Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blessed...Doubly Blessed

Wow… 5!  It’s just unbelievable to me that the little boys who have impacted my life more than anything in this world arrived 5 years ago today. 
As I wrote in my last post, there are two strong areas of thoughts and feelings floating in my heart and brain this week as I celebrate my boys’ birthdays.  I covered the first already, the side that deals with the negative impacts of my boys not being raise together as twins on earth both for me and for those in my life.  Today I want to focus on the blessings, the joy and absolute gift that both of my boys have been to me and how awesome it is to celebrate this day, this Birth day.

I still find myself completely blown away by the fact that inside MY body these two little boys were formed.  There is nothing that can take away the memory of that amazing moment.  Things didn’t work out the way we thought they would on September 19, 2008 when we learned that little beans were jumping around inside of me but that doesn’t take away from the wonderment that I have that inside MY body one of the most miracles that can happen in the creation of life happened.  One egg, one sperm and two amazing babies.  Wow!  It feels, at times, even now, that it happened to someone else. And yet I know it did and I know it forever changed me. 

Everyone who reads this who has ever read much of what I’ve written here and everyone who reads this who knows me in ‘real’ life knows how scared and overwhelmed I felt at times.  But I also think that all of those people know how excited, how amazed, how blessed I felt too.  I had such dreams for my babies, such plans for all we’d do, such thoughts of just how truly ‘cool’ it was that I was going to be the mom of identical twins.  I told everyone and I know I glowed when I did it.

It was the most amazing time of my life and when those dreams were shattered it became harder to remember that amazement and easier and easier to remember the overwhelming feelings I had experienced in those first few weeks.  But now it’s 5+ years later, I have 5.5 years of memories to sort through and I can now see things in such a different light.

Loss shakes you to the core and for so long, maybe even forever, there is a part of you that remains ‘shaken’.  For some it seems like you are forever damaged, forever broken.  But for me I know this isn't the case.  I know a part of my heart will always ache for what could have been, what should have been.  But a much bigger part of my heart sees each footprint that my twins left on my heart, footprints that lead me to places I never dreamed my life could go, footprints that trace a route of empathy, compassion, emotional and spiritual growth and of motivation for change.  I can see the times that both my boys held my hand and lead me to a new places where I never dreamed I would go. Places where sadness was prevalent, where the struggles of others to find any sense of hope existed.  I see their little arms waving me towards places where fundraising and awareness happens.  I see the signs of their love on the keys under my fingers.  I hear the sound of their voices in the words that I speak when I share our story and where I found Jesus in it.  

I am so blessed and I am so thankful for each and every minute of the one thousand nine hundred and seventy one (give or take a few) days that I have had with Cameron and Cole in my life, from the moment of conception to now.  I didn’t imagine, in the days and weeks that followed the loss of Cole , that I could ever be thankful for EVERYTHING that has happened.  I have no better way to explain what I am saying here then to repost something I wrote in response to a devotion at the time of American Thanksgiving last fall…on the subject, obviously, of thanksgiving…

Jesus you have walked a difficult path with me and I am so very thankful that you are there each step of the way.  I could sit here today and type about all the many things I am thankful for... a faithful, loving husband, amazing children, our home, our food, our health, a wonderful family of parents, brothers, sister in laws, nieces and nephews, the most amazing church and church family, caring friends, a great job I love etc.  But the thing that catches me on this devotion is the question 'how is gratitude a powerful witness to our faith in you, Jesus? 
I don't even have to pause to think...being grateful for all that losing my son has brought to my life is likely the most powerful witness I can imagine.  And truly Lord, I am thankful that my son is with you.  I am thankful for the experiences that loss has taught me.  I am so very blessed by all the people that have come into my life because I lost him.  I am delighted in the things You have motivated me to do through the healing process after losing him.  I am sad, I get angry, I know that I wish, many times over, that he was here.  But I am grateful and I thank you Lord for taking Cole home and giving him an eternity of pain free existence.  Moreover God, I am so very thankful that you saved my life, changed my life, made me more whole, more sympathetic, and empathetic and more compassionate through this loss. 
God, you are ever powerful but you are also ever loving.  I am so blessed and my life is so rich because you choose it to be that way.  You have given me great gifts and I thank you for each and every one...even the ones that others would never wish on anyone.

Happy 5th Birthday Cole!  From you I have learned that you don't need to be present to be a gift.  You have shown me that you can impact the world without being in the world  and that you can give me moments that take my breath away without ever having taken a breath.  
Thank you for teaching me what true unconditional love really is, for giving me my first motivation to live my life for Jesus, for leading me to be transparent, open and honest about how hard life can be and how much easier it is with Jesus at the wheel. Thank you for letting me be your mommy and for allowing me to share our 'mother son' time with TTTS and loss families all over the world.  We may not spend time together in traditional ways but the time I give to be your mommy, the time I spend not focused on your brothers but on you and what you motivate me to do, has gone far beyond you and I and may very well have impacted many other people.  I love for that you are and forever will be.

Happy 5th Birthday Cameron!  You have shown me that miracles are real, that prayers are answered, that there is hope when all seems lost.  Thank you for being you, the amazing, full of life, full of love, full of awesome kid that you are.  You, my dear son, are a light in the darkness, you shine, you glow, you ignite a flame in those who meet you.  You show me that it is possible to have the energy, the excitement, the mischief and most of all, the love, of two boys inside one very adorable little body.  Your laughter and smiles brighten everyone's day.  Your imagination brings smiles and laughter to others lives.  You are wise beyond your years, 'an old soul' so many have told me.  I know that Cole will forever be a part of you because I can see him in your eyes, I can feel him in the hugs you crave so much, in the hugs you give so freely.  We didn't lose him the day he died, he came to be with you, to guide you, encourage you and live through you.  We didn't lose him, we gained a wonderful little boy whose experience with life has made him wise beyond his years and who would not be who he is today if he wasn't a twin, if he wasn't one half of a whole.
Jeremiah 1:5 
"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations - that's what I had in mind for you."
God has known forever who both of you would be today, tomorrow and always.  He has had holy plans for you both since before you were even conceived.  He has already used you to impact me, your dad, your brothers and, well, everyone who has met you or heard me speak of your story.  He isn't done with either of you and has great things planned for your life.  I am so very thankful to Him for knitting you, together, in my womb.  I am so very thankful for each and every moment of the last 1 971 days... the ones that made me laugh, the ones that made me smile, the ones that made me cry, the ones that broke my heart, the ones that gave me joy and the ones that gave me hope.  
Happy Birthday Cameron and Cole! <3 font="">

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