Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Wonder If This Will Even Make Sense

One night several years ago I stood in the hallway of a care center, outside the door of my grandpa's room...the room I had moved him in to only a few weeks earlier.
A nurse was getting him ready for the night: putting on pajamas, etc.
Grandpa was just cognizant enough to know that he should be embarrassed by what the nurse was having to do for him.
He cried out a few times asking her to stop, and then he said in a scared and frustrated voice, "Just wait.  Noelle will be here and she will take care of me.  I just need Noelle."
Out of respect for my Grandpa's privacy I had stopped in the hallway when I realized that the nurse was taking care of him.
After the nurse left the room I stayed in the hallway until my emotions were under control.

It had been a hard few months for my grandpa and me, culminating with the recognition that I could no longer care for him the way he needed me to.  And with my mom living outside of the country, I had been given power of attorney for my grandpa, and the hard decisions were left to me.

I paced the hallway of that care center crying, and praying to my Heavenly Father.
It had been three or four weeks since I had moved Grandpa out of his home, and in that time I had been to see grandpa every single night.
We would talk, and then say a prayer together, and I would sit with him until he fell asleep for the night.
But this particular night I was tired: physically and emotionally. And I couldn't see how I was going to continue this routine, night after night.
Regardless of the exhaustion, I couldn't leave my grandpa, and the routine continued until he passed away two months later.

* * * * *

Not too many nights ago Jason and I were talking about the experiences in our lives that had prepared us for Emily, and we expressed our gratitude for a wise God who allowed us those experiences before He sent Emily to us.

It's not always that we are given a clear picture of how something from our past helps us with something in our today.  But as Jason and I were talking, I saw that night in the care center clearly in my mind, and I knew that in a small way my experience with my grandpa had given me  some of the strength I would need to face Emily's challenges.

* * * * *

Jason and I visited my cousin and her husband this weekend...oh how my heart aches for them.
While we were there my cousin's friend also stopped to visit.
There we were: my cousin, her friend, my aunt, and myself.
All four of us have given birth to babies with heart defects.
And of the four of our babies, Emily is the only one still with us.
My aunt let Emily know that she had better exceed our expectations.

Later in the day I read the latest from a girl who is bitter...bitter because her life has not turned out like she thinks it should have.
She's young; she's beautiful; she has the world in front of her...and she dwells in bitterness.
I read another story...of another woman who allows a portion of her heart to remain bitter due to the experiences she's gone through.
As I read I thought about the women I had just interacted with...about the fact that they had gone through the one thing no mother should ever have to go through.
I thought of their attitudes and the attitudes of the two women I had just read about...and there was no comparison.

I realized that dwelling in bitterness...holding on to the hurt and the anger...that's easy.
The much harder part is to let it go....to allow your heart to be open...even at the risk of it being hurt.
Being able to take the good from even the worst of your life's experiences, and use it to bless your life in the now...is perhaps the hardest part of it all.

But in the end isn't it worth it?
Worth it because once you've reached the end of 'hard' there is still room in your heart for more...
And if you're lucky enough to have your 'more' be someone like Emily...you'll take it...the hard parts and all.



 

11 comments:

Kimber said...

I just love you. And I loved this blog post. I know you hear it all the time, but just to remind you - you are an AMAZING person.

Singedwingangel said...

OK I have to adit God is really speaking to me lately. Last night I watched Donnie McClurkin preach live and he was talking about how God uses broken people to help other broken people. How he uses what we consider the bad things in our lives to pull us up and over the hump and to be the light for another. Somehow I have lost my place.. I need to find it again.

le Chef said...

Exactly.
For everything I have endured, it's given me the strength to survive what was to come.
Some days it's very difficult not to fall into the bitterness life can offer, but if you can keep in mind that you are given things for a reason; when those things come to pass, you will be thankful for that which you have previously endured and learned from. If your lucky, you get to pass that strength on to another in the same situation, and by your example will they find their own strength.
Life is a test, and it has its own agenda. We need to live for the end result, and try to move beyond the present.
Mortal life can offer so much .. just think what heaven must be like.
{{hugs}}

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Best. Post. Ever.

Thanks for the inspiration Hermana. Once again..showing me the way.

Dazee Dreamer said...

I truly believe we are put in peoples lives to go through some of their trials, because we might learn something that we can use later in life. And I agree, you can't dwell on bitterness. Everyone has the right to have it, but have it and get over it. At least that is what I try to do.

Lalis said...

It makes perfect sense.
It's just easier said than done.
Faith is THAT important.

Mom on a Line said...

Thank you for this post. It is beautiful. Beautiful in the way it is written, the sentiment it conveys, and the people it is written about.

I also want to say I am so happy to read that Emily came home. I have been away for a while, but I still think of you all. Sending heart hugs to you and your entire family.

Daniel and Elise said...

Thanks for this. I wish the whole world could read this.

TheBlogWriter8 said...

Noelle, there is God in you. I see it, here- MY heart feels better because a hole I've had in there just filled up.

Plenty of love.

xoxo

emilia. said...

i posted a quote from this on my blog. i hope you don't mind. i love it. it's so perfect. thank you for writing it.

pauline said...

Noelle, thanks for blessing our life's with your unwavering faith, you are an amazing woman.

Very inspirational!

Much love to you and your family.