Monday, June 8, 2009

Holding him in my Heart.

Once upon a time I loved to hear the question from others, "How many children do you have?" With pride and confidence I would proudly state, "I am the Mother of 5 children!" We have been blessed with 4 boys and 1 little girl! I would simply say my husband is #8 of 10 and I am #1 of 6! We have always wanted a large family! We love babies and children and we are planning on having more!

Now I dread this question. How does one answer this question after a child departs? How many children do you have? UMMMMM you feel the tears swelling up in side.....find your Poker face.....you feel the walls forming around your heart.....to keep you from losing it in front of total strangers.

I still have no idea how to answer this dreaded question. We have 4 living children and 1 in Heaven? We have 5 kids? We have 4 kids? I don't have 4 kids you want to scream! I know that I am still Sage's Mother. Even though I may not be carrying him on my hip, changing his diaper or teaching him new things or sending out birthday party invitations. What I am doing goes so much deeper than that. I am getting up everyday and facing the new day without him on my hip or in his high chair at the kitchen table. I am still staying strong in the Gospel so that one day I will be found worthy to be his Mother. I know that I was his earthly Mother and kept up my end of the deal to bring him here to give him his body. I know that he loves me because I am his earthly Mother.

So when the question arises you feel like you want the world to know that you are a Mother to 5 children. Even if you are not holding him in your arms, you are holding him in your heart, in your prayers, and in your every waking moment of your life you are desparatley holding on to your memories of him.

If anyone has an answer to this question please let me know what do you say?

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother
And I know I heard him say.

A Mother has a baby
This we know is true.
But God can you be a Mother
When your baby's not with you?

Yes, you can He replied
With confidence in His voice
I give many women babies
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime
And others for a day.
And some I send to fill your womb
But there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this, God
I want my baby here
He took a breath and cleared His throat
And then I saw a tear.

I wish I could show you
What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say

"We go to earth and learn our lessons
Of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much
I got to come straight here."

I feel so lucky to have a Mom
Who had so much love for me
I learned my lesson very quickly
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep
On her pillow's where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
And whisper in her ear
"Mommy don't be sad today
I'm your baby and I'm here."

So you see my dear sweet one
Your children are OK
Your babies are here in My home
And this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with me
Until your lesson is through
And on the day that you come home
They'll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start.
(Jennifer Wasik)

17 comments:

Marie said...

I haven't lost a child so won't pretend to know what to say, but I know others who have been in the same situation, I've heard them say "I have 5 children, 4 on earth and 1 in heaven." Or some might say "I had 5 but lost one" though I think that would be harder to say without crying. I would keep on saying you have 5 children, because you do. Sage will always be your son!

Jessica Caldwell said...

You will always have five children no matter what and if you guys choose to have another one then you are the proud mother of six children.
I'm so sorry for you and Spencer I love you two so much

stevensprecious said...

I have never left a comment before, but I thought I could share the response my mother-in-law uses. She lost a daughter at 8 years old. When someone asks her how many children she has, she says 9. She tells me it is easier now because many of her children are grown and out of the house. People naturally ask about where they are, and she says that so-and-so is doing whatever that child is doing. When she gets to Janet, she simply tells them that Janet is in the spirit world.
I am sure it took her sometime to get to the point where she can tell it like that, but she says that that takes care of the "what do I say when they ask about my children" question. I hope that helps.
Rayne Robinson

Stephanie said...

You should always say PROUDLY..."I am the mother of 5 beautiful children!!"
In your heart, arms, or in heaven, they are all still your children!
I'm sure that is such a hard converstation to get into though.

Sharron said...

Dear Crystal & Spencer,
You have five children. You always will. One is grown and has gone on. You are still raising four. Never forget that. If others want to let you know that they have more kids and so you don't "understand", ignore them, pity them and go on with the wonderful knowledge that you were chosen parents to give this gift of life to one of God's special spirits. One who was so strong, valiant and righteous that he did need to be tested here on earth.

I know that I can't imagine what you are going through. To be honest, I don't think I would have stood up through it. You are in our hearts, thoughts, prayers and every day. We all wish we could do more to help you through this time in your life. Remember how much we love you.

Liz said...

Oh Sweety listen to all of the people and their advice. You have Five children! Just this weekend I was asked how many grandchildren I had and without hesitation I replied, "Nine!", because I do. Of course in the back of my mind my heart was aching and missing one of them but he is still my grandson...my celestial grandson. I know he will be waiting for me and that I will see him again as long as Grandma lives righteously. I'm sure it's hard to say 5 when all you can see is four but it's how many children God can see that counts and he see's five. Your children will have the same question to answer one day, "How many brothers and sisters do you have?" If mom and dad don't include Sage neither will they and you don't want that to happen. You want them to always remember that they have another brother. So when people ask you say it proudly and without hesitation, "I have five children!" Your children will learn from your example and do the same. Jayden will reply, "I have four brothers!" and so on. I love you and I know how hard you are stuggling but you are handling this as a true and faithful daughter of God and I'm so proud of your example.

Mariah said...

I don't always leave comments, because I usually can't see the screen through tears. I'm so sorry you have to face this. All of my friends that have faced this same question always include all of their children. You're a forever family and Sage is and will always be a part of it. The Sealing Power spans from Earth to Heaven and back again. We love you.

taunima treasures said...

