Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Letting forgiveness win...

On Monday evening, as Nathan and I were settling into bed, we received a phone call from Nate's mom.  I was vaguely listen to him as he was speaking, but when he started getting angry I started to worry... 'What was going on? Was everything ok?' I caught bits and pieces and put together that something had happened at the cemetery where Dex is buried... vandalism, but no word on our son's grave.  I felt instantly ill... instantly panicked... instantly scared.   We knew so little and I think that is why it was so difficult for me.  We searched through Facebook and found the post that had alerted my mother-n-law to the situation.... there at the end of a lengthy post was the comment that brought me to my knees... 'they even damaged a baby's grave site'.  I knew it was us.  I knew it was our baby they were talking about!  I did the only thing I could think to do, which of course was turn to social media to get prayers going that his stone was not damaged and that we could fix whatever had happened and then I broke down crying!  I could not sleep... I tossed and turned and just wanted to know what was happening, what to expect... I wanted to be there, but it was 10 o'clock at night and it's almost a 2 hour drive.  I felt very unsettled and out of mind with worry!

I woke up easily when our alarm went off at 5:15 in the morning... and wouldn't you know... God was speaking to me right there on the radio!  We requested only two songs to be played at Declan's funeral... one of them being I Can Only Imagine and the other being Untitled Hymn.  When the radio came on it was playing the last verse of the Untitled Hymn... which is the verse that is painted on the bird house at Declan's grave site.  I knew in that very instant that it was God and Dex telling me to calm down... that the damage was only cosmetic and that Declan was not injured... that this wasn't new pain being done to Declan.... that his memory is not tainted because of this and that I needed to get there, clean it up, call our grave stone maker and put this behind me.  He could not have spoken anymore clearly to me if He had been sitting in the chair next to me.  Just when I was at my lowest... He was there, holding me up!

I arrived to find a mess... but I prepared myself for that.  I knew most items were gone and destroyed.  I knew the beloved statue of Jesus's hands holding an infant was damaged, possibly beyond repair.  I know the vandals used the statue as a weapon on his stone... I was prepared....


Here is the site when I arrived.  Lots of small pieces to be picked up... lots of ruined treasures.... lots of "what the heck..." and "Seriously!?" questions running through my mind and the mind of so many others. 


My precious statue of Jesus holding a baby... the main part is intact, but it no longer stands on its own.  My mother (master of the glue gun) is going to try and put it back together... or as much as she can. 

(Photo taken from Daily Globe - Worthington)


After a few hours of cleaning and getting the mess cleaned up, we are back to beautiful.  We have a few chips, scratches and dents on the back side of his stone, but it's going to be ok... I will be ok.... I will once again let forgiveness win and know that what happens to me in this life are just bumps in my road to a better place! 



Losing - Tenth Ave. North. 
There is so much anger towards the children who did this, probably rightfully so... but this song came on my radio as I was blogging and when I listened to the words... well, see for yourself.  It's impactful... these little boys need our support and prayers more than our anger and hate... 

Untitled Hymn - Chris Rice 
last verse is about flying to Jesus and that is what I woke up to on Tuesday morning.  Thank you Declan and Jesus for knowing what I needed to hear!


The tragic event even made the local news! Over a 100 stones were vandalized... 
Child vandals damage Round Lake Cemetery (Daily Globe newspaper, Worthington MN)
Round Lake Cemetery vandalized by three young boys (KWOA 730 News Radio, Worthington, MN)


Monday, July 29, 2013

Hope Rocks!

Last summer Nathan, the kids and myself spent some time at a place called Faith's Lodge.   The lodge is a place for families who have lost children to go and relax, reflect, process and immerse themselves in their healing journey.  For Nathan and I it was the first step towards acceptance of what had happened to us and our sweet Declan.   It was an opportunity to be with families who had suffered similar losses and to talk about those first few steps through our living nightmare, that only someone who knows can understand.  The lodge is not all kumbayaish with people sitting around crying, but a place where laughter feels good and the conversation ranges from sports & hollywood gossip to our personal stories on loss.   There is an atmosphere when you walk in that feels good... it's a place where people come at their lowest and leave feeling a sense that life might actually get easier... that healing will find them.  The lodge is partially support through the generosity of people volunteering their time and their resources.  One of their bigger fundraisers is HOPE ROCKS.  Last year, Nathan and I worked at it and had a blast!  Both of us agreed, we would go every year... sometimes as volunteers and sometimes as participants.  This year, we are going as participants.... we have already started looking for our "rocker" outfits and are so excited for an evening of fun that supports an establishment that is so near and dear to our hearts.  Please consider going and seeing for yourself all the goodness this special place has to offer.

video



It truly is a place where HOPE grows! 



This video is from Faith Lodge's holiday event.... it does a great job of explaining the feelings a person experiences while at the Lodge and I just liked it.... thought I would share it with you.  
*SUDC is sudden unexplained death of a child.  
Declan actually passed away from SUDI.  sudden unexplained death of an infant