You'll all have noticed that my posts have become a bit less descriptive, a bit less positive, a bit more stark.
I'm having a hard time. I don't like admitting that really - but I'm sure the line-in-betweener-readers will have realized that already. Several days ago I realized what "gone forever" is - and the idea of never (physically) seeing Joshua again is heart-wrenching. And I think what hurts worse is that I know it's not just an idea - its an eventual reality.
I hate to depress the world. But it's a reality I'm having to face. I feel bad for some people who I know visit every day with hearts lodged in throats...hoping and praying, crossing their fingers, squeezing their eyes shut...willing away the words "Joshua went to be with Jesus". I know you do, because I did the same thing with Tristan and I do the same thing everyday with Jacob and with Eva. It's sad. I know it is - for you, as well as for me.
I know that in some small way you are experiencing my journey with me. I know you think you don't understand, but let me assure you that the sinking feeling you get when you think about me losing Joshua - is a true emotion. I can't tell you what it feels like yet - I have an idea. But that idea feels similar to what I imagined it might feel like.
There is a unique heartbreak involved in losing an infant - I believe. It is similar to other heartbreaks - losing a child, a teenager, an adult child. But an infant... an infant has not lived. Sure, Joshua's alive, but he's never walked, run, smiled, spoken, etc. So with Joshua, it's as though he's missed out on life. As my mother put it: Losing a small child (miscarriage through infant) is losing a dream. Not that a parents doesn't lose their dreams for an old child, but those children have at least experienced some things. Joshua hasn't experienced a lot.
But here's some things he did experience:
Sleeping in his own bed
Sleeping with his mommy (on accident, I fell asleep with him on my chest and woke up 3 hours later).
Cuddling with Mommy, Daddy, and his big sister.
Cuddling with his aunties, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Watching NFL, NBA, and NCAA with Daddy.
Watching Daddy play Wii.
Evading death by *big sister*. (Horror and panic attacks by Mommy!)
Going through enough packs of nappies that Mommy has forgotten how many!
Wearing clothes in more than one size.
Wearing hand-me downs (cousins, big sisters, and friends).
Getting cards in the mail.
Getting presents. Christmas, birthday, and just-because.
6lbs, 7lbs, 8lbs, and 9lbs.
17in, 18in, 19in, and 20in (That's right! 20 in!).
Mommy milk and formula.
Lots of birthday cake via Mommy milk.
Lots of cool hats!
Bathtime in Mommy's bread bowls and the bathroom sink.
A sunburn (Because Mommy was an idiot and forgot that I needed sunscreen too! She even gave it to Oceana!)
Vacation to Rotorua
Riding in the car.
Craddle cap and Baby acne (Much to Mommy's consternation!).
Lots of visitors.
Getting cried on.
A lifetime worth of love.
I have to remind myself that Joshua's life is not a mistake. Joshua's not screwed up. Yeah, his body is - but he's not! And God doesn't make mistakes! There's sin in our world, which causes problems. But God is faithful to uphold those who seek to be held by Him.
My hope for all of you is that Joshua's life makes an impact on yours. Please tell me if it does - I can only assume he has, because he has affected mine immensely. I'm sure it will be years before I know how much...