12.21.2010

my christmas wish

i have decided that most people don't like dwelling in the reality of difficult circumstances. we want things to be better, in relatively short order. maybe it's a consequence of our instant society, maybe it's human nature. i am not sure. but we are uncomfortable with discomfort. we want the bad to pass quickly or not at all. we downplay the reality of heartache or just plain don't enter in to the heartache. oftentimes we pretend it's not there, we certainly don't ask questions about it, or even worse, excuse it away with trite phrases of sentiment or just plain stupid comments.

makiah is gone. she will never be home again. she will never snuggle up to mommy or run into daddy's arms again. yes, she is in heaven. and that works great for her. we are thankful for that. very thankful. but that does not change what is the reality here on earth. that doesn't change the silent house and empty hearts of cameron and rachel. their family has been broken. and it is horrible, awful, gut-wrenching anguish. it is. and it will be. and it will be some more.

as christians i wonder if we are worried to embrace the hard stuff. that maybe if we admit to ourselves that people are hurting and life is painful that we in some way are demeaning our God. that we are creating him to be less than he is. we want things to be better because we want God to have done something, to fix the problem, to shew away the pain. we are uncomfortable with a God who allows heartache and not only allows it, but let's us sit in it. we believe that if we are 'right' with God, we will stand tall, look at pain between it's two deviled eyeballs and give it a suckerpunch for a TKO. after all, weakness and misery, emptiness and pain are for the population that refuses God. fullness and joy are for his followers.

so i hear questions like, 'how are cameron and rachel? are they doing okay?' or 'gosh, her blog is awful. i can't stand to read it.' or 'man, it just seems like they are really struggling.'

and because i thankfully have a filter on my mouth a majority of the time (there are advantages to aging...) i do not respond how i would like to. however, i claim no filter on my typing, so let me just say for all to read,

"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO FEEL LIKE? THEY HAVE LOST THEIR BABY GIRL! CHRISTMAS IS HERE AND THERE IS NO ONE TO SIT ON SANTA'S LAP, NO ONE TO TRY AND STAY AWAKE ON CHRISTMAS EVE, NO ONE TO ROLL MOMMY AND DADDY OUT OF BED AT AN UNGODLY HOUR. THERE IS NO ONE TO BUY PRESENTS FOR, NO ONE TO BAKE COOKIES WITH, NO ONE TO DRESS IN THEIR CHRISTMAS OUTFIT. THERE IS NOTHING. EXCEPT QUIET. SILENCE. SHE IS GONE. HERE THAT, GONE. AND THEY WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER BE THE SAME. THEY WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER HEAR HER, SMELL HER, TOUCH HER AGAIN. OF COURSE THEY ARE 'STRUGGLING' AND OF COURSE IT IS 'AWFUL'. AND WHILE I'M AT IT, QUIT BEING SO ASININE."

what's that? God heals and restores?

yes, that's true. God does promise to walk us through to the other side. but have you ever seen someone who has been attacked by a shark? they don't exactly look the same when the healing is done. the scars are deep, sometimes obvious and sometimes hidden, but the wound is always there. there is a limp in their step and a change to their body. they may have an incredible story of survival on the other side, but they will never be whole again. there is residual pain. there are days when life is not much different than before, but there are many more days when life is completely different. accommodations must be made. the injury must be accounted for. as time passes, the scars become more and more a part of their body. less interfering as it were. but that's only with time. lots of it. lots and lots of it. there is much healing to be done before 'normal' is even a concept that can be entertained.

so yes, will cameron and rachel be okay? i do believe that someday they will have learned to walk with their scars. but right now, there are gaping wounds. bone-crushing, life-altering wounds. it's hard to watch, difficult to just stand by and observe the pain. but that's reality.

