My Heart Was Hurting Today

awake 2

The painting you see is called Awakening, by an artist named Bessie Pease Gutmann. I found a little framed print of this painting long ago, and ever since, I have used it as a symbol of my first little boy, Alex. He was born on December 5th, 1990, and died on December 16th. This was due to a car accident that occurred at the very end of my pregnancy, and I wrote more about it in the post If Your Tragedy Had Never Happened. I have some pictures of him, but from the moment he was born, he was intubated and hooked up to all manner of wires and monitors which would only distract you from the beautiful, dark-haired boy that he was. So I keep those private.

It has been a long time and I have two beautiful living children, but I think of Alex every day. I visited his resting place over Thanksgiving and told him that very thing.

Others who have lost a loved one around the holidays will understand how hard it is when everything that reminds you of Christmas reminds you of grief. Some years, for one reason or another, I get through it alright. This doesn’t appear to be one of those years, but I had not mentioned anything to my husband or anyone else.

This morning I was sitting at work, trying to concentrate, but my mind kept leading me down paths I didn’t want to travel. I remember a thousand little flashes…things I saw, things people said, how it felt to kiss a baby’s head for the first time. Sometimes I find myself just staring into space and I’m back at the accident scene, or back home in those cold days when it was all over, or in the places between; hospitals, the funeral home. Sometimes whole conversations come back to me. So I was having a bad morning, quietly, all to myself with my back turned to my coworkers,  I found myself in tears over and over.

Then the phone rang and it was my husband, calling a couple of hours earlier than normal. “Hi!”  he said. “I just took an ornament off the tree at work, with the name of a little fella who needs some gifts this Christmas. He’s two years old and the list says he wants some race cars and a football.We’ll go shopping this weekend.”

I had no idea there was a needy children’s donation drive happening at his work, and he had no idea I was sitting there with tears in my eyes, missing a little boy who never had a Christmas.

But God knew, and I felt my pain was acknowledged at that moment. I wouldn’t have said a word–I tend to hold it all inside–but God sent me a way to let my husband know I was having a hard time this year, so that he can support and care for me.

There’s no fancy ending to this post. I just wanted to share that.



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