Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Life Changes...

"You are life,
And you lived.
You gave what you needed to give.
Forever ours. Forever His.
The greatest gift was always you."

It's hard to think that it's only been a month...one month, 3 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes as I write this opening sentence. To me, it seems like a lifetime, and not one that I am entirely eager to repeat. Granted, things have changed and things have remained the same, and our world has been turned on its axis more than once. But we're still holding on, still holding each other up, and still holding true to the faith that we know will lead us back to our daughter someday.

I'll be the first to admit that life isn't easy. In fact, there are days when it's downright unbearable. There are times when the tears come for no particular reason, and then there are times when I'll find something of hers in some random spot and I can't stop from breaking down. I break down over a toothbrush in the closet, while walking through the girls' toy aisle at Wal-Mart, over cheesy potato soup, whenever I hear the primary sing, and just about every time I see a little girl about her age. The worst times are at night as I sit in the nursery, rocking Jasper back to sleep. I can't help but think about how great a big sister she would have been, and how excited she was for Jasper to arrive. I know that they got to spend some time together between her leaving and his arrival, but I only wish that they had spent time together so that I could see.

With Jasper's arrival, it feels like I have two separate families. I feel guilty for having family pictures taken without her in them...almost like it feels like by doing so, we've cut her out of the family. We do everything we can to make it feel like she's still a part of our every day lives. We tell her "good night" before bed every night, placed a picture of her in Jasper's crib so that she can be watching over him, even leave her things lying around the house as much as possible. There are times when I can almost believe that she's just at preschool, then spending the night at her grandparents' house. Then there are the times when the house just feels so incredibly empty without her constant laughter and the sound of her feet running through the kitchen. I miss her happy cry of "Mommy!" as she wrapped herself around my leg when I picked her up from preschool or daycare.

Of course, having our new little addition helps to ease some of the pain. Jasper is an absolutely wonderful baby, and we couldn't be happier (in a manner of speaking). He's a joy to our family, and is everything we could have asked for in a son. Time will tell if it'll stick, but for now, in the short two and a half weeks that he's been with us, our lives have been so blessed. We know that Heavenly Father has sent us another choice spirit, and that he was specially prepared before being sent to us. Speaking of being sent to us, Jasper was born on 12/11/2010 at 5:00 p.m. He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 18-1/2 inches long. I was induced at 2:30 p.m. because the doctors suspected I was experiencing preeclampsia and my blood pressure was soaring. The labor was fast, to say the least. We figured Kerrigan was ready to kick Jasper out and slam the door behind him, as she so often did with family members who visited her bedroom.

Jasper's growing like a weed, having grown out of preemie clothes in a week and now filling out newborn sized clothes quite well. He's such a calm, easy-going baby, only crying when he's hungry or has messy pants. He's content to lounge around in his Boppy pillow or in his swing, or to simply snuggle up to Mommy or Daddy and just fall asleep. It's definintely taken some adjustment on Brandon's and my part because we're so used to having a child who was so demanding of our attention and who consumed every minute of our lives. We wouldn't have had it any other way, but starting over, seemingly from scratch, with a new little one has been a challenge. We're not first-time parents who are learning all of this for the first time, but it just seems odd to have just the three of us in the house...it hasn't been that way since 2006. It makes me wonder if we will ever have an earthly family of more than three.

As for Brandon and I...we're getting along. Brandon has taken a hiatus from the nursing program during the spring semester and will start back up again where he left off next fall. I'll be taking online courses through UW/Casper College and staying home with Jasper. We're still just trying to get by one day at a time. It's a long road that lies ahead and often times it feels like we'retaking two steps backward for every step we take forward. But it helps to have each other to lean on as we make our way along the path to our Celestial child and our eternal family.

Jasper's First Christmas

Kerrigan's Christmas tree at CRC Preschool

Kerrigan's Angel Tree


Jill Asay said...

What a beautifu post, Angela! Your testimony is so strong.I think about you guys often and love your collage of pictures.

The Emmett's said...

I tear up every day that I pass the tree at CRC.. She was loved so much by so many people.. your memories of her will always bring joy to your life..