Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And the leaves keep talking


It has been a while. Ginny's bed rest has not really allowed much time for blogging- or going to the bathroom for that matter. She has a Dr.'s appointment tomorrow. It has now been 6 weeks and 5 days of bed rest, but who's counting?

Me, that's who. February, the month she's due, seems more like a speck on a distant horizon than a reality, almost a little cruel to actually dwell on. But getting through a day is a victory, and a good thing for baby #3.

I always prepare scripted answers to questions I know I will receive in multiples of ten. This process, while admittedly uncreative, allows for the fact that I am prone to uninhibitedly say what I think and this habit often leaves me apologizing to someone for something. So, I craft a good enough reply, and if the first recipient seems pleased, I go with it. In order to give you a window into our world, here are a few of the ones dealing with bed rest.

> Life looks wildly different than it did 6 weeks ago. The way we do every single thing as a family has changed.

> For me it is completely a a physical thing. There is more to do than I can. And I have no time to feel anything because the trash needs to go out, Hazel is crying, and we probably need to eat something tonight. For Ginny, it is completely an emotional thing. And the fact that what we are walking through looks so different, is what makes it feel like your not going through it together.

> No Ginny is not bouncing off the walls. She is actually handling the down time well. Somehow, she manages to have plenty to do, all from her perch on the couch. But what has been really hard for her is not getting to mother Hazel the way she would like. Watching other people meet the needs of your daughter is not fun.

There are plenty more actually, but you get the idea. I just wanted to give a brief update on bed rest. Again, our family and friends have made it possible for Ginny to do what she is supposed to- sit and be still. We cannot thank them enough.

However, today is not really about bed rest. Today is about honoring two of my favorite lives: my son and my wife.

Today is Ginny's 30th birthday and the 3 yr marker for Eliot leaving this earth.
Today is a special day.

I hoped that forcing myself to write on this day would help me grapple with what I feel and think about a day that is always an awkward tight rope walk between deep pain and inexpressible joy.

Tears fall like leaves around this time each year. Fayetteville is on fire.
Our hometown is covered with hues of red, orange, and yellow. As if the trees were trying to tell us something. A recital for those who will listen. I devise reasons to get out of the house just so Hazel and I can meander through streets- the ones with real trees, just before and after the suburbs. I don't even try to describe the brilliance to Ginny because she will know she is missing out.

Far and away, this is my favorite time of the year. The intensity of the colors are matched only by the thoughts of my son that come so effortlessly and so often. Thus, this season always come bearing gifts for us. And I love it for that.

Ginny broke down this week on a friend who asked what we would do for this day. Nothing seems appropriate or enough. How does one approach a day that changed everything? Not to mention, it is Ginny's birthday. And before you wish that weren't so, just know that there is something beautiful about that fact that I cannot quite put to words.

So, defying doctor's orders, I took her out today. We visited the grave and ate an Italian lunch. But most of all, we just drove around and looked up at the leaves.

We talked about how Eliot's life has changed us. Of how God has worked enough redemption that we can breathe. We can see green peaking through ashes. In fact, just being witness to this is one of the main changes. For we desire to be a part of God's working redemption in the lives of others.

And the leaves keep talking. He is making all things new.


Caroline said...

I don't comment much, but wanted to say how beautiful I thought this post was. The fact that your wife and son shared a day, even for vastly different reasons, is beautiful somehow.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this.

mel said...

beautiful post. The tears are flowing. Thinking & praying for you guys on this special day.

Laurie in Ca. said...

~*Happy Birthday*~ Ginny and ~*Happy Heaven Day*~ Eliot. There is beauty in it being on the same day somehow. What a beautiful way to spend the day, getting her out to see the beauty all around. Good job Matt and I am sure it did Ginny so good too.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

christina said...

quit stealing my lines! No really...when is the book coming out? Your words speak to the depth of my heart and soul and i feel as tho i can feel just what you do. I know that is part of the gift of the body of Christ walking together, but man. it's moving and beautiful and painful all in one. I love it. Is that morbid? I think only you guys can understand.
Mitch's baby sister died of leukemia on his 14th birthday. You can imagine what 15 was like for him..and every birthday that followed. Fast forward 22 years later and we welcome our first born on his birthday. God really does renew and bring life into pain and joy into sorrow. It's pretty unbelievable that He lets US be a part of that grace.
I know for us...someone is always missing..in pictures and memories. But there is great comfort in knowing there was purpose in eliot's life AND death. I know i see it every time i think of and pray for you guys. Thank you Eliot! Happy Resurrection Day, big boy! Ginny...thank you for continuing to show us how to do this thing called life. And to you BOTH...thank you for showing the world what it means to HONOR each other. I love it.

Randi said...

Thinking of you guys. I have been following your journey for a while. God DOES make all things new, doesn't He?
Not much to say, but I miss your son even though I have never met him. I hope Ginny had a peaceful birthday.
Randi Booth

Heely said...

Your words always haunt me Matt. I have some dear friends who lost their son in utero 3 years ago last month. I never know what to say to them. I still dont. Do I remember his birthday? Which is also his Heaven day? So I dont say anything. I come to your blog, both this one and the one for Eliot and I read your words over and over. And I just cry. Maybe Eliot and Nathan are playing together in Heaven.

Heather said...

"God gives, God takes, God's name ever be blessed".

Isn't it great to see God's blessing and providence paid out to us as we walk with Him? I can see it, in your words, in your life story, in your current situation. May God's name continue to be blessed in your lives.

Kayla Elizabeth said...

I just wanted to send loving prayes your way. I read about Eliot at the nurses station at three am about a year ago and you were on my mind this week. I will be praying for your new little one and for strength and being content in every situation. Love Kayla's mom Phoebe

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

Beautifully, beautifully written. I will continue to pray for your family.

Anonymous said...

Matt, we spoke through e-mail not long after my Ella was born - and I had stumbled upon Eliot's video for the first time. I have followed your family ever since then and continue to be encouraged by both your and Ginny's faith, honesty and just plain "being real." Thank you for letting us into your heart on such a special day in your life. Here's to knowing He will continue to make ALL things NEW!
Blessings to you all as you draw nearer to the birth of another dear one :)
Jill in Toledo, Ohio

Nanda said...

I love you guys. I don't even know you in person and you don't know me (of course)...but I love your strength. Hazel is beaaaautiful.

I'm a big fan of yours.

Much love all the way from Brazil.

Rina said...

So touching! We pray for you and your family. Take care and stay happy!

Anonymous said...

not sure if you' ve seen this.


-eight days

Julie B said...

"And just before you wish that weren't so...". Those words were so eloquent and emotion inducing, I feel led to imagine the powerful hues of autumn foliage right.along.with.you. Eliot came at a beautiful time, to beautiful parents and for a more than beautiful even describes, reason.