Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Years Trip to Rosemary

Daniel & I were so lucky to be able to have a time to go away the week of New Years.  Our awesome friends put things together & our AMAZING parents watched the kids all week (croup, virus & stomach bug and all)!  We went to Rosemary Beach, Florida.  It is gorgeous there, and just quiet enough this time of year to relax, reflect and unwind.  We had absolutely nothing planned and no expectations.  We just wanted to be STILL together - something we had not done in so long.  The past 6 months have been constant chaos, planning & going non-stop.  Before Gibson's birth it was doctors appointments, worrying & planning.  And after it was back & forth hospital visits, shuffling kids, worrying & planning.  
When I started this blog I almost titled it "Gibson's Trip," because I felt like this trip was for him and about him.  He never left the hospital, but he will go with us in our hearts many places moving forward.  Right after Gibson died I immediately wanted to go away - obviously that wasn't an option at the moment, but I knew the first thing Daniel & I needed to do was go be together - and alone if that makes any sense at all.  
We also decided we wanted to take the ashes somewhere beautiful and somewhere that we would visit again as a family & reflect on him & his life together. We haven't talked openly about this until now, but I feel like we have been able to be transparent about everything else and many have told us how much it has helped them in various situations.  So we wanted to share about this as well... Our decision to not have a gravesite was based on a desire for healing for our little family.  (Everyone heals differently.)  And until you're in a situation like this you have no idea the decisions you'll have to make and how you'll have to come to those decisions (so quickly).  We didn't want to take our kids to a gravesite every holiday for the rest of our lives.  We do want to strive to find ways to celebrate Gibson in those moments, but not be tied to the earthly reality of death.  And going back to my previous post, we wanted to find the beauty in this and I've clung to Isaiah 61:3 that says, "For them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called TREES of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that HE might be glorified." (KJV) 
With that in mind we chose to scatter the ashes in the ocean at sunset on New Year's Eve.  I got pregnant in January so it seemed only fitting to end the year this way.  Not that it's any sort of closure.  But I feel there was some healing that came with that specific timing for us.
All I can say after that is... God is so good.  Daniel & I both agree that after all of this we don't feel the way "the world" thinks we should feel.  We're not angry, we're not mad at God.  We're not reacting the way some would expect.  (Even the way I MYSELF would expect.)  Please, don't hear me wrong, that's nothing that WE'VE done on our own.  It's only by the grace of God and prayers & support of those around us.  But we really do feel like we can walk this out knowing that God still loves us... maybe even more than we knew before.

Rosemary is a beautiful place.  It was a really great trip.   
 Our place
We did a lot of this...
 We rented bikes
 And for some reason thought it was great idea to bike 8 miles to Seaside for lunch.  
It was a long ride back!

 Gibson's Sunset
It was overcast and cloudy that day.  I struggled with it during the day praying for a clear "sunset" for our special moment.  In reality it seemed more fitting that it were slightly overcast and there was no clear "ENDING" to the day.  Just as there is not clear ending to Gibson and his precious life and the ones it is still touching.  

 New Years Eve Night
Our last night
 One last sunrise...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gibson's memorial & video

Gibson's memorial was amazing.  Being a week after he'd passed we were secretly dreading the day.  We felt as if each day that week we'd gotten a little bit stronger.  I was worried that the emotions of going through the whole day would just knock me down again.  And yes, it was emotional.  But the best way I can describe the day was Beautiful.  Yes, even in the midst of great loss the beautiful love & grace of God abounded.  We were surrounded by those we hold so dear.  They all came together in an unimaginable way.  Our families gathered around and came from far. My dearest friends from Dallas & Nashville were there.  My MOMS club, our parent's friends, Daniel's co-workers, Gibson's nurses & doctors... the list goes on.  
And our amazing church family came together to honor Gibson and his sweet life in the most touching ways.  The service was just perfect.  They went above & beyond what we could hope for.
The night Gibson died the hospital placed a card with a beautiful tree of life on his door.  It spoke to my heart immediately.  I knew I wanted the service to be focused around a tree and Revelations 21:5, "Behold I am making all things new... these words are trustworthy and true."  From there our extremely talented friend Megan came up with the beautiful tree design.  (She will be selling prints soon for those who've asked!)  We knew what songs had spoken to us and our wonderful worship team (who are dear friends) pulled it all together and honored us with their talents.  Morgan & the team at CCC spoke to our hearts and prayed for us and we were all so moved by the sweet time together.
At the end of the day Daniel & I laid in bed and cried, not out of pain, but out of love.  We felt so completely overwhelmed in the very best way.
The tree

 Daniel's sister Sarah painted this gorgeous tree and everyone was asked to fingerprint and sign in that way.  It is so special to us.  
I will share more in the days to come about all who have blessed us so much during this time.

For now we wanted to share the video shown at the end of the service.  This is to the song "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.