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


Erin Hingley said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for letting us share in the releasing. I love you.


Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Praying for you. I can't imagine that pain. I can't imagine the hurt. But God can. He is merciful and He is sufficient. Bask in His love and let Him flow through you and minister healing to your spirit.

You will be in my prayers.


Tina said...

This is the first time I have stumbled across your blog. Hillary - I don't have the words to say to you. My heart goes out to you and your family. Saying so sorry just doesn't seem to be enough.

I will be praying for you. I pray that God brings comfort and strength to you.

Ashleigh said...

Hi Hillary. I came over from April's Mom.

I can't even imagine the pain and heartache you deal with every day. I am so sorry for your loss and for how unfair life has been to you. Let yourself feel whatever emotions you need to feel. That's why God gave them to us. I'm sure your sweet Natalie is dancing in heaven with Jesus and showing all her friends the balloon her family made her! :)

Mark's Mommy said...

I linked to your post from Aprils mom's blog.
I am so glad that I found your blog...I do know your pain - all of it. We lost our 2 year old son last August in a tragic accident and I can barely cope at all.

Everything that you have written is exactly what I am is all so unreal.
Please know that you have another mommy who knows what you are feeling and who will be thinking about you and your family constantly.

I have started my own blog as well, but I am still working on getting it just like I want it. The site is

I know that our God is faithful and only HE will get us through this horrible time.

Mark's mommy

Catrina said...

Hi Hillary! It's been a while since you and I talked but I still read your posts, I still pray for you and your family, and I still find you a great source of inspiration. I posted this story on my blog a while ago and it reminded me of "being like clay". I apologize for the long comment but I wanted to share this story with you as you are one whose fire seems hottest.

"Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
One lady’s opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But sir,” she said, “do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.” The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random, and they are only as intense and last only as long as is necessary for the refining process. As the lady was preparing to leave the shop, the silversmith concluded by saying that he knows the process of purifying is complete when he can see his own image reflected in the silver. What a beautiful example! When Christ sees His own image in His people, His work of purifying is accomplished."

Anonymous said...

I "stumbled" upon your blog tonight. Our little princess died also at 14 months old, just 6 weeks ago. Thank you for writing, it brings encouragement seeing others that are surviving this. The pain is so overwhelming.