Tuesday, January 11, 2011

project 365 - day 11...jan 11, 2011 matthew's angel day

thankful for the broken pitcher

how does a broken heart shattered into a million pieces get put back together? today, this second anniversary of our son's death, his heavenly angel birthday, i struggle to find something, just one thing to be thankful for. if anyone who has ever lost someone special can take a sad day out of the year to just grieve, to mourn, and be nothing but sad, then the day when you lost that person is certainly appropriate.

january 11th is that day for me...it might always be. we've tried hard to make matthew's birthday, just 5 short days before, a day of celebration, a day of joy, and a day to reflect on the the miracle of his life. but i can't make january 11 a day of joy. the truth is i'm not trying to. i'm not focused on this being matthew's heavenly birthday because if i was, i might be less sad. getting to heaven is a joyous occasion and i will be thrilled when i make the trip and can see him again. however, the memory of a day, when a momma was left on this earth with empty aching arms for her son, is anything but joy. i don't have eternal perspective to understand that january 11 is the joyous day when my son met his Maker. my earthy mind and longing heart just can't quite get my head around it.

but what i cling to is the true promise of heaven and the knowledge that one day these aching arms will be filled by the weight of my son. with these broken fragments scattered about, i know Jesus is putting them back together one piece at a time.
my pitcher will always have the cracks in it here on earth. but i hope through our story and the broken pieces scattered about, you will see the love we have for Jesus pouring out of our lives. He remains the only real hope we have been able to cling to. He's the One who is bringing the calm after the storm.
kennedy playing with matthew's bear. an identical one is in his casket.

we spent the day finally starting to put the pitcher back together we broke at a beach in Greece on my first mother's day 4 months after we lost Matthew. my sweet friend Candace came over and she let me cry on her shoulder and we worked on the pitcher for awhile. after Candace left i knew i needed to have a good cry out and when kennedy went down for a nap i put in the movie Beaches. it's a sure thing tearjerker for me. i cried several times but the cleansing cry i was looking for didn't come. just when i was getting to the end where hillary collapses, kennedy woke up joyful and ready to play. i went to get her thinking i definitely needed to hug my child. we went into the living room and i decided to go ahead and let the movie play, which is pretty unusual for me. when kennedy's in the room and the t.v. is on we're watching "my baby can read", "baby einstein", or texas tech football.

and then it came. the scene where hillary is at the hospital and she tells cici she wants to go home. the tears just started flowing and i couldn't catch my breath. my sobs turned into a raging river that couldn't be calmed. kennedy was playing on the floor facing away from me and staring in fascination at echo who was sitting on her bench looking out the window at the snow beginning to fall.

niagra falls was happening on my face and soon the sounds of a hyena filled the room. at this point in the movie, we're full into "wind beneath my wings" and the scene changes to cici standing in front of the grave. i flashed back to seeing that tiny little casket and not believing my son was in it. i felt like an emotional breakdown was coming on so i shut my eyes and imagined matthew in heaven with Jesus. my breath came back, the hyena left the room and a sense of calmness came over me. i opened my eyes and when i looked down through my tears, i could see a blurry image smiling at me. when i smiled back she started laughing. i'm not sure why her smiles turned to laughter. maybe she thought my hyena cries were me laughing. i don't know. but i leaned down, scooped her into my arms and hugged her longer than she wanted to be hugged. and when she tried to squirm loose i squeezed her tighter. she thought this was funny and kept laughing. finally i joined in with her and the laughter felt good. the kind of cleansing cry i had was very much needed. it's been months, if not almost a year, that i've had a cry like that. but as much as i needed that cry, i needed the laughter too.

ken came home from work and i went to get a much needed and relaxing massage. when i left the spa, it started snowing like crazy. i picked up our take out and drove home while masses of large snowflakes hit the windshield. i got home and decided i wanted to stand out in the snow for awhile. i looked up into the sky and let the snow cleanse my tear-stained face. i felt like the snow fell directly from Jesus' hands. my husband grabbed the camera (probably because i looked like i had gone nuts) and snapped this picture of me.
i stood out in the snow until i started laughing again. when i came in, we had yummy take out and worked on the pitcher (we're still not quite done; there are a lot of small pieces!)

i took a break to read emails, texts and facebook messages and felt overwhelmed and grateful by all of the support we received on this day. we went to bed feeling we got everything out of this day we wanted to and rested peacefully in the hope that there will be a day...

There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel your walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone

Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing….

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day, He’ll wipe away the stains, He’ll wipe away the tears, He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.


Melanie Campbell said...

Cortney, your words are amazing. You and your family have touched so many... please always remember that matthew has done that. He has touched so many, people that never got the gift of meeting him. You will always have people to lean on anytime you need them, we are just a Hello away no matter where you are. Your children are so blessed to have parents like you and your husband!

Patti said...

Your thoughtfullness and perspective is amazing. I have that one day that I allow myself to feel as sad as I want to feel. It is the day that I feel it is okay to have that "pity party". By doing that and letting go, I can then refocus the rest of the year. It is a loss that no one can understand unless they have been there and choosing one day out of 365 to mourn all over again is a good thing. It allows us to be more accepting the other 364 days. I am just sorry that all of your emotion both good and bad has to be compacted into such a short period of time.