12 days of gifts from Jonah - Day 12
On another blog I follow, the writer challenged those of us who have lost children to spend "the 12 days of Christmas" thinking about the gifts, tangible or non-tangible, that we have been "left" by our child's short life. There aren't many tangible things that we have from Jonah (although there are a few), but because of that, I've been almost forced to focus more on what isn't seen with my eyes or held in my hands. I'm taking this "challenge" because this month is really hard, harder than I'll admit to anyone (myself included). I need something. I'm not sure I'll be able to follow the "12 days format" of having the exact number of something for each day (12 things on day 12, for instance) but we'll see. What a year 2010 has been!
**Day 12 (12/25): 12...twelve amazing Tuesdays. Every third Tuesday of each month, I spend about 2 hours with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. It is a time for laughter, tears, joy, heartache, questions, advice, memories, hope and love. On these Tuesdays I get to meet with other mommies like me...mommies who have children in heaven waiting for them. Women who have other children, and some who don't yet. Women who know that sometimes it takes all of my strength just to get out of bed. They understand that some days it hurts so much, I don't know if I can go on. They understand that sometimes, I can smile and be happy that my children are already with Jesus, safe from all harm. They nod in understanding when I express frustration because I can't know all the "why's". They know just what it feels like to miss someone that was only here for a brief moment in time. They are there to gently remind me that it's okay to hurt, it's okay to not hurt...it's quite all right to just be confused! They are all such amazing, Godly women and I don't know if they realize the profound effect they have had in my life. I spent 2010 striving to become a stronger woman of God and I truly believe they have helped me stay on that path and make some advances in that direction.
Some of these women lost their children years ago, and honestly, at first that was very hard for me. It was hard for me to realize and accept that 4-5 years from now, I will still miss my babies so much that I don't want to get out of bed. But they have shared ideas and ways that they have celebrated their child's lives, no matter how brief it was here on earth; it helped me to have that same desire.