Tuesday, September 02, 2008

From Where I Stand

When the kids were younger I bought a book called "The View From Our Shoes" it is a book about what it is like to have a sibling with special needs. The book is loaded with essays written by siblings from seven to twenty seven. It was a great book for me to read to think about what it is like to be Ryder and Rylee....living with a sister with unique needs.

A few months before Regan died I took a series of photos of her and I while I held her. I love this one. I loved her cute socks. Regan never wore shoes so we put a lot of energy into her socks. As I sat there that day I told Regan that I liked this view. The view of her feet and my feet together propped by her chair. Every afternoon she and I would have snuggle time....oh how I miss that. I loved to smell her hair. I loved the way she leaned into me to sleep. I told her that day that whenever she went to see Jesus I would miss our afternoons together. I wish I could go back and tell her how much I miss our mornings, evening and even late nights together.

This weekend we went to see her headstone that was just placed last week. It is hard to summarize a life on one stone. Impossible. It is small because she was. It is elegant because she carried herself with grace. As a matter of fact the back of the stone says, "She ran with grace. We were graced to run with her." As I sat in my lawn chair at the cemetery and listened to doves cry and watched butterflies zoom over head I thought I never really thought about what this view would be like. This new view from my shoes.

We posed around her just like we used to. Regan always seemed to finder her way to the middle. It seemed so strange to walk away. To leave her there in the ground...with out us...us with out her. I want her back. I want to live life with her. I want to push her chair not just dust it because it has set empty too long. I want to talk about her in the present tence.
Life with her was better. Life without her is hard. It is a struggle. Do you remember when I told you that my sister in law said I should feel no persure to be "over it" if the ground was still broken.

Well my daddy went and laid sod and my family and friends water it three times a day...God had a hand in it too by bringing a few good rains. I think it reveals so much about a father's heart doesn't it. The heart that says, "I'll do anything to ease the pain, to heal the brokenness. I'll plant sod in August if you think it would help." My mom even picks the stickers from all around the front of the headstone. No extra pain when you set at Regan's place we are dealing with enough. I feel the same when I look at my kids. I want to help the healing process along. What a good mom and daddy I have. He even bought a water hose. It is the funniest sight. A water hose in a cemetery. I wish every stone had a bio with it. I want to know why this child died...why another family had two children die...I wonder how they got along afterward? I want to hang a bio on the water spicket and explain to visitors what this hose means to me. If you look to the back ground of the picture you can see Regan's stone. You can see that the grass is completely green. It looks like she has been there while. Guess what I found out...my heart is still broken even if the ground is broken up...I am sure this is no suprise to anyone. I think my daddy thinks that's okay.
This water hose has come to bring a deeper meaning. It is reminding me that new life will come from broken ground but only with the watering of the Word. It is going to take some care. It will have to be intentional. It will take effort, inconvienince, investment from community, love and grace but healing will come. It is my hope right now. It is the image my mind is clinging to. That over time I'll be like the green grass growing from red dirt in the middle of August.


Tiffany said...

What a picture, green grass growing from red dirt in the middle of August. That sounds like a book title if I ever heard one. I thought of you often this week and prayed that you would feel God's grace. The stone is beautiful, just like Regan.

Cindy said...

Solid, short =), and sturdily planted...reminds me of Regan...she really did embody more than I realized then and am slowly seeing more now. In fact, I think I only now can say that the past few months I have learned more from Regan than when she was here. She was such a strong little girl! I admire the strength I see in you that she acquired from you ...and also the dependency that you and she both had on each other and from the Lord. It's okay to still be broken...months and years can pass, but you'll never outlive your love for her...what a blessing to know love that deep. I love you Chantell.

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing this...

I know these days are still hard, and I'm still praying for you.

love you.

shannon said...

I love seeing her little feet on here. The headstone is perfect. It's little and strong like Regs. We miss her with you. We are praying for you as you miss her. We love you.

Lincoln's bLog said...

I am in awe of your strength, and I continue to weep for your loss and pray for continued healing. One baby step at a time.

MamaJ said...

Dear Brian and Chantel - I haven't looked at your blog for a long time, but came across the address today. I cared for my mom while she died of cancer and I really missed her as I read your blog. Sometimes I go to the cemetary and talk to her; I just wish it weren't so far away. I shed some tears today which a rarely allow and I want to thank you for sharing your life and your heart. Janet