Excitement and anticipation are building up in our house! Zephaniah has been waiting since June 26 (Abigail's birthday) to turn 5. We are only 5 days away from that goal! It is difficult since his birthday is always "last". There are over 3 months between his and Zion's birthday.
The thing about Zephaniah's birthday is for me it is a time that is bittersweet. I will take you back to me being approximately 8 months pregnant with him. I had attended MOPS for years. In the course of that time I met a wonderful woman named Michelle.
Michelle had children later in life than me. She was wiser and experienced. She told me it was okay when I came off of nighshift not to turn on the lights in the house.. (why did that matter you ask??) It felt like every shift as I returned at 4am, my feet would crunch as I walked across it. It was so difficult to have 3 children, work and homeschool. Crunchy floors didn't matter when the day was done! Michelle found out she had breast cancer, stage 4.
So when I was 8 months pregnant, I attended her funeral. I didn't have the right words to say. I watched her youngest son, 6 at the time, and thought about what his life would be like. Her death was only the beginning.
The week that Zephaniah was due, we received an email from my aunt. My cousin had gone into premature labor with her son. She lost Jonas the next day to Potter's syndrome, and 18 months later her second son Jeremiah to the same syndrome. We were unable to attend the funeral since I was in the hospital during his funeral, with Zephaniah.
November 12 2010 Zephaniah all 9lbs 4oz of him, entered the world. He was surrounded by so many who loved him. The same day, only a few miles away our friends had their daughter at CHOP. Zephaniah thrived. He was over 10 lbs by his follow up visit a week later. Their daughter did not. She had a heart condition, and died in January.
While Zephaniah was still in the hospital, we found out a good friend's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Daisy was not only a friends mother, but she made me and my children feel welcome. She also later died.
January 2011, we were at my aunt's house (the same one who lost 2 grandchildren) when we got another terrible call. Our dear friends lost their daughter during labor. It was a comfort to be with someone who knew about the pain we were experiencing.
Sometimes I get stuck on the "why's". Sometimes I wonder why there was so much death in that period of our lives. Prayers didn't get answered the way I thought they should.
It profoundly affected me. Five years later, I still think about loss in a different way. Mostly I like to remember. Michelle, Jonas, Jeremiah, Daisy, Liza Jane, and Jubilee. To me their lives mattered a lot.