August 7, 2013

Busy busy busy....and SILENCE.

Well, let me tell you, the last three months have been quite the whirlwind!  This week I am finally catching my breath.  Earlier in July, my youngest sister got married, so many days in June were spent preparing for that exciting occasion (though in the throws of the preparations it was more stressful than joyful, to which anyone who's planned a wedding can relate).  There were bridal showers, bachelor parties (okay, only one bachelor party), a bachelorette party...

Basking in the sun with homemade facials purifying our faces.  Yum.
...rehearsals.  It was all very fun and exciting, but busy, busy, busy!  My sister made a GORGEOUS bride, and I've never seen her hubby (who just so happens to be one of David's best friends from college!) smile as much as he did on their wedding day!

Beautiful bride and her handsome groom with his godchildren

Finally at the reception.  I just love the elegance of her veil :)
The weekend after my sister's wedding we went to one of David's childhood friend's wedding reception. The reception was quite the drive for us, so we made it into a mini road trip. Gorgeous I'm telling you. We saw four of the Cascade volcanoes in the one weekend (Hood, Adams, St. Helens, Rainier) and toured the Columbia River Gorge.  Just beautiful.  

The following weekend my cousin got married--another wedding with which I helped extensively.  

Another beautiful day! 
Last week my in-laws spent their vacation with us.  An incredibly wonderful time, but still...busy, busy, busy!

And now.  Now it's quiet.  No plans.  No expectations.  No commitments.  Just quiet.  Huh.

I am alone with my thoughts and (this will come to no surprise to those who know me well) an extensive to-do list.  I work on that to-do list...slowly.  But the to-do list does not fill the silence.  While finalizing my August meal plan, the silence handed my thoughts a blaring megaphone.  HEY!  HEY, BETH!  WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU?  YOU JUST SIT AROUND ALL DAY CLEANING THE HOUSE, PREPARING MEALS, WORKING ON YOUR SEWING PROJECTS, PLANNING OUT THE FAMILY FINANCES, GOING TO THE GYM...HOW IS THAT MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TALENTS? SINCE YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR BABY SHOULDN'T YOU GO BACK TO WORK, OR AT LEAST VOLUNTEER SO AS TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER? YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR BABY LIKE YOU EXPECTED. YOU'RE NOT MOTHERING.  GO FIND ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL!  

Man, don't be so mean!  Shut up you silly voice-in-the-silence.  Go away.  I don't like you.  Enough of this "should this, should that" crap.  Quit should-ing on me.

But these thoughts, finally able to be heard as I pushed the pause button in my busy life, certainly made a good point--a bit harsh, yes--but good.  See, I really do need to critically look at myself, at my new identity; that is, mom without a baby to mother.  I thought I had a good idea of my roll in the world.  Just over a year ago, I intentionally chose to quit my full-time job and move out east with my wonderful hubby.  I took on the role of housewife (in a hotel...hah), mom-to-be, and community volunteer.  Over the nine months that I grew our Samuel I prepared to be a SAHM.  I expanded my repertoire of quick, easy dinner recipes.  I found workouts I could do at home with baby.  I read as much as I could about caring for babies so that once baby got here I could simply follow my mama's intuition in caring for him.  I practiced my weekly routine of doing regular laundry, spreading out the cleaning chores, and running errands, all in preparation for any sort of regular routine going out the window upon the arrival of baby.

That night when David and I left for the hospital to birth Samuel, I said good-bye to my days of routine, my days of predictability.  That night I was fully prepared to accept my new role in the world: MOM.

So, today, life on pause, I have the chance to truly think about how all of that has changed.  Who I want to be/how I want to contribute to society now, after the loss of my son.  Someone once told me our identities can sometimes be understood if we consider them as pie charts.  NERD ALERT!  I love this!  Anything in chart form is totally up my ally.  So.  Here is how I would describe my pre-Samuel self (disclaimer: the lines BLUR.  Hah.  Blurred Lines...hey hey hey...anyway, dumb song.  My point is this chart isn't black and white. But I digress):

Then I expected my life to look something like this...

As with many expectations or plans, they change.  So, in this sudden moment of silence, my life on pause, I finally take a breath and realize....

I could really benefit from adding Volunteer back in the mix.  Stay tuned on that front.  I guess this silence is wonderful blessing.  It gives me the opportunity to really think about who I am after such a dramatic (I hate the word tragic.  Don't call Samuel's death tragic.  At least not to my face), life altering event.  It takes time to grow.  It takes patience.  I'll be prayin' for lots of that.  I always have prayed for's always the thing I seem to need.  If you'd like to send some prayers my way that God grants me some more patience, that would be greatly appreciated! :-)  

P.S. Samuel, would you pray that God grants me some more patience, that I may accept the growing pains, that I may be patient for the day when both David and I are ready to add to our family again, that I am patient with myself when I still have moments of missing you?  Thanks, son.  Love you much.    

In a few weeks, my life will be once again loaded with activities and events.  But for now, more silence. More time with God.  More time getting to know myself again.      

Hubby & I before our hike up Multnomah Falls


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