Another weekend getaway

I so should NOT be taking the time to post this right now! Too much to do. But I want to post these pictures because they're, well, lighthearted. We took off for another weekend in Rockaway Beach, ending in Cannon. We've had this trip planned since June, so it's been something we've looked forward to since before Nathaniel even existed, to tell the truth! We knew it would be a special getaway; turns out it was incredibly timely! It rained a little, fogged much, but was so perfectly beachy. Ahh, glorious!


To Whomever it May Concern:

A special thanks goes out to whoever it was that dropped by that gorgeous bouquet of flowers and the bread! It was such a pleasant surprise to find them waiting for us on the doorstep! Both Nate and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness! Thank you!


Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Did you know that October was deemed Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Reagan in 1988? I had no idea. I first heard that last night at the baby memorial we attended at Portland Adventist. October 15th at 7pm is the time to remember lost babies all across the country.

Nate and I were a little nervous (me more so than him) at entering a room full of strangers with whom we would shortly be sharing our loss. It wasn't a therapy session, but rather just a reminder of our baby. A harpist played several pieces of music, an incredible soloist performed a song, each baby's name was called out and a leaf placed on a tree in their memory, and a doctor who experienced his own loss prayed. The service was perfectly timed, not too lengthy, not too short. We spent some time afterward connecting with couples who had lost little ones for various reason.

I'd never really thought about all the different reasons a baby could die. It was a bit shocking to hear some of the different stories, especially from couples who had no answers. It made me grateful that we know why Nathaniel died.

The only picture I have from last night was one I took with my phone as we left our neighborhood for the hospital. The weather the last few days has been incredible! I'm loving it!

We left the memorial last night with several things in hand: a baby gift from the hospital, the leaf with Nathaniel's name on it, a white rose with a pendant in the shape of tiny feet, and fudge (Laurie, it was probably some of the smoothest fudge I've ever had! Amazing!).

I had a couple more pictures I wanted to attach to this post, but blogger is being stubborn! I'll post them as soon as I can.

Thanks for visiting!


The Colors of Fall

Nate and I visited Nathaniel's grave on Friday night, as that day was the two week mark of his birth. I thought about going out there all day as I worked and whenever I had Nate on the phone I reminded him about our plans. I'm sure it was eating at me in a weird way, but I didn't immediately feel sorrowful or upset. I had to work on my BSF study for Saturday morning so I spent the afternoon by the fire with coffee, working away.

I got frustrated with the study, though...I spent an hour reading the notes on the wrong one and then had to start all over again reading the right study. Argh. That frustration with the notes led into being frustrated with the study itself-I kept getting mad and confused at the questions. And I was distracted! Knowing all these medical bills are going to start descending on us soon, combined with the death of my Volvo in another 20,000 miles and the subsequent need to buy a different car, I was not completely focused. So it was 4 hours or so before I finished what takes me on any other day 1.5 hours. As time went on I had to work faster so that I could be done by the time Nate arrived home from work. As I was rushing through the study, I kept thinking about my strong desire to take flowers to Nathaniel's grave, but how that costs money. (I'd thrown out all of the dead bouquets from our house earlier in the day, so we couldn't reuse any of those flowers, and who would want to anyway!) We have a change jar which is holding the start of our savings for our early summer trip to Alaska in 2008, so I pulled some quarters from that to buy flowers at New Seasons.

For Nathaniel's funeral I had carried a bouquet from New Seasons. When the assistant manager of the flower department found us in there panicked about which flowers to coordinate for the bouquet, she immediately took over and gave us about $75 in flowers for our $25 budget. She knew that we were headed to the funeral of our son and so she said it was her gift to us. When we arrived back at the floral department on Friday night, she was in there again. Nate and I each picked out a rose and asked her if we could wrap them up before paying for them since they were dripping wet. She asked if we needed water and I told her no, they're headed to where they need to be right now. She took the roses, wrapped them up beautifully, handed them back to us, and told us again that they were her gift to us.

When we got back into the car I began sobbing. I kept looking at the roses and seeing a special blessing from God. I felt His message of provision and control. He has us wrapped up in His arms and He's going to make things come together in ways we can't imagine. I look at the blessings I've already experienced through Nathaniel Micheal, and can only wonder at the blessings on other people that I don't see. God's at work in this, I know it, and I know that He's not leaving us out to dry. Those roses represented a promise to me of hope. One was deep red and the other was bright, fallish orange. Past and future. It's all going to come together!


A breather

After the funeral, Nate and I whipped home and prepared ourselves to get away for the evening. We packed a bag and headed to Cannon Beach. What a wonderful gift! We stayed in a warm, comfy (albeit sometimes chokingly smoky) room overnight and then enjoyed the town in the morning. It was a great way to take some time to remember the previous week and simply revel in each other's company.

When we returned home, our house was filled with gorgeous flowers! Thank you!


October 2

When we said goodbye to Nathaniel at the hospital, Nate and I knew that we hated the idea of waiting too long to have his funeral. We wanted to know where he was and not worry about him as he traveled through the hospital and funeral services system. He died from omphalocele (actually, a variation of that disease), and I couldn't imagine knowingly putting his little body through any more.

So we set the funeral date for Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 12 noon.

The weather broke just enough for us to have a graveside service; I absolutely did not want to have the service inside. I wanted to spend time with him where he'd remain.

Nate and I were able to be alone with Nathaniel until the service started, which was wonderful. We needed that extra time to prepare ourselves for what followed. Everyone was sent to the outdoor tent that was set up, and Nate and I followed along behind the funeral home director. Nate carried Nathaniel and I held on to some flowers. The service was quick and memorable. Jeff led the services for us, which was wonderful.

There were so many friendly faces there with us!


Friends & Fam

I wanted to include some pictures of some of the people who so faithfully sat with us at the hospital, but I can't figure out their orientation. But you guys know who you are! We didn't get to see them all that often, but knowing they were there was encouraging. Honestly, going into this, Nate and I had no idea how we wanted things done. We weren't sure we'd want family or friends in the room at all, but we played it by ear, and I don't think we'd do it any other way! It was soo good to see so many faces...it broke up the four days a little bit. So kudos to all you for your faithfulness! It meant so much to Nate and I to have you there with us. We love you! I want to remember everyone who stopped by: Mom & Dad, Rae Ann, Stella, & Ivy, Linsea, Dave & Tiffani, Karen & Rick, Linda, Grandma Jo, Grandma & Grandpa Mac, Tim, Laurie, Diane, & Peggy.

Last weekend, Nate and I spent a good amount of time in solitude; well, practically. We spent a good deal of time on the phone reconnecting with friends/clients and working with Mom to plan the funeral. Suzi was in town (along with Karina - she could only stay through to Monday, though) so on Monday night we went out to dinner.

It was a fun way to relax a little before the funeral on Tuesday! The little girlies made it delightful :)