Saturday, October 2, 2010

Love you forever

If you live in the metroplex, you have hopefully been blessed to see the many beautiful rainbows over the Texas sky following the recent showers. It's a fun challenge to search the sky after each rain to see if a glimpse of heaven will come peeking through the gray skies to remind us of God's promises. Those reassuring rainbows have come in the form of rare double rainbows lately. And with each rainbow, come deep questions from Eli.

Mom - are you going to die? Am I going to die? How do we get to heaven? Why can't AJ come home so I can be his big brother?

If you read back in my blog there was a day shortly after AJ died that there was a post about a rainbow that stretched from one side of the earth to the other. Eli - roughly 3 at the time - said "Look mommy, AJ is sending that rainbow to show us he received our balloons". (We always send balloons up to AJ when we get them at various places.) That moment is a great memory of Eli's sweet innocence. Maybe it's him starting Kindergarten this year, but he has been asking so many questions lately. I started this post 2 days ago, and just last night before bed, Eli burst into tears missing AJ and wanted to look at pictures. My heart sunk! If I can't even comprehend the magnitude of what has happened, how can he? I sat there with tear filled eyes looking at the pictures with Eli feeling like a failure because I couldn't answer his questions. Intellectually I couldn't, emotionally I couldn't, I couldn't say a word to him other than "I love you and AJ and Alex with all of my heart...don't ever forget that!"

Maybe some people think I am crazy for not being 'over it' yet, but those are the ones that don't understand that I will never be 'over it'. Not a day goes by that AJ isn't spoken of in our home. We still hurt and cry. We struggle to answer questions that have no answers. We look at rainbows and hold on to the promise that some day we will see him again.

When your child dies, some things in life become very clear - others not so much. Death seems less scary because I know that it results in seeing him again. Some relationships are stronger and some fade into the darkness of nothingness. We lack answers to questions. Question if God really meant for that to this really my life now? Who am I now? Who was I then? And of course the "Seriously??" moments that I simply have no words for.

But then...occasionally there is that moment of perfect clarity that I pause and realize that through my weakness, His strength is made perfect and His promises never fail us. These are the moments of amazement that this is my life and wonderful things are a part of it because AJ lived and died.

One of my favorite books is "Love you forever". It's about a little boy that starts out as a baby and grows to a man within 15 pages. As he grows, his mom would always rock him and sing, "Love you forever, like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be". This book makes me cry faithfully every time not only for my living sons, but because as AJ's mom that's the one thing I can do every day for him forever because he'll always be my baby!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Another Dream...

The intellectual side of me says that dreams are a result of something that is imposing on our subconscious mind. The sentimental, faithful side of me believes that dreams can sometimes be a window into the unknown...occasional glimpses of heaven?

Early Easter Sunday morning I had a dream that I am certain was a message from heaven. My sister-in-law's mother, Bea, passed away in late January after many years of failing health. She was fragile and petite when she went home to the Lord.

In my dream, all of my SIL's family was there...we were there dropping off food. Everyone was happy and doing well. It was current date. As I was leaving out of this house, I stepped down a few concrete steps and Bea was standing there in a tan linen suit, healthy and strong. We embraced as we had the following conversation:

She said to me, "Why don't you ever come visit me?" I replied, "Because it makes me cry." She said, "It's ok to cry." I of course was crying in my sleep at this point.
I asked her, "Is he ok?" (referring to AJ). She said, "He's just fine." I asked her to please hold him for us and she said, "I do every day." I asked her to kiss him and tell him how much we love him...

At this point I woke up sobbing...I cried all day and continue to cry as I type this. It was so real, so vivid! Is it possible that God gives us the opportunity to see loved ones in our dreams to calm our hearts? We of course went to visit Bea today and leave her a little flower and a pin wheel for AJ. Til we meet again in our dreams...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday AJ!!!

Your daddy wrote your birthday tribute this year for the MEND newsletter!

Happy 3rd Birthday, AJ!

It seems like just yesterday we were holding you in our arms, wondering how we were going to go through life with such a large void in our hearts. There has not been one day since you went to heaven that Mommy and Daddy have not thought about you. Your big brother, Eli, asks about you a bunch. He tells us how much he misses you and always wants to see pictures of you. He is so proud that he has two little brothers and tells us that is just what he always wanted. We see you in your baby brother‘s smile and the angel kisses on his forehead. Until we meet you in heaven, see you in our dreams. Our love for you is endless.

We love you MORE!
Mommy, Daddy, Eli, and Alex

Adrian Joseph "A.J." Zuckerman
March 30, 2007
True knot cord accident
Parents: Alfredo and Amber Zuckerman
Big Brother: Eli
Little Brother: Alex

This year we will celebrate your birthday with a small family and friends get together at home. As always...our balloon release will be my favorite part of the day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grief Revisited

The MEND Newsletter topic this time is Grief Revisited...I guess you can say there are times I wish grief could go away so I could have time to miss it and have it come for a 're-visit'. It is always lurking in the shadows of my heart...waiting for the most inconvenient time to pop out and send my world crashing. I am thankful for our grief...this is the article I wrote for the newsletter.

"Thankful for Grief"

I never imagined I could be thankful for something like grief. Until our son‘s death on March 30, 2007, our family had been relatively spared by the tragedy of death. Death is an expected part of life, but it is NOT an expected part of birth.

Our grief journey has been full of ups, downs, twists, turns, and at times—all-out crashes! Times of joy, sadness, sorrow, hope, praise, anger, denial, trust and peace. To this day, any number of these feelings can resurface, and back onto the roller coaster we go. The rides are sometimes short with less intensity but always purposeful and sweet in the end as we trust that each moment is part of God‘s plan. With reflection comes appreciation for the lessons learned, friends made, personal growth, and faith strengthened.

Three years later, I find myself healing, but not healed. In fact, I don‘t antici-pate that pain this deep is ever healed; it just becomes part of life, and our cop-ing abilities get better along the way. It is a good part of life. We appreciate things that we might have taken for granted before: a butterfly flittering around at the perfect moment, the birds singing on a gloomy day, rainbows peaking from the clouds, and the delicate snowflakes sent like little messengers of hope. All of this reminding us to ―Be still and know…‖

As we watch our two living sons play on the floor, our hearts ache with the should-have-beens, the wish-it-weres, and the desperate desire to understand the plan. Grief knocks us down time and time again, but we somehow find the strength to get back up and live for the living—while we long for the lost. We are richer because we are the parents of three boys, not two. We are blessed be-cause God chose us to endure the death of our son. To us, every day of our life is a reflection of AJ‘s legacy that brings us one day closer to God‘s promise. Indeed, through it all, we are thankful for grief!

♥ Amber Zuckerman, mommy to Adrian Joseph "A.J.", M.E.N.D.—Dallas