Monday, March 31, 2008

Benjamin's Gravemarker

Another goal I have been working on since December is to have Benjamin's gravemarker designed, ordered and installed. We were in Texas visiting Becky and Daniel this past week and missed our traditional Sunday visit. So today the boys and I went up there after school, and we were so excited to see that it has finally been installed!
They did a wonderful job, even taking care to leave the bulb flowers undisturbed and transplanting the pansies to the sides of the stone.

It feels so good to have this beautiful, permanent marker for our precious son. The pictures on it are very meaningful to me. The building is the Mesa Arizona Temple, where DC and I were married and our eternal family was begun. The engraving of Jesus holding a baby represents to me "my fondest dream", the moment when He will restore Benjamin to our arms, never again to be separated.

I believe in Christ--He stands supreme.
From Him I'll gain my fondest dream.
And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."

I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With Him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth He comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

Goal Accomplished!

One of the goals I set for this year was to run a 5K by the end of March. I have been training for it since Christmas Eve, with a few setbacks here and there. Last Monday I DID IT!!! Yippee!! Dad and Joseph did it with me. DC and the boys and Mom were our cheering squad, meeting us at a couple of points along the way, giving us Gatorade, and finally holding the tape for me to break as I crossed the finish line. They were awesome.

Thanks, Dad and Joseph, for running with me!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow Day! (Number One)

Our first snow of this winter was this past Tuesday!

The boys were ecstatic to get to stay home from school and play in the snow. With only an inch or two on the warm ground, the roads were not a concern at all. I think sometimes they close schools just to celebrate rather than because of logistics! Yeehaw!

DC made us chocolate chip waffles for breakfast, then we all headed out for some serious fun.

Hummer said, "It's Christmas!" and could not be convinced otherwise.

Here's our new friend. Hummer requested that we find him a MAGIC hat.

Here's my effort to get a little artsy. Our new friend is sagging in the background. Exacto was holding him up, yelling, "Mom, come help me!" I answered, "Just a couple more! I'll be right there!" I'm so sympathetic.

Frosty was not long for this world. This shot was taken at about 2pm.

And now as I'm writing this, it's starting up again, with 10 inches forecasted for Little Rock! CRAZY. It's looking like tomorrow will be our 2nd snow day of the winter. Then of course by next week it's supposed to be back up in the 70s. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Benjamin's 4-month birthday

Many and delightful had been her shore rambles, sometimes with Gilbert, sometimes with Captain Jim, sometimes alone with her own thoughts and new, poignantly-sweet dreams that were beginning to span life with their rainbows.
Benjamin would be four months old today. I love that age, when babies are so chubby and smiley. Not sitting up yet, but maybe starting to get a tooth or two, and just as charming and delightful as can be. I wonder what he will look like when he is four months' old?

Anne, her pale face blanched with its baptism of pain, her eyes aglow with the holy passion of motherhood, did not need to be told to think of her baby. She thought of nothing else. For a few hours she tasted of happiness so rare and exquisite that she wondered if the angels in heaven did not envy her. "Little Joyce," she murmured, when Marilla came in to see the baby. "We planned to call her that if she were a girlie. . . . Oh, Marilla, I thought I was happy before. Now I know that I just dreamed a pleasant dream of happiness. This is the reality."

I have always loved "Anne Shirley" since I first discovered the books in my middle school years. I remember reading these passages from "Anne's House of Dreams" when I was younger, and feeling so sad for Anne, and so grateful that "things like that don't happen anymore." Nowadays babies are born healthy and mothers don't die in childbirth. . . .most of the time. How naive I was. I wish I still were.

At sunset the little soul that had come with the dawning went away, leaving heartbreak behind it. Miss Cornelia took the wee, white lady from the kindly but stranger hands of the nurse, and dressed the tiny waxen form in the beautiful dress Leslie had made for it. Leslie had asked her to do that. Then she took it back and laid it beside the poor, broken, tear-blinded little mother.
"The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, dearie," she said through her own tears. "Blessed be the name of the Lord." . . .
Later Marilla, trying desperately to comfort Anne, says:

"We can't understand--but we must have faith--we must believe that all is for the best. I know you find it hard to think so, just now. But try to be brave--for Gilbert's sake. He's so worried about you. You aren't getting strong as fast as you should."

"Oh, I know I've been very selfish," sighed Anne. "I love Gilbert more than ever--and I want to live for his sake. But it seems as if part of me was buried over there in that little harbor graveyard-- and it hurts so much that I'm afraid of life."

"It won't hurt so much always, Anne."

"The thought that it may stop hurting sometimes hurts me worse than all else, Marilla."

"Yes, I know, I've felt that too, about other things. But we all love you, Anne. Captain Jim has been up every day to ask for you--and Mrs. Moore haunts the place--and Miss Bryant spends most of her time, I think, cooking up nice things for you. Susan doesn't like it very well. She thinks she can cook as well as Miss Bryant."

"Dear Susan! Oh, everybody has been so dear and good and lovely to me, Marilla. I'm not ungrateful--and perhaps--when this horrible ache grows a little less--I'll find that I can go on living."
I am finding that the ache does grow a little less, although certain things trigger a recurrence of raw grief. I am doing my best to go on living. I have realized that I can't let my grief over not getting to have Benjamin with me now keep me from enjoying my other sons. This is my only chance to watch them grow up. Later I will have the chance with our 4th son. So I really am trying to find happiness now in the 3 we do still have with us, and not miss the joyful events of their childhood.

Today, though, I remember our precious few hours with Benjamin four months ago, and take time to cry a little, and to wonder about what it will all be like when I can touch him and feel his weight in my arms again.