It seems like we were just in Portland engaged in our daily routine. It engulfed us. If I close my eyes and think of it, I remember what it felt like. Spokane and life here feels so removed from what our reality was for so long (even though it was a short 47 days we 'had' her). All of the thoughts and feelings are jumbled most of the time, waiting to be processed. My girlfriend wisely said, "...it's a new marathon."
Honestly, I've avoided the computer and looking at my email. I realized I am just prolonging what is inevitable...moving forward and all0wing grief to have its place. I'm sad that I'm not sitting down to write about how Noa is still fighting and the kids are 'hanging in there'. And I'm not pouring over tests and feedback from all of you about how you're praying and hopeful with us (and I know you are still praying). Now we are just sorry and so sad.
Sometimes it feels like I'm in a bad dream. I keep waiting for the relief that comes from waking from that bad dream...but the heaviness remains. And I imagine it will for a long time. Noa took a part of our heart with her.
I've been looking at a couple of books about this process and they have been helpful. And God has clearly been guiding me and continues to carry our family. Even though God doesn't remove the grief, he is surely embracing us in it. I know He is with us.
So...Here are a few highlights of our life lately:
|Getting a ride|
~ We returned to our house that had been uninhabited for 46 days but it didn't feel like it. Our friends had cleaned and freshened our house, went grocery shopping, put up a Christmas tree with lights, and topped it off with holiday 'lawn art'! We felt surrounded even though we were given some space.
|mom and sisters|
~ Two days after returning to WA, our family and community in CA got together and bought us plane tickets, a hotel, and took care of all the details to be able to spend a week with them there. It was such a wonderful visit and we were blown away (again) by the support and love we were given. It was so so appreciated. Thank you.
~ Shortly after leaving Portland, the director of the Ronald McDonald House for Oregon, Tom Soma, decided to make Ruby and our family the subject of his weekly blog. We are so impressed and humbled by the Ronald McDonald House Charities. We don't know what we would've done without it. (I remember roaming the halls when we first arrived and looking at photos of people who were contributors and just cried with gratitude). It is well worth anyones donation of time or money. Anyways, we thought it was really neat that our family left an impression on Tom. Here's the link to his blog: Tom's Musings
~ We made it through my birthday and holidays...barely. Lots of tears in there. We really had planned on bringing her home. And initially I scolded myself for the confidence I saw when we returned home...diapers, clothes, plants, etc. But then I remember that during the whole pregnancy we thought of Noa's situation as "best case scenario" and "not a candidate for ECMO". It wasn't until I had her that we were shocked with how severe her CDH was and then it was 100 miles an hour till the end. YOU know...those who journeyed with us.
~ Justin returned to work. I miss him.
We Love and appreciate you still...thank you for continuing to pray and for sending encouragements to us. And all of you whom we've never met that have sent us letters or cards. Thank you