Monday, December 22, 2008

8 months today

Gabe would be 8 months old today. I can't believe it's been that long. These last couple days everything has felt so recent and raw. It seems like we just lost him. I think that is how Christmas will be this year. I'm looking forward to spending time with our family, but I know that there will be a lot of sadness mixed in with the fun of it all. It's sad that I didn't get to send out Christmas cards this year with his little 8 month self smiling away. On the other hand, we've been so encouraged that people are writing us little notes on the Christmas cards we have received, telling us they're still praying and thinking of us. We still feel so overwhelmed by how much support and love hold us up.

I got blue flowers for his grave instead of red, white, and green. I waited too late and the only stuff left had sparkles and looked really fake - so blue it is. I think he would have liked being unique - at least that's what I'm telling myself so I don't feel like a failure.

My Aunt Kathy gave us an artificial tree she had that was too big for the space in her living room. I was so happy to get it, because otherwise, this would have been the year of the Charlie Brown tree at our house. Our tree now is one of the prettiest artificial trees that I've ever seen, and I'm so thankful to have it.

We were able to include a little bit of Gabe into our tree. I'm glad he is there.

This is the picture that Lauren took when I was 33 weeks pregnant with him. We have had it framed, used it at his funeral, and put it on his grave marker. I'm so thankful to have it and so thankful to Kim for having it made into an ornament.

This is another one Kim had made. It's of the day we went out to Gabe's spot with Kim and the kids. They let blue balloons go, "sending them up to Gabe in Heaven."

This ornament is one Debbie gave me last year for Christmas. It has Gabe's due date written on it.

And these last two are ones Mom bought us this year - reminders of Gabe and hope for the new baby.

Last week I went to a staff conference for Young Life. The speaker spoke four different times, the theme being struggles and trials we face, and why it's all so hard. He was great, and I really felt the Spirit working on me. It was all so timely and appropriate - funny how God does that, huh?

He also brought up the verse, Hebrews 12:2, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." We are so quick to praise Jesus for being the author of our faith, but when it comes to the perfection of our faith, it doesn't feel good sometimes. We sure don't feel like praising. Some days it's easy to praise Him. Some days it is a struggle. But when I stop and really consider it, I'm so thankful that He finds us worthy of perfecting. I'd so much rather have struggles and grow than be dead in my faith and stagnant. I know that someday it will all be worth it, but right now, while we're still struggling to make sense of it all, please keep praying for us.


Renata said...

We're remembering you during this time girl! Hang in there! We love you!

Katherine said...

I love the blue flowers. I think they're so appropriate, because that's sort of how you're feeling ... blue. There's still beauty in blue flowers, just as there's beauty in feeling blue. You guys handle your "blueness" with more faith and grace than most people I've known. You continue to be an inspiration to me, and I am so happy that more joy is heading your way in just a few months. I think of you constantly but -- although I wanted to write a personal note in each card this year -- I didn't jot anything personal on your card. I was doing well just to get them out by Christmas this year! But know this: YOU ARE LOVED, and YOU ARE BLESSED, and YOU ARE BLUE. And that's OK. Take all the time you need. Joy is coming this spring, and joy is coming again when you see Gabe in Heaven. So very much to look forward to, for all of us. Love you so much!

brightleigh said...

Blue is beautiful Patrice, and what a beautiful post. What a special gift of the ability to remember and keep pieces of Gabe in your life. What a beautiful tree, with beautiful ornaments. Stay strong and may God continue to grant you peace. Merry Christmas!

jwhite984 said...

Personally, I like the blue ones you got a lot more than many other artificial flowers I've seen and your arrangement was quite nice. And your tree looks lovely. We used an artificial tree for many years, they don't start shedding all over the place like a real one, which is nice. I hope Christmas and this time has been mostly happy for you. I heard you had a birthday recently, Happy Late Birthday! I saw your sis today, I hope y'all's (isn't that a fun "word") Christmas thing goes well when y'all do it.