About Me

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Kirkland, Washington, United States
I am a child of God. I am a follower of Jesus. I am a wife, momma, daughter, sister and friend. I love good conversation and hearty laughter. A good cup of coffee is always appreciated. Most of all, I desire to bring others into an experience with Jesus. One that will shape their lives and rock their souls for Him. Geoff is my best friend and amazing husband. Parker is my handsome boy who lives in Heaven. Norah is my bright star and bringer of joy. Tori is my overcomer and peaceful warrior. I live to show Jesus' love to each person He places in my path. I pray this blog strengthens you, comforts you and encourages you and that it MOST OF ALL causes you to want to get to know Jesus in a deeper level.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Minor Victories and BSU

Yesterday was a great day.

The morning of the first of October started off a little rough for me. I woke up with Geoff and started getting ready for the day. I was feeling a little blue, not really sure why, but decided to persevere. I really didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to get out of bed, but I knew I needed to. I needed to continue trying to be normal and get back into the world of the living. So I got in the shower and asked the Lord for his strength, as I do every morning. I said goodbye to Geoff as he headed off to work, poured myself a cup of coffee and ate my muffin. Bill Evans was playing in the background as I had my breakfast. I decided, yet again, to walk into Parker's nursery.

I stood there in the doorway, as I had in the mornings past, and looked around his room. I went up to the crib, where all of his memorial items are sitting. I looked around at the items that we had in the crib. The letter that Stefanie wrote to Parker. The angel picture that the funeral home had made for Parker and the lovely frame my parents had purchased for us. This frame was purchased after we had found out that we were having a boy back in June. I think my dad was the most excited, personally. I'll never forget that day.

We all (and when I say we all I mean, mom, dad, Vanessa, Geoff, myself and Dr. Rudeen) all huddled into the ultrasound room. We waited patiently as Parker's heartbeat whooshed in the background. I was crossing my fingers for a boy as was Geoff. We all waited, holding our breath as Dr. Rudeen stopped over a grainy portion of Parker's body. He calmly said, "And here's the penis." There was a collective, "WHAT!?" We all leaned in to take a closer look at the image on the screen. Dr. Rudeen froze the image. Sure enough, there it was, his cute little penis (it seemed to glow...seriously). I was ecstatic! My dad high fived Geoff and my mom hugged him as did Vanessa. We were all so excited. Geoff high fived me and kissed my cheek. We were having the boy we both wanted. After the ultrasound was over, and our wallets were loaded down with pictures, we headed out to dinner. Mom and dad took us to Cracker Barrel. Geoff and I called all of our family members. I remember my brother's reaction, "A boy huh, whelp, here's Keri" :) . We were thrilled. After dinner, mom and dad went to Target and bought two shirts (a Hawaiian print one for him to wear with my dad, and a polo one to match with Geoff) and a pair of khaki shorts. It was a great day. What a great memory.

That same day, mom and dad bought us this beautiful frame at Baby's R Us to house one of the 3-D ultrasound pictures in. On the frame there was this beautiful quote about how Geoff and I were waiting patiently to meet our little man. It said that we were waiting and praying that he would grow strong and healthy. It was a beautiful frame. I remember crying when dad handed it to me. It was the sweetest gift. I cherished that frame. I used to come into Parker's room when I was pregnant, pick up the frame, and hug it. I loved that frame.

Yesterday, as I was looking at the memorial items in the crib, I saw that frame. I read what was on the frame and began to get misty eyed. I smiled and touched the picture, thinking about how wonderful that day was when we got to see our little man for the first time. I quickly pulled my hand away, dabbed my eye and continued to look around the crib. I then came across Parker's little lock of hair that the hospital had given us. My mom had washed it while she was staying with us. I reached over and instinctively touched the hair. As soon as my hand made contact with the hair, I lost it. I began to cry. I quickly grabbed my cup of coffee and left the room. I sat in the bathroom, drying my tears and taking deep breath after deep breath. I touched up my makeup, grabbed my lunch, purse and coffee, said goodbye to Opie and headed out to my car.

When I got in the CRV I turned on my Selah CD. I worshipped God all the way to work. I praised his name. I cried out to him for strength. I sat at his feet and was comforted. I cleansed my soul with tears. I was blessed.

The second day at work was a little harder than the first, for some odd reason. I think it was because I really didn't want to be there. I wanted to be home, in bed, feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to mope around the house. I wanted to be depressed. I didn't want to paint on a fake smile for our members. I didn't to want to endure awkward glances from people who knew about what Geoff and I had been through. I just wanted to be alone. And yet I didn't want to be alone. I was a mess, an emotional wreck.

I stared at my cell phone, hearing my mom saying "call me anytime you need to." I reached for my cell phone, picked it up, dialed her number and laid my finger over the call button, but I never pressed it. I decided that I wouldn't call my mom. Don't ask me why, I just couldn't bring myself to reaching out. I guess, part of me, subconsciously, wanted to be miserable.

