Sunday, January 27, 2008
As a blizzard rips through Saskatoon's streets tonight, I'm thinking how crazy it is that we'll be in Arizona in about 12 hours.
We shipped Oscar off to the farm with my folks tonight. That silly dog didn't even wave goodbye as he perched beside Aunty Michele (or on Aunty Michele) in the Mazda 6! Mom sent me an email tonight saying that he is missing us a "little bit" but only because he has to. I hope he remembers us when we get back. :)
Our packing is pretty much done and Murray, our faithful friend, will be here to pick us up at 4:45 am. (wince)
I suppose one advantage of a limited wardrobe is that there isn't a whole-lotta dilemma when asking myself "What shall I pack?" :)
That said, Kurt checked out the temperature at the Grand Canyon (yes - contrary to my previous post, I do want to see the Grand Canyon) and it is only about zero degrees. So we still have to take our mitts and jackets... which seems funny and a little bit unfair for a 'hot' trip. :)
I checked the weather where we're going tonight: 13 above and rain. (A delighted smile is on my face.) Rain I can take... and the rest of the week is forecast to be between 14-16 degrees. Nice. :)
By comparison: Click for Saskatoon's weather here.
I'm not sure what it will be when you click it - but right now it is -14, with a -27 wind chill and tomorrow is supposed to be -20 with a -32 wind chill. A good day to fly away! :)
Okay... just for the heck of it, I'll include a handy conversion link for those who understand temperatures in Fahrenheit.
Before I sign off, one more thing:
I know Kurt's gonna say, "Don't broadcast that we're leaving, Kendall!" (chuckle)
Since I highly doubt that anyone who reads this blog is of such nefarious character, I'm not too worried about that, but for my hubby's sake I'll put this little note:
If you're thinking of robbing us, you're a twit. (Is "twit" too harsh? LOL!)
And, if you're a jerk, remember there are 2 burly guys who also live here and they're not leaving. :)
I'll try to post something when we're down there... but I can't guarantee if I'm having just "too much fun". :)
kendall for the manzville pair
Saturday, January 26, 2008
1) I've bought my first pair of post-pregnancy (non-maternity) jeans... and they fit nice and loose! :) I've been plagued by the fear that I would never find anything to fit my lower regions - since that is where most of my pregnancy weight is sitting. I think (and Kurt says) it is coming off - but dangit! Could it be any slower? Anyway, I didn't spend a fortune because WalMart (forgive me for my hesitancy to go there earlier) happens to have a new fit that works with my dimensions. Wow. I'm very happy.
2) I've discovered a cosmetic product that actually lives up to it's claims. (Men have permission to scroll past this one.) Ready? Cover Girl Lash Exact. You know the one where Queen Latifah gets out of the limo and shakes her head at the girl's clumpy lashes? She goes on to say it is some patented brush... yada, yada, yada? Anyway - yeah - it works. I am a true Mary Kay loyalist - but I have to give credit where it's due... and that stuff does not clump.
Enough with the frivolity, and on to a more serious matter.
I received a comment from a lady telling me about how she was struggling with her baby girl's death. She told me that it was worse now than when it originally happened, and ended by saying, "Maybe I should have more faith?"
I understand your wish to remain anonymous. I hope you do not feel that I have been too specific in stating your struggles... but I really wanted to reach back to you and I think this is the only way I can reply. I'm am so sorry for your loss. I think you know that I don't mean that tritely - and I understand everything you wrote.
You said that it seems harder than it was... sometimes I think shock is a gift - if we truly felt everything at the time it happened none of us would rise above it. If you've read the blog at any length I hope you've seen that you're not alone in your grief. I've had so many struggles - and I continue to. There are times I wish I could just be done with the grief - and yet I realize that the grief over Autumn is what continues to make her real. We don't mourn people or things that never existed... and our babies did. We felt them move, we dreamed about them, we named them. I told another friend who has lost a baby that for us who have lost our daughters, 2007 belongs to them. In our memories - in our histories - this year was the year where we hoped for them. It feels like each month there is another new one. I wonder each day what she would look like, or how she would sound, or how strong she would be...
I wish I could explain that my faith isn't of myself. I really am not strong enough to pull myself out of this grief. I feel so sheepish if people compliment me on how well I'm doing... because truly I am clinging to God. I cling because I know He is strong. It isn't just faith for "faith's sake"... it is because I believe that there is a God who cares, understands and is very gentle. I have to remind myself so often. Somehow... I'm not sure of why, exactly... that soothes my heart even when my own willpower can't just pull me out of it. (Which is pretty often.) My faith has an object - Jesus.
