I was sitting at the hair salon this morning and this wave of memories started flooding my mind. All these things I remembered about losing my mom. The way she looked those last few weeks, the way the sickness had changed her. I held back tears as I recalled all of the emotions of her final days. The stories we told each other as we waited for her to enter eternity. I don’t often remember specifics from those weeks leading up to her death, but as much as those weeks/days/hours/minutes hurt, I was so very thankful to have had them. We got to say good bye. We got to worship along side her as she took her final breaths. We held her hand, kissed her cheek, told her how much we love her, and told her to go be with Jesus; that holding on to her body here on earth was not something we needed her to do for us because we knew (and know!) how much more amazing heaven is.
As I think back on my pregnancy - which was the majority of George Mason’s life - it feels a lot like those last weeks with my mom. We only had about 3 weeks with her after the last cancer diagnosis and it was bad news upon bad news until she was no longer with us. We tried to be positive. We had immense faith that God could heal her. He didn’t though and that was the part we had to learn to cope with. Being pregnant is hard on me. Pregnancy doesn’t agree with my body. I get really sick. Really tired. Really uncomfortable. After the initial nausea and typical morning sickness wore off, I had a few weeks of “normal” pregnancy but then we got George Mason’s diagnosis. We never really knew what the outcome was going to be but I always sort of knew (without wanting to admit it) that my son was destined for heaven way earlier than I would have liked. I hadn’t even met him yet but I knew good bye was always a possibility. We prayed hard and boldly for healing. We begged God for a miracle, for those doctors to be wrong; or at the very least proved wrong in their assumptions. In so many ways, God answered those prayers. We tried to remain positive and trust that God not only could, but would heal our son.
The 5 months or so of carrying George and wondering what came next was so tiring. I had such joy and expectation of what bringing our first son into the world would look like. Because pregnancy is so not enjoyable for my body, I delighted in the things that made all the fatigue and sickness worth it. Those baby kicks and hiccups. The heartbeat at every doctor appointment. Imagining what kind of personality would develop as this precious child grew up. Except with this pregnancy, I was terrified of what came next. We didn’t know. We knew there was a very large spectrum of complications and that George Mason fell on the worst end, but we didn’t KNOW. So while I delighted in his personality and his perfectly timed hiccups (every single night as I laid myself down into bed), I didn’t want to do the imagining. Its so hard to not day dream of what your child is going to become. Its so hard to not draw conclusions based on what little you know about the child you are incubating. So I did it. Knowing that it might lead to heartbreak.
I’m thankful for those 5 months of getting to know George Mason. I didn’t get to hold him in my arms the way I had hoped but I loved on him with every fiber of my being; and because I always knew good bye was a possibility, I paid attention to every detail of his life and who he was telling me he was. Much like when my mom died, we had immense faith that God would give us our miracle and did everything we could medically to facilitate that. God didn’t heal him. He did however let us meet him. George Mason has a day and that's a wonderful miracle. He got to feel the touch of his daddy and hear him tell him he loves him. He got to hear the sweet sound of his big sisters innocent voice. Her love for him is big even though she is small. He got to go into eternity listening to his mamas heartbeat. I kissed that sweet head and said I love you more times than I can probably count. I couldn't muster the words "go be with Jesus" but it was the sentiment behind my salty tear-filled kisses. George Mason was a miracle. He was an adorable, precious life and we are so very thankful to have met him.
God didn't heal my mama 2 years ago and he didn't heal my son 2 months ago. I know that He absolutely could have. I know without a doubt that if George Mason had lived through all of his body's failures, it would have been only because of God. He didn't, and that really hurts most days, but how can I wish for him to be in my arms when what little I know of heaven is so amazing and what I know about kidney failure is so awful? Gods timing is a mystery to me. I don't think I will ever understand why my son died after only 16 hours; at least not on this side of heaven. I am, however, incredibly thankful for all of the ways God is sustaining Adam and me (and all those that love George) through each minute/hour/day/week/month of this grief; of this missing him; of this broken world and our broken hearts.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. -Isaiah 46:4
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22