so here's what i want for christmas...i want people to think and enter into other's painful realities. and i am not just speaking to cameron and rachel's circumstances. maybe it is another of life's tragedies that you are watching unfold - infertility, miscarriage, wayward family, terminal illness, divorce, consequences of poor decisions. there are a multitude of circumstances that involve varying degrees of pain. i want people to stop being impatient and realize that life often involves months and years of heartache. i want people to stop saying stupid things to try and gloss over the traumas and tragedies. i want people to try and just sit their humble selves in the circumstances of another and feel. shove away the need to say something 'helpful', or do something to make it better. instead, just think. meditate on life in their shoes and be sad. God guarantees us difficulty, pain, trials, death. it's okay to acknowledge. tragedy doesn't mean God isn't there. it only means that we are in fact living on earth.

makiah, maybe your life will touch 1000's of others. i'm fairly sure it already has. but we will always miss YOUR life. no one, even 1000's, can replace you. we are thankful that you are with jesus. but we are horrifyingly empty without you here. we know that life must be lived. but we long to be with you. for time to hurry up. you will never know your sisters and that is a reality that is too painful to dwell on. but we promise they will know you. they will know your story. they will know your face. they will know your name and your heart. i wish they could know you. but that will have to wait. that whole wishing time would hurry up idea.

and you will never know your cousin, who will bear your name. but sarahjoy will know you. she will know your face and your heart, your story. and she will always bear 'makiah' as part of her identity. because if there was ever a little girl who was burdened for the hurting of this world, it was you. she will know that you helped bring her home. she will know your mommy and daddy. and she will know their hearts and their story. she will know your sisters. and when they play, they will know someone is missing. they will not be sad. for childish innocence is the picture of joy. we'll leave the sadness for the grown ups. but they will know.

christ entered into our pain. my hope this christmas is that we can enter into one another's. that we wouldn't be afraid to sit together with broken hearts, whatever the circumstances are that have done the breaking.

i don't know what our future is. i can tell you that i wake up every day and wonder if it's my last with someone i love. or maybe my last. i don't know what sarahjoy will bring to our family. it is nice to think that the answer is smiles and joy, but the realities of a special needs adoption are not always pretty and certainly not easy. so i am guarded. forgive me if i seem unenthusiastic. that is not the case, i am merely feeling the weight of life's difficulties a bit more as we enter into this new season of our family. and realizing that maybe, just maybe, we're not in for a picnic.

two weeks and counting.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Ashley, I appreciate your courage to break through the "fakeness" that so many seem to live in.

Katie Albach said...

that was me, hit anonymous by accident

Anonymous said...

Amen...Ashleigh, well-said and truthful! sometimes well-intentioned people put the Christian glaze on difficult circumstances and say really careless things to people who are in a great deal of pain

Holly Tried It said...

I hear you. Well said, as always.

Ashley said...

Thank you. I know Rachel and Cameron's pain all too well and I am TIRED of people tip toeing around the reality of the situation. Ignoring that our children are no longer with us, doesn't help our healing one bit. I pray for Rachel and all of her family as they go through this Christmas season without their Angel.

TheLFamily said...

I don't know you, but I know Cameron and I was linked to your page through Rachel's blog. I am at work and I am wiped away the tears. Very well said. Very beautiful. There are no answers or words of solace for the pain that happens in this imperfect sinful world. I am so sorry for your family, and Cameron and Rachel. You all continue to be in my prayers.

Tammy On the Go said...

this was so perfectly said. Have been following their blog for a while and as I read, I pray. My best friend from HS lost her only 4 year old son to cancer this past May. her reaction was harsh and she fell apart. I too found myself having to say to people, PLEASE, let her grieve...why do we have to defend people's broken hearts.... I pray for your heart as well. and all the "first" that you and your family are facing without her....you are loved.

Anonymous said...

After reading Rachel's blog I must say that my life and heart are forever changed. I know none of you yet I share your sorrow, I went through the holidays with a sadness in my heart each time I thought of this family and I wondered if it was normal. I too think we need to bear one another's burdens because this is their reality. Thank you for sharing, I continue to pray for your family.