(posted with permission)

My dear, dear Amy,

I wanted to take a moment at this memorable time and write to you about how sorry I am for the loss of your beloved Joshua.

And I tried; really I did.

But somehow along the way when I tried to write about sorrow, it turned into joy and when I tried to write about loss, it turned into thanksgiving. . .

I began to remember how utterly ecstatic you and Eric were when you learned you were pregnant after so long and so many trials– I rejoiced.

And I smiled as I recalled how all the PW-list went through the ups and downs of that pregnancy with you from the time he was but a secret hope nestled deep inside his mommy and invisible to the world to the wriggling reality held bundled joyfully in your arms. I recollected it all: the nausea, the aches, the pains, the fears and that tremendously .full. feeling at the end. How we all labored along with you as you brought forth that little miracle such a short time ago!

I thanked our Father that He had granted you the desire of your heart to have a miracle from your own womb to join the three miracles already in your heart and in your home. I was grateful for sharing– via our list–in the impact Joshua made on your family dynamics as you all adjusted to his schedule, his temperament, his very presence in your home.

And yet,

I do not wish to seem to minimize your sorrow, or make light of a life which ended far, far too quickly, but I gotta remind you to take comfort in the Word which tells us that we do not sorrow as those who have no hope and that we *will* see our loved ones again. Keep it deep in your heart of hearts, friend Amy that joy *does* come in the morning after nights of sorrow.

I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you at this time.

Love, LindaSue

Three Wishes for A Friend

I wish I could envelop
you in a hug four sizes
larger than your hurts.

I wish I could create a haven
for you within the wide arc
of my arms, a snuggley place
where you can hide your eyes
(for a little while) like a child
from your grown-up woes.

I wish I could give you a place
in the safety of my embrace
to escape the burden of your
sorrowful burdens.

Well-intentioned wishes
aside, I offer you rhythmic
pat-a-pat-pats of my palm
on your back in soothing
half-circle rub-scratches
as I listen to your sobs
and softly croon to you
.There, there, my friend.
.Go ahead, cry it out,.
and .It’s okay,.

and hope
that it is
enough.

–LindaSue Johnson
(5/29/2003)

Today was hard. I tried to stay busy packing boxes and a few ladies from church helped (one took the boys to McDonalds for TWO hours – there is a special reward for her in heaven LOL) and somehow the day is closing. DH bought a pie and we sung ‘happy birthday’ but I couldn’t really do it. I was just sitting there. The kids – they don’t know any better – said somethings that just cut so deep. But they are hurting too and I’m glad they are talking to us!

Sort of related, but not really….I read an interview with Gracia Burnham in “Decision” magazine today. A few things she said struck me:

When you are suffering and throwing yourself on God, that is when you are closest to Him. Amen to that!

I think of everyday as a gift now, I choose to accept the freedom that I have now as a gift and to be happy. Every day, things that I don’t know how to deal with happen to me, but I’m not going to let that rob me of my joy. I am free, and I have my kids and his wonderful house to live in. I’m not going to mope around about what happened. Of course, I wish I could change things, but that is not the plan of God. Again, what can I add but AMEN!

Thanks for all your love, support, cards and prayers….it so helps knowing that we have such good friends!

Tomorrow Joshie would have been one. This fact keeps rolling around in my brain….taunting me.

We would have invited our family and given him a cupcake in his highchair and videotaped the mess he made. I would have bathed him after and chewed on his toes like I always did after bathtime. I would have sprinkled powder over his tummy and laughed with him as I tickled him.

We would have given him a simple gift – maybe a stuffed animal or something to encourage him to walk. He would have been crawling by now! Maybe even taking a step between Mommy and Daddy.

I wonder if he’d have any teeth yet?

I wonder what color his eyes would have been once they finally stopped changing?

I wonder if he’d sleep through the night by the time he turned one?

I wonder if we’d realize what a wonderful gift we had if he was still with us?

Eric and I have been married 16 years today!!! He gave me a great card today, here are some of the things it said:

“I knew I had found a companion for the journey ahead,
someone who would stay beside me,
no matter how the road turned or where it took us….
I know we can count on each other,
and I want to go on sharing everything on life’s journey with you.”

Isn’t that great!

Ah, we are home! Back to electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, and, best of all, internet connection! LOL While I love being with my family…I just don’t handle the lack of amenities and the dirt! And, I’m not even mentioning the bugs, lizards, spiders, flies, mosquitos and rattlesnakes. Ah, nature! Not my favorite, thank you!

One thing I don’t want to forget…
the boys caught a blue-belly lizard and named him Mikey! They put him in a bucket with leaves, rocks – everything a lizard needs to feel at home. However, while showing Mikey to their 2yr old brother, Mikey lost his tail!! There was much wailing and the confirmation from Uncle Kevin (the wildlife biologist) that this was ok – Mikey could simply grow a new tail. So, each day there were Mikey ‘checks’, times when Mikey would be ‘excercised’ and times when Mikey was just observed.

But, this morning, Mikey was not moving. He was dead. Our 8 yr old was so sad. And, Eric and I heard so many familiar phrases in his cries:

But I loved him!
Why did he have to die?
I tried to make everything perfect for him?
It’s all Js(the 2yr old) fault – he held him too close!
It’s just not fair!

So, maybe the loss of a lizard is a very pale comparison to losing a son, but no matter what you loss, it hurts! And, just like so many did for us, I just held him and cried with him. Crying over a lizard, who’d ever have thought it!