16 December 2010

[shalom: Remembering Looks Different. ]

The Christmas cactus hasn't flowered this year.  And that's a very strange thing, as it is what tips me off to the time of year I'm approaching:  Shalom's birthday.  In the past, it has flowered once, even twice in the year - but it ALWAYS does the week before December 17th ... and this year? Nothing.

And every year, for the past 5 years, we have gone to see the Christmas lights in memory of the day we lost her.  It's been a family tradition - something that I clung on to each year ... making sure to document it with photos and painted word imagery.  Would you believe, that this year - the evening of December 17th is being taken up with my hubby's work Christmas Party ... there will be no time to take the family out and venture out to see the lights with camera in hand.

Which put me in a bit of a tizzy.  I'm not really sure what to make of all of it.  I was telling a friend the other night, that someone had said it well - "The hole doesn't change, but the edges get smoother."  And that's how I feel about Shalom.  My sadness for her doesn't change, but the ache kinda has.  

This leads me to a variety of thoughts.  One, I feel thankful that time seems to heal wounds to some degree.    I remember at the beginning, the thought of just being able to breathe without crumbling into a complete mess - was unimaginable.  But now - the hurt isn't nearly as jagged.  And two, I feel a little guilty ... can I really just not do anything on December 17th?  Can we just move on?  It feels almost disrespectful to the whole journey we went through ... like it didn't happen, like she didn't happen - my tiny baby girl, Shalom Hope.  What kind of mom wouldn't pay tribute??

Oh boy.  Here come the tears.

*smile*.  Wow.  Ok.   That feels good.  Maybe I just needed to type some of these things - let some of it out.  A moment of crying actually feels ... real.

I know that she will not be forgotten - but as my friend reminded me - I am not defined by our loss.  Shalom is one part of our expansive story ... a part that has it's fingerprints deep on my heart.  But I know, and live, the joy that has come since that storm.  The unimaginable blessing that God continues to shower on us, with our three children, our marriage, our families, our friends, our church, our home.

...our 2010 Christmas Card
I don't know what tomorrow will feel like ... I usually wake up to a flood of emotions - remembering the exact feeling of waking up on December 17, 2005 and not wanting to get out of bed, get dressed, head to BC Women's hospital.

But, as time would have it, instead I'll be getting up and going to Mattias' Christmas class party, and later - getting spiffed up for a yummy-food-filled-night with my hubby's work colleagues.  A far cry from 2005 - and you know, I think I'm all good with that. 

So.  The Christmas cactus didn't bloom this year.  And I think that it may be God's way of telling me that it's ok to just keep living, not forgetting, but not stopping ... to keep moving forward, keep learning, keep trusting.

Man.  I can't believe it didn't bloom ... 


Char said...

I love the way God works Himself through something so simple as a Christmas cactus. Who knew it would be such a symbolic thing for so many years. It's beautiful really. Our Heavenly Father can find ways each day to still remind us and teach us the things that He needs us to learn.

I am proud of you! Shalom, DiMeglio, your second child, will never be forgotten, she will always be celebrated as a significant part of your family. But God has been good in healing the pain of that fateful day and replacing that with joy and many things that have molded you into who you are today. And in today and tomorrow, you have been gifted with such overwhelming blessing; three healthy beautiful children, who all live to show you small parts of who she is.

Love you!

Jason and Kristin said...

Thinking of you - its really interesting How God works through little things. It's a great reminder that He is always in control and always remembers each thing that we have gone through.

Pray that your day is filled with lots of small blessings and lots of joy amidst the busyness.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tawn,

I'm having a night missing my little guy today, so it was special to hear you write about Shalom.

I'm painfully behind you in this brutal journey, but I was thinking that there is a sense in which they were, but a bigger sense in which they are. They are living and well, and every bit as much our kids as our others are. It just looks painfully different. I think you can go about her birthday carrying her in your heart, while she goes about her day that never ends carrying you in her dear little heart.

I will be thinking about you and your beautiful little girl tomorrow and remembering her birthday.


happymomlori said...

embrace the pain. don't worry about the guilty part.

buy a new flower today and think of sweet little Shalom.

start a new tradition just.for.you.

God knows your heart.

Joyful Mommy said...

It is so true...The hole doesn't go away, but the edges do get smoother. And we have moments in which we are able to celebrate our little ones without the blessing being drowned in the pain.Just as with our children here on earth, each milestone and celebration is different from the one before. And while your cactus may be taking a little time out, your love for Shalom never will. I have no doubt precious Shalom is surrounded by flowering heavenly cacti in the most brilliant shades of pink...