Friday, June 12, 2015
By now, most of you know what happened with Abigail. If you don't know the whole story, you can read the blog >> here . <<
On Friday, June 14, 2013, Abby was pronounced dead. We had already made the decision to donate her organs, so she would be kept on the machines in order to maintain organ function until the next day. I was able to stay with her body on Friday night and on Saturday morning the man in charge of coordinating the surgeries for Abby and her recipients came to me with a problem and asked me to make a decision.
The child who was supposed to receive Abby's heart was too sick and could not be cleared for a transplant that day. He explained to me that there was another little boy that was a match and her heart could be gifted to him, but we would have to wait one more day for his surgery team to prepare. This meant that everything would be delayed one day. He told me that he understood if we wanted to just go ahead and do the transplants that day because it would be very difficult emotionally for me and her dad to delay the inevitable for one more day. I asked him if all of the other surgery teams would be able to wait until the next day so that Abby's heart did not go to waste. She had a perfect little heart and without being able to donate her heart, none of it would have felt worth it. To me, the answer was obvious...we wait one more day so that another child would live.
I had the privilege to stay with her body one more night.
I hovered over her and stroked her hair, studied her face and kissed her. I held my face close to hers and I finally had a chance to ask God the most obvious question...WHY?
I said, "God, she is only 7 years old. Why was she only able to stay here for 7 years? What was the purpose? Why would she be given to me and then taken away?"
God's response was this. "She has fulfilled her purpose. She was here to save lives. I entrusted her to you, but she was never yours. She was always mine."
Immediately, a peace and a thankfulness that I can not quite understand or explain came over me. At that very moment, I felt incredibly special. I felt chosen. God trusted me with the most amazing soul that I have ever known.
I made a deal with God. I told him that I would never question him and I promised not to be angry with him. All I asked was that he would take the unbearable pain that I felt and lessen it. I needed to be able to continue to raise my other children and I needed his help desperately.
He has never failed to keep his end of the bargain... I have done my best to keep mine.
After that conversation, I sat back in my chair and let God speak to me.
He told me that he understood my pain. He knew exactly what I was feeling and he knows what it is like to lose a child. He chose to lose his son to save souls, and although, I did not choose this, my daughter also lost her life to save lives.
The parallel that I was able to draw between the two, made God's sacrifice for my salvation more personal than I could have ever imagined.
If given the choice to be Abigail's mom for almost 8 years, knowing that I would lose her so that she could give life to others and be the answer to countless prayers, I can say with certainty that I would say NO. Herein lies the difference between God and me. He CHOSE to give up his one and only son because he loves us so much. I am tainted with selfishness, He is the absolute definition of love.
I am thankful that he knew not to give me that choice. I am grateful that he allowed me to be Abigail's mother. I would not give up the years that I had her here with me for anything.
God purposed Abigail for miraculous things and to be the answer to desperate prayers. He knew exactly what he was doing and my heartbreak is lessened by the fact that she and her perfect little body did exactly what she was purposed for.
I can only hope that the same can be said for me some day.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Today, June 4, 2015, this memory was on my timehop app. Exactly ten days after I declared this on twitter, I was proven right in the most horrific way. I don't remember exactly what made me type this out for social media, but today, this statement makes me cringe. It sounds so callous and uncaring. Maybe I was trying to make myself feel better about something I was going through, maybe I was being a sarcastic jerk... I'm not sure. This post however made me feel enough discomfort to finally write another post.
I've been thinking about other cliche' sayings, such as, "hurting people, hurt people" and "you can only give as much as you have to give".
No one said that life was going to be fair, but sometimes, the unfairness of it all makes me want to scream. In 10 days, it will have been 2 years since I lost my youngest daughter. She would be 10 in July. I miss her every day. Some days are easier than others, but the number one challenge that I face nowadays is that I fear I am doing irreparable damage to some of the closest relationships that I have.
I have a very difficult time being around young girls. It felt normal at the beginning to feel jealousy or sadness when Abby's friends or cousins would have birthdays, dance recitals, cheer competitions, play-dates, etc. However, I thought those feelings would decrease with time. Unfortunately, those feelings have increased with time.
I've RSVP'd for birthday parties that I can not bring myself to attend. I feel guilty that I let these feelings interfere with the relationships of my friends/cousins/sisters that have daughters.
I am thankful that I don't ever have to apologize for not being able to give more than I have.
I am thankful for the people in my life that challenge me and help me through the things that I can not get through my self. I am also thankful that I am surrounded by people who understand that I am doing my best and that are gracious enough to let me fall short without judgement.
In turn, I have learned grace in dealing with others. I am constantly reminded that some people are dealing with things that I could never comprehend, and they cope the only way they know how. They can not give more than they have to give.
These past 2 years have been challenging in every way. I have been challenged to be slow to anger, I have been challenged to be patient, I have been challenged to remain full of faith, I have been challenged to love people where they're at and not judge them, I have been challenged to deny my pride and admit when I need help and I have been challenged to choose joy. I don't always succeed, but I will never give up.