Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thinking more on Easter's past...

Looking back. I do it and then it just kills me.

But I've been remembering Easter years ago - when we hosted everyone, all the Carpenter kids... way back in 2002 and 2003 when we lived in C-Ville. Easter and April hold so many memories for me now - for us. And it's still just all wrong. I loved our growing family - growing up, growing in numbers through marriage and children. I married into a family that I grew to adore and just believed would always be there...when they are younger than you, you just expect that. Kinda like your own children - you are supposed to go first.

There are good days ahead, I know this, and I look forward to them - but I won't stop missing those we lost... I can't help that. I'm sorry. But I can't help it. We lost so much last year...and really in some ways I believe it is only beginning to sink into my reality.



While rummaging back in Picasa, I found that I had visited my brother and his wife in Philly in 2007 - in March. I had been to Philly before (Army/Navy game). But to realize that in '07 I visited my brother there while he was in Wharton grad school - in March of all times - I just didn't realize that visit took place in March, until just now. That phrase, "little did I know" pops into my head...little did I know then, that Philly would be our home only three years to the month, three years later down the line. I know I also breezed through Philly later in '07 for a short hour or so visit while traveling back to VA from NY while pregnant with Lillian - again, "little did I know"...little did I know I'd be delivering my second child there in that very city. Life is just weird. That's all I can say.
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May is starting. I want to stay in safe April, where at least I know she had this month in full.

14 days and she is gone again. That's what it feels like anyway. I loose her again in 14 days. And I can't stress enough - I have no idea where a year of my life has gone - I am not a year away from May 2010. Not even close.  This kind of thing, if I step outside of it for a moment and observe it - "grief" we'll go ahead and call it - is a weird phenomenon. It changes your relationship to everything, most especially Time. At least for me.

14 days and it's a year since sweet, wonderful Marie. I still feel as though perhaps that just is incorrect information and I can wake up from that part of this nightmare....

Maybe this time around I'll do better - since I know it's going to happen - since I know all about May 14th and since truly it happened already. And busyness and Life and a three year old (all wonderful that she is) - and everything that demands even some of the little brain power I can muster up will keep me swiftly moving along without really much time to do more than note, from time to time, when I get the time, just how this all really is inside me, what I really feel - so, I'm fine, no worries. I'm okay, the bottom line is I don't have the time to not be. I do have things I hope to get time to post here and if I can do that - it will be good. I'll be glad for that. In the meantime - life goes on, and that is always the problem... life goes on and moves us all with it, breath caught or not...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter. Remembering.


Easter last year. It was earlier in April than this year. Gwen's Uncle Bob and Aunt Nelly came to visit. They were only a handful of loved ones who would get to meet her in person. Aunt Becca was there. Uncle Patrick, Becca's husband, had flown in previously for a weekend visit. Gwen met both grandmothers and her living grandfather, all while in Philly.

I remember Easter most especially not because it was the day before she was to be discharged, but because Aunt Becca and I shared a quiet moment, just the two of us, on Easter morning with Gwen. We sang to her my favorite hymn. It has celtic roots so it was fitting to sing it to my "St. Patrick's day baby."

What I forgot, until Gwen's funeral, was the exact history of the song. It is connected both to Easter and to St. Patrick himself. The history I will cut and paste below, after the photos. When you read it you will note as I did - how fitting a song it was for Easter and for Gwen.

My favorite hymn now is sad to me, yet also more beautiful. And Easter now always bitter-sweet.

These days, time is winning.  I think every second of all of "this" and I can't spend a moment digesting it all…all the pain and anguish that still lives fully inside me. But I Hope - I Hope that God didn't want to loose Gwen far more than we didn't want to and I know Easter speaks to that.

I'm not at peace about Gwenyth and that day, and all that's happened since we lost her - I am not that strong. Instead I'm able to haggle out some type of peace-like truce, moment by moment, with all as is. And not with how, or why, all that has happened has happened, but with just here and now regardless, because it doesn't matter and it will never square or settle.

Regardless of personal circumstance, there's just so much to try do in a world so rampant with imperfection and forces beyond human control. Someday, as I get better at haggling and am not so exhausted afterward, I hope to channel what I can of "all this" towards trying to do something useful.

So, these days I square only with the sadness and a longing and try to give the "unforgiving moment" my time and energy.

For Easter, all I've got to say is hopefully, "it is finished" and someday separation will be no more. 

Till then, God make me worthy of my friends, my family, my daughters.

 
Earlier in April, little Gwenyth all swaddled.



 
Uncle Patrick visits.


Aunt Becca enjoys holding sweet Gwen.

A sweet moment with her daddy and mommy.

Easter and a special hand-me-down dress from Lillian. Uncle Bobby and Aunt Nelly gave Lillian this dress which she wore to their wedding. Since they were visiting for Easter it was the perfect outfit to choose. It even matched the adorable "cat booties" Gwen's Grammy had bought for her.






Uncle Bobby and Aunt Nelly give Gwenyth a lamb blanket for Easter: 




 



Discharged from CHOP - the day after Easter:

 

 Grammy with her two granddaughters.






 
At the apartment in Philly, the day after Easter, my two girls.


 
Gwenyth at home in Virginia


Be Thou My Vision, the Song and the Story
St. Patrick (385-461 AD) was a man zealous for the things of God. As a missionary, he defied an Irish King's edict that restricted the lighting of candles on Easter Eve. King Logaire of Tara had decreed that no one was allowed light any fires until a pagan spring festival was launched by the lighting of a fire on Slane Hill. Patrick chose to honor God in spite the threat of death. King Logaire was so impressed with Patrick's brave devotion, he let him continue his missionary work unhindered.

An 8th Century Monk, Dallan Forgaill penned the words to Be Thou My Vision, as a tribute to St. Patrick's wholehearted loyalty to God. The hymn was translated from Irish to English in 1905 by Mary E. Byrne. In 1912, Eleanor H. Hull arranged the song into the verse most commonly found in English hymnals today. The music to accompany the lyrics is an ancient Irish folk tune called Slane. 
 


Be Thou My Vision


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.




Saturday, April 9, 2011

Video problem solved - they are all working now....

In the blog posts here: Gwen's Birthday post and here: My post leading up to her birthday the videos are at last, up and running for good. I finally got technology to do what it was supposed to do (and I really am quite sure I would have found a high bridge to drop this computer off of had I not been married to such a smart "computer guy" ;).

Well, enjoy Gwen's sweetness, and Lil too. And thank you. It means so much to share her with you.

Thinking of Gwenyth...and springtime

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sister's By Heart

I can't get the time that I want to be post here what I want to...but please for now, spend a moment seeing what my lovely "Heart-Sister's" are blogging about.

There is a video of Travis here, whom so recently lost his battle with CHD and left his family full of so many adorable and sweet memories but also, so much heart-break. There is a feature on "Bummer Bears" as well as Gwen's dear "angel" friend Mia's, "Heart Charms" (I love my Mia Marrone Heart Charm - Lillian thought it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen).

Also, here you can read about a documentary on CHD that is finally released for purchase (I can't wait to buy it and see it). And while we're speaking of videos, I also hope to one day watch, Something the Lord Made. But I suppose it will be a while till I can actually watch either of those, since well, my own little "movies" still play in my head any pretty much any second I don't have something occupying my mind.

Sister's By Heart blogspot