Friday, May 23, 2008

Remembering

A couple of days ago..Rylee was putting her shoes on for school. She was setting on the kitchen floor. Ryder was in the front living room reading. Brian was gone to work already. I was finishing up making lunches. She looked up at me and said, "Do you ever hear Regan?" I replied with a resounding "Of course!" "I think I hear her all the time and that is normal." She said, "Good because I thought maybe I might be going crazy." I continued to explain that when she was a baby I use to think I heard her cry but I would check on her and she was sleeping away. Your brains hold lots of information..they contain lots of memories. Our brains are powerful they remember even when we aren't thinking about it.

That night Ryder came out of his room about 9:45pm with big tears in his eyes. He said, "Mama I think I am forgetting how she smelled....I keep thinking about it but can't figure it out." I instructed him to go into Regan's room and open the closet and put his head in her cloths. I do it several times a day so I know it works. I told him not to do it for very long and to make sure to close it when he was done because we want to retain it for as long as we can. It is the only place that still smells like her. A few moments later he came back with a big smile on his face and said, "Your right and now I remember....good-night."

Brian said recently that in his remembering he had forgotten how hard many parts of Regan's life was. How for several years she didn't feel well. The last year was pretty easy for all of us compared to other years. He said remembering how hard it was helps him be glad for her now.

Yesterday I heard about the Steven Curtis Chapman family and how their little five year old girl died. I meet another lady last night in my community who just a few months ago lost her 17 year old daughter. I cried both times. I remembered the stinging pain of the realization that the person you love so much is gone from your life. Instantly I remember this pain. The pain of knowing you get no more opportunites to make new memories. You don't want to make new ones with her not in it. You get no more opportunities to say how much you love them. No new..... only remembering. Honestly the reality of heaven does not ease this pain.

I have so many good memories. I love to be with people who had memories of her. Yesterday Kate (7 yrs old) thought the sky looked like the day Regan died. She remembers that day. She and I agree that day still feels unreal. Our friend Noah (5yr) calls the funeral the "F word" and asks his family to call it that too... because he remembering the funeral makes him sad. He has no reference for the other f word......He does however say "cheers" for Regan's new life. He remembers where she is and doesn't want to remember the f-word. We have one picture of Regan after she died before the funeral home came to take her...it is of Ryder holding Regan...he says it is his favorite....He remembers the night she died. He wrote this about that night. "...surreal, it is horrible, it is quite honestly:hell. That one syllable can describe the tears, the pain and that empty place that can never be filled." He remembers that moment. God was so near...the pain was so deep.

God tells us who Know Him to remember. "Remember this fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me." (Isaiah 46:8-9) I remember in Job how his friends wanted Job to blame God and not remember. Job had his moments too yet he kept his integrity before God. I want to be this way...so I will remember what Jesus said, "You are blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You are blessed when you feel you have lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." (Matthew 5 Message). Part of me died the moment Regan died. So I know now I am less.....I am open to more of him....ready for a deeper embrace. I remember that though I am often a rebel that there is No other like Him...He is God and I am not.

3 comments:

velvet said...

So powerful, Chantell. This is so powerful. Thanks.

'becca said...

Tonight as we drove from Lincoln to my parents for a rest before the last leg of our journey west, Elliott asked me to turn up the radio. We were listening to his favorite Switchfoot CD. He then asked me to replay the song. (usually he askes us to skip them, so i was surprised.) He said, "Momma, this is the song that reminds me of Regan. It is the first two parts, the words...no wait is the music...no it's the...Oh nevermind, it's just, I can't explain what part it is, but it just reminds me of Regan, that's all." I asked, "Do you want to call Miss Mills and let her know?" He said no, so I didn't call. He wanted to listen. Remembering with you...

Beth Richert Washington Elementary Principal said...

Chantell,

I'm a grieving mom from your "home church" in Clinton. Your sister-in-law gave me your blogspot address. My Aaron has been gone for nearly six years now...and yet your words still ring familiar and true. I've a friend online who lost her special needs daughter less than a year ago who could use your support. I've shared your blog with her with your sister-in-laws permission. Contact me if you'd like to share with this Christian mom...
5richerts@sbcglobal.net
I know for me helping others through grief helped me to take my focus off my own. We've a group of Christian moms who support one another via email...called Moms of Hope. We're from all over the US. You'd be welcome to join us there as well.
I feel a part of Regan's life journey as she was born the same week that we lost our son, Aaron. We've prayed for her through the years and celebrated her medical vitories. My heart skipped a beat...knowing the rough journey you've just begun. I remember that incredible presence of God in those first horrible months...and prayed the pain would ease but that presence would remain...sadly, for me as the pain eased the presences faded as well...I thought I could will it to stay...but there is something about pain that brings us a rare...up close view...of the love of God. Perhaps we would not make it without it.