Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September Rememberings

It was 10 years ago last June that my husband and I were married.  I had graduated from college that May and my husband had just 3 classes left to go.  {He finished the following December.}  By September of that year, school had started again and we were living in Knoxville, TN.  I loved Knoxville.  Still do!  There's not a more beautiful place than the Smokey Mountains.  Especially in the fall.  It's almost magical. 

That September was stressful for me.  We didn't have much money.  My husband's job was a good one, but it didn't start up until mid to late September.  I was working at a day care which didn't pay well, and he was doing odd jobs for a little bit of money here and there.  

We also had a "job" on the University of Tennessee campus.  You know those annoying people that scream at you to sign up for credit cards in exchange for a free T-Shirt at ball games?  Yep!  That was us!  Jeremy did all the convincing  hawking  yelling.  {That man could sell a snow cone in a blizzard!}   All I had to do was smile and hand out credit card applications and ink pens.  After they signed up, I'd give them a free T-shirt.  {We don't even believe in credit cards, let alone have one, but we had to pay rent, and a college bill here.}

Then September 11th happened.  That was a shocking day to say the least.  Living near Oak Ridge, TN  was something I had never considered previously.  Everyone was worried that we'd be targeted too.   Our day care manager had all kinds of ideas to protect the children in case something should happen at Oak Ridge.  None of them would have done any good.  If something was going to happen, it was going to happen.  It was just a waiting game.  Very surreal, to say the least. 

It was a crazy time.  There was so much going on in our lives at that time.  Looking back,  I can't remember just when it happened, but I lost our first baby sometime that month.  

I was young,  only 22.  I didn't know what it was like to be pregnant.  I had a "feeling" but chalked it up to being newly married and imagining things.  I had always wanted to be married and have babies, so it was easy for me to tell myself that I was "imagining" it all.   I also knew that my husband wasn't prepared for that yet, given our financial situation.  I thought about buying a pregnancy test, but we couldn't even afford food at the time.  We were lucky to have a cheese sandwich with our Ramon once a week.  Butter, milk, cheese, bread...all of these were luxuries to us.  {I remember the first time I bought a jar of jelly!  I was so excited.  We were rich!  And we rationed that jelly too.)  I hinted about some of my symptoms to my husband, but he's never been one to take a hint {not to mention men don't know about these things} and so I just didn't say anything.  I figured if my "feelings" were right, we'd know for sure before long. 

It's been ten years, and yet I remember it all - in a jumbled sort of way.  I can't remember what day I lost the baby.  I know it was a Sunday and we were at church.  I know I went home sick because I KNEW at that point what had happened and I knew there was nothing I could do about it.  I felt like I had allowed it to happen because I didn't do anything about it, and yet, what could I have done?  I also knew that my diet had been worse than lacking.  I felt so many things that day, but I can't remember the details.  Was it before or after September 11th?  I don't know.  I can't remember.   I was sure the baby was a girl though.  We named her Kendall Noelle.  There were so many emotions and feelings and thoughts and regrets.  

Could I have changed anything?  I don't know.  Was it my fault?  I don't know.  Maybe if I had eaten better it wouldn't have happened...???  I don't know

I do know that God has promised not to give us more than we can handle.  I know that He has made a way for us and we simply need to trust Him.  He knew it was all going to happen the way it did.  He was there through it all.  He is faithful when we are not.  

So, every September, I remember my baby.  I remember the things that we went through, but more than that, I remember that God was faithful.  I love the fall.  I love the feeling in the air.  I tend to feel a special nearness to God in the fall.  It's as if you can just see Him in His creation and feel Him in the cool breezes - more in the fall of the year {and maybe the spring too} than any other time of year.  

And so, while I know it's wrong to wish for things that are not, and I know it's not good to wonder "what if..".  I still allow myself the time to reflect on things that are in my heart in and in my past.  And I realize that those memories are becoming more and more happy.  You see, time heals.  I can remember my baby with joy now.  

I still cry when I hear a story of  a mom whose lost her child.  I will always wonder what that baby would have looked like or enjoyed doing, but I also know that God had a purpose for that child other wise she never would have been.  Even if all she did was bring me to a deeper faith, or enable me to help someone else in such a situation.  One day, I will see that baby and, although it will be a first for me, I will know her and she will know me!  God is so good us!!

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  1. Thank you. Your blog is such an encouragement.

  2. Angela, I love that you have shared this post. It is special to me because thru your loss you encouraged and loved me thru my time of loss as well. I love you, Jeremy, & your children as well!

  3. Thank you for sharing! you are a blessing

  4. Angela, I feel that same "closeness to God" feeling you described in the fall. I always assumed it was because I got saved in the fall. September 30, 2001, actually...almost 10 years ago. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you! :)