I wish I can answer that for you, my heart aches for you and your emptiness that you feel. With my littlest one in California, I still answer to having 7 children 1 girl 6 boys, as a mom, I almost feel that the basket is half filled because of the void in my little family and I can't imagine how you must feel. I can offer my prayer that each day will pass with comfort that you will see him again and that's a blessing in knowing that we've been taught this great plan of salvation!I can imagine what you must feel when at the end of the day walking around tugging in each kid knowing that there's one more to be tugged in only to find that place empty...I am very sorry for that. Hang in there my eternal sister, our Father in Heaven is carrying you and your heartaches as he does mines, just sometimes, we fall short of believing that but that's just because we are humans and to err is that. May we all get through this one day at a time!

Mom2anAngel~and~a miracle said...

I read often and can't remember if I left a comment before but I am the mother of 3. 2 with wings and one with feet. It took me 11 years to bring a baby home after a m/c in 93 and a stillborn in 2006. I proudly claim all of them. I use to be scared of having to explain it to people, especially ones that knew I ws pregnant but hadn't seen me in a while. "how's the baby?" to respond "we lost him" nearly drove me batty so I let them know, he got his wings early and is my angel. It does get easier. (((HUGS)))

Sheryl said...

This is a question where you don't realize how many times people ask it until it hurts so much every time you have to answer it. Such a simple question becomes so hard to answer after you've lost a child.

When people ask, I always say we have 6 and a seventh on the way. It's not always easy though - but I answered 5 one time when I didn't feel emotionally able to deal with the question and my 7 year old daughter gave me the saddest look and asked me why I didn't include Esther. It broke my heart. So part of my answer is that I do it for my other kids too - because I always want them to hear me include Esther. When I'm out with the kids, the public only sees one girl and 4 boys. My daughter will often get comments about being the only girl, and she always corrects the person and tells them that she does have a sister but she died. I'm glad she does - I don't want Esther to be forgotten.

But I understand that you don't always feel like talking about it to the cashier at the grocery store who is casually asking and whom you will never see again too. It's gotten easier for me to say it and as time has passed I even find myself feeling better about my answer of 6/7 because it gives me the chance to let the world know of a sweet little girl that we miss so dearly that they don't see following behind me at the store or playing with her siblings at the park. But it always hurts.

Miss B said...

I work at Banner Desert as an RN in Labor and Delivery. I am not sure how I found your blog, but I have been following it for awhile now.

I work as one of the bereveament counselers in Labor and Delivery and this is a question that I hear daily from my grieving parents.

What we have learned from other parents, you will feel like you cheated yourself and Sage if you answer 4. You will feel much better if you answer 5.

I am asked all the time if I have brothers, and I always answer yes. We lost our only brother at 8 months gestation. Not to long ago someone said wow 4 girls, I bet your parents wished they had a boy and it broke my heart that he wasn't aknowledged, so although it isn't all together the same, I understand what our patients are telling us, and that is why we teach them to always state how many you have.

Please let me know if you need anything at all, We have a huge lending library of books on grief, sibling grief, grandparent grief, etc. I will be more then happy to drop some books in the mail for you.

Feel free to email me aznativern@gmail.com

May you find comfort,

Miss B

christina-defining moments said...

I lost a son due to a miscarriage in my second trimester last October. He was our only son. I am pregnant now with my 3rd daughter. My oldest is 5 and whenever someone asks that dreaded question she always tells them about her brother in heaven. I usually can't look at the person after that as I know that if i do they will see the pain that is still there and will be there forever. I did get to hold him for a little while but as you know it was not long enough. Thank you for posting that poem. While we are not in the same situation, losing a child is not something either of us wanted. I will be praying for you.

BeckyinQC said...

You have gotten such good advice here that there is not much more I can add. But, I did want to tell you how good it makes me feel when I hear Garrett answer the question to include his sister. He still is so proud of her and refuses to forget or let anyone else forget either. Taryn wasn't born yet, and she still doesn't fully understand. I also feel gratitude that my mother includes her in the "count" when she is asked the question as well.

I know how difficult this question is. Even 5 years later, I sometimes stumble over the words when asked this. I always feel better when my answer includes her. It may make some people uncomfortable, but it's better for me (like the nurse said) if my answer includes her - whether it's the long or short version.

Jess said...

you have 5 children. You have 4 gourgeous boys and 1 beautiful girl. People might ask their ages and you simply tell them and when you et to Sage, you tell them how old he is and that he is living with the Lord in eternal happiness.

Chandy said...

Crystal, you have and will always have 5 children. No matter how people try to define it for you, you have 5 beautiful children, 4 boys and 1 girl...

Hugs, Carolyn

Sue said...

Five children. You have five.

Bubeaner said...

You have 5 children....

We lost my brother at 20 years old from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. I was 21. That question was always so painful and difficult to know how to answer, I can't imagine how much harder it was for my parents. While taking a course the next summer I came upon this poem: http://www.poemsonly.com/poems/fpseven.php.

It's been 10 years. As a sister, it gets a little "easier" to answer with time. It's like an old sports injury. It's not as painful as when it happened, but you can still feel it. You are different, you move differently, because of it. And there are those days when it really hurts again... like weddings, showers, milestone birthdays, births, etc.

Praying for you and your family.

Ruth
And I am the oldest of six....