Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Griffin’s Legacy

If I have learned one thing from my son, it’s how little of our future is guaranteed.  We spent every moment of the past nine months preparing for him, in our hearts and in our home, and last week we had every one of those hopes dashed.  Nothing can prepare you for that, although living in a space where your afraid of it isn’t how you should live either.  Griffin has been teaching me (and hopefully many others) this week that nothing should be taken for granted.  Every single moment of my pregnancy was a beautiful gift, and I wish I had taken more time to enjoy every single kick and hiccup. 
We can’t go back and try and do it again, but from the moment he came out without breath, I’ve been learning to live in the moment.  We savoured every moment we could with him, no matter how painful.  I treasure all of the pictures I have of him, the little hat and sleeper he wore for too short a time, and am so glad I can return to them throughout the day, just to feel closer to him.
Griffin's handprint
I think I’m going to get a tattoo of his little handprint.  He was here for such a short time, but he came out and touched us all so deeply, so I think his handprint is a good reminder.  I also like that a part of him will linger on my body (beyond a few stretch marks).

There is a plan for our lives, I have no doubt in that, but what’s written on those pages is unknown to us until we live it, and many things can cause us to stumble or fall along the way.  Having expectations and hopes and dreams can never be a bad thing, but letting the fact that life doesn’t look like we thought it should be our downfall is letting the future be more important than the present.

All we have is the past and the lessons we’ve learned from it, and the present moment we’re living in.  Tomorrow may not come for all of us and the implications of that are far reaching.

I am a wife, mother (of two), daughter and friend.  Please hear me when I say these things.

Remember when we’re disciplining our children that we’re also having the pleasure of raising them.  Don’t yell at them too harshly or distance them from you if they’ve done something wrong.  Draw them closer to you and make sure they know that it’s from your great love and care for them that you can’t let them act that way.

Speak kindly, they may be the last words we speak or that someone hears.

Love.  With your whole heart, and don’t hold anything back.  I’m sure it would hurt less to lose people that way, but the regret you’d feel at not giving them everything would be worse.

Grieve. Don’t hide or run from pain of losing someone you love or a life you thought you’d be living.  I wouldn’t be feeling the joy I do in having been blessed to have been a part of my son’s short life if I hadn’t first let the pain of having lost him take hold of me.  I feel pain because I loved him and held nothing back.  No regrets.

Live Happy. I see so many people walking around upset or angry about small things that don’t really matter.  Learn to see all of the blessings in your life and live in that space every moment that you can.  Remind yourself of them when life gets hard, they can get you through the worst of times, but only if you let them.

Even now, the fresh pain I feel every time I walk into his room surprises me, and I think it has a lot to do with the hope and faith that that room was built with.  We painted and arranged with full expectations of our little boy returning home to it, never even imagining that one day (not any time soon) we’d have to pack it up again, never having been used. 

Sometimes it’s our unmet expectations that hurt us the most. We expect more of our spouses or children than they have to give, or expect to be bringing home a sweet new baby at the end of a pregnancy and instead come home with empty arms.  Don’t let the fact that life doesn’t look like you thought it should prevent you from finding the good in it.

God is so good.

And hug your babies.


MHL said...

Thanks Jen for this. I have been trying to do just that all week.
Heidi :)

Krista @ Craving Some Creativity said...

I have been taking moments every day to feel the kicks and then hugs for Carlee, remembering how blessed we are for our life - thank you Jen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear friend for each and every reminder. May God continue to use you and Griffin's legacy in abundance.


Melissa said...

wow Jen you have said it all!! I want to wake my girls up and hug them right now! I want to share this with everyone! We love you all xoxoxo thinking of you and Griffins legacy!

Jorden and Kristin said...

This is beautiful! His handprint would make a wonderful tattoo! I've been thinking about you guys a lot.

Meagan said...

Such a good reminder! You amaze me!

Anonymous said...

Jen this was so beautifully said, Griffen was truly a blessing and I believe a hand print on your body someone where of him will always keep him close. Both Griffen and you in some way have touched us all.

Lucy Marie said...

Beautiful words, as always.


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