I woke up this morning in tears. 5am and all I could think about was his day. My dreams last night were about his day. I kept jumping to all different memories from those long 48 hours in the hospital. I couldn’t escape them either because it was quiet and the only thing “on” was my brain. I just sat up in bed and cried. Adam rubbed my back - because of course I woke him up - and just let me cry. And when the tears subsided, life continued as if it never happened. A toddler singing voice through the monitor, the beep of the coffee machine, and the chirping of birds, all were telling me its a new day and its time to get moving.
Every day is a new day and every day brings with it a very new set of challenges. This grief journey is hard, mostly because its so predictably unpredictable. I can have a string of very good days and then be hit upside the head by the pain or anger seemingly so randomly. I can be having a string of very bad days and suddenly wake up and feel ok. There is no pattern, no warning, just grief in all of its facets. I come back to Lamentations 3:22-23 so often. Because this season is so unpredictable and because every day is a different experience, it is wonderfully comforting to know that God’s mercies “never come to an end; they are new every morning” It’s wonderful to know that even though I have no idea what is facing me tomorrow morning when I wake up, God will be there. It doesn’t seem to make the grief any easier, but it helps to survive it. Yesterday I was angry with God and today I’m missing my son terribly.
Fridays sneak up on me. I never expect that the day that marks another week without my baby is going to hit me so hard. I can barely keep track of the days of the week anyway, why would Friday’s be any harder than any other day? I don’t know if they are… but when I wake up at 5am in tears and realize its another Friday, its hard to be objective. Its been 12 weeks. I can’t believe it, really. 12 weeks seems like so very long and I can still smell my sweet son. How does that equal 12 weeks of that precious baby boy in heaven?? Audrey and I were baking cookies this morning - keeping busy is important these days - and as we were mixing the ingredients she decided to tell me that she loved cookies; oh, and George Mason. He is everywhere. She thinks of him in the most random, sweet, perfect, miserable, awkward times. She talks about him, wants to see pictures of him, and remembers the strangest details from his day.
When Adam and I left for the hospital on Thursday night, she was already in bed. We had agreed and planned with my dad that if things went ok with George Mason, Audrey would come to the hospital on Saturday morning. We expected that Friday would be long and full of anxiety; we didn’t want to share that part of her brothers life with her just yet. When things didn’t go well, I called my dad and told him Audrey needed to come to the hospital to meet her brother before he went to be with Jesus. I don’t remember exactly what time she got there but I know that she probably only spent 20 or 30 minutes with him and with us. It was late, sort of during dinner, and sitting in a dark hospital room with crying parents isn’t really in any toddler’s capability for too long. I don’t know if she remembers my tears or if she has just seen enough tears in the pictures, but she tells me every day that I cried when I held George Mason. You’re so right, sweet girl, I cried. A lot. I laughed a little too… it wasn’t all bad. I was so thrilled to introduce her to her brother and I soaked up all of her interactions with him. They were innocent and loving. She was curious about all of his tiny little features. She touched him, kissed him, talked to him, and then ran away and colored. She had no idea in that moment how much she was experiencing. She wasn’t sad. She wasn’t saying good bye. She was just meeting her baby brother.
As I think about his day, and particularly Audrey meeting George, I’m so thankful to serve a God who loves me as his child. I would, and do, do anything to make sure that her memories and experiences from that day stay with her but don’t hurt her. I will make sure that above all else, she knows that even though her mama and daddy are so sad and miss George Mason so much, we love her with every ounce of our hearts and here to protect her and talk whenever she is ready. Sometimes that’s really hard for me. Sometimes I’m in no place to talk to her about him, but I do. God is a great Father and He’s doing the same thing for me. Except when its God’s turn to talk, its never hard for Him. When it comes to protecting His children, listening to the cries of mourning, its never hard. He never doesn’t want to talk about George Mason with me. That’s comforting on days like today. That’s comforting on any day. God is so big. He is so much bigger than I’m even capable of giving Him credit for. So even though today started in tears and I’m sure there will be more as it goes on, I have a God whose mercies are new every morning and who is ready to listen when I want to talk and protecting me as I walk through this grief.