At 12:00, I went to the break room with my lunch, cell phone and book in hand. I sat down and dialed Geoff's number. It rang three times and then his voicemail picked up. I left a message and hung up. Five minutes later I dialed him again, and again it rang three times, but I didn't leave a message. I hung up and tossed my phone into my purse. I was upset. I felt alone. I was blue, dark blue. I grabbed my book, and choked down my pizza. All of a sudden Geoff called. My heart was warmed. It felt good to hear his voice. It felt good to talk to him and have him reassure me that it was OK that I was feeling blue. I needed my Geoff. After talking for a little while I felt rejuvenated. I finished my lunch, and the first chapter of my book.

The rest of the day at work, went a little easier. I am blessed with two co-workers who help to keep me laughing. They allow life to go on. They allow me to talk about Parker when I need to, but they also allow me to be normal like I need to. Coming to work has become such a blessing and a wonderful way to slowly become reconnected to life.

At about 3:30, Geoff called to let me know that he may have tickets to the BSU game. I was kinda thrilled, kinda not. For some reason I was feeling selfish. I wanted nothing to do with people that evening. I wanted to be home, like a hermit, and shut the world out. I didn't want to go out with a bunch of people. I didn't tell Geoff any of this. I simply said, "Oh fun! That sounds like fun." I told him to let me know if he was able to get the tickets. About a half hour later he called and told me that he was headed to pick up the tickets and that Grady and a friend would be joining us. I was still kind of excited, not really. However, the more I talked about it, the more I thought about going to a college football game, the more excited I got. By 6:00 I was so excited to be going out. It's amazing how fast my emotions seem to change these days. One moment I was dreading going to the game, and the next it was the only thing I could think about.

Geoff, Grady and his friend Jay arrived at the credit union at 6:07. I changed my clothes and jumped in the car with the guys. I was so excited. We drove to BSU and searched forever for the best parking spot. At about 6:15 we found a spot about 10 miles away from BSU (not literally, but that's certainly what it felt like). After hiking for all eternity, we arrived at our seats. I was so thrilled to be there, sitting with my Geoff, in the twilight of a beautiful, warm autumn evening, watching live football.

The game was nearing it's end, BSU was up 38 to LaTech's 3. It was 9:30pm on a work night, so we decided to head home. The entire evening was so much fun. We laughed with Grady and Jay and cheered for the Broncos. We ate nachos and a pretzel and shared a coke. It was so much fun. I was so glad I went. Geoff and I spent the entire evening sitting together and just being. Every now and then we would talk about Parker. I would usually be the one to bring him up, but it was OK. It was just a truly wonderful evening that felt so good and so normal.

As we were walking back to the car, trying to not to get hit by the vehicles driving by, Jay asked if I really had just had a baby. I told him that I had, about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He asked if we had a boy or a girl, I told him we had a little boy. Geoff was walking with me as Jay and I were talking. Geoff interjected that Parker hadn't made it. Jay said, "Oh, really?". I told him that Parker's heart had stopped a few days before he was born. Jay said he was sorry and I told him, "don't be." Geoff then told Jay that he was a big boy and we talked a little bit about Parker. After a while I heard Grady say, in a hushed whisper, "Jay I told you about that remember!?" Then Jay said, "No you didn't!" Grady replied with, "Yeah, I did. Remember, I said that my brother's son died." "Yeah, but you have a lot of brothers!" Jay said. Then Grady said, "Yeah, but this is the brother who's baby died!" And Jay said, "OH! Sorry!" They made me laugh. It felt really good to answer Jay's questions about Parker. It wasn't awkward at all. In fact, I appreciated his curiosity.

We finally made it to the car, got in and headed home. We dropped the guys off at their cars, and got home at about 10:45. We got in our pj's and vegged for a bit to wind down.

It had been such a wonderful evening. I loved being able to be normal with Grady, Jay and Geoff. It was so fun to sit with my husband, laugh at Grady and Jay, cheer on the broncos and eat junk. What a fun evening. BSU games are great therapy.

As Geoff and I continue on this journey toward healing and a new normal, we will have mornings that will be hard. We'll have little things that will make us think about our Parker. We'll have moments where we feel horribly blue, but then we'll have evenings like Wednesday evening. Times that Geoff and I call minor victories. Each day brings us one step further along the healing process. Each day brings us one step further along our path to a new normal. Each day brings us new minor victories. I praise God for it all...everything. AMEN!


Anonymous said...

Hi honey. Your blog from last nite was wonderful. I'm so glad that you turn to God when things get hard. I praise God for your faith and determination even when it's easier to "cave in". I love you,

Tauni said...

Rachel, you are amazing! Just remember, it's normal for anyone to have good days and bad days. So when you're feeling blue, remember that you probably had days like that before your loss. Granted you probably have much harder days than the average person, but it's completely normal to have good days and bad days. I see a trend of you wanting normalcy in life, good days and bad days are normal. And you are above normal because of the strength you're finding in God right now. It is truly inspirational!