Friday, November 06, 2009

Grateful for the Gift

Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.

This month we are focusing on our gratefulness for the gifts we were given and the ways our lives were changed by the lives of our babies.

I never imagined my life would take this course. I never imagined my child would be given a fatal diagnosis. I never imagined that I would have to bury my child. But yet, it has all happened to me. Am I angry that this happened? No, I'm really not. I feel I've been given a great gift and I would never want to give it back now. In fact, sometimes I feel like I've had the greatest blessing and that I'm the only one that got to experience it.

She was part of me for many months. I felt her every moment. I was the only one to feel her hiccups, which were so light I had to focus on them to feel them. We had a bond that wasn't broken when she died. It was still there when she was born. I know because I felt it. I still feel connected to her. I am grateful we shared and continue to share something so special.

One thing I am quite thankful for is knowing ahead of time that Carleigh wouldn't live. It gave us time to prepare and to capture and cherish moments with her. When I plan something I really plan it. I had pretty much every detail planned out for Carleigh. Her birth plan is proof of that!!

I already knew through my experience with Jordan that you can draw closer to God through tragedy. It was no different with Carleigh. The very day we got our diagnosis, I felt Him. He assured me that all would be ok. We would eventually lose our daughter here on this earth, but we would not lose our faith in God. It has actually grown stronger and deeper. Our trust in Him is absolute and unwavering.

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people. Psalm 52:8-9

I am grateful for many things over the course of our journey with Carleigh-the many prayers, support that was given, the love and comfort we felt, the gifts and cards we received, the kindness from strangers. It all means so very much to us.

There is no doubt that this whole experience has changed me. There is much that is good but there is also some not so good. I'm working on the not so good, but it's a process. Our lives have changed dramatically and we have to learn how to live this new life. There'll be good days and bad days, but as long as we stick together and lean on God we will make it through. All I ask is for patience from those around us. This isn't something we will get through quickly. We still need you. We still need words of comfort and gentle hugs.

I am indeed grateful for this journey, but most of all I am grateful for the gift of such a beautiful daughter.


AKD said...

This made me cry - so beautiful. Thank you, Holly.

Mom Putnam said...

Yes indeed it is a journey and like you I, as Carleigh's grandma wouldnt have wanted it any other way either. She has taught me so much and to look at the simple things in life and not take ANYTHING for granted. Do I miss her? Absolutely, every day of my life. But, it is getting better and my faith and love for MY LORD is such a source of my comfort.
I am proud of my dauther and her husband for never waivering on any decision they had to make and to stand firm in the faith they were taught. I love you Both.

Jennifer Ross said...

It was so nice to read about something positive about loss, rather than negative. I have had a hard time with the positive. It's not that I am angry with God, I just have a hard time because Isaiah was healthy. I just don't know how to put those emotion's into words.

Yes, Carleigh is a beautiful little girl:)

Franchesca Cox said...

This is such a beautiful post. It really made me aware of how far I am from being truly thankful, from my heart. I am thankful I got to meet my Jenna, but right now the pain just overshadows every other emotion for me, even anger. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly, it is really beautiful. I love when you said, "In fact, sometimes I feel like I've had the greatest blessing and that I'm the only one that got to experience it." I feel like that sometimes too, with her kicks and hiccups. So sweet.


Chandra said...

Oh Holly that was beautiful! I cried, such a strong woman you are.

Bree said...

You are amazing, Holly. After I lost Ella, I vowed to do something positive in her memory. I've let anger get to me and have gotten away from that a bit. But, you inspire me to work towards that. I know Carly feels your love and is with you each day.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, Holly. I love the verse you shared here, too. Your heart shines through so beautifully...and honestly. Words cannot express how much I appreciate you. You are so compassionate and an amazing friend to those who walk this path.

Love you...

Jess said...

Such a beautiful post, Holly. It's so touching to see your thankfulness for the gift of your beautiful little Carleigh. I know it's such a hard journey to go through, and yet I agree, it is still just such a privilege to be the one who got to know and love her like no one else. Also, to feel the presence of God in ways never before experienced.
Thank you sharing your heart in this post.

Anonymous said...

Holly, could you perhaps announce this over at the AS group? Perhaps those who are christians would appreciate following her blog and joining in the activities. Thanks! Cami

Karen said...

What a beautiful post Holly!
I love hearing you say you have had the greatest blessing. I had not thought of it in that light before, so thank you so much for sharing this!


♥ Ali ♥ said...

I'm just sitting here sobbing like a baby! I do not know what to say, I am completely overwhelmed by speechlessness. But, I do want you to know; you are such an inspiration to me. (and many other Angel-Mommy's, I am sure). I cannot beleive how amazing it is to read something so positive, when the subject is the greif of losing a child. I too am sure that this even, losing my son, was a lesson I am sure glad I learned. It did teach not to take a single moment in my life for granted.

That was a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing it with us all Holly.

Anonymous said...

Yes Holly the greatest gift you and Anothony gave your daughter is the time to get to know and love her, even if it was short. She felt your love andthe talks you had with her and one day you will see her and Jordon again. Again you are a truly amazing lady and your love in the Lord and the strngth he gives you you can see daily. God Bless you and your family.LOve you all
Aunt Nancy

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