Happy Birthday, Jonah

I can't even really start to express just how much I've been dreading today. I just knew that it would be hard, and I knew that I didn't know what to expect. I didn't expect everything to start unraveling last night, but it did. I didn't expect to wake up at 5am this morning and not be able to fall back asleep (*that* happened last year, too...). but I did. Elijah and I already had plans for today. I had asked Eli a few weeks ago what he thought his baby brother would want for his birthday, and Eli said (without much thought!) that Jonah would want cookies and balloons. Well, I hope Oreos are okay because baking did NOT happen today! Balloons, however, did. Eli and I sat down late this morning and made a special card:

Eli wanted to sign his name, and Dad's as well. He picked each sticker by himself. He thought the smiley faces would make Jonah happy. And he thought Jonah would like the octopus because it was green, and the hippo because it was "fat and blue". Then he decided to write "love" and draw some circles and triangles. Then we headed to florist for some helium balloons:




Eli decided that Jonah's favorite colors were blue and green (like his own!) and I made sure we got a blue balloon for Eli as well. Then we headed to the park:
After I took the pictures, I asked Eli is he was ready to let the balloons go outside. He got a little anxious and accidentally let them go inside that little shelter...and they got stuck at the top!

First I tried to move the picnic table, which was frozen to the ground. Well, I wasn't giving up...I yanked at it until it moved!
Then I climbed up to rescue the balloons. I could grab the green one by the string but the blue one had a string that was just a little too short. The blue one...with the special note attached. I tried jumping but it was just out of my reach. I tried to smack it with the green balloon...didn't work. I tried to wrap the green balloon string around the blue balloon string and yank it down. Nothing was working, and by that time the tears had started. I kept reminding myself that it wasn't about the balloon...but I WANTED THAT BALLOON. And as I cried a little and prayed that the balloon would just come down, the wind blew and the balloon came a little lower. I still had to do the "wrap and yank" method but finally, I had two balloon strings in my hand. Thank you, God...really...thank you. So we tried again, and THIS time I told Eli to hold tight until we were outside!

It was a good balloon launch. It was a pretty foggy day but we watched the balloons until we couldn't see them anymore. I asked Elijah on the walk back to the car how long he thought it would take the balloons to get to heaven and he said "um, probably like 5 minutes". Eli asked if he could take a picture for Jonah:
He thought Jonah would like the little Christmas tree :-)

Misc. Elijah:
He's getting so big. Sometimes it really catches me off guard! His hat is awesome, don't you think?

The name Jonah means "dove", which really played a role in my part of the decision in naming our little boy. This past February I noticed we have two mourning doves that hang out in the tree in front of our house. Coincidence, perhaps...to a grieving mommy, it's nothing short of a miracle direct from God. When we moved into this half of the house in July, I anxiously waited to see if I would see the pair. I can only see them if I'm at the window in Elijah's room, or the window in our spare bedroom. During the summer and autumn, sometimes I'd wake up early with the sunrise and sneak into the spare room to watch for the pair. Some days I saw them, some days I didn't. I wished so much that I could see them all day, every day. As of Christmas Eve, I have a dove in my window permanently:
Today was so dreary and gloomy, but I'm anxious for some sunlight to come through that dove. Right now he's hanging out in our dining room window, so he will hopefully catch the afternoon sun through that bare tree in our backyard. I think in the spring and summer, I might move him to the living room so he can see the morning sun, too. A little research provided the following information about the symbolism of a dove:

Symbolism of Mourning Doves

By virtue of their melancholy call, Mourning Doves have been fittingly named as such. Their distinctive “wooo-oo-oo-oo” sounds may evoke a feeling of grief over the loss of a dearly beloved. But far from representing death, the symbolism of Mourning Doves is actually more optimistic and spiritual. Beyond their sorrowful song is a message of life, hope, renewal and peace.
Among all the birds, the Mourning Dove prides itself as the celebrated bird – gracing sacred scripture (The Holy Bible under the Christian Faith) and appearing as a recurring icon in our lives. What does the Mourning Dove symbolize? Below are the traditional and primary concepts it epitomizes:
  • A symbol of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, one of the figures of the Holy Trinity (The Christian Doctrine advancing the belief that God exists in 3 persons: Father, Son and Spirit) is depicted as a dove in the baptism of Jesus. According to the Bible, when Jesus emerged from the water, a dove from heaven descended upon him. Baptism is a Christian Sacrament of spiritual rebirth by which we our “cleansed” of our “original sin,” and the Holy Spirit places us in permanent union in Christ, and makes us a formal member of the Christian Community.
  • A symbol of Hope
In the Noah’s Ark story, God decided to create a big flood to wipe out all the people on earth, except for Noah and his family. After forty days and forty nights, Noah released a raven to look for dry land. When the raven returned without success, a dove was then released. The dove, thereafter, flew back triumphantly with an olive leaf. Noah was pleased. It brought reassurance that trees were growing on dry land – a certain sign of life! The dove stood, therefore for new beginnings, great expectations and deliverance.
  • A symbol of Peace
Although it is a white dove that typically represents peace and safety, Mourning Doves may also represent the same. The states of Wisconsin and Michigan regard the Mourning Dove as their official state symbol of peace. Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish artist, when commissioned to design the logo for the World Peace Congress in 1949, drew a dove entitled “Dove of Peace-Blue.” It is because of their simple and maternal nature that doves have become a symbol of solidarity and concord among nations.

My day is pretty close to done. It's almost 8pm which means soon, Elijah will be in bed. Adam is working tonight and honestly, I think the quiet will feel a bit lonely. Tomorrow will be a new day, and although I know the hurt won't be completely gone, I know that I'll be able to remember today as "okay". It wasn't easy, but it wasn't terrible. I allowed myself to cry, which I don't do every day. I'm ready for the hurt to be gone, but I'm pretty certain that won't be anytime soon. I don't know when I'll be able to actually see and hold my baby Jonah again, or if he'll even be a baby when I do, but I do know that I'm one day closer.


"I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone, how can I carry on

if I can't find You?

and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away."

Psalm 121: 1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth"

Comments

Caitlin said…
Eli is such a little sweetheart. Thinking of you this evening. I hope you get some good sleep. <3
Nichelle said…
Hugs and prayers to you my sister...he comforts even through THIS!
Mandi said…
I've been thinking of you lately, knowing this day was soon (and not remembering exactly which day it was). I love you hon, and I really appreciate you sharing your heart, your grieving, your realness...
Shera said…
Sandy, I absolutely adore you, honey. You are one of the rare people in this world who is real, honest, and quite brave. Jonah and Eli are so blessed to have you for their Mommy, Adam is doubly blessed to have you as his beloved, and I am blessed to call you my sister. I love you, honey. I don't have all the right words to say that will take the pain away, but I know that He does and I'm so proud of you for looking to our Father for comfort and guidance. He will NEVER let you down. I love you, sweet sister.

PS. Mourning doves are my favorite bird as well!! :-)

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