Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Brand New Day

A brand new day

This past week has been a trying week. This post is going to be a combination of things and at times will probably not make much sense, but I have to get out some of what is on my mind. This is not a happy post and deals with the loss of a child, so if you are pregnant, you may not want to read any further.

First let me say that the tragedy in the gulf coast has not been forgotten by me and I am doing what I can to help the efforts here in Houston to make the lives of those poor people a little bit better, but last week another tragedy affected me far more deeply.

Last Wednesday I received a phone call from a friend with horrible news. My friend T and her husband R lost their baby at 37 weeks. Almost full term. It was the last thing I was expecting to hear. T had gone in for a routine doctor's appointment to find out that little Ethan no longer had a heartbeat. Tami spent Wednesday and half of Thursday in labor and about 12:30 PM on Thursday delivered Ethan at a little over 5 lbs. It looks like Ethan just ran out of room and put too much pressure on his umbilical cord so that it stopped supplying him with what he needed. Saturday they had the funeral for Ethan and it was the most difficult thing I think I have ever done. Burying anyone close to you is never easy, but burying a child is something that no one should ever have to do. The service was beautiful and Ethans parents held up amazingly well. I did not hold up so well. I cannot begin to fathom the pain they are experiencing. My heart breaks when I see the pain they are going through and I wish that I could somehow take some of that pain away. Please keep T and R in your prayers as well as their families in this trying time. T and R have a strong faith and I am so thankful that they have God to bring them through this. It will take time to heal, but I have no doubt in my mind that they will come through this and they will do wonderful things because of this experience. It's hard to see God's lessons right now, but I can only hope that good will come out of this tragedy in some form or fashion. Rest in peace Ethan MH.

This tragedy has been very difficult for me to deal with. The death of a child to me is more tragic than most due to the fact that they haven't gotten to lead full lives. In Ethans' case, he didn't even make it out into the world. Yet he was so very loved and his short life had such an impact on so many people. Our tight group of friends has come together during this time of sorrow in a way that makes me proud to call myself a part of that group. Having someone so close to you deal with a pain so unimaginable reminds us all of our fragility and vulnerability. I remember going to bed on Wednesday night and thinking to myself how exposed I felt. Being pregnant, I cannot help but be scared for myself and my baby. Not only have my friends been rallying for T and R, but they are worried about me and as much as this event is so not about it, it makes me feel a little less exposed that so many people care. Even T herself asked me how I was feeling. How she could even think about me at a time like that, I don't know. I know that I have to stay positive and that the odds of this tragedy happening to me are low, but again I'm reminded of how fragile we are.

Many would think with an event like this, that I would be questioning my faith. It has in fact done the opposite. I have prayed so much in the last few days. In fact that is all I seem to be able to do. Until recently, faith to me has been something that others had, but not me. For some background, I was 12 years old before I had any real religious upbringing. From age 12 through 18, I was raised Jewish. I went to Hebrew school every week. I was Bat Mitzvah'd, I was confirmed and I graduated from Hebrew school. but in all those years I learned little about Faith and God was not a strong pressence in my life. (Or so I thought) At times in high school I proclaimed to be atheist or agnostic. In college I was agnostic. In the last couple years I have found faith. I tend to relate to Judaism in the "organized religion" sense, but I don't attend synagogue and due to my husband's strong faith in Christianity, I have adopted some of the principles of Christianity. With the exception of Jesus as the Son of God. I am still aligned with Judaism on this major point. I am not by any means trying to get into an argument with anyone, so please do not take that last statement as a war cry. I am merely trying to find my way, to fine my faith. I had recently decided that I would really try and give my husband's church a try. It is very important for me to show a unified front and to teach my children faith. Just because I don't have an alignment with any organized religion does not mean I do not have a relationship with God. I have a very strong relationship with God. I pray a lot, but I also know that I need to do more and be more, but I'm not sure what that is yet. I want my children to know God and to have faith in their lives. I think back to the time in my life when I didn't have faith and can tell a major difference in my happiness and the ease in which I lived my life. I am a prime example of the power of faith and I will never forget that. I needed to feel close to God this week, so I went to church with hubby on Sunday. I really don't like his church, but wanted to give it a try because he has become very involved in this church and likes it very much. I have found that I like the preaching style of Joel Osteen. He preaches in a way that is not offensive and that doesn't turn off non-Christians. I realize one of the major commitments of being a Christian is to convert others to Christianity, but that is all I feel I get from the church hubby goes to. In my mind church should be a comforting, uplifting, learning experience. The preacher at hubby's church is constantly preaching about how we are all sinners and nothing is ever good enough and opens every service with an announcement and hand out to all visitors and a call to action to become a believer. This type of talk has always turned me off. I have a lot of very good friends who have a strong faith in Christianity and I admire their faith. I can have wonderful religious conversations with these friends and never do I feel abused or lesser of a person because I do not have the same faith as them. I know that really if I don't believe in the main premise of Christianity, that I won't in theory be able to get the most out of church, but I will watch Joel Osteen preach and feel as though I am learning something and feel uplifted and want to be better because of his sermon, not feel like lesser of a person. My point in all this is where do I go from here, (hypothetical question here). I am thinking of going to a local synagogue to see how I feel about that. I am lost and still trying to find my way, but I have to find something that not only works for me, but that will work for my family. I cannot ask my hubby to compromise his beliefs, yet I have to find something that will work for both of us as we build our family.

As you can see, the tragedy of the past week has really done a number on me and I am working through a lot of things. I am talking to the baby a lot and he/she is kicking me a lot, which I take as a good sign. I treasured every movement before, but now I will for sure not take any of this pregnancy for granted.

May today find you happy, healthy and thankful for all that you have. I know that I am. God Bless.

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