Saturday, October 18, 2008

When fear and faith collide

We are in the midst of the last firsts. I don’t know how I feel yet about this. I am comfortable (if you can call it that) with the firsts. First ___________ without Natalie here…you enter the event. I guess it is because it keeps it fresh. It makes it seem as though she has not been gone long at all. But really…a year is a long time. I have always thought that Bryan’s 6-month deployments were long. They are NOTHING compared to this! A year, it just seems so long, so final. One year ago, on October 14th, Bryan left for that deployment. You know, the deployment where he had that horrible conversation that told him of Natalie’s accident. I remember the day he left perfectly. We took lots of pictures. Our last family picture as the four of us, Bryan, Hillary, Emily and Natalie was taken that day by us squatting down and resting the camera (with a timer on it) on his bags. We said our goodbyes, and then the girls and I followed his bus out of the base gate towards the airport. We turned off to go to the zoo (it was military appreciation day and therefore free) but never made it because the girls fell asleep in the car and I had the wrong shoes on. I wish now that we had gone to the airport with him. I wish now that we had a bit more time…that day and with Natalie.

The Pumpkin Patch trip went well. It was HARD to be there this year. The memories are still so vivid for me. Last year, I took a day off from work. Bryan was off as well. It was Columbus Day. We met some friends there. We took hay rides, we played on the hay bales in the middle of the play area. We played on the swingsets. We petted the animals at the petting zoo. We picked out pumpkins. We took LOTS of pictures. This year was no different. Except that Natalie was not here. She was so missed. When we got to the playground area, the swing that she got on last year was still there. I have great pictures of her swinging on that swing. Thankfully, the tire swing was not there. I think it would have been very hard to see that. She loved the tire swing last year. When we were on the hay ride, I could picture the photographs that we took of the kiddos as we were riding around. All I could think was that we should have been taking similar pictures. We should be watching Julia and Jackson and Natalie run around and terrorize the chickens. But we were not. Alie slept in the Maya Wrap on me the whole time. She was a happy girl. We took a picnic lunch. After, we picked out pumpkins. Really, Emily picked out pumpkins. And we came home with three, one for each girl. We made it through the first trip back without Natalie. Somehow…

We have also received our Newborn photos back from Jessica Riehl. They are fabulous as always. I am so thankful for them and for her. Jess’s eye is amazing and captures everyone perfectly. She even made my eyes sparkle in one picture. I did not know they had any sparkle left in them. But she found it. I am glad we took these…I don’t want to miss a single moment.

We are preparing for the next few weeks. The days get harder as they come. My hurricaine is strengthening sooner this month. I cry more. I remember more. I wish for lots more. I fear her angel-versary. I fear how it will go. I fear how I will feel. I fear how we will each react and how we will survive as a family. But I have faith. And I have learned that my faith will get me through. It has gotten me this far and I know I have a ways to go! He will hold me when my fear and my faith collide. And He will hold me up so my faith will prevail. I know that we all will be in the palm of His hand.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my rightous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Good night all. I leave you with the very last family picture we took as Bryan was heading to the plane for Iraq last October. This is one of my favorites!


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, especially our angel baby Natalie and Allison


Shannon Davis said...

I love you and am keeping you in my prayers always but exspecially this month!
remember one of my fav quotes:
"Courage is fear that has said its prayers" it has carried me through a lot!
I love you!

Christy J said...

I have not been able to put my thoughts into words for a comment on this one, but had to say that I love Shannon's quote! You are, and will continue to be, in my prayers. :)

Elizabeth said...

You said it perfectly... "He will hold me when my fear and my faith collide." Thank you for reminding me of that too!
I'm thinking of you.