Every year, I think I won't feel it.
The pain, the grief, the memory of the darkness.
But every year, I watch the home videos and look at the pictures surrounding the time of BearCub's birth, just like I do with the other two kids. And every year, I have the same emotions. And then the guilt.
Because this was a child conceived in married love, a child both parents wanted. This child is alive and healthy. This child was only in the NICU a couple days. So many children are born in much more difficult situations. So many children still live with the physical repercussions of a traumatic birth experience. So many parents never even got to bring their baby home, or had months in the NICU.
But this year, I've come to a different conclusion. I know, next year, ten years from now, even twenty or thirty years from now, I'm going to remember the circumstances of my son's birth. And it's going to hurt. It may always bring tears to my eyes at some point during the day.
And that's okay.
I don't have to forget what happened to heal. I don't have to stop feeling hard emotions. My experience does not detract from the experience of others. I can acknowledge that it could have been so much harder, while still acknowledging that my situation was hard for me. My remembering of the sadness, the desperation, the fear, does not detract from my ability to celebrate my son.
It accents it.
Because his birth is a story of God's grace. His birth reminds me, every year, of one of the darkest times of my life when God's glory shown so brightly it couldn't be missed.
When I faced not having a roof over my children's heads, He provided. When I had no idea how we were going to get our stuff moved, He provided. When I had no idea where we'd put our stuff when we were forced out of one house before the other was ready, He provided. When I had no idea how we were going to pay for things, He provided. When I was at my lowest, unable to care for my children, with a deflated belly but no baby in my arms, my husband hours away with my sick newborn, He provided.
In my darkness, God was with me.
Why would I want to forget that? Why would I want to become hardened to that?