Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thirty

They say that 30 is the new 20. We'll see.

Yesterday (March 9th), I turned 30. On Saturday, my dad, stepmom, sister, brother-in-law, and stepbrother came to celebrate my birthday. On the way to dinner, we stopped to visit Isaac since it was March 7, and it meant so much to me that they came.

Yesterday Spencer and I both took off work to celebrate my 30th birthday. My sweet husband organized a totally terrific day. He had been talking up this surprise day for a week, and I am not one to usually like surprises when I know they are coming. But I have to say I really enjoyed it this time.

My sister works at a high-end clothing store called South Moon Under, the type of place you love to look but never buy (at least I never do), and instead look for these same brands of clothes once they're on clearance at Marshalls, Ross, or TJ Maxx. But yesterday, Spencer called my sister and organized a shopping trip for me to go pick out some new clothes. It was great, and thank goodness my sister was there to help! I am a terrible shopper. :) She had my dressing room all ready for me, complete with some bottled water, Zazz (my favorite!), flowers, and some birthday cake! Spence and I took a mid-day shopping break and had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory before finishing up. It's nice to have some new clothes that fit and that look cute! And, Spence was a real trooper to handle all of that shopping!

Overall, though, this birthday has been hard, and I didn't really expect it do be. Sure, there's the whole thing of leaving my 20's, a period of time in my life that marked some pretty great things: graduating from college, getting married, starting my teaching career. But there was something, someone else who was part of my 20's... Isaac. I know that he will always be part of me, always be part of our family, but he won't be present in my 30's. Of course, my head knows that he is in the most perfect place, but my heart wants him here.

I think I am also having a hard time with the fact that I had always hoped to be a "young" mom. When I was younger and envisioned my life at 30, I envisioned having children at home and having the joy of raising them. I find myself even now saying "them" so I don't know if I had always hoped to have had more than one child by now... I don't know. But I know that for some reason, this birthday has intensified Isaac's absence. And that's just really hard.

The reminders have been everywhere this weekend. They were in the nail salon when I got a pedicure on Saturday and the pregnant girl was next to me. The guy doing her pedicure has three children, and he and his wife are expecting their fourth soon. They were talking all about it, those "dreaded sleepless nights" and I just started crying. Yes, the girl doing my pedicure did notice and asked why, and of course I explained. I just wanted say to the others talking, "I have a son, too, but he isn't here... and I would give anything for those sleepless nights. Please... feel fortunate." Other reminders were in random comments from people saying things like, "Well my dad always says it's better to be one year older than six feet under." And yes, this person knows about Isaac.

You see, when you lose a child, you don't only lose a child. You are left to deal with shattered dreams and hopes that won't be fulfilled... it's back to that ripple effect. I suppose, too, that when I stopped to think about my birthday, I just immediately started thinking about Isaac's birthday and all of the joy that came in meeting him for the first time, and the pain that reached into the depths of my soul when we said goodbye to him that night on October 7. I really, really miss him.

So I could really just use your prayers. God has been so faithful in carrying us through this, and I know He will continue to. I suppose it's just one of those times where I am finding myself taking twenty steps back, sitting back in the pit of grief. I know I won't always stay there, but I didn't expect something like my birthday to trigger this either. Thank you for your prayers for peace, for God to continue to meet us in our sorrow, and for Him to show us how to continue to have hope. I am confident that He will.

52 comments:

Bluebird said...

Many, many prayers and hugs for you, sweet girl. I'm dreading my 30th birthday. I feel like I can't say that because there are so many of us older but I, like you, anticipated having my family in place (here on earh) by 30. Just the shattering of another dream I suppose.

I'm glad your sweet husband was there to make you feel special (as you are!) - hopefully that :)

Happy belated birthday.

gallerygirl said...

Stacy,
I feel for you so much. I can't imagine how much you miss Isaac. I turn 30 next year and I, too, envisioned my life very differently and being a young Mom.

I hope you can find peace in your heart and soul. I'm glad you did find some joy on your birthday, regardless of the circumstances.
amanda

Lauren said...

Friend,

We are still praying for you and remembering Isaac everyday. I am so sorry that your birthday was bittersweet. I celebrate you, Isaac's mommy, and the great presence you are in my life and the lives of others. And I also mourn with you broken hearts and shattered dreams. I CANNOT WAIT to give you a big hug in person.

-lauren

boltefamily said...

Many prayers going up on your behalf. I am glad you were able to celebrate your birthday and I am so sorry for the intense ache that remains a part of you.

clkocher said...

