestions?

my dichotomy

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i got this from a friend today and knowing this innately, really helps.

Two simple words from the bible keep repeating themselves in my mind 'JESUS WEPT'. You know he is standing by your side heartbroken for you. But - I can also picture God holding your sweet baby girl wanting you to know she is a special gift in heaven.
but the dichotomy of this situation is this. i love God above all things. above myself, my marriage, even above my sweet little girl. but in my mourning, i have to admit that i'm pissed at Him almost as much as i love Him. this continues to be a huge test of my faith.

people keep telling me how strong i am. yet i feel so weak. if i believe in all things that God is good. that Jesus loves me and holds me and mourns with me, why at times do i question His love? why at times, do i blame Him for taking my sweet Jorai? steve is so strong. he sees the Truth. he knows the Truth. he trusts in God completely. right now, if i'm being honest with myself, i don't. and i think that makes this whole situation even harder.

i keep thinking of that song...
He gives and takes away,
He gives and takes away,

My heart will surely say
Blessed be His name.
a dear friend of ours almost lost his wife 2 years ago. she's been in hospital care ever since having a reaction to anesthetic. she's awake, but not fully there. it's been devastating for him as well as all of his family and friends. after a few months had passed, he came to riv and that song was sung. i noticed him standing there, a man of great faith, a man i looked up to for faith and mentoring. yet he stood stoic. lifeless. almost white. he wouldn't utter the words. he used to sing loud in worship. but not that day. the song pissed him off. he realized at that point that the God, the Savior he loved so much, let his wife suffer the way she has. after service, he talked about the song and how much he use to love it and find comfort in the words, yet that day he hated it. this is where i am today.

i know Jesus is standing next to me, weeping for our loss. i know He holds our little girl. and every time i think of this i weep along with Him. i know He loves me. i know He's sad. but i also know He allowed this to happen and that is what i don't understand.

i hate that my faith is being tested. i hate feeling weak and vulnerable. i want faith like abrahams. he was willing to sacrifice his son. his faith in the Lord was so strong. i am not that strong. my faith is weak. i am weak.

this is steve's first day back at work. so that leaves me here by myself for the first time since Jorai was born. i miss him already. he's the only one, that can comfort me fully. i can't wait to see him at lunch.

i think this time alone will probably be good for me. to have some time to make peace of this situation. i have projects to do as well to help keep my mind busy. but i still miss my husband. although i feel gutted by this. although i'm pissed off and hurt that this had to happen to us. it makes me realize just how blessed i am to have been given a man like steve to share my life with. he has been so amazing in this time of pain. he was amazing at the birth. we didn't know anything. we still hadn't taken our birthing classes and i'd only read a few chapters of my hypnobabies book. we didn't know the breathing techniques or anything. but steve stood by my side and gripped my hand. he told me everything would be alright. and we cried. together.

when Jorai was born steve cut the cord. i don't know how he could even see what he was doing through his tears, but he did. and then he sat quietly and held our little girl until i delivered the placenta and could hold her myself.

i feel like we'll never be normal again. holding our dead child in our arms. feeling how light her limp little body was and feeling her get colder and colder has changed us forever. i just wanted to keep her close and get her warm again. i wanted to breath life into her and hear her cry, feel her wiggle. i wanted to see her eyes. we never got to see her eyes. i wonder what color they were. were they hazel like steves and mine or were they blue, brown?

knowing that we'll never know the answer to that question haunts me. oh God, how am i going to get through this? i felt pretty strong when i woke up, yet here i sit crying again, not being able to make sense of the past week. being mad and devastated at the same time. i just want our little girl back yet i know that will never happen in this life. and although it brings me comfort to know that she'll be waiting for us the moment we die, it's not good enough right now. i want my little girl here. with us. i want to hear her cry out to me. this house is so damn quiet.