Today was a different sort of day...I've been pretty emotional for the last couple weeks as we led up to September 28th, so, needless to say, I've been pretty up and down today! Personally, I can't believe it's been a year since we lost Nathaniel.
September 25th was an anniversary for us also - it was the day we checked into the hospital after finding out that he was 1) dying and then 2) had died. So this past Thursday was a tough day also, but then the days in between passed in sort of a blur. We spent September 25-28 at the hospital working to deliver Nathaniel last year, so they all sort of clump together in my mind as something remarkable and meaningful now. Who knows what next year will feel like!
Since being put on bed-rest, I've not been able to shop at New Seasons, which I must say I've missed. There are so many familiar faces there - such nice people that I've gotten to know over the last year. When we stopped by this morning, Amy was available to put together our bouquet (she helped us last year when we stopped in on our way to Nathaniel's funeral).
She did an amazing job! We stopped by the cemetery and placed the flowers on Nathaniel's grave. It was then that it really hit me that we're a family of four now. Even though he's gone and this baby hasn't been born yet, there are four of us in our family unit. Nathaniel's not here, but I know where to find him - this baby is biding her time until she's ready to come, but she's pretty easy to locate also...I felt a sense of calm and completeness as I thought about our family.
In case you can't read it, I'll type out what his stone says:
Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever and love me I pray
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there
We decided on using that on Nathaniel's stone after church last December - we had sung "Away in a Manger" and were touched by the final verse, so we used it!
I submitted an article to the Brief Encounters newsletter about the changes that have taken place in Nate's and my relationship over the last year and it was so timely - he read it this morning before we left the house. The last year has been incredible...It's hard to really explain how today felt and how we found our way through it. We've spent the evening watching movies and going through Nathaniel's photo album and memory book and just talking through some of our thoughts and what we've learned over the last year.
The last few days have been a strange walk down a lane filled with some tough memories. Where I was able to embrace and work my way through the situation we found ourselves in last September with a bit of humor, that was because I was overwhelmed and in emergency mode. This year was just a bit more raw (in a totally different way from last year), simply because it was an undesirable anniversary, one you'd never expect to find yourself processing. We had a lead-in to this anniversary (a full 365 days), so it wasn't as jarring as last year, but still...
So I'm rambling, but now I think I'll bring it to an end! Let me just say this, though: I feel just as blessed by my husband today as I did a year ago. God has been good to us!