I don't know if any of this will make sense...it's all bits and pieces in my head and I never claimed to be a good writer. But I told her I'd blog more, so...
Thinking of my sweet friend Mandy today. She has to do today what no parent ever wants to do...bury a child. I went to the open house for baby Jude last night and she was the most gracious and lovely grieving mama probably ever in the history of the world. I, however, was kind of a moron. Somehow filling space talking about other things because I didn't know what to say, pretty much knowing I could say nothing that would actually help. I so wanted to be there and show a little love. Blogging is a funny thing. I haven't seen or actually talked to Mandy in a long long time, but somehow reading her words made me feel like that wasn't the case; having her on my mind and so much in my prayers made me feel like I was a lot closer than the whole country apart! That, and pregnancy hormones, thinking a whole lot about sweet little babies and just being on the verge of tears most days anyways. Also on the verge of rampage-worthy anger most days, but that's an entirely different post.
I was thinking on the drive home about our "good old days" and she's still perfectly Mandy (oh how happy I was to even just hear her sweet Mandy-voice!), but she's different in that she's lived a lot more life. Things were a lot different nearly 9 years ago--a lot of blank pages, significant blank pages we were pretty expectant to see written. So excited to be moving to super cool places (her, not me...!), having great jobs, meeting mister right, getting married, having babies. Of course I never would have dreamed of any of this. Wouldn't have ever considered the possibility. Some people might use a story like Jude's as an entrance to a life of bitterness, or to dwell on "why me?"...but that's not where this is going.
I listened to my friend tell the story of finding out she was pregnant and praying before Jude was ever born that God would use this little boy. He certainly has. Jude's story, recorded on Mandy's blog, has been a beautiful expression of trusting God, knowing our children are not ours, and that we don't get to write the story as much as we'd like to think. My beautiful friend has both feet firmly planted in heaven, while I struggle with one foot here and one foot there. I want to be more like her in that way. My prayers will be with her and her family as life gets back into a rhythm and they have to figure out what that even is now and as they miss their little guy.
I'm trying to play along with the twenty-whatever days of thankfulness on Facebook...posting something each day that you're thankful for until Thanksgiving Day. Mine have been fairly surface-y, and of course I still am thankful for all those little things. Last night I wanted to elaborate, but I was tired just wrote something very general...but for the record I meant: I'm thankful for Jude, and for his family for being so honest and sharing his story so openly, that others would be encouraged. Thankful for seeing God in action, being so very REAL.
I'm also thankful for having random old pictures on my hard drive...we were babies! We had been camping, so I'm fairly glad this picture is blurry. It's from the pre-digital-camera-days...yikes! Mandy is on the far right. I vaguely remember thinking she got locked in a gas station with a creepy man right before we took this picture. It didn't happen.