I do understand your struggles to have joy - because that is my struggle, too. I understand wondering why things have happened - because I do too. I am, in no way coming down on you for the things you expressed to me - but I just want to encourage you to keep looking. It's okay to hurt, but by God's grace, I am trying to turn my eyes to Him. That's all. I know that the God of the bible reveals Himself as gracious, compassionate, upholding the brokenhearted.
Dear friend - I know what you feel like. What it feels like to wonder why your broken heart keeps beating. What it feels like to desperately want another child. What it feels like to fear for the future.
I will pray for you. If you'd like to talk anymore, please send me an email (the link is under the heading "Information about..." (click my name)) I would love to hear from you... and again, I hope you don't think I'm judging you for any 'lack', or anything else that is "bad"! :) You're not alone in this. I hope that maybe I've encouraged you a little - because even in my trying to encourage you, I've encouraged myself. Thank you for your comments... I really appreciated them. :)
As for the rest of you... have a good day! :)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Celebrities: Whether it be Brittney Spears' mental instability, or Heath Ledger's (seemingly) drug-induced death... I feel so bad for these people this week. They are clearly so unhappy. How is it that I, who have lost my only child, can still be happy when they - who seemingly get everything they want (and I know that isn't true, either) are so obviously miserable with their lives? They are in bondage to the life of luxury. The life that everyone envies. But all their mistakes are displayed for all the world to see. If anyone ever wanted to see living proof that physical attractiveness or money, or fame do guarantee happiness - look at the state of Hollywood. It humbles me, and makes me thank the Lord for the simplicity of life and contentedness I find in Him. I found myself praying for these people (who really are people) including Heath Ledger's 2-year old daughter who now will grow up without a father.
"The Trip": Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (really can't contain my glee about this one) In 5 days my beloved and I are flying away from this deary and frozen land (today's temp? -20 C/-4 F) to the desert. I hope it is really, really cold the morning we leave... but then it can warm up (within reason) as soon as we fly away. I said that for you, Daddy. :) Pity the person/persons we ask to take us to the airport by 4:30 am next Monday... watch out Grace Fellowship - we'll be trolling for volunteers on Sunday. We can't wait to see our friends, spend some time together, and get away from winter for a few days.
My Hair: Okay - so the story goes that last year - after months and months of not being able to get pregnant -I did two things: got a dog, and cut my hair. Within two weeks of each, I was pregnant. If I were superstitious, I would be running out to get my hair chopped off again and Oscar would have a playmate. However - I'm not. And after a year of growing my hair back out, I'm still irritated that I cut in the first place. Definitely a lesson in hastiness. And Oscar... well, he's enough puppy love on his own. :) On Friday I'm going to get some major work done on my hair. I'm so excited! Incidentally, that will happen just before "the trip". Yes, yes - I coordinated it to be the case... vanity indeed. :)
Realtors: So, most people know we're looking to sell our house. The time line isn't important, or exact... but we have started the interview processes. The nice thing about Saskatoon's hot housing market right now is that many people are eager to work for us. :) The variety of personalities and approaches is stunning. The good news? Most have been really nice. Only a few have been pretty "intense" (meaning I raise my eyebrows and think, "You intimidate me."). (LOL!) I feel very special that these people want to work for us. And the ones that compliment my clean house and wonderful decorating have a special place in my heart. Yes - vanity again! (lol)
Dates: Not "dating" kind of dates - but Kurt heard on the news the other day that the 21st of January is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I'm not sure if that stat is world-wide, or Canadian... but it was mildly interesting. I don't think Monday was that bad for me. Praise God. :)
Wal-Mart: This place has become an essential part of my life. I have a Wal-Mart specific list that is full of variety and unrelated things. Pictures, day-planner, nail-polish and sandwich meat. What a store! (I could probably get these at Superstore, too... but going to Superstore is so everyday. Going to WalMart is an event.)
Laundry: I'm just doing it today so I'm thinking about it. I actually don't mind doing laundry. There is something so... pleasingly housewifely about it. It makes the house smell great, it keeps my husband clothed (vanity again!), and I love getting it done. Having two baskets in my closet cuts down the whole 'sorting' step, too.
