Tuesday, September 16, 2008

That feeling because of that place

Gideon, next to a beanie baby, a few days old

Even now, 3 years later, my heart catches as I climb the stairs of Strong Memorial Hospital, open the door of the 3rd floor, make a right turn and step into the NICU.

It amazes me.

I wonder if it will always be this way.

I hope so.

We went to the hospital to visit a couple from our church who's baby girl was born last night at only 27 1/2 weeks gestation. Gideon was born at 26 week and weighted 8 oz more than she does, he was a big boy even though he was a tiny preemie. We took this couple a NICU survival kit of sorts. A bag full of goodies that will make their NICU days a little easier. As hard as it was to face our hurts and fears and all the reminders that come with the NICU it was so good to be there.

I was wondering what this first time mother was thinking. How she was feeling? What questions did she have? What, if anything, does she know about the NICU? What, if anything, does she know about our story? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I knew I had the answers to some of these questions but to get to those answers I would have to go to that place. I didn't know if I wanted to go to that place. I didn't know if my mind would allow it. What is that place? It's the sacred place in my heart where memories both good and bad of Gideon and our time in the NICU are stored. That place is a hard place to go sometimes, especially when it gets closer to Gideon's season which it is. (I consider Gideon's season October 31 - January 1st) Sometimes I don't allow myself to go to that sacred place. This may sound weird but sometimes I want to go there but my mind doesn't allow it. This time I allowed it and my mind cooperated. I was thankful. I was able to recall emotions and thoughts that I forgot were there and I think it was very helpful.

Healing that's what I would call what Seth and I did today. It was so healing to be able to give this young couple a few ins and outs of NICU life. I never thought that 3 years later there would be this much healing that needs to be done but I'm learning that the healing never stops. The pain goes down tremendously almost even completely. When you love someone and then lose them the place that they had in your heart will always be empty. There will always be a boo boo, it will always need ointment because it never completely heals. There are times that it won't need as much attention but I think in many ways a band aid of the heart will always be needed. I've never thought that Gideon's life was in vain but getting to do things like this, getting to use the knowledge that we gained in the NICU, helps me see the bigger picture of why things happened the way they did. There is a purpose in everything the Lord allows us to struggle through we just have to find out what that purpose is.


Sarah Snyder said...

What an awesome thing to be able to reach out and help someone else who you can relate to in such a powerful way. God really does use our pain for good.

Melissa said...

This is a great post....very touching!!! I am so sorry about your sweet baby Gideon; I just can't even fathom the feeling of losing a child....You are a very strong, God-loving, special person to use your grief to support someone else.

Michelle said...

Thanking you for posting Tarah!

Although I cannot fathom being in your place. I can understand in some way what you are talking about when you describe the place in your heart that will always need healing, a little ointment. I appreciated how you described the feeling. It's a place many of us have to accept as part of life. It's the place only God can bandage. And praise God that he never retires!

So glad you could be a blessing to this other family!

G. said...

I'm sure you and seth were a blessing to this couple and were able to really relate to them because you had "been there."
Beautifully written (typed) words, Tarah. :)

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

I think it is awesome that God was able to use you guys to minister to this young family. I know it must've been hard, but you've got a crown in Heaven waiting for you for your obedience and willingness to minister.

Sarah Snyder said...

Hey Tarah, I was wondering how this family was doing. I've been thinking about them every so often.