Thursday, August 26, 2010

at which point i ugly-cried

over the past week, we've really been in a good place.  it's not that we don't hurt.  as a matter of fact, i can hardly look at judah's pictures without needing to wipe the tears that begin to creep down my cheeks.  but we're grieving with hope, and that kind of grieving is actually a really beautiful thing.

when i got home from the wedding i shot this past weekend, there was a box sitting on the kitchen countertop.  i asked josh if he knew what it was, and he said, "yes, your mom asked me to give it to you but she said you probably shouldn't open it tonight.  i think she knew you'd be tired from shooting the whole day and she didn't want you to get upset." 

the wheels immediately began whirling in my mind trying to figure out what could be tucked inside that brown box, but as my mom had predicted, the nonstop action of the day was catching up with me and the wheels began slowing to a crawl, eventually stopping as i finally hit the hay.  the next morning, i got up early to get the kids and me ready for church.  my plan was working perfectly...i was showered, blown dry, and putting my mascara on when the first little foot came pit-pattering into my room.  we all came downstairs, i got the kids' breakfast going, and then i set my sights on the box.  josh serves in a homeless ministry downtown on sunday mornings so he wasn't home yet, but i couldn't wait any longer so i grabbed the box, pulled off the tape, and lifted out one of the most precious gifts i've ever received...

here's what you're looking at:  my mom cross-stitched every single part of this gorgeous pillow using colors, animals, and scenery that she thought would mean something special to judah.  and the second i saw her gift, it started.  it wasn't a gradual build-up of tears or an easy entrance into weeping.  no, it was a complete, immediate, and total come-apart that only got worse as my fingers gently moved across the beautiful stitches that she worked months to complete. 

i ran to the phone, dialed her number as quickly as i could, and tried to tell her through my sobs how much her gift of love meant to me.  unfortunately, she got going as well and told me with a pitiful, cracking voice that she had originally begun the pillow with the thought that he could snuggle with it on the plane on his way home, but when he passed away, she redesigned the plan for the middle section and sent it to me as a gift of remembrance for our son. 

mom, there are no words to describe how much i love this precious gift.  it means the world to know that you invested so much of your time and heart into creating something so perfect (both for judah's life and for his death).  i love you dearly, and i'm so thankful for an amazing mom like you.

even if you did make me ugly-cry just after i finished my makeup.   ;-)

"the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away.
blessed be the name of the LORD."
job 1:21


The Taylors said...

It's even more beautiful that your description. Love this post!

The Lin Family said...

So sweet and special. Glad I just took my shower and have no make up on! Tears are flowing just looking at it. It's perfect!

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

Ugly-cried right along with you there. It's beautiful.

Giann said...

Beautiful! That melted my heart!

I love you, girl!

Anonymous said...

here i am sitting at work (working hard, can't you tell?) with tears rolling down. your mom is such a blessing to not only her family, but to those of us that are blessed to be friends. the pillow is gorgeous and i know that love was sewn in with every single stitch. thank you for sharing the beautiful and precious gifts of Judah and his pillow with us all. hugs and love from Memphis, Anna L. (now i will try to compose myself and get back to work...)

Anonymous said...

I continue to be humbled by how richly blessed I am to be part of your precious family. Rest easy, Judah in the loving hands of your Father with the sure and certain knowledge that you are deeply loved by your earthly family. Dawn

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

beautiful... just beautiful.

Anna said...

your mama is one special lady. such a beautiful treasure for you to have to remember your little guy with. i love how it's so personal to him. love you sweet friend.

Anonymous said...

It's been a long time since I've read your blog (I've been in the loop about Judah through facebook), so I decided to go back and read your words about the past few weeks, Just, wow. I have cried through most of the entrys, laughed a few times (Izzy and the markers!), and been encouraged by the scriptures that illustrate the amazing way God works in our lives, in all circumstances. My mother's heart is broken for your loss, but I am in awe of God's goodness in the strength, grace, and determination He has given you and Josh through this situation. I join you in praying that tremendous change and good will come from Judah's legacy. It already has, I know! May this be just the beginning.

My last thought is about the amazing tribute your mother crafted in that beautiful pillow. If I wasn't crying before...hello. As others have said, it is perfect. As I scrolled through the pictures of it, I noticed Judah's birthday, June 26, and I, literally, gasped...that's William's birthday, too. I suddenly (and inexplicably) felt such a strong connection to your sweet baby that I never knew, never even saw, and my heart was broken a little more. I'm sure there are thousands of people in the world with that birthday, but, in our small, little piece of the world, our sons shared that day. I pray that every year, as we spend that day in celebration of our son's life, that God will bring to my mind the memory of Judah, His precious child, who, due to reasons that we will never understand in our finite, mortal brains, was never able to celebrate the anniversary of his birth. May it make me more grateful every year for the blessing of my present child, and may it be my annual inspiration to do something in service of His littlest sheep, who can not help themselves.

With love and prayers for continued healing,