The evening of January 9, 1999 I stood on a chair in the kitchen of my apartment in Orem belting out songs to the Dixie Chicks. My friends and I were headed to a dance at UVSC. I remember what I wore that evening. I remember the flavor of Lipsmacker chap stick I had on, blueberry. I remember sitting in the bathroom with a friend putting on make-up while we talked of a certain boy named Christian that drove me crazy, and never liked me the way I liked him. I remember my closest friends being there all together as we waited for our friends Becca, and Annie to make their way up from South Jordan so we could head over to the school for a night of fun. I remember feeling annoyed that they were running late. So typical of all us girls to be late back then. I can remember those last moments of normalcy before my life would change forever. I remember the phone ringing and Amy answering it, a woman on the other end explained that there was a accident and Becca had died and we didn't need to wait anymore and then dead air.
Panicked, and confused we made our way to the nearest hospital. It was confirmed in the emergency room that there had indeed been a car accident and our dear friend had passed away.
There is nothing that can prepare you for something so sad and tragic. That date has been etched into my soul ever since. It not only represents the day that Becca left us all to reside in Heaven, it reminds me of a hundred other things that transpired from that event. After the accident I became my most un-resilient self EVER. By CHOICE. I was so sad, and so angry, and so lonely. I sat down in the valley of grief and set up shop. I camped there for months and months and months. I made no plans to leave there, and even hoped that I myself might die there and go and be with Becca. I was almost, just almost unreachable.
I lived full of fear that someone else I loved and cared for would die. Most of all, I became painfully aware that this life that we are all living is (gulp) temporary. The burden of mortality was etched so far into my mind and soul I have never ever been the same since. I have long healed from the experience of Becca passing away. I still think of her quite often, I know she is not far and is very aware of all those who she loved and left behind. Without that experience I never would have gone on to marry and have a family of my own. It set the course for me to live the life I was supposed to live. For that I am so grateful.
But I will never as long as I live forget that grief I felt over losing someone I love so tragically, and so unexpectedly. That kind of grief that brings you to your knees, anguish so strong you truly believe you could actually die from it. When I had my first child that fear transferred from being afraid of losing someone I love. . to actually dying myself. As a mother I feel so vulnerable. It is the great burden I carry with me day in and day out. I never want to leave my children. There is no medication or therapist that can make it go away. There is only a very loving Heavenly Father that I pray to day in and day out for protection and health as I go about my life. I feel assured that He knows, oh boy does He know that I don't ever want to die. EVER. But if I do, I better be like 99. And if that isn't the case either, well please don't ever let me know its coming. For reals.
When I found out I was expecting my fourth child I wasn't sure what to think. I kept it a secret all to myself for weeks until I could get a ultrasound and see the little tiny heartbeat confirming that there was indeed a little baby growing in there and all looked well. I went for the ultrasound only to be told the "sac" was to small and they couldn't see the baby inside even though at that point the baby should have been plenty big enough to see. I was told to come back in a week for another ultrasound but likely the pregnancy would end in miscarriage. My heart was sad that day. Instead of meeting Christian (yes that same one that never liked me like I liked him)(only he does like me now)(OBVIOUSLY, we make babies together and stuff) for lunch and telling him the exciting news, I would have to tell him I was pregnant and going to miscarry all at the same time. I canceled our Memorial Day vacation and sat around waiting for the inevitable to happen. But it didn't. I went back a week later for another ultrasound and there was my sweet little baby! Tiny heart fluttering on the screen. I was so happy! But anxiety set in over the scary start I'd had.
In the following weeks uneasiness crept into my heart and I worried for my baby, and I worried for myself. I had undoubtedly read a article of a pregnant mother passing away and my anxious/OCDisorderd self worried that would also be my fate. I needed this pregnancy to be over asap.
Pregnancy is always so tiring for me! Like I'm comatose for 9 straight months, and generally feel crappy. This one was that, but also a mental battle of emotions the entire time. My most difficult pregnancy yet for that reason. When my Dr. (who I really do love and trust with my life bytheway) decided that my baby boy would be born the evening of January 9, 2012 for "convenience" because he was already on call that night I was not happy. That date had way to much baggage and was not going to be my son's birthday! I pleaded for him to change the date and move it up few days. At every appointment I begged him to change it. He refused. We argued over "date of conception" and what the early ultrasound indicated and that this baby could be born at the earliest on that date. Blah blah blah. He finally agreed we could move the date back, but I refused cause remember??? I needed this baby out before my mind exploded with worry. When it became apparent that the date was set in stubborn stone, I turned to the Lord and begged that for once my body would go into labor and I could have my son on different day. Those prayers weren't answered. This baby was going to be born on January 9. Period.
As I was wheeled into the OR I said a prayer that probably went something like, " I know there is no way to get out of birthing this baby (like he has to come out, no way around it) so please let him be healthy and please don't let me die."
That evening after everyone left and I was all alone with my sweet, precious new baby safe in my arms I drifted off to sleep happier and more content than I had ever been on a January 9th in 13 years. The Lord had seen me through.
Nine months ago today I wandered Costco filling my cart with the staples of daily life. I was very very pregnant! As in a few short hours my baby would be delivered. Today I wandered Costco filling my cart with the same staples with a darling 9 month old in my cart drooling all over the place and had the desire to share the story of his birthday.
I love my baby boy so very much! I don't care when his birthday is anymore. He is a daily reminder of how much the Lord loves his children. He truly does see us through day to day, breath to breath even. He makes our burdens lighter and answers our prayers time and time and time again. It isn't always in the way we want. But He does answer in the way that is best. This I know. Am I grateful enough???, probably not.
But the Lord knows I'm trying, boy does He.