Thursday, March 26, 2009
Isn't it weird how sometimes the place you think you would be the most at peace, the happiest, the most comfortable can bring on such different emotions?
Ever since Bailey died our whole family has struggled with going to Church. Not because we no longer believe .. not because we don't want to be there .. not because we don't know it is a place of love and comfort where we can be close to our Father in Heaven ... why then? Because we struggle with keeping our emotions "in check". We ABSOLUTELY know that it is because of our faith and beliefs that we were able to get through our trials knowing that we will, one day, be with our sweet Bailey again. We KNOW how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We KNOW that Bailey is watching over us and we will all be together again as an eternal family some day. It is probably these beliefs that make it so hard for us as we sit in Church each week. We know that we are loved unconditionally and that is probably why we are overcome with so many emotions when we are there. We try to be strong all the time. We try not to show our emotions or let the tears flow "in public". However, I find myself sitting in Sacrament Meeting with tears streaming down my face every week. It has been especially hard over the last month or two because I find myself sitting there with tears streaming either alone or with just Caleb - not with all of my "boys". Although we ALL know that we need to be there to once again be with Bailey, we struggle. I have made it a point to go every week - no matter how hard. I just finally decided that I didn't have to "hide" my emotions and if I sat there crying, I sat there crying. So that's what I do. Parker, on the other hand, decided that his solution was to not go. I knew he was struggling and, deep down, I even knew the reason. So I asked him why he didn't want to go one day. He said he LOVED his Teachers and he LOVES his Heavenly Father and he knows that Church is where he should be but that going to Church makes him think of Bailey and it made him too sad. I tried to talk to him about it and explain that Church is where Bailey would want him to be. But how do I explain and make him WANT to be there when I struggle with the same things? So .. I let him stay home. It seems we have finally gotten over that "hump" - at least for now - and he has started going willingly again after missing several weeks but I know that he will continue to struggle from time to time. When discussing this with Chris he said to me "If we all have such a hard time, why do we go every week?". Why? The answer is this .. it is part of healing. It is hard for us to be there because we feel our Heavenly Fathers love. It is ok to be sad there .. to show our feelings .. we don't have to be "strong" there and we will make it through. To be together as an eternal family and be with our Bailey again - we need to continue to show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him and continue to learn about the Gospel.
This years "theme" in Primary (Youth organization in our Church) is "My Eternal Family". Chris and I are Teachers and the boys are in Primary so we are all learning and remembering one of the great principles we believe in our Church - that we will all be together as a family even after we leave this Earth if we live the way we are supposed to and follow our Father in Heaven. Although you would think this would be a comforting thing for us, it can be tough at times. It is a constant reminder that we are here on earth without our sweet Bailey. Yes, we believe we will see her again .. but that will be years from now - that is still a hard thing. We are very grateful to know what we know and believe what we believe. Chris said it best shortly after Bailey died when he told me that he didn't think there was any way he would be able to make it through what we had without the knowledge of Eternal Families. And that is what we need to remember ...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Posted on "The Blake Gang" blog - August 2008:
My awesome Sister, Tammi, gave me this story she had read on one of her friends blogs. (I don't know her friend so I don't want to post her info without permission.) She gave it to me as it really applies to the situation we are going through with the upcoming arrival of our little girl, Bailey. However, I think that it could really apply to many other situations as well so I wanted to pass it along.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987. All rights reserved.
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around ... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills ... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy ... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away ... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But ... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
We have purchased our new guide books and are starting to learn our new language for our trip to Holland. We realize that, although it wasn't the trip we had planned, we are anxiously awaiting our visit to Holland - with all of our family - no matter how long or short the visit may be.
I love you, Sis!
Although I questioned starting this blog I am so very glad that I did. I am glad that I have record for the future of our thoughts and feelings - everything we went through as we waited to get our sweet daughter here.
I am also so grateful to have all of the wonderful words of kindness from all of our great friends and family. I have a book I am putting together FULL of letters and emails from people from all across the US. Some are friends we have known a long time, relatives from near and far ... others are friends of a friend of a friend that we have never met but, yet, were a part of Bailey's life in their own way. She was a very loved little girl and we are so lucky that we had so much support throughout our journey to get her here. I truly know that all the prayers on our behalf helped us get through what seemed at times unbearable.
We love you all! Thank you - we could never repay you for your love and kindness.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thank you for sharing!
I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms
One bright Celestial day.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I have been thinking a lot lately about what you would be doing now if you were still with us. The first years of life for kiddos are so fun! It is so fun for a Mommy and Daddy to watch their Children learn new things and so exciting to see them accomplish things. We were prepared for the fact that you may be "different" and would learn at different rates than most Children and that makes me think .. What would you be doing now? If I remember right from your Brothers, you would be about the age that you may be starting to teethe. You would probably be starting to sit up on your own. Would you be rolling over yet? I can't remember for sure but I think so? You would be giggling and smiling .. in response, of course, to all the hugs and kisses you would be getting from your Mommy, Daddy, and big Brothers.
I am not writing this because I am sad .. just wanted you to know that I think of you every day .. and wonder .. What would you be doing now?
Love you my little Bailey Bai ...
Monday, March 9, 2009
I had already made my weekly visit or two to "visit" with Bailey last week. However, I was on my way to see my Mom and Dad with the boys and I decided we would make a quick stop to check on things. (We had been having some MAJOR winds and I thought maybe we should check on the flowers to make sure they hadn't been blown all over the place.) Well, we pulled up thinking we would be making a quick "check in" stop and were SO excited when we realized that the headstone was there. Parker jumped out of the car and ran over and Caleb kept yelling for me to "get me out" of his car seat. It was obvious that it had just barely been finished as there was mud everywhere and our baskets of silk flowers were upturned next to our grave and blowing all over the cemetary. Parker and Caleb gathered them up and we got them all put back in the baskets and placed back on the grave.
In addition to the excitement we had over her headstone finally being in place, we had such a cute experience with Caleb there. I wasn't even sure Caleb would have any idea where we were or why. He is so young and has only been to the cemetary one time since the graveside service and he stayed in the car that time. However, as soon as he got out of the car he ran over to her grave and said "Mommy, Parker, Bailey sleeping in there" and pointed to her grave. I have no clue how he knows this - it is truly amazing how much little ones know and how in tune with their Heavenly Father and his plan they are. Once we got the flowers all cleaned up and took a few pictures we started walking back to the car and Caleb told me to "wait a minute" and went running back to the grave again. He started to pick up one of the baskets of flowers. I told him he needed to leave them there for Bailey and he looked at me with a stumped look on his face and said "But Bailey is sleeping". I guess he has a point - Bailey doesn't need flowers - she is sleeping! :) He is such a cute boy and I am amazed every day how much he understands. I am so very glad that he knows who his Sister is and that he loves her as much as we all do.