Continuing to pray for you and remember your sweet Isaac.

Happy Belated Birthday!

mrsrubly said...

happy belated birthday. i am happy that your husband had some surprises up his sleeve and you and your sister got to have some time together. for me turning 30 just was devistating! LOL..i am so sorry that sweet Isaac wasn't there to help celebrate. however i do know that he was looking down on his wonderful mommy, telling you happy birthday and he was there with you in spirit! i am praying for you my friend.

Sharleen said...

Praying for you Stacy!

Tammy On the Go said...

Hey Sweet Stacy,
your honesty and open heart is a blessing to me. I pray for you and think of you often.
love,
Tammy

Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

Happy Birthday....


I wanted to share this blog with you....


Their little girl was born on March 5th, and she just died last month to cancer, one month before her first birthday. I have grown attached to this family.... and I find them very inpirational and encouraging to me, and many others....

I thought maybe you like to check it out and this family can be of some encouragement to you.

I love how the celebrated Cora's birthday a week ago. Hang in there....

I know this is easier said that done.... I say this as a friend and sister in Christ, because I know I would be a lot like you, but want to me ALL like The Mac's (this blog I am sending you to).... and I hope that if I ever went through what both you or The Macs have gone through.... I hope that I would have those that REALLY told me things out of love and care....with tender steps and kindness....

Read the part where she was allowing herself to sit in the "what she should be doing with her little girl" ... and her mom reminded her of what she DID have with her little girl.

I hope that I can be that strong.....

here is their blog...

http://themcclenahans.blogspot.com/

I want to see you come out on TOP of all of this... and I want to see you bloom from all this sorrow!!!!

Carly K. said...

Stacy,

I'm thinking of you and my heart goes out to you...

Joanne said...

Stacy:
We have never met but I just wanted to write to you and let you know that my first bday without my son (we lost him 4 months before my bday) was one of the hardest days along my grief journey. I think it is like you said - you envisioned your life differently. From the moment I found out I was pg, I knew that I would finally have a little one to celebrate with on my bday but as it turned out, I didn't and that was so hard. Our expectations not being fulfilled are one of the worst things about walking along our grief journey. Thinking of you.

Molly said...

Happy birthday! Turning 30 does make you reflect on your twenties. I just went through it in December. I'm so sorry you had a hard time with it. But what a sweet gesture from your hubby. That is so nice! Post some of your new clothes for us! I will say a prayer for you that you find peace during this difficult time.

Mrs. H said...

We share much of the same... I too turned 30 yesterday :) And, I too have lost a son :(
I have followed your story & have lifted you and your husband in prayer, yet never commented.
May your memories stay sweet, while your heart continues to heal.

Devon said...

i have no words, really...just know my heart hurts with you. i wish i could take just some of it away. i wish isaac was here...

happy birthday. may this year bring new dreams and new plans...

Rebecca Jo said...

Happy Birthday!!!

30 really bothered me too! It just is a milestone birthday - that really doesnt mean anything... you are still fabulous!

But I can understand your heart break & the pain that is there... Just look at it this way - you are young for life lessons that you have dealt with - God will use you with these lessons to bless others!

So yes, 30 is the new 20 & you'll have a long lifetime of being able to encourage & help others!

jen said...

Just a little note to let you know how many prayers are coming your way! Isaac is celebrating your birthday in Heaven...sending his love to his mommy!

Bethany said...

I am nearing 30, and I never thought I'd still be single at this age so I know a bit of what it's like to give up a dream. The grief of that though is nothing like what you have experienced. I am still praying for you.

Spellbound said...

Happy Birthday Stacy. I would think that any special day will hold some pain because Isaac is not there to be with you on those days. I can totally understand and my heart goes out to you. I pray that you will continue to make it through these really rough patches that comes along. You are in my thoughts.

Laura said...

It sounds like Spencer and your sister cooked up a lovely birthday for you! I am so sorry to read such heartache, but how could there not be when your sweet boy is not with you. I can bet there are triggers everywhere - where you least expect them. I don't think it ever gets any easier. Hugs to you!

Stephanie said...

Happy Birthday. May your 30's (which is the new 20!!) bring you lots of peace. You are such a strong person.

Brenna said...

I wish you a 30th year full of wonderful things. For me, I feel like I'm getting to know myself far better in my 30s than I did during my 20s. There are definitely some good things that come with age. (Though I must say, you're a far more self-aware, graceful and poised late-20/early-30-something than I ever was!)

Sue said...

