"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Saturday, July 31, 2010

10 Weeks and a Day

Today it seemed as though Rachel was responding to me in a different way and trying to...smile?  Another one of those things I didn't expect to experience and to be honest, it's not something I welcome.  It means we are getting to know Rachel as a little person.  I can't keep myself aloof from my daughter - I don't want to, nor do I want to keep Ethan and Abigail from enjoying her.  We all love her! But as she draws us in to our hearts, I can't help thinking of how much this is going to hurt all of us.  Ethan has been asking people lately if they want to kiss Rachel. (as though he is giving permission) When Rachel cries, Abigail tries to soothe her by stroking her cheek.  I seldom let my thoughts go this way, but just sometimes I imagine that Rachel as a 'normal' healthy little girl and we are enjoying her without this cloud hanging over us.  That picture feels so very far away from our reality.  I feel sad that Ethan and Abigail will not grow up with their little sister.  Sometimes it is a struggle to stay thankful. 

This past week we have been on survival mode.  Rachel got her second cold so she wasn't sleeping.  Dave got a bad cold and then my hay fever kicked in.  We both got acquainted with the Neti pot that's been sitting in our closet for 6 months.  I should have used it long time ago but I was dragging my feet. It feels pretty strange to use but I'm so amazed at what it's done for me.  If any of you are allergy sufferers, give it a try!  But, to get back on track - we are exhausted.  It didn't take long for that to happen again.  We are so very glad for the food our church friends left here! And for the Hospice that we will be going back to... tomorrow!!

Yesterday I was asked the question "How are you doing?" by two doctors.  I know they asked because they genuinely wanted to know and I appreciate their concern.  I replied with my usual automatic response.  "We're doing fine.  We have alot of support."  I think we really are doing ok most of the time.  We are doing what we need to do.  But hearing the question made me stop and pay attention to how I am really doing.  Truth is, I am afraid of how empty our house will feel.  I am afraid of people forgetting about Rachel.  I am afraid that I won't be able to let her go and in my sadness, not be a good mother and wife. I am afraid that losing Rachel will affect us in ways we can't predict.  Please pray for both Dave and I, that we will continue to live one day at a time and to place our fears in God's capable hands.  The Great I AM is with us now in the present.  I want to believe it.  I want to live it. 

As for Rachel's STATS, her oxygen levels are still in the mid 60's.  She is still 5 pounds 8 ounces.  I'm attatching a picture of her at her apointment yesterday. She has filled out her carseat, hasn't she?  And you can't see it, but the words on her bum say "Loved Baby"  Is she ever! 

One more thing. I have been feeling like a lousy friend.  It's been so hard to return calls, emails or get together with you.  I feel like I have so little to give right now. I would probably feel this way even with a healthy third child.  But I want you to know I appreciate you.  Thank-you for waiting. Thank-you for your patience.  You are important to me.  That sounds a bit like a recorded message.  I really do mean it though.    


Kathy and Carl said...

We continue to pray for you guys. My heart just breaks at each passing day. As you anticipate what the future will hold, it's hard to live and enjoy the present with the looming thought.

But rest in the moment (and at the Hospice!) and know that you are carried in prayer. We love you guys so much and it hurts us to know that you are hurting.

Janet said...

Rachel looks absolutely beautiful..Do not think you haven't been giving out.You "HAVE" been giving all you can my dear sister in the Lord.You have been keeping us all up to date.You have been sharing your heart with us all.You are an amazing woman.Jesus is holding you in His arms.He knows what goes before us way before we do..I am praying God will continue to carry you through each day...
I heard that song"Because He Lives".On Sunday evenings they play old gospel songs.It brought tears to my eyes..
I like to sing those old time songs once in a while.It really gives me peace...My heart goes out to you all.
Love & prayers
Janet M

Rita Vaags said...

Please know that your little Rachel is reaching the heart of this complete stranger... how do you ever forget a brilliant star? How do you forget such a feisty life-force? May this message bring peace to your fears of having such a precious child forgotten. And may His humble love hold you now and every moment you are blessed as "mother", as "wife" and as "friend". His truth is shining through you in this... how many of us can say we have fulfilled such life purpose? Thank you for your humility, your courage and your beautiful faith. Our home is praying for you all. God bless you and your family!!

Brenda Funk said...

What a beautiful picture of Rachel!! she is looking so grown up! Last night Carol and Val and I prayed for you all especially -- David sent Val an email that sounded very exhausted and very much at the end of resources. You were in my heart and on my mind all day long, even in the Mall of America. Love you all, so relieved that you can go back to hospice tomorrow. Love MOM

patti said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I appreciate that you talk about those special moments Ethan and Abigail have as well, and the heartbreak it is causing. I hear that struggle - wanting to enjoy that moment and at the same time not really wanting to feel that moment knowing it's only for a short time. It's hard to let one's heart care that much only to know the pain of loss will be coming. I often think of that quote "It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all" but maybe that's a little cliche in this situation. I'm praying for you and Dave and your family - for the strength to get through this and also that you would feel better healthwise. And I'm glad you get to go back to the hospice. By the way, do you guys want or need anything from Manitoba? I'm out here right now and I could bring something back.

Kathy Dueck said...

Praise God for the hospice! With all you are experiencing, you would have to be Superwoman/Superman to feel thankful for everything all the time, you know? God loves you no matter what.

Erin said...

Hey guys, Rachel is looking so alert! I agree with your Mom so grown up, even though she is so tiny, she is checking things out more now! Your little bean will not be forgotten by others, as Rachel will not be forgotten by anyone of your friends or family. She is so loved by so many, she will leave and ache in our hearts too. It will be hard and it will knock the wind out of you, just remember that there are so many here to support you. Talk to them tell them how you feel, lean on your people, we are all here for you and want to help (and expect nothing back from you). For now though continue to revel in every moment, and continue to take help and take rest! We are so glad you can go back to the Flames House! What a wonderful place!!
Love & Prayers,
Erin & Jim