Not the first day of school

Ha!  Today’s post should have been all about the kid’s  first day of school – but we are still at the cottage and so obviously there was no first day of school today… lucky us.    But this was planned and the school knows and I’m hoping that it will be an easy adjustment for the kids to start school next week instead although I’m sure it’s not the best thing in the world.    But Jason and I are just not ready to go back to real life quite yet, and I don’t think the kids are either.

We are all doing well on the whole,  and still enjoying our time here at the cottage, but we still have our times of sadness.  Last night Sarah wanted to watch Ava’s slide show again that I made for the funeral, and it ended up with Sarah and I crying our eyes out.   And then William joined in crying with us at bedtime… poor guy.   I’ve noticed that William isn’t quite himself these days and I think he might be a little bit depressed, and it’s not just Ava being gone.  I’m sure for him it’s all the changes that have happened to our family.  We moved home from Toronto,  but then we were just home for a week before we left to come to the cottage and we’ve been here since.    We haven’t been settled in one place for a long period of time and William is a child who needs routine.  We all need routine and I know it will be good when we finally get there.  It will even be good for this guy even though he’s already started with his typical dread of going back to school combined with his love of buying new school supplies.

Erik

Thankfully our litte Sophia seems to be taking everything in stride including starting school next week.   Here she is with that picture of me that she drew in the sand I promised earlier…

Sophsand

I love it when the kids draw pictures of me,  it makes me laugh.     And she was busy drawing Ava in the sand there as well… I don’t think Ava is ever far from her thoughts.

Sophia wrote (ahem… scribbled) in a book a few thoughts about Ava the other day, and when she read them back to me she said she wrote…  “Dear Ava, I know that you are dead, and I know that it’s sad.  But we can still have fun without you and we can play with our cousins, like katie and Tyler.”   Very truthful and practical of her really.

And talking of practical, next week will bring school, routine and back to ‘normal’ life for our family.  But what I’m worried about is where does that leave me?

It leaves me with four kids in school and no baby to care for.  And not only will there be no baby to care for, but up until August 15th, I was committed to caring for a baby who had a lot of needs and who would probably some sort of care for a very long time or perhaps even her entire life.  There would have been the heart transplant issues, but we would have had to deal with issues that would have come from Ava’s Tuner’s Syndrome as well.   We would have spent our days going to Dr’s appointments and therapy appointments, and it would have been busy and hard, but there would have been purpose it in all for me.

Now I’m left with a space in my life where all that was supposed to be and it’s got me worried.   I know that everyone says that my life will fill up quick and I won’t have time on my hands, but I think it will be hard to go back to ordinary things after being involved in something so important.

And then, as always it seems, God brings me back to His promises in my times of doubt.    I was reading back to last September when we knew for certain that Ava would be born with only half a working heart and I was worried about the future then too and I included this verse in one of my posts…,

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.  Deuteronomy 31:8

And then today’s verse from BibleGateway,com was

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 ESV

Even though I’m worried about my life going forward, God isn’t worried.  He’s probably shaking His head at me right now and wondering why this girl who He has been so faithful to for so long is even thinking about doubting Him once again.

My job once again is to trust and pray and co-operate with whatever it is God has planned and not be afraid or dismayed by what is coming next.   Surely if God was able to carry us through  the past 8 months (which He did splendidly) I can trust Him once again going forward from here.

But please don’t stop praying for us as we adjust and move forward…. we still appreciate all your prayers and kind words!

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Home

We are home, and it feels strange.  I think it’s maybe like how a solder feels after being away on the battle-ground, and then finds himself home and the battle is over.   We are grieving the loss our sweet daughter and we miss her so much.  But on the other hand, there is so much relief that she is finally at peace and isn’t hurting anymore.   It’s grief mixed with relief.   And it all comes in waves.  One minute we are fine and dealing with practical issues, and then the next minute we are swamped with feelings of sadness.  I didn’t want to go to bed last night because I knew that once I actually stopped being busy I would probably just cry and cry.  And I did.    But knowing what she was going through in the last days of her life helps comfort me knowing that she is more alive in heaven right now then we are here down on earth.  She is free from her body of death and has gone into eternal light.

And I’m happy to report that the kids are doing good.  One of the doctor’s from the PACT team told us that children grieve in puddles and adults grieve in rivers.  And I liked that and it’s proving to be true.    The kids hop in and out of their sadness, sad one minute and happy the next, which really isn’t unlike Jason and I, I just think we feel it deeper.

But oh I miss my baby!  What I wouldn’t give to have her back wtih us!   But in my heart I know that she had to go.   The doctors and nurses were very honest with me which we appreciated so much, and I’m so glad we could let Ava go before her suffering got worse.

And we just wanted to thank everyone again for all the kindness showed to us.  For Jason’s parents who came down to see Ava before she died, for my parents who came and supported us and cared for our kids during her death.  For the nurses and doctors and staff from our ward 4D at Sick Kids who showed us so much kindness and compassion… they really do feel like my family now.  We want to thank our church family for praying and supporting us, for my friend’s who cleaned my house this week, for friends who brought food and flowers to welcome us home.   And for all you readers who have left us comments just letting us know that you are here for us.

Tomorrow I will give you some info about the funeral, but I have to go now because I am too tired to think.  But happy (mostly) to be at home, even if it’s without our Birdy.

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