Stacy,
I do not know you, but I have been praying for you.
I absolutely cannot imagine your heartache. I pray that you will be acutely aware of God's peace, comfort and presence.
Isaac was such a beautiful boy and I know you feel blessed to be his mom.
Happy belated birthday.

Angela said...

Oh, Stacy. I thought of you today and prayed for you. I was working on dinner (crockpot) and had my own blog music playing. "Love Them Like Jesus" came on, and I thought of you and cried and prayed for you. I love Casting Crowns but had never heard that song before I heard it/read about it on your blog. I think of you everytime.

Welcome to your 30s. I turn 32 this Saturday so sadly, I'm used to being here.

That is so wonderful that you had a nice, relaxing birthday. I wish we had a Cheesecake Factory closer than two hours away. Then again, it's probably a good thing that we don't...

Sonya said...

Happy belated birthday! You and my husband share that special day, although he turned 35!
I am glad that Spencer made it so special for you.
What I have learned over the past 5 1/2 years since my brother passed is that the days I think will bother me may not so much and then other days I am completely taken off guard. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie said...

I may have shared this verse in a comment before but it is one that has ministered to me so much.

Zech 9:12 where it says,
"O prisoners of hope".

I love that because it paints a picture that makes me feel so secure. That I don't just have hope... IT HAS ME! or better put HE HAS ME and He IS hope.

As believers, we can never run out of hope because it is stored in heaven for us...

"the faith and love that spring from the hope that is STORED UP FOR YOU IN HEAVEN and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel." Col 1:5

Praying He will pour out heaven's hope into your life. Life will never be the same without Isaac. He is missed and loved.
Steph

nikki wood said...

I just blogged today about turning 30 next week and how hard it has been on me. I have a wonderful husband, who I am thankful for. I have 2 children, which I always prayed for since I was a lil girl. But my babies are in Heaven just like your son.

I totally understand. From the bottom of my heart I do. My prayers sent your way.

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Stacy, I feel like all I say to you anymore is "I'm praying for you." But all other words seem inadequate. Please know you are loved.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. And I do want to wish you a happy 30th birthday.
You continue to be in my prayers,
Alicia

THE DARLSON'S said...

Dearest Stacy,

I have been so touched by your story over the last 9 months. Your strength and love are amazing examples to us all. I wanted to wish you a Happy 30th Birthday! March 7th is also my birthday... I turned 25 this year. I just thought it to be interesting that we share this day. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Meghan

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

So glad you were able to spend your birthday with Spencer in such a special way. He is awesome! Praying for you, sweet friend...

Much Love and Prayers,
Kelly

Jen said...

Stacy, I find that things like birthdays are less important to me now...it's hard for me to celebrate myself when part of me is missing. Hugs to you. Although, I do believe my 30's are way better than my 20's! I am more settled and have a better grasp on the things that are important to me. Hugs to you!

Emily said...

Stacy,
Continuing to pray for you and feel the impact of you, Spencer and Isaac. Happy belated birthday to the best mommy a little boy could ever ask for.

Valerie said...

Oh Stacy. People just do not think sometimes. I am so sorry that their words hurt you.

Sending prayers.

Genesis said...

Praying for you and Spencer!

Stacy, I know you think that Isaac was a part of your 20's, but he will always be a part of you! He will be a part of your 30s, your 40s and beyond. He will always be your son not matter what age you are, or how much time passes.

http://vimeo.com/951902

I think you should watch this video. It's about what to do when life doesn't go as you thought it would, or as you had hoped. It's about Plan B in life. What to do when your hopes shatter and you are left to pick up the pieces of your broken dreams. Get comfy because it's about 30mins. :)

Sweet Stacy, I am praying for you!

Genesis in Arizona

rebecca said...

Happy Birthday, Stacy!
What a wonderful husband and sister you have :)

I always thought that I would have my children in my 20's. I was almost 33 when I had my firstborn and now I am almost 37...sigh!

Although I have not experienced the terrible pain you are going through with missing your little boy...there have been many times in my life when I asked God, "WHY"?
I have come to realize that our plans are not HIS plans.

I am praying ever so hard for you and Spencer. And I am remembering Isaac tonight.
Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Stacy, your blog entry was so beautiful...the way you shared your heart. I pray for you and Spencer often. There are a few other sweet moms and dads whom God has brought me to here online. I was thinking of you all last night...in MD, AR, TX, TN and NC...thinking how we will never meet on earth and yet how very dear you are to me. Your faith has ministered to me. My son and daughter-in-law are both thirty. My birthday's tomorrow...hmmmmm, how old will I be??? Obviously, old enought to be your mom!! So Stacy, sweet Isaac's mommy, I wish you many blessings as you start your 30s.

