Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Allison's Day

I know that I should have posted this about, oh, 3 weeks ago. It has just been that weird here. I have been in a weird place but want out of it! So I am starting here.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had a slew of friends and family in town. I really do mean a slew... Alie was baptized that Sunday morning. It was a glorious morning! I, of course, was a bit frazzled and hoping everything went perfectly! My parents came up...and Daddy baptized his fourth grandbaby. What a blessing! My sister, brother-in-law and my most adorable niece Anna Kathryn came as well. I was so glad to have them here. But the best part....my bestest friend from my childhood, the chick that knows it all about me and loves me no matter what and I her, came as well!!! I was so elated to find out Keli was coming, then even more excited when I realized she would be here all weekend! Plus, our friends from Northern Virginia were here and all of my fabulous friends that have supported and lifted us during the last 19 months. I could not have asked for a better day. I had three pews full of people I love...it was bliss!

Allison, me, Emily, and Keli

Our family

Baptisms are hard. I have not denied that fact. I was so nervous. And I am not normally nervous in church. I almost lost it at one point...I came close. But I took a nice deep breath and managed to save my mascara. It was perfect. My joy overflowed as my father walked my daughters around the sanctuary as the congregation sang, " Allison Hope, God Claim You; God helps you, protects you and loves you too!" She is a child of God. She is a child that I have prayed for. She is an answered prayer. She is beautiful. And she is adored by all of us. This was a day for me to remember my commitment to my Lord, my faith and my walk with Him. But it really was her day. It is the beginning of an amazing walk for Allison. I cannot wait to see where He leads her.
Alie and her godparents, Corey, Erin and Sean

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there. ~1 Samuel 1:27-28

Good night all...


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

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am the clay

So many good things…so many hard things. Today was one of those hard days. We were visiting the church of our good friends and attending the baptism of their sons. Baptisms are so very hard for me. It was beautiful sacrament. I had never witnessed a Catholic baptism before. I was doing my best to hold myself together and enjoy all that was promised by these parents. There were 5 children baptized today. As the Deacon was calling each name and baptizing the children, it hit me. The first child, a sweet, blond girl, is named Natalie. She was a little older than Natalie was when she was baptized. That was it for me. I focused on my girls and the boys that I was there for. I made it through, even took a few pictures for the family. I left the sanctuary and found a quiet corner. I hugged on Alie and let myself cry. It never stops. There is always the reminder, no matter what we are doing. After the sacrament and lunch with our friends, we ran up to the outlet malls just to look for a minute. We were very good, purchasing only 1 pair of sneakers for Emily. Of course, the GPS who I have affectionately named Lola brought us home near the park where our last family pictures were taken with Natalie. Shortly after we arrived home, Emily informed Bryan and me that she wanted to send her balloon to Natalie. Every time a balloon gets away outside we talk about how Natalie will get the balloon in heaven and get to enjoy it just as she has here. Today, she wanted to write on the balloon and tell Nat Nat that she loves her. I got out the sharpie and we all wrote messages to our girl then headed outside to send her the balloon. It was so very sweet, sad, perfect and perfectly difficult. Of course, we had the camera out. I never go anywhere without my camera! Yet another moment to remember…yet another moment that I wish had never happened.

I have had a few bad weeks. I honestly think I have been in a state of shock for about 18 months. Once month 19 started, I got mad. Angry, hurt, confused, I am hot! How could this happen? Why me, why us? Why? Just plain and simple…why? It seems as though everything that happens now can be traced back to Natalie’s accident. If Nat’s accident had not happened, then ________ would have. If she was still here, then _______. It is a big fill-in-the-blank puzzle. Each piece builds on how this has affected our lives. It has affected how I approach new situations like kindergarten for Emily. It has affected activities I allow my children to participate in. It has affected Bryan’s job and advancement opportunities. It has affected every aspect of our lives. There are good things that have come from this. We have Alie. Our marriage is strong, solid and alive. But the negative impact from this just keeps resurfacing. And I have found that I am angry. I think I have suppressed it so long that this has no where to go but out. So here it is.

But I am hoping that from this will come some shaping of my soul. I know that I am like clay and God is molding me with every turn. The potter is in control and He is pushing on me to form me just as He wants. I know it is softening my heart and helping me heal. There is growth for me in this turmoil.

“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
~Isaiah 64:8

Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Alie and especially our angel baby Nat-Nat who is so incredibly missed today and always