Thank-You Cards: This is something I've been wanting to get started for a while. We had so many reach out to us when Autumn died. I haven't forgotten any of you! But to sit down and write "thank you"s has been a huge task that I haven't been ready for. Until now. I think. :) I'll keep you posted on this one. Pray for me. It really takes me back to read them - and I want to really express to people how much their reaching out meant to us... so nothing like pressure to fine-tune clarity, right? (sigh) :)
Lunch: Um... my tummy is rumbling. :) Time for this post to end!
Talk to you soon - thanks for reading!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Where do I begin? Does a mere "Thank you for marrying me" suffice when my heart wants to burst with the love I have for you?
So often I tell you what an amazing gift you are to me - the best I've ever received from the Lord second only to my salvation.
I hope you don't get tired of hearing the "same old thing" (chuckle) but today I want to take the time and try to express how rich my life is because of the love you lavish upon me.
Thank you for the past 90 days. I know there have been some really difficult times for you as you have battled not only your own grief - but your feelings of inadequacy when trying to comfort me. You've learned to hold me as I weep, sit and listen as I've needed to talk, and consider my needs above your own.You amaze me with your thoughtfulness, gentleness, and Christlikeness in so many ways.
While some men may be content to talk about what they "should" do to for their wives - I see you, my love, doing for me... and I am humbled.
You are such a wonderful leader - and even as it is no burden to follow the Lord because I know He loves me - following you is so liberating because I know you truly do try to take me into account as you make decisions and undertake actions for our good.
I am so sad for you that your birthday is the first celebrated without our daughter. I know that was hard for you to think that although you have been given another year, we will not celebrate even one of those milestones with Autumn. I saw the tears fill your eyes yesterday - and I loved you more for your continuing grief.
I pray for you daily, honey. I ask the Lord to give us many more years together. It amazes me how He allows us to find such happiness in each other in spite of the circumstances. I've come to the conclusion that He does so because we encourage each other to look at Him first.
This, also, humbles me.
I hope - and pray - that this year will bring great joy for us. That we can know each other, and the Lord, more and more.
Happy birthday, honey. I love you always...
PS: I know your birthday was actually yesterday - but this was my first opportunity to post. :)
Friday, January 18, 2008
KENDALL: "Umm.... I'd rather be held by yours."
*Disclaimer: This scene is in no way mocking disparaging of my husband's character or strength - it was just too funny to not blog on. :-D
I find myself diligently telling the Lord the things I want - or that other people 'need'... and then proceed to tell myself (not directly, of course) "it's probably not going to happen anyway".
I've been somewhat convicted of this lack of trust... realizing that I'm more fatalistic than faithful.
Slap in the face this morning?
Incidentally, Abraham happens to be discussing his lack of children with the Lord. (double-slap!) When the Lord tells him that his wife (who happens to be 80-something) is going to have a baby next year, she overhears it and starts laughing. In Sarah's defense, we probably would all find this somewhat humorous... but it's embarrassing for Sarah as the Lord says to her quite matter- of-factly, "Why are you laughing?" But for me, the point of this passage isn't so much the rebuke as the words that He says to her in verse 14:
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Hmmmm.... (deep, contemplative and full of introspection)
Sure, in theory I know this. I understand (by faith) that He holds the universe together. I know that he keeps my heart beating, my lungs breathing and my brain functioning... keeps cars on the road, planes in the air, gravity working... etc, etc, etc,
But what does that mean?? Like... practically?
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Is it harder for the Lord to make a baby, or to supply barley and staff for my parents?
Is it harder for the Lord to open people's eyes to their need for Him, or to form an eye?
Is it harder for the Lord to build His church, or to make sure that deer don't jump into the path of a car as it careens down the road at 100+/hour?
Do you see where I am going with this? The point isn't that one is harder than the other for him - the point is that nothing is hard for Him. Big things, little things... significant and "impossible" as well as presumptously obvious. Things that have 'solutions' and situations with 'no way out'.
There are three points (based upon this verse and others) that should shape the way I function on a day-to-day basis:
1) God controls everything - including the situations (humanly defined as 'good' or 'bad') we find ourselves in.
2) God has a plan He is actively working out on earth and in our lives. So if things continue to be 'good' or 'bad' we can know that is part of His plan for us for the time being. OR - as in my personal case - if things drastically change from what we were expecting, that is part of His plan for me for the time being.
