After my son Gabriel was stillborn, I waited a long time for my life to ‘get back to normal.’ After some time, I realized I had ‘a new normal’. I was never to be as innocent and carefree as I was before. And yet, I think maybe I am a better person in some ways, too. Perhaps more patient, more understanding, less likely to ‘sweat the small stuff.’ More tolerant. Gabriel’s short life changed me forever.
About a year after Gabriel died, I found a list I had made- a list goals; of things I wanted to accomplish. It included about ten items and had things like ‘better relationship with my husband’, ‘lose 10 pounds’, “find a way to quit work and stay home with the kids’ and ‘attend church more regularly’. I realized that every single item on that list had been accomplished as a result of Gabriel dying. Although I am not thankful for the manner it happened, I can be grateful for the growth. You can be sure I am going to someday have a conversation with my Heavenly Father- was this really the only way to get my attention?
If anyone had told me ‘this happens for a reason’ I would smack them in the head. And yet, I have to think that there was maybe a purpose. That maybe I married this particular man (an illustrator/designer) and had this particular baby to do some small good in the world.
This didn’t happen all at once. It didn’t happen overnight. But little by little I have found myself in a place I never thought I’d be. It has been over six years and I find myself the author of a blog and the owner of a website that sells awareness items. I hope that I have contributed to this world in a small way. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Not even close. But maybe better than I was.
I’ve met people I never would have met, otherwise. I have made some friends that are closer to me than people I know in real life. I have learned what is really important- my family, and my kids. I try to appreciate every minute. I try to love my kids. To hug them often and ignore the messes and just be glad that they are there to make them.
I think maybe these are gifts Gabriel has given to me.
I hope this week is gentle for you. peace- Emily