Monday, January 21, 2013

Ezra James Saffeels

I think about Ezra a lot.  I don't even know how many times a day I realize I've been sitting in the same place just caught up in my thoughts about my sweet baby.  Last week I walked to the cemetery.  I was having a hard day and wanted to be as close to him as possible.  I'm so thankful we chose to bury him in Belcrest cemetery.  It really is a beautiful place.  I was sitting on the grass looking at his little resting spot.  There is a temporary placard that says Ezra J. Saffeels at the top.  There is a little green cup filled with white daisies from my in-laws.  There is a cute little rubber duck dressed in a pumpkin, put there by my Dad, and a tiny ceramic pumpkin from my sister.  Pumpkins will always make me think of Ezra.  He was our little October pumpkin baby.

As I sat by his grave, I couldn't stop thinking about how different the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 have been.  It's been the new year for almost a month and everyone's been talking about the fresh start and new goals that come with this time of year.  Parts of my life are beginning to settle into a new routine.  As January has come and is almost gone, some normal activity has returned.  But a huge part of my heart, the mommy part, is having the most difficult time letting go of  2012.  My heart is still so deeply wrapped up in the moments of joy and anticipation.  In the moments of saddness and sorrow.  It is so hard to think about moving forward when all my heart wants to do is go back and remember.  The further I get from Oct. 14th, the more I desperately want to cling to every moment I spent with my sweet baby.

As I sat by his grave I looked around.  A tall, leafless tree towered above his little spot.  When we picked the plot it was so important to me that it was by a tree.  I don't know why, but for some reason it comforted me that he wouldn't be buried out in the wide open space of the cemetery.  Belcrest is unlike any other cemetery I've ever seen.  It has rolling slopes, is spattered with clusters of trees, and has a small pond surrounded by benches and shrubs.  It sometimes reminds me of a park.  And though
it isn't my baby's home, it's the place I can go and sit and be close to where he lays.  It holds the memory of the last moments I spent with my baby.  The last time I got to hold him and kiss his sweet little nose.  The last moment I got to see his sweet little face and cuddle him close to me. The moment we said goodbye here on earth until we truly meet him for the first time in Heaven.

As I sat there in the quiet fog I kept thinking about all the life I experienced with my little Ezra in those 9 months.  Before I even knew he was there, my body was already changing and working hard to grow that sweet little boy.  I remember the incredible feeling of awe I felt when I saw the words pregnant on the home test I took that Sunday in February.  Pregnant.  That one word changed my life forever.  I was a mom, even in that early moment.

Throughout those 9 months I was continually amazed to watch the life of my baby boy form and grow.  I loved the numerous ultrasound appointments, where Ezra went from looking like a little jelly bean to a fully formed precious baby.  I loved seeing his little profile and watching his sweet little fingers reaching to touch his toes.  I thank The Lord for those amazing, tearful moments where we got to sit and watch our sweet little boy living life already.  Ezra was so active.  From the first time I felt Ezra moving at 16 weeks, he made his presence known with little wiggles and kicks everyday.  I loved every squirm I felt.  He was an early mover and Tim was able to feel him a week after I did in week 17.  I will always cherish our nightly ritual of laying in bed and watching Ezra kick and push and seeing my belly move.  What a sweet, precious life God gave us to watch in those moments.

This is the first time I've been able to write anything since we lost Ezra.  I've sat down numerous times to try and have always been at a loss for what to say.  In these past few months, I've been in a place I never thought I'd be.  I've been trying to live life a day at a time with a broken heart and a hole in my life that I thought would be filled with Ezra.  The words of many songs hold a
new meaning after losing him.  In those days we spent at the hospital, the lyrics from the song, "It is Well" kept playing through our heads.  The line, "when sorrows like sea billows roll" is such an accurate description of grief.  It really does roll over you like the motion of waves.  Sometimes it is like a small, calm wave.  Definitely present, but not enough to drown you.  And other moments it's unharnessed power crashes over you and makes you feel helpless and pinned down by it's strength.  But through every wave of grief we know we can hold tightly to our Savior, our only hope in those moments, and be able to say, " It is well".

Over these past 3 months God has been teaching me so much as I grieve and miss my precious son.  It is a tricky phase to navigate.  Life and people are normal around you, but you feel anything but normal.  How do you function in your life when you don't feel like the same person you were 3 months ago.  You lean hard on Jesus, that's how.  I am a different person and I will never be the same as I was before.   And I know that is okay.  We have a long road of healing ahead of us.  I don't expect closure from this loss.  There will never be closure and I will always miss my baby, even though I know I will reach a point where it becomes less painful to live each day without him.  Ezra will forever be a part of our life, a part of our story.  My sweet little boy came into my life and changed me.  Are there moments that I wish I could go back and at least get to meet him in person?  To be able to see his sweet little eyes open, to feel him move in my arms instead of inside me, to hear his sweet little cries and coos?  Everyday I battle those thoughts and would love to have those memories.  But do I trust that God is good and that He will, "work all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose"?  Yes, I do.  Losing Ezra was the most awful and painful thing I have ever gone through, but I know God will use this terrible experience for good in my life and others.  It is not what I would have chosen, but I trust that God has good yet to come.

Sweet Ezra James, you taught me so much in your short 9 months.  You left your mommy in awe of the miracle of life.  As I held you in my arms in the hospital and saw your sweet little face, your tiny fingers and toes, and your cute little nose, Psalm 139 meant so much more.  Each little life truly is "fearfully and wonderfully made".  I have learned not to take a single moment for granted that God has given me with the people I love.  Life is a precious gift.  You also taught me that this is not my home.  You have already met our precious Savior and experienced your true home sooner than we expected.  Though I wish so badly that I could have held you longer, I am so thankful to know that someday when I reach my true home in Heaven, I will not only meet my Savior, but I will get to truly meet you face to face.  I've loved you from the moment I found out about you, Ezra, and will continue to love you each day of my life.