3) THE BIG ONE: My duty, knowing the above, is to petition Him, praise Him, and submit to Him - all the while knowing that He (and only He) is capable of bringing the exact circumstances across my path to get me 'where I am going' and that nothing is "too hard for the Lord".
So much for my 'no theology before noon' rule. ;)
(Just kidding - I have no such rule...)
Perhaps I have opened up a can of worms this morning - and for anyone that is shaking their head wondering where the heck all that came from - I apologize. :) But my hope - really and truly - is to give some reason to those of you who have wondered why Kurt and I are 'so strong' (I truly wince when I hear that because it gives me too much credit... chuckle). And maybe - just maybe - my thoughts can encourage anyone else who struggles at times (like me!) with despising your circumstances, feeling like prayer is useless and God is distant.
I doubt. I fear. I don't know if the future holds the things I desire (which causes more of the original struggles... chuckle)
But I fight to believe - based on the words of God in the bible - that a good and kind God holds my destiny in His more-than-capable hands.
He loves to hear me pray. He loves to make my heart happy in Him. He gently reminds me with the words, "Is anything too hard for me?" and then - miracle of miracles! - I can rest. Stop worrying. Stop doubting. Like a baby who sleeps in her daddy's arms... I know I won't be dropped - and everything else is 'okay'.
It's kinda like a bus tour. Even if you find yourself staring out the window at the Grand Canyon and thinking, "I thought I was going to see Buckingham Palace!" (making it an amazing floating bus... lol!) there is the assurance that no matter how different the view is from what you expect you'll get where the driver promised when you first stepped on the bus. The destination is determined and impossible to miss... the ride, therefore, needs trust to be enjoyed.
I believe - with humble adoration - that Jesus has made a way for me to be with Him in heaven. He paid for the sins that separated me from God and I have been adopted. Crazy. Unbelievable. But the bible says, "True." There is the destination.
I thought I would marry, finish school, and have a wonderful live baby girl. That's Buckingham Palace.
My present circumstances resemble the Grand Canyon (small smile).
But the Lord - my driver - says, "Your destination is still sure. Keep trusting me."
Despite the grief, the fears, the doubts - the things I think He won't or can't do... His words are true. He is healing my broken heart and refreshing my weary spirit. He is reminding me that prayer is powerful and useful... because nothing is too hard for Him.
So... today is a hopeful and good day. I used the key of promise! (Seriously - if you haven't read Pilgrim's Progress - go get a copy!)
I hope that God comforts your heart today... whatever your circumstances. :)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
It’s been so long since I wrote you. In some ways I feel silly doing it because I know you won’t read it. In other ways, I cannot help myself. I talked to you while you were inside me and since I never “experienced” you out of me, this seems like such a natural thing to do.
A few days ago I held another baby for the first time since you died. He was so soft and cuddly. He smiled at me and let me kiss his soft cheeks and chubby hands. He talked to me in his own language and snuggled right into my shoulder. He was so precious that I couldn’t help but smile right back at him even as I wished for you.
But do you know what, sweetheart? It was good to hold him. It was good because I’ve been so afraid to hold another little one. Afraid to hold other people’s joy in my arms and have bitterness fill my heart. Afraid realize that you’ve been gone for 86 days – and that is only the start! I’ve been afraid that I’d break down with the realization that you won’t grow, or giggle, or fall asleep in my arms. I was saddened – but not overwhelmed. For this I thank God.
I ask the Lord daily to give us another child… but it is so hard to think of waiting for another baby when all I really want is you. Sometimes trusting that the Lord is good and wise and that He always does what is right feels like a monumental task. Making the transition between what my head knows and my heart feels is such a complicated and time-consuming activity. But it is profitable. Because of Jesus I can still smile at other people with babies. Because of Jesus I can love your daddy so much it hurts. Because of my trust in Jesus I still have hope – for this life and the one to come. Because of what Jesus has done in my heart I can feel other people’s pain, and grieve for more than just myself. I shudder to think of where I would be without His love and strength…
Tonight your daddy and I went on a date with some friends. It was a pretty good time and I was relaxed and content… but when we left the auditorium there was a couple with a baby girl in a car seat by the doors. The mom was kissing her daughter and smiling at her, and as I turned away, I thought, “Why Lord? Why can I not have that joy and happiness with my husband and child?” I’ve been out of sorts since then. But do you know what I keep thinking of? A little boy whose voice is quavering and heart is crushed encouraging anyone who had lost “a loved one or a pet’ to just ‘run to God because he understands’. So simple… so deep. So true.
