Sunday, May 27, 2012

This really is MY story, I really am THAT mom....

In the last few weeks I’ve been pondering something and decided to pose a question to some of my online TTTS mommy friends who walk the path of loss of one twin as well. My question is something that I don’t talk about a lot here…or anywhere because it’s one of those things that hurts more then many things in this world of ‘loss of one’. This is what I posted last week….
Does anyone else have a hard time truly feeling like a twin mommy, really feeling like their survivor is a twin?
I just feel some days like this isn't real, like it is a story...someone else's story. I can't truly picture myself with twins most days. When I read the questions of people on twin pregnancy sites (I know...why do I torture myslelf this way) I have a hard time even remembering my pregnancy . Am I alone here????

And not surprisingly I had so many responses of others who felt the same way. It lead to a discussion about how hard it is at times to live in this world where you can see what you have lost each and every day but have no basis for what life could have been like. But it also lead to discussion as to why we feel this way, what aids in this feeling for us.
One of my friends, put in words what I know to be one of the biggest reasons it happens to me….
That's exactly what I feel like. I know I'm a twin mommy, but I don't feel like it. I also believe that no one else views me that way, well most. And that doesn't matter so much, but if they did, it might help me feel like it. Does that make any sense?

And boy, does that make sense…. And I’m sorry to those who are reading this who might be bothered that we would say that about our friends and family but maybe it’s time we put it into words, time we explain why it is so important to us to acknowledge ourselves as twin moms and our survivor as a twin. My friend Debbie hit the nail on the head with her comment that if others acknowledged us as twin mommies and our survivors as twins, as part of a pair, that we, too, might find it easier to acknowledge it in our hearts. We should not have to justify this, we should not have to be having ‘chats’ like these, things should have turned out a different way. But the fact is that it didn’t turn out as planned but it still turned out, life still happened and life does go on.
I know that some people think I talk about Cole too much, talk about my pregnancy and what happened too much, talk about Cameron and Cole’s connection, their twinness too often. I know this because I’ve been told this, sometimes in gentle kindness, sometimes not as gentle but always with concern about me and my grief. I’ve been given that compassionate “I’m so sorry for your loss” look. And that is great…well it’s not, I wish no one had to give me that look or comments but it is nice that people acknowledge our journey, our loss, with compassion. But this isn’t about loss, it isn’t about grieving. Sure, I’ll never truly be done with grief. There will always be moments when I am sad that my son is not here with me, always be moments when I wish things we different. Things will trigger this forever…this past week it was talking about when Cameron starts school. But this is not about grief. It’s not about moving on ‘past what happened’. Because the fact is that it did happen and ‘it’ stares us in the face each morning. ‘It’ gives us hugs, tell us ‘It’ loves us, reminds us daily how amazing ‘It’ is. Talking about the connections twins have, that MY twins have is not living in the past nor is it part of the grieving process. It is not about whether I am grieving well or not.
It has little to do with grief and a whole lot to so with celebrating this amazing gift God has given me. Sometimes I think people think it is easier to not mention Cole’s name. This is not true, I love to hear his name, love to acknowledge his life and all that it has given me. I have been told many times to focus on the life of Cameron and trust me, I do. I know he is a miracle, I know he is a very special little boy. But I also know that talking about him as a twin, talking about Cole is not grief talking, it’s so not that.
Imagine, if you will, that you were born in Canada, grew up here and moved to say, Japan, when you were an adult. Would you say you were Japanese? Of course not, you are Canadian and always will be. Imagine one of your children did the same thing…moved to Japan when they were an adult. Would you say you had a child who was Japanese? Of course not.
Twins share a bond that goes beyond what any siblings can have. They begin together from the moment of conception, they are the first friends the other has. They are connected for life….but then life stopped for one of them. Does this mean the connection stopped? Did this life simply no longer exist? Of course not! So why should we act like it did. Most mothers connect with their baby while the child grows inside of them. But when it’s two babies (or more) growing inside of you it is, well magical. I was always in such awe of this egg splitting miracle that happened in my body. I felt such a connection to those little miracle beings.
It doesn’t make me not a twin mom because my child died and it doesn’t make my child not a twin just because his twin went to heaven first. If he’d lived 45 years and then died we would still say he was Cameron’s twin. We would still say I am the mom of twins. We’d just have a whole lot more cool memories to share.
So let me have those moments of twin mommy-ness, let me share my memories and savour the moments of one the coolest times of my life. It doesn’t make me sad, it doesn’t even really hurt that much. It makes me proud and honoured.

