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.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Packing up Hopes and Dreams...For Now Anyway

I wrote the previous post on December 1st, in hopes of having people ask questions, but I was completely blown away by the responses. Not at all what I was expecting. I am blessed. Blessed by each and every one of you that chooses to read my blog. You have no idea how it refuels me, and reinvigorates me. It truly helps to keep me going. So thank you.

This past week has been a great week, in all honesty. Geoff and I have experienced quite a few things that, to me, show how well the healing process is truly going.

Last Saturday, Geoff and I went to Kohlerlawn and visited Parker's grave for the first time. I wanted to wait until the headstone went in. Some time on Friday it was put in, so we decided to go and see how it looked. It's beautiful and perfect in every way. As Geoff said, as we stood there looking down at his headstone, it's exactly how we wanted it. I'll be posting a picture of it soon.

We arrived at the cemetery at about 2:00, Saturday afternoon. The drive to the cemetery was a little weird for me. The last time I drove this route was the day of the funeral, September 18th. A few strange feelings developed, but never really amounted to anything more than nerves in my stomach. As we pulled into Kohlerlawn and pulled up to the section where all the little babies are buried, I was flooded with emotions and moved to silence. Geoff and I quietly got out of the car and walked slowly through the graves towards Parker's. We approached the grave and stood in silence looking down at his beautiful headstone, still covered in plastic to protect the fresh cement from the elements. Above Parker's headstone was the white basket that carried the flowers from his grandparents. Inside the basket, now lays a box, a sweet blue and white deer and a bundle of fake white flower buds. When I saw the deer and white flower buds I figured they were from Betty Mitchell (who lost a baby 50 years ago, her name is Roni Lou and she's buried on the same row as Parker) because the same deer and white flowers laid on her daughter's grave just down from Parker's. I also knew that the basket was from the grandparents flower arrangement, but I could not figure out who the box was from.

I knelt down by Parker's grave, picked up the plastic box and opened it to reveal it's contents. Inside the box were the ribbons that were left after all the flowers died following the graveside service. Also in the box was the banner that laid across the grandparents flowers that read, "Beloved Grandson". Then there was another item in the box, it was a beautiful note that was written to Parker on his due date, or his "birth" day. I read the note and tears welled up. What a beautiful tribute to my beloved Parker. I plan on going back to the grave this weekend to take the note and post it here. It's something that I will cherish. I had no idea, at the time, who could have written such a wonderful tribute. I assumed that it had to have been Betty, but then realized who it actually was.

Ever since Parker died, Gretchin, our churches administrative pastor, has been visiting Parker's grave. She goes there and makes sure it's cleaned up and looking nice. She is the one who put the box together. She kept all of the ribbons and the banner. She is also the one who wrote that beautiful note. Sunday I thanked her for the beautiful note and asked if I could steal it away from the grave. I will post it here later.

After shedding a few tears and talking about how surreal this all was, Geoff and I headed out for the rest of our day. We had coffee at Flying M, shopped for Christmas presents and went out for dinner. It was a good day, but overhung a dark cloud that was filled with the sadness of Parker not being with us. The dark cloud had formed while visiting his grave and stayed with me the rest of the day. I tried to shake it off, but it just wouldn't leave. Instead of trying to drive it away, I sat under it and allowed myself to grieve a little.

The next day was Sunday. Geoff and I went to Sunday school and church, had dinner with his parents and then came home. We decorated the tree and then relaxed in front of the TV. Geoff had fallen asleep on the couch beside me, exhausted after leading worship that day. I decided, while he was sleeping, to get to work packing up Parker's room. I figured it would be an easy task, and one that I could do by myself.

I grabbed the bins that we had purchased the night before and began to fill them with his clothes. I was doing just fine until I ran across the onesie that my parents had purchased for him at Cracker Barrel the day we found out we were having a boy. It read, "Little Slugger". I held it tight, then quickly folded it and laid it in the bin. Right away I found another onesie that we purchased that same weekend. This one read "Grandpa's my Hero". I looked it over, folded it gently and laid it in the bin. I kept coming across more and more onesies that held special meaning for me and reminded me of specific events during my pregnancy. With each onesie that I came across, my pulse would quicken, my heart would pound, and my face would redden. Finally, it was like my body couldn't take it anymore. I began to breathe heavy, and felt like my chest would cave in, but no tears. I leaned on the dresser, trying to catch my breath. I called for Geoff, "Honey! Babe!! GEOFF!!! I NEED YOU!!!!" Out of his sleep, he jumped up from the couch and ran into the nursery. He asked me what I needed. I fell into his arms and wept for just a little. He told me I didn't need to do this right now. He said that I could take a break, that I didn't have to pack up the entire nursery in one night. It was too late, I had to finish what I started. So I dried my tears, kissed my Geoffrey and continued with my task.

Now, in his nursery, there sits two full bins, an empty crib and changing table, his stroller and his car seat. Eventually, those will be removed and stored in the garage until we are ready and pregnant with the next little Harmon.

Just like the headstone finally being laid at Parker's grave, packing the nursery felt like one more piece of closure. I look forward to being able to revamp that room. To creating a beautiful guest room or an oasis of some kind. I look forward to having a "blank slate" so to speak. An empty room to begin with that has so much potential. But I also look forward to the day, when we can put it all back. The day when Geoff and I will put the crib, changing table, stroller and carseat back in that room. I look forward to that day, but for now, the bins are packed, and the furniture sits, waiting to be put away...temporarily, thank you Lord.

PRAISE THE LORD for helping Geoff and I thus far and into the future! Praise the Lord.

And PRAISE THE LORD for each and every one of you that has lifted Geoff and I up and carried us through this! Praise the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:9

4 comments:

Jill said...

I have no words. Just know that I love you two.

mollyfrog said...

Rachel-
That was so sweet of your church's administrative pastor to visit Parker's grave and keep it looking nice. She sounds like a Godsend.

I remember seeing Eric's headstone for the first time. It has his handprints and the phrase "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on it.

I'm glad the headstome was everything you wanted it to be. I can't wait til you post a picture of it, so we can see it. I'm sure its beautiful.

When I read your blog, its like I'm right back to where I was after I lost Eric. It brings back so many memories. I promise you, it does get better. You'll never forget Parker (not like you'd want to!), but he's become a part of you. Thank you for sharing Parker's story with us.

Molly

the POLEN's said...

hug.

Katie said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet son.