Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

I am not usually one to get all into "Hallmark holidays." As much as Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love and your affection for those people in your life that you cherish most, I have always felt like that's something you can do every day. You don't need a particular day of the year to do that. But since it exists, it is nice to be able to take the time to do something extra special for the ones in your life that you love. This morning I made Spencer a breakfast full of his favorite things, and today he has so sweetly created a schedule for us to go and do things that are some of my favorites... complete with lunch at a restaurant I love and going to see "Confessions of a Shophaloic." With as crazy as our schedules have been, it will be wonderful to spend the day with him.

But how do you do something extra special for that person you love so much... yet isn't here?

Growing up my mom always did cute things for us for Valentine's Day. I distinctly remember one year when she gave my sister and I (and mind you, I was in college and my sister was in high school) adult-sized white "onesie" type PJ's with red hearts all over them. LOVE IT. My mom always found creative ways to let us know how much she loved us.

And today, my mother's heart is no different... longing to show my son how much I love him. Oh, how much I would love to be able to tell him that one more time... how I would love to be looking forward to making him homemade Valentines to let him know how special I think he is, to make pink and red frosted cupcakes, or to dress him in a sweet little red outfit.

The thing about the heart of a mother who has lost a child... is that it is still the heart of a mother. Living in the tension of having this deep, deep love for your child and yet not having that child here no whom to bestow all of that love is a hard thing to bear.

I didn't anticipate Valentine's Day being one of those hard days for me; in fact, I was (and still am) really looking forward to it. But like I have shared before, the reminders that Isaac isn't here sometimes just come out of left field, and when you least expect them.

But today, there is a lot to still celebrate... and one of those things is the fact that through this journey with Isaac, God has been so gracious in protecting my and Spencer's marriage. He has allowed us to bear with one another in love, to forgive each other when our grief causes us to respond to each other in ways that are the most kind, to show compassion to each other, to look out for each other's interests through our time of pain; He has showed us what unconditional love looks like, and has given us the courage, grace, and strength to do our best to love each other that way. God's protection over our marriage and the love that He has allowed us to continue to cultivate in spite of great heartache and grief is something to celebrate today.

I have the most wonderful husband in the world...the perfect husband for me. It is so clear to me why God chose for Spencer and I to be together... and I am grateful.

And to my sweet Isaac... I miss you so much. I love you, and I am so, so proud of you.

18 comments:

Joanne said...

You are amazing! Have a wonderful day with your husband! Happy Valentines Day!

Laura said...

Stacy, I hope I am not out of line suggesting this without solicitation, but a friend of mine also lost a son. She felt a need to "do something" for him on holidays and special occassions. Knowing how little boys love to climb trees and build treehouses, she and her husband finally decided to plant a tree in their yard, in honor and memory of their son. With each holiday they would decorate it and leave him little notes,or cards, etc, tied to the branches with ribbon. They use the tree to have a celebration of his life on his birthday. They would hang messages to him on the anniversary of his departure. They have used this living, breathing, growing tree to help stabilize them during their grief. When she felt love that needed to be poured "somewhere", but she just wasn't ready to face giving it to another little one, or anyone else for that matter, she placed something on the tree for Chip. I don't know if this is anything that you and Spencer might consider, but it helped my friend and her family get through the first year, especially. It's been many years now since Chip left this world, and his tree is huge and beautiful. It is a home for birds and there is even a treehouse in it where his brothers and sister play. It is a fabulous tribute to that wonderful baby boy. I hope you have a good day with love and peace overflowing.

~Kelli said...

I am so glad you have a wonderful husband and source of support! Enjoy your day with DH! Happy V day!

Laura said...

So thankful you have Spencer at your side...so proud of the 2 of you.

Thinking of your heart today.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful, Stacy...your mother's heart is beautiful. Praying for a happy Valentine's Day for you and Spencer...sounds like it's going to be a lovely day together.

Spellbound said...

Happy Valentine's Day Stacy. I know certain days are hard at times, but I do admire your strength and courage.

Stephanie said...

Happy Valentine's Day, amazing momma.

Sara (Hostage Negotiation) said...

What a wonderful way to look at things, Stacy! I hope that God continues to protect your marriage & do nothing but make it stronger.

Kim said...

Stacy, I came across your blog a month or so ago and stayed up late one night reading your whole story. I shed many tears that night as I, too, have walked this path. Our sweet baby Joshua went to be with Jesus 5-10 minutes after he was born. I carried him for 9 months knowing that he probably wouldn't be with us very long. I so clung to the hope that the doctors would be wrong. My kind doctor told me that although her medical reputation would be shot for being so wrong, there was nothing she wished more than to be wrong about Joshua's prognosis.
I know what you mean about wanting to do something special for someone you love so much but isn't here. There are so many times I want to do "something" to honor Joshua's memory but I just don't know what.
Tonight I was reminded of a conversation I had with my pastor shortly after Joshua died. He told me that Yes, Joshua knows how deeply I love him and that he has a very deep love for me too. And I want you to know that your precious Isaac loves his mommy so very much too and there is no doubt that he knows how deeply you love him. Our arms and hearts just ache to hold our babies again. And we will one day.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful baby boy with us! Isaac is so very precious and has touched me. God has spoken to me through him and your story! You have reminded me just how important it is to be in the word of God daily. I have fallen away from that and I am encouraged to get back into my daily bible reading and prayer time. That is the relationship that God longs to have with us and blessings abound when we say yes to God! I, too, long to have that relationship with my God and Savior!
I will continue to lift your family in prayer, asking God to surround you with the comfort and peace that only he can provide. God bless you all!

Rebecca Louise. said...

Hope you had a very special day! xxx.

Michelle and Tim said...

Isn't God gracious in providing just the spouse that He knows we need? It truly is so wonderful that He has protected your union. Life is full of heartache and disappointment, trials, and tribulations and yet we need to persevere with the one God has chosen for us, as a team. So glad you too really take the effort to love each other well "in good times and bad"...love you both.

Kelli said...

Thank you for your post. I struggled with Valentines Day and was surprised by this since I really don't like celebrating Hallmark holidays either. You really put into words what I have been feeling about a mother's heart and how do you show love to someone who is gone. I appreciate the perspective. Lots of hugs. (irishmama13)

Valerie said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still thinking about you. Glad that you and Spencer have each other.

Susan said...

Hope you had a great Valentines Day together. This was a wonderful post- straight from the heart of a Mommy who loves her little boy...and her husband. Bless you Stacy.

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful blog! Thank you for sharing! Also, I especially love the song by Meredith Andrews on your playlist. I hadn't heard it before, and it's so beautiful. Please know that sisters in Christ all around the world are holding you up in prayer.

Our Life in Pixels said...

We know love because we know God.

Its an amazing thing when you go through a life altering trial just knowing that God is there and his love will never go away.

God knew what he was doing when he blessed us with the husband we have. Our love is made stronger through Him! May God bless your week!

Walking by Faith said...

Stacy this was beautiful. I've been praying for you & Spencer...that God would protect your marriage through such grief, as we hear of so many who don't make it through the storm together. God is faithful...I'm so happy you two have each other. Your words are always such a blessing. God bless!~Heidi

Julie said...

What a beautiful tribute to you son, Isaac, and your marriage. I am so proud of the way you and Spencer have gone through this...together. The grief journey is a tough one on an individual, but on a marriage it can be so very hard. I proud of you for leaning on each other and being wonderful parents to Isaac. He is a lucky little boy...