Elizabeth

Ruth said...

I know. I turned 30 the day my Renner was born. I was so happy. It was so awesome to share this day with my new son and now. . .i dread my birthday this year. I'm so sorry that it hurts but I know. You are truly encouraging to me and I love to see your faith. You are a testtmony to God's grace. Your husband and your sister sound amazing! Happy belated birthday! I think that any postpartum mum that doesn't have her baby in her arms to help hide the "new body" should be allowed a little retail therapy. Thank-you for sharing your journey with me.

Lynette said...

Praying for you and remembering your sweet Isaac everyday,
lynette x

FSD said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Stacy. I'm so glad your family made your birthday special for you. Continuing to pray for you during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday. I am sorry that Issac was nt here to celebrate with you.

Praying for you and hour Spencer daily.

Cynthia

Kates said...

I recently stumbled on to your blog and can really relate to this post. My husband and I recently suffered the loss of our first little one, though after only 2 months. I will also be turning 30 ina few weeks and have the same thoughts and fears. This is not where I thought I would be when I turned the big 3-0. Just know that there are other people out there that feel the same or similar to you. Kate

Rebecca Louise. said...

Firstly, A very Happy 30th Birthday to you! The suprise sounded so fun and just what you needed.

I know Isaac was there helping you blow out your candles. I just know...

Jill said...

You are one very very special lady. I have followed your blog for quite some time. Thankfully you know you will see and raise your Isaac one day. Still the hurt now, I cannot even pretend to imagine.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

Praying for you that these times get less deep in grief and you are surronded by peace.

Em
from Australia

The Durham Family said...

Happy 30th! I turned 30 in February and it did bother me more than I thought it would....I also felt like my 20s had so many monumental events. Your Dad's comment about it's better being a year older than 6 feet under sounds just like something my Dad would tell me. I love reading your blog and pray for you every day.

Jeff & Leza said...

Stacy I will lift you up in prayer and know that God will bring that peace you are searching for...

I have not experienced a similar loss but have had several miscarriages and to this day I cry over the clothes they never wore, the baths I never got the chance to give, the bedtime stories never read....but I do share the pain and the questions left with losing those dreams. I cannot begin to take your pain away and if I could I would take all the pain so that one more person did not have to experience loss of a child. Your devoted readers are lifting you up in prayer all over the country.

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! I know that your sweet Isaac would love to be with you, but instead he is watching over you with an eternal birthday candle of his own.

As for the comment by the person about "better to be one year older...." i doubt they said it to hurt you and probably did not think before they spoke we can only pray that the person does not say a similar comment to another griefing mother.

As always~ praying for you!

KK said...

Happy belated birthday! I am so thankful you had family there to share your big day and what a sweet day your husband planned for the two of you.
I am so sorry for the hurtful comments and situations you found yourself in.
Please know I continue to pray for both of you daily, for healing, for peace of mind and for God's grace to lift you up each and every day.
Blessings today and always,
Kaye
Matthew 21:22

Mandie Lane said...

Continued prayers for Isaac's beautiful mother.

Jaime said...

Happy Birthday. I am so sorry it has been so hard for you though. This is a difficult time for you and Spencer. I hope God continues to give you the strength to get through it.

Stephanie said...

My prayers are always with you and your family. It makes a lot of sense how your birthday would trigger such intense emotions and grief. I am glad your husband and family are there for you and are so supportive.

I'm sorry for all of those sad reminders that you had to deal with, and for the stupid comment that person made to you.

Your husband is so sweet to plan such a special day for you. It sounds like you enjoyed your shopping trip and lunch, I'm glad you were able to enjoy it.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Stacy,

Your story touched me so much. So glad I ran across it in my blog reading.

I am new to the blog world and have so much to learn.

When you have some time, stop by for a visit!

happy Birthday,
Teresa

Kristi said...

I am sorry for the pain you felt on your birthday. I will continue to pray for you. I just wanted to encourage you by reminding you once again of one of the countless ways in which God has used Isaac's life to minister to others. Whenever I tell my story, I always mention you and Isaac and how God led me to you to give me the hope and peace I so desparately needed when I felt like I was drowning in despair. I know it hurts, believe me, I understand and I'm sorry. Thank you for allowing God to use you in the midst of the pain to comfort so many in our affliction. You will never know the full impact of Isaac's very precious life.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4)