Saturday, October 4, 2014
October 4th - One Year
I've been confused over the past month about what exactly this day is for us. This demonstrates, I think, one of the smaller heartaches that accompanies a life experience like this. We just don't have the language to describe the loss. What is it? Austin and Daniel's one year birthday? One year since a miscarriage? One year since the stillbirth of our sons? Sometimes I feel a little bit like I'm just stumbling around in the darkness in a very large room, and I don't know where the walls are or how long I'll keep looking, and all I can feel is the floor, and the floor is cold.
But other times I feel like I'm sitting in an open field with my hands folded, and there is sunshine everywhere. I decided a few weeks ago that I would simply think of this day, October 4th, as the year anniversary of the hardest and the happiest day of my life.
One year ago today I made such difficult decisions. One year ago today I was so extremely angry. One year ago today I labored for three and a half hours with hardly any help because I knew I had to be as aware as possible, and because I wanted to feel every bit of pain I could because I wondered if later the pain would be the only thing I would have left, and the only thing I could hang on to.
But all of that just pales in comparison to the blessings that we saw. One year ago today I felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have before. One year ago today I was told exactly what to do. One year ago today I gave a strong declaration that I would keep my covenants. One year ago today we saw the Atonement working in the most profound of ways. And one year ago today I held my children for the first time, and Austin looked more like Greg, and Danny looked more like me, and they were just absolute troopers. They did so well. And I have never been more proud in my entire life.
Today we did what we could to remember. Oaklawn Cemetery here in Jacksonville is beautiful, with spanish moss hanging from the trees and a riverbed running through. We walked in the quiet and found children. A set of siblings who both passed away in the fifties, and a set of siblings who passed away in the thirties, and others, too. We had two dozen roses and we made sure that all of them we could find were remembered. Of course, they don't really need the flowers. The ways their parents love them could never be fully described, and God himself is aware of these children in the most beautiful of ways.
We kept two flowers, just for us. One for Austin, one for Daniel. Now they are on my kitchen table, and they don't make me sad. They make me happy.
I don't know if anyone visited Austin and Daniel today. I hope some did, not because Austin and Daniel need it, and not even exactly because I need it, but more because I think that it is a place on earth where we can understand what is really important.
I know that things work out. I know the gospel never ceases to work. I know we are stronger than we seem, and I am grateful for a God who lets us realize it.