I was sitting with my aunt last weekend reminiscing about Bobby and we started talking about believing in God and the afterlife. She asked “how can a loving God take away your children?” and I had no response. I sat there, knowing in my heart that I truly believe in Him and His purpose for my life, but in that moment, I had nothing. I am certainly not trained as a grief counselor and everything I could think of to say, wasn’t going to help. It’s in His plan. Really? His plan was to have her bury her child? How gracious! He is a fair and just God. So this is some sort of payback to level the playing field again? No way.
It really got me thinking about why I believe what I do. Where does my eternal hope come from? My life has certainly not been easy and I have lived through much more pain than I should have, and yet, I still believe. I still have hope, no matter what life has thrown at us. My faith has been rock solid. But why?
After years of trying to conceive, in early May 2012, we found out we were finally pregnant. My dream had come true; I was going to be a mommy. Upon hearing those words “well, I am happy to confirm that you are definitely pregnant” my heart broke. So much joy and relief flooded into me and I began to sob. Not only were we going to be parents, but the fear of never being physically able to conceive was thrown right out the window. My body had not failed me. After all these years, after all the needles, biopsies and failed attempts, it really was possible that I could carry my own child. I was not a failure. That moment of complete euphoria and pride will stay with me forever.
We were on our way to my in-laws for Mother’s Day and even though it was a little premature to announce, we decided to have a friend bake some cupcakes and frost them pink and blue. She even went as far as making tiny little babies from fondant and had them nestled in the butter cream icing. They were perfect. When we arrived for dinner, I immediately gave my mother-in-law the box and made her open it. Her exact words were “Oh, cupcakes! Pink and blue ones. With…is that…a baby? A baby? ARE YOU HAVING A BABY?” and tears began to roll down her cheeks. I cried and we all hugged. We were just so happy. It was a relief and a celebration for everyone.
But then it wasn’t. Two short days later, I left our doctor’s office after a routine exam and was on my way home to start picking out nursery colors. I was laying in bed, perusing Pinterest when my phone rang. Hearing the news that our baby was in distress and would likely not make it, made me numb. I’d had it. For a very short time, I was a mom. I’d had my dream finally come true and then it was ripped away as quickly as it came. Why? Why after everything we’d been through, was I not allowed to be a mom! Why was my body failing me? Why were we not allowed to be happy? I just didn’t get it. There was no explanation. It was a fluke. It just happens sometimes.
I shut down for several days. I refused all phone calls, never left my bed and listened to horribly depressing songs on repeat while Al paced around not having any idea how to help. In my darkest moment, when I hated everything and everyone, there was a part of my heart that knew I needed to be strong. I was once again reminded that God was with me. As a human, I felt the worst possible pain I could imagine and yet something inside of me kept me looking up. Faith and Hope.
That was the feeling I had while sitting across from my aunt. I had no words that would help, but I knew in my heart, we need to be strong and keep going. Perhaps we will one day find out that Bobby had a genetic heart condition, we all get tested and several family members are saved from experiencing the same untimely death. Would it be fair then to say God had a bigger plan? Probably not. I am not sure you will ever be able to justify the death of a child to their mother.
When there are no answers and logic plays no part, there has to be something else. For me, believing in God is that something else. Something bigger than me and someone who has all those answers that I will probably never know. I have to hope that there is more or I might become cynical and jaded. Losing my child will never compare to the loss my aunt feels. After all, she had 32 years to love him…I had less than 32 days. We can be angry and frustrated but we can’t ever lose hope. Hope that one day the pain wont hurt so bad and that our children are at peace. We must have faith that we will find our happy again and that one day, those sweet angels will look down on us and be proud that we continued to live our life without ever for a second forgetting them.