When we got home I sat and looked at your pictures and wept. I wish I could hold you again. Just one more time! My heart breaks on nights like this when the reality of that loss feels so deep that I ache - physically ache - to touch and hold and kiss you. My own baby girl who kicked and squirmed and moved around inside of me – to finish what was started and give fulfillment to that hope that grew as my belly stretched.
Autumn – your death has caused me to run to Him like a lost little girl so many times in the past 86 days. I am scared to hope for another baby. Scared to ‘move on’ and yet at the same time scared that this period of my life will never pass!
I know I have access to the One who says that He will carry my burdens for me. Your loss is the heaviest burden that I have ever bourn… but I am reminded that it is a gift given by the Lord to suffer while being held by Him. A child who is babied and never challenged will not grow properly. I lift tear filled eyes to heaven some days and cry, “Could you not have grown me some other way? Why this? Why her?” and even as the words form in my mind I know that nothing else would have had such an impact on my life. When you died a very piece of my heart was laid to rest with you. This world where sin and death tarnish or destroy any good thing is not my permanent home. Before you died the words, “Come to me all you who are weak and heavy-laden and I will give you rest for your soul” was a nice quote from the bible… now they are my lifeline! That is your legacy, Autumn: you have made your mommy cry, “Jesus is enough!” and mean it.
I am humbled that God used me to give you life… and I know that your days were numbered as are mine. Your death was no more an accident than your creation. But tonight I’ll remember you full of life and energy inside me. I’ll cuddle up to your daddy, hold my tummy and replay the last time I felt you move. I’ll cry as quietly as I can for you and for me. It is just “one of those nights’ and the hurt is deep and real. But I rest in the One who chose this for me and for you. I can bring my sadness to Him and know He understands and is will hold me for as long as the grief lasts.
What comfort in knowing I will be held my whole life.
I love you.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
We (the adults who didn't have to work) decided to take the kids for a little sledding trip Saturday afternoon/evening.
The kids had it pretty easy. :)
The snow Princess.
Kurt is a big softie... of course, her little legs might not have made it up the hill. :)
Derek and his daughter... blurry because they were going so fast.
I can't even curl my tongue - she was trying to show me how. :)
Yes... Kurt is a risk taker. Crazy man....
The conquerors of the hill!
The sledding crew... adventurous bunch, no?
One last ride before heading home... Kurt talked him into it. :)
The kids seemed to have a fun time... still cheerful looking even at the end of the day.
The love of my life... showing his age and exhaustion. ;-D (chuckle)
Thanks again for the great time, you guys... we'll do it again soon! :)
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
We had an amazing time! One (just one!) of the highlights was tearing down the massive sledding hill just beside the golf course.
The resort supplied inner tubes - and - as you can see - the group supplied the creativity in use. Some pictures of our day:
Only one of the many pile-up ways to go down the hill. That is Jessica on the top of the pile.
Kurt is the blue toque in the middle. Graham is the guy in the gray coat (with no toque) looking at me.
There he is! :)
The end result - the tube kept going and they all bounced off. Very funny to watch from the top of the hill. :)
Kiley, Kurt, and Jessica heading back up the hill. They were really far away - our camera has amazing zoom!
Ahhh... young and in love in a winter wonderland. As you can tell, it was pretty warm out that day (no mitts, no toque).
Proving my love for Kurt... (I wasn't even wearing ski pants!) ;)
Kurt coming back up the hill after one of the "group" episodes.
Yes - they were all on the tube.
The love of my life about to hurtle down the hill...
There he goes...
And up the hill - AGAIN.
True perspective on how big the hill really is.
End result: lots of tired people at the bible study after supper. :)
Thanks for inviting us, guys! And to all the couples from Erindale Alliance - we can't wait until next year! :)
Monday, January 7, 2008
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like
sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the
chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10
LOL! I think this little guy grew up with a supermom!
No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry.
God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're
stuck with . -- Kristen, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
Twenty-three is the best age because
you know the person FOREVER by then. -- Camille, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the
same kids. -- Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each
other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette, age 8
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets
them interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers
and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -- Craig, age 9
Now that is creative!
