I worry that I am not the man Emily needs me to be right now. Some days, I am excited to feel Caroline kicking and am hopeful for a miracle. Other days, like yesterday, I cringe when she asks me if I want to feel Caroline moving and kicking. I am struggling so much to deal with my own emotions that I feel that I cannot help her. Emily is so strong. I cannot fathom what it's like to have no choice whether you feel Caroline moving. She inspires me to take another step in our journey.
"26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." ~Romans 8:26 (NIV)
I can't find any more strength to find the words for what I want to say right now, so the rest of this blog will be mostly quotes and songs from other people.
There is a poem by another very strong woman named Emily. My great Aunt and Uncle L&D shared this with me. There situation was different than ours, but the emotional ramifications are very similar.
WELCOME TO HOLLANDc1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
Emily Perl Kingsley.
Emily Perl Kingsley.
"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."
If I could speak to my little Caroline Grace right now, this is what I would say:
"Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,
Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
...don't forget why you're here..."
~"The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets
The one thing I do know is this: out of the ashes, I will rise!! Can you picture that? Something so beautiful rising up from the ashes? What a sight! And what a journey. Thank you Jesus for blessing me with Caroline Grace. To God be the glory.....