And just cuz I often do, I have to post a scripture that captured my heart on this one…
2 Corinthians 4:18(NIV)
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The good book always has the answers.
Cole may not be seen but he is eternally my child, eternally Cameron’s twin.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I can only imagine how awesome it will be...

I had the most AWESOME experience this morning and I just had to share with everyone. I was out jogging…. Oh, I should explain that too…. So I’ve started this journey to be healthier, fitter, thinner, more active…you name, I want it!!! Back a few months ago I was working, well re-working, through a book called Thin Within. I may have mentioned last fall, not sure. It’s a grace approach to weigh loss and I learned so much from it, realized so much about myself and why I eat, why I feel the way I do about myself. So a few months ago I decided to redo the book, reset some goals. I had a ‘Holy Spirit moment’ while I was doing it and ended up writing this as a goal…”I will become more active, more intense in my workouts and build my strength and endurance so that I can begin to run in a few months. I will be learning to run so that I can bring ‘The Race for Fetal Hope’ to Toronto and run in it’. Now to anyone who knows me, and even those who don’t you may think ‘that is one crazy thing for Jodie to write’… I hated running, made fun of runners and wondered why anyone would ever chose that as a form of exercise. I was absolutely convicted by the Holy Spirit to write this…and to do this. I’ve never had a more intense feeling of being directed by the Lord til then….it happend again this weekend…but that is a blog post for another day. So now you know why I was jogging… I’m at day 3 of couch to 5k and actually did ok with it today. While I run/walk, I listen to worship music and today, just at the very end of my walk in the gorgeous sunshine on God’s glorious earth (it was already a very spiritual moment…I felt so close to the Lord, so connected) I heard this song. I’ve heard it before but I’ve never, ever felt the connected I did to it as I did today. I’ll share some of the words before I comment as to why this was so very awesome…

I Can Only Imagine lyrics

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the sun

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I listened to this with what I can only define as rapture. I could picture it, or I guess I could imagine it. I could see myself meeting Jesus, I could see his smile, I could see the radiant light around him. I could imagine all of the things that this songs speaks to… dancing for Jesus with my arms spread wide and open, spinning in the radiant light of him. Staring at him in awe and wonderment, still and focused. Standing up straight and tall like we do for anything we show pride for, like we do when our national anthem is played… standing up to honour him, to show him how proud I am (okay bad word since pride is a sin but you get my drift) that he gave it all for me and that I am here with him now because he took away all my sin by dying on the cross and only asked that I believe he is my saviour and lived my life for him. Falling to my knees in complete obedience and honour of him, falling to my knees in adoration, love and reverence and in sheer amazement to just be in his presence. Singing to him all the words of glory that I can think of, singing the words of worship songs that my heart sings with these days. Silently sitting as his feet completely unable to speak because no words seem worthy of him, no words seem enough to express my absolute love of him. But more than these intense feelings was a feeling of ‘that’s it, that’s what I didn’t have before, that’s what I didn’t get”. For the first time, EVER…heaven became a place for me and Jesus, a place of glory, of love and reverence and a place that is all about the Lord and how wonderful he is and how awesome it is that my life has been lived in such a way that I am there. For the first time EVER it was not about Cole. It was not about getting there so I could see him again, living my life as a Christian so that I will be with my son in eternity. Cole is just a wonderful added bonus but it’s not the first thing I’ll see, the reason I am there or the most amazing thing I can have in heaven. That is Jesus and wow…what an awesome feeling it is to think that Heaven and Jesus are just that absolutely AWESOME!!! Thanks for letting me share this moment of rapture. What an awesome day it has been!!!