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7
Amen Pam! (chuckle)
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. -- Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them
and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. -- Howard, age 8
Hey - that's what I did... :)
IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to
clean up after them. -- Anita, age 9
HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? - - Kelvin, age 8
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck. -- Ricky, age 10
I'll have to ask Kurt if he ever loves me even when I look like a dump truck. :)
PS: I've added music to my blog! You can pause it for the video - or if you don't want music in general. :) But I do hope you enjoy it!
Sorry for the huge delay. I cannot believe (truly) that we are a full week into 2008... and am still habitually writing '2007' on anything requiring a date. Fortunately, the blog does that for me. ;) I usually get used to writing it faster if I'm at school (dating notes) or working (charting). Since neither is part of my life at the moment, I'll hack along as best I can.
I hope that everyone else has had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. When people ask me how mine was, I simply reply, "I'm glad that it's over." It wasn't that spending time with family and friends wasn't wonderful (because it was!) but the overall feeling of missing someone was a little bit unexpected - even as it wasn't. What a bunch of enigmas and contradictions my emotions have become!
We started Christmas (as has been noted in earlier posts) way back on December 15th in Melfort... opening stockings, and exchanging gifts and learning that Dean has a unique talent for playing Balderdash. And how. ;) I laughed so hard that it didn't even matter that I lost (barely!) to Amanda. ;-D
Lori also makes each of us a pair of PJ pants to get us through the year... Care Bear robe was also a gift. Kurt noted that they are Grumpy Bear's on the robe and stated how appropriate that is for mornings. So I punched him. (lol!) Just kidding... I settled for sticking my tongue out at him. The picture indicates that we worked things out eventually. ;)
Oscar also bonded with Josie since she will actually play with him instead of growling and running away (like a certain unnamed pug). Dean took this picture of them enjoying some bones in the office.
When she wants to get rowdy, she darts around like a little hummingbird and Oscar goes into fits trying to catch her. It's pretty cute to watch - and it tires them both out so that works for all the humans pretty well, too. :)
After that we ended up at home for Christmas morning. Kurt gave me a beautiful card and the letter (also previously blogged about) and "finished" a gift he started 4 years ago.
What, may you ask, has taken four years? He bought me heart locket in our first year of marriage. Two years later, he got it engraved "But you exceed them all" (Proverbs 31). This year, he made the effort to get two little pictures of us and put them in the locket. And so it is done! :) There is also something in the mail that has yet to arrive for me... I've no clue what it is - which is somewhat strange for me and good for Kurt. We'll see if he can maintain the secrecy until it arrives...
I wanted to make a little bit of effort with his gift. I've received a number of sentimental gifts about Autumn... but he doesn't have much for himself. I got him a key chain engraved with the words "Autumn's Daddy" and then sent him on a treasure hunt for his next gift: a ring with her name and birth date engraved inside. He had to go all over the house (including the front closet in his coat pocket) where there were other clues waiting - including a 'task' of singing You are my Sunshine to me and giving me a 'romantic' kiss - or maybe two. A lady doesn't give too many details... chuckle and tsk, tsk. ;-D He was a good sport about it, and he really really liked the ring - which made my heart so happy.
We went to Melfort for the evening, and then to Leask Boxing Day (another stat holiday) morning for our Podhordeski Christmas with Dad and Mom and Kiley and Jessica and Grandma and Grandpa White. We also had a good visit with Baba and Gydo... and Oscar enjoyed the Twins (Diesel and Titan) - even though Titan always steals his blanket. :)
Overall, it wasn't too hectic of a season - for which I am very grateful. I was able to cry when I needed - but the support was also there for both of us. I can't believe it was two weeks ago already! One more indication that time and life go on... and a proof that God continues to carry us through the days and weeks with kindness and mercy.
I went to WalMart January 3rd to get a calender. I usually like to go on the 2nd before they all get picked over - and by the 3rd there weren't that many left. Talk about living dangerously. A calender isn't something you can choose lightly - it hangs there for an entire year so it better be pretty! After some frantic searching, I was able to find one I like - and at a super-sale price. So it all worked out despite my trauma. :)
Hope you have your calenders. :) Happy New Year, everyone!
Friday, January 4, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I debated putting this up on the blog - but I've decided to after all.
So many of my thoughts have been revealed to people... my griefs, fears, angers... but there is another person grieving Autumn more than anyone else - and that is my husband.
