Our Thanksgiving weekend was a great one. I have some hunting stories and pictures to share, but I wanted to share about our first Thanksgiving after losing a child.
It’s no surprise that holidays bring a whole new dimension of grief. It’s just a reminder of what could have been. I can remember at every Thanksgiving as a child, we would go around the table and say what we were thankful for. As I thought about what I would say this year, I had mixed emotions. Of course I am thankful for Jesus, my family, and all of the other standard answers. I am truly thankful for my husband and my children- all three of them. I am thankful for the joy and the wonderful blessings that Jesus gave us through Faith’s life. And I am being very honest when I say I am thankful for the heartbreak that came as well. We have grown so much through every aspect of this experience, and I am so thankful for that.
Part of me will be so thankful when 2011 is in the history books, yet the rest of me will be sad. We will leave behind the only time we had with her, and that will be hard. But I wanted to share a couple of ways that Faith was sprinkled through our Thanksgiving holiday.
Early Tuesday afternoon, I got a text from Christina with a picture of a turkey flower they took to Faith’s garden. It touched me so much that they remembered her. We went and visited her “garden” and this is what was there.
While we were there, we ran into Mrs. Patti and some of her acteen girls. She said that they were there to pray for the families that are grieving this Thanksgiving. She was truly a God-send that day. A God Wink that He still cares:)
Later Tuesday night, as we were putting up our Christmas lights (now that’s a post!!!), Cade wrote a letter he wanted me and his daddy to read.
This kid amazes me by the way he shares his heart. Yet my heart breaks for him because he is still trying to understand.
Thursday was hard, and Christmas shopping on Thursday night was really hard. I thought about what we would be buying Faith for her first Christmas. But I knew I couldn’t dwell on it. I just prayed and asked the Lord to help me through the weekend, and He certainly did.
Saturday morning, I got this picture from my best friend, Amy.
Sunday morning, out of the blue, SaraGrace asked me, “Mommy, how did Faith get out of your arms?” I looked at Rob with a puzzled look on my face, as I tried to understand exactly what she was asking. After a little prodding, she was trying to understand how Faith left my arms and went to Heaven. The whole earthly body/heavenly spirit concept is a little too deep for a four-year-old, so again, I asked the Lord to fill in the gaps here. I just explained, “Well, Jesus took Faith’s heart to Heaven, and gave her a new body that was perfect, so now she doesn’t hurt anymore.” She seemed satisfied with that answer, so we left it at that.
And finally, last night, Rob was talking to Cade about all of the things that Jesus has done for us. Cade told his daddy that one of the best things Jesus ever did for him, was to make his video game work even though it was scratched up really bad. Rob asked him what was the BEST thing Jesus had ever done, and his response was nothing short of the Lord showing us that He is in control, and that Cade would one day understand why his sister went to Heaven. He answered, “The best thing Jesus ever did was to take Faith to Heaven so nothing bad could ever happen to her.” It was at that moment, that I was truly able to be thankful for all that had happened this past year. To have my eight year old make peace with something that has hurt him so much over the last year was something to be truly thankful for!