"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Friday, June 5, 2009

From The Outside Looking In

I have been thinking about this for awhile now. It's actually been weighing on my mind a lot lately. Consider that your warning . . .

The other day while I was out at the store I noticed a woman looking at me with Jack. It wasn't the normal "awwww . . . look at the baby" look - it was a sad look. I had to wonder what she was feeling. I wondered about her story and her life experiences. Was she a mother who lost a child? Lost a pregnancy? Lost the hopes and dreams of ever being pregnant and having children? Maybe it was nothing. Maybe I was reading into it too much, but the longing in her eyes made me wonder what I look like from the outside now.

After Gavin passed away I felt like I walked around with a gigantic sign on my back. One that said, "Look at me. My baby just died." I felt like everyone was watching everything I did. Waiting for me to breakdown. Waiting to see how I would react in certain situations or with certain topics. And if people didn't know . . . I felt angry with them. Sometimes I just wanted to stand in the middle of the store and yell, "My baby that was once here is now gone. My baby suffered for months! Why don't you appreciate your children?!"

Soon after (and thankfully sooner rather than later), the anger towards others turned into envy and jealousy. I remember watching pregnant women walking into the hospital as I was leaving the doctor's office and I knew they were going to give birth. And most likely they would have healthy, normal children and could never appreciate the heartache I was feeling. I found myself jealous of them. Jealous for their children's health and jealous that their lives were going along "normal" while mine had just been turned upside down.

I am not shy to admit it. I was jealous of them and I was angry with God.

I remember thinking, "Why doesn't MY baby deserve to live? Why don't I deserve the happiness I see other mom's having." Looking back now I realize the amazing blessings and happiness I have and will have again someday, but in the middle of those months, it was difficult to see past an hour. Let alone a day, a week, a month and forget about a year. When you have a baby like Gavin you literally live minute to minute. Literally.

Then the months came after he passed away. They took forever. Once again living minute by minute. I remember watching moms in the store. I remember thinking (and judging them unfairly) that they couldn't appreciate the miracle of healthy children who are here. Of course there were the moms who were upset with their kids, but mostly I saw kind and loving moms who were doing the very best they could. And I was still jealous and wishful. Hoping that I would have that chance someday.

Now here I sit. I have one angel baby and another sweet boy who is here and healthy and tests my patience too. And now I wonder . . . how do I come across to those in public who watch me? No longer do I feel they watch me for the same reasons, but I know there are other moms who are going through difficult times like I have. Do they see me and think about how I have a "normal" life" and wish they had one too? Little do they know the heartache and agony our family has been through to get to this point.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is to ask a collective forgiveness from the moms who I watched and envied and unjustly judged. You never know what someone has been through. I wonder what I must look like from the outside looking in. Life has a funny way of coming around and teaching you lessons. I learned so many lessons during our brief time with Gavin, but I still seem to be learning from that experience.

I am ashamed of my past anger and jealousy. However, I do realize that we are human and we are given human emotions for a reason. I do not believe in holding back and ignoring those human feelings, but I do believe that it is how we react to those feelings that will either make or break us.


T-Ray said...

Don't ever be ashamed of being angry or jealous. Those are feelings we have to feel in order to appreciate life the way you do. I love you Linz. You emplify love and patience.

Carley said...

Thank you for sharing. I have enjoyed reading your blog and have found so much strength and love through your words. Your eternal family is beautiful and a true example of faith.
I heard a song and it reminded me of you and this post, you might have heard it before, They don't understand by Sawyer Brown.
With Love

Anonymous said...

Hey, where did you get the big letters in your last post? They are super cute!

Brittanie said...

Oh wow, I felt all of that (well, not about having a sick baby, but all the rest of it anyway). I remember thinking that same thing one day sometime after Erin came along. What did I look like to the mother who had been me a year previous. What did I look like to the mother who just lost her baby. What she angry with me for not appreciating Erin? I decided that I needed to be one of those parents who obviously appreciated Erin, even when she was cranky and frustrating. I can't control the hurt they feel, but I didn't want to add to it, you know what I mean? Now I have two babies, twice as much to appreciate.

I don't know I wish that there was something I had in me that those women who would recognize. So that they could see that I have been there, and that there is hope in the future.


Hamilton Family said...

I think what I have come to learn is that we all suffer. No one has the perfect life and no mom is the perfect mom. We are all just here doing the best we can with what we are given.

Thanks for the call the other day. It really lifted my spirits. You are amazing and have so much to give.

Cindy said...

I don't think Heavenly Father expects us to think or even be perfect all the time. Like you said, we are human! You have two beautiful baby boys. I know that being a mother is the most treasured gift that we can be given. And I feel for those that have never been given that opportunity.

Also, I went private on my blog so I need to get your email address so I can add ya on. Thanks!

Baldwin Fam said...

It's been a while since I've looked on your blog, Jack is getting so big! Love his new haircut! Don't you sleep 10 times better when they are in their own beds?!

And I do think that Heavenly Father does allow us to come full circle alot in life. It keeps us humble and helps us to be more like him. :)

Heather and Billy said...

You said it perfect and so did so many of the comments. Morgan is probably right about the reasoning. I have felt the EXACT same things about moms and other people who have their moms still after losing mine. I had that big ol' sign on my back after she died. 10 years later it is the occassional jealousy. I applaud you for seeing that and putting it out there. I mentioned mine at Mother's Day on my blog and got a lot of flack from it. You just see and appreciate things in a new, and better way. I believe it is God's gift of empathy and as a result of it you will never look at other's the same way or live your life the same way again. And I think it is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hello... Are you there??? I can't believe how much hair your babies have! They are so sweet. I am another one interested in your wooden letters. Just wondering where I can buy them at.

cassi said...

Thanks for your honesty and sharing what many of us have felt as well. That is one thing I have learned through this too, is that you never know what someone has gone through. When I'm having another hard time but have to be out there with a smile on, it makes me realize now, there are probably others out there with smiles on that are having a hard time too, we just don't know it.

Amy said...

What a beautiful post! Your comments brought back many memories for me. And reminded me how lucky and blessed I truly am. Thank you.