I - as I have mentioned before - am making a scrapbook to commemorate the day we had with Autumn as well as the events leading up to her birth. Since journaling is the most important part of memory keeping, I asked Kurt if he would be willing to write something out for me. He said yes - but I left it at that - not wanting to pressure him since it was sure to be an emotional experience.
Christmas morning, he gave me a card with some wonderful words (made me cry) and a letter inside that was simply labeled, "Something for the scrapbook."
I'm going to put it in the blog for 4 reasons:
1) It shows how much Kurt loves his baby girl.
2) It reveals to those who read this that our grief truly is shared.
3) He said it was my letter to do with as I wish. :)
4) I believe it honors him and shows his Christlike gentleness. He is truly my "chief among ten-thousand" and I am so humbled to walk on this earth beside him... I want others to know how I feel about him.
I love you, Kurt - and I hardly remember a time that I didn't. My love for you as as much a part of me as my own name... and I'm so thankful God choose you for me. The letter you wrote for Autumn (and me) exceeded my expectations and delighted me even as it brought tears to my eyes. There is no one else on earth I would rather share this life with it's highs and lows with than you. And that is the truth.
Thank you for being a faithful friend, a compassionate, loving and gentle husband, and a daddy to our daughter. I pray the Lord gives me enough years to show you how crazy-in-love I am with you.
Your Kendall xxxooo
A Letter from Your Daddy
Dear Autumn, This letter is very hard for me to write to you, not because I do not know what to say, but because I know you will never be able to read it. In so many ways you were our dream come true, the fulfillment of our unspoken expectations … a beautiful baby girl. With your soft dark hair, your chubby cheeks, your button nose, the detailed lines on your hands … you were all together lovely in both your mommy’s and my sight. You were perfect, sweetie. As each day drew us closer to your birth date, our anticipation grew and our preparedness became more visible. Your nursery, with crib, bassinet and change table was assembled … blankets, diapers, and wipes filled the drawers … we had your coming home outfit pick out (you were going to dressed up in white while being wrapped up in blankets that your Nana and Gramma made for you) … and most important of all, your mommy and daddy’s hearts had grown bigger so that when you came, you wouldn’t take away the love between your mommy and daddy but that you would be added into our love. We were so ready for you, Autumn, except that God took you before we even knew you. Coming to the realization that no matter how long we wait, we will never hear your loud hungry cries or see your beautiful eyes look up, has been really hard on both your mommy and I. The mornings when I wake up and sit in the brown chair with Oscar (you would have really liked him) is when I remember you the most, because that would have been daddy and Autumn’s time together. I miss you so much, my little girl. And before I finish, I just wanted you to know, that even in your death, I tried my best to take care of you … cutting your umbilical cord, kissing your soft cheeks, changing your full diaper, handing you gently back to the nurse, and making sure you were let down carefully into your grave. I am so thankful to God that He gave you to us for nine months … I only wish that it wasn’t just for nine months. I love you sweetie,
This letter is very hard for me to write to you, not because I do not know what to say, but because I know you will never be able to read it. In so many ways you were our dream come true, the fulfillment of our unspoken expectations … a beautiful baby girl. With your soft dark hair, your chubby cheeks, your button nose, the detailed lines on your hands … you were all together lovely in both your mommy’s and my sight. You were perfect, sweetie. As each day drew us closer to your birth date, our anticipation grew and our preparedness became more visible. Your nursery, with crib, bassinet and change table was assembled … blankets, diapers, and wipes filled the drawers … we had your coming home outfit pick out (you were going to dressed up in white while being wrapped up in blankets that your Nana and Gramma made for you) … and most important of all, your mommy and daddy’s hearts had grown bigger so that when you came, you wouldn’t take away the love between your mommy and daddy but that you would be added into our love. We were so ready for you, Autumn, except that God took you before we even knew you. Coming to the realization that no matter how long we wait, we will never hear your loud hungry cries or see your beautiful eyes look up, has been really hard on both your mommy and I. The mornings when I wake up and sit in the brown chair with Oscar (you would have really liked him) is when I remember you the most, because that would have been daddy and Autumn’s time together. I miss you so much, my little girl. And before I finish, I just wanted you to know, that even in your death, I tried my best to take care of you … cutting your umbilical cord, kissing your soft cheeks, changing your full diaper, handing you gently back to the nurse, and making sure you were let down carefully into your grave. I am so thankful to God that He gave you to us for nine months … I only wish that it wasn’t just for nine months. I love you sweetie,
Your Daddy xxxx oooo