Friday, October 28, 2011

Gram Thompson

Thursday, we said goodbye to Gram Thompson. She passed away suddenly on Tuesday and her children, grand-children and great-grand children gathered to honor her life and give thanks. I loved Gram the moment I met her. We discovered quickly that we had a mutual love for Trading Spaces and for her second grandson and we were pretty excellent friends after that.

We were with her eight years ago when she said good-bye to her beloved husband, just three short months before Micah and I were married. I never told her, but it was as I watched her in those first difficult days after his death that I really began to understand what it meant to devote your life entirely to someone else. She gave all of herself to love her husband and her children well. I pray for God's grace to be the kind of wife, mother and grandmother that she was.

This is my favorite picture of Gram with Lydia. The past few days, it's all I could think about. I hope this is what's happening in heaven, plus a few more people I know Gram couldn't wait to be with again.

(photo by J.C. Carley)

I love you, Gram. Thanks for making such a wonderful son who grew up to make another wonderful son who became an amazing husband for me and an unfailingly loving father for my children. How blessed I am to be a part of your family.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Is he your first?

This is the worst question. I was asked this question twice today. It's amazing to watch the face of the questioner go from happy goo-goo baby eyes and the high pitched voice go to sad eyes and low voice when I tell them, "Actually he's our second. We had a little daughter who passed away." I can see what's going on behind their eyes as they scramble for something to say.

Maybe it's my own fault. Maybe I should just say, "No, he's our second" and not mention Lydia, but they always ask the follow up question of, "How old is your other child?" so I end up just saying it anyway. I won't say, "Yep! He's my first!" just to avoid making them uncomfortable.

It's hard getting asked this question but it gives me opportunity to talk about my girl and I love that. The woman who asked in Starbucks said she thought it was awesome that I answered that way. I told her I can't answer any other way. She'll always be my first baby, the sweet girl who made me a mama.

I miss her. I didn't expect that I wouldn't feel sad once we had another baby, so it's ended up like I thought it would. I love Levi. The part of me that was aching to be a mother again is filled - overflowing even. But the part of me that is Lydia's mama is still aching. I've found the more I love Levi the more I miss Lydia. It reminds me of this post I wrote awhile ago. The joy and pain are always together. The pain makes the joy greater but the joy doesn't take all the pain away.

I think I've realized this is just how it's going to be. And I think it's OK. As long as there's an ache in my heart it will remind me what a gift my little man is, how each moment with him is precious, and how he belongs to Jesus. He isn't a replacement for what I've lost, but he is a blessing from my Savior that reminds me of His great love for me, just like his big sister did.