To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I've Moved!

Hey readers!!

You're soon going to find this site very, very quiet. That's because I've moved!! I took the plunge and moved to my own self-hosted website.

Come on over to my new website and give it a look. Get familiar and make yourself comfortable, as that's where I'll be posting all of my content going forward.

I just want to thank you for being such a loyal member of my Mind Mumbles community and following me along each step of my journey.

Be blessed, and remember: Bookmark it, join the email list, and we'll see you there!

Friday, April 10, 2015

730 Days of Moments

Two years. Two years, Harlynn. April 9th, we learned you had already left us before we ever got to see your blue eyes, hear your cries....anything. 12:16 a.m. April 10th, you were delivered. And all was silent.

These last two years have become a collage of moments. There is no measurement of time anymore, outside of "before we lost Harlynn" or "after we lost Harlynn". Just a window where moments come and go - either waiting to be remembered, or forcing their way to the path of reliving. 

I don't have lengthy memories of the sequence, or the exact events - just snippets of moments that tend to replay themselves in my mind since April made its appearance. Moments I can't forget, nor do I want to. Moments that haunt me, and moments that swell my heart with hope and anticipation of seeing you again.

The moment the doctor said "I'm so sorry."

The moment my water broke.

The moment the doctor asked your daddy if he wanted to cut the cord, and the nurse asked if I wanted to hold you.

The moment I felt your weight upon my chest.

The moment your daddy held you, longing to startle life back into those lungs.

The moment I kissed your hand. Your forehead. Held your toes.

The moment my OB held me in her arms as I wept. The moment another held my face in her hands.

The moment we had people surrounding us in our hospital room, just to love us. 

The moment your sister came to see you, and we had to tell her what happened.

The moment Granny held you in her arms, looking at you so lovingly and shaking her head in disbelief.

The moment I kissed your forehead for the last time.

The moment we had to choose your casket.

The moment my best friend came walking up my driveway, after driving 700 miles to be there for me.

The moment I met Michelle at your visitation.

The moment I placed my hand upon your closed casket lid, knowing you were inside, separated only by a lid of fabric - but we were already worlds apart.

The moment my boss came to the visitation and hugged me, with tears in his own eyes.

The moment your sister yelled at her cousins to be quiet, because you were "sleeping". 

The moment the snow storm caused us to reschedule your funeral.

The moment we walked to the front of the church, and I had no idea how my legs were able to move. I didn't want to take that walk.

The moment right before we started down the aisle, and I saw Dana's face, and somehow knew how very loved we were, and how very supported we would be from that point forward.

The moment your namesake, Mr. Harlan, read scripture at your service.

The moment your daddy picked up your casket to carry outside, and released a heart wrenching wail. 

The moment we placed your tiny casket in the huge hearse.

The moment we hugged person after person inside that church, and I couldn't believe so many had come, but I was so glad they were there.

The moment we carried you to the little cemetery riser.

The moment the sun peeked through the clouds.

The moment I had to turn and walk away from you, and I hated myself for not being able to crawl in the ground with you.

The moment we sang in church, and Beth put her hands on my back as I wept.

The first time I tried to go to the cemetery, but couldn't because of the flood preparation barriers. 

The second time I tried to go to the cemetery, and it was the same story.

The third time, and the first time I got to sit by your grave.

The times your sister blew bubbles for you.

The time someone left a care package, from you to us, on your grave. The purple egg with the purple mini koosh ball inside sits inside my desk drawer, and I pull it out every time I need a little smile.

The moment your daddy went out in the cold to take pictures of the brightest moon I had ever seen, because it made us feel a tinge closer to you.

The moment Michelle told me "I think we should start Harlynn's Heart."

The moment my friends sat in my living room, to give me a check to start your legacy, and everyone prayed together. 

The moment we had a thank-you party, and sent balloons your way. 

The first time I spoke to a group about stillbirth, and shared your story. I could hardly talk through the tears.

The first time I had a dream about you.

The first time I felt like I could pray again.

The moment I went with Michelle to help a family grieve the loss of baby Mauriana. 

Every moment I've been with a bereaved family since.

The moment we met seven other amazing couples at Faith's Lodge, and the moment I saw my first tick.

The moments - and there are several - when your sister will tell me she misses you.

The moment we got the most beautiful gift, of a frame of four canvased pictures of you.

So many moments. So many memories. So much heartache. So much hope. So many ups, and so many downs. Two years. 

Two years.

So tonight, I bought those mini chocolate donuts I constantly craved while I was pregnant with you. I'll have them for breakfast in your honor. Tomorrow, we'll take you a cupcake. I even found purple frosting. We'll sing happy birthday - if Mama can get through it. We'll send you more balloons.

And not just tomorrow, but forever and always, we'll be missing you. Loving you. Longing to be with you again.

In the mean time, take a peek down here and see how many people are supporting us. If God lets you scroll through Facebook, get a load of all the profile pictures that are all in your honor, baby girl. We are so loved. I don't understand it. I don't deserve it. But I am so beyond thankful for it. Because oh how I need it. 

My heart hurts so very much. But it also hopes far more than it did in those first moments after we had to say goodbye to you. When it's my turn to walk through those pearly gates, I'll fall down in worship to the One who got me through each of these moments and then some. I'll praise Him and be completely awestruck by His love and power and then I'll say, Lord....Where is my Harlynn?

Happy birthday, my love. Not one single day, not one single moment passes without you being thought of, missed, and desperately loved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Broken Together: My Husband Does Not Complete Me

Twelve years we've been married. Twelve years. Well, not yet, but in another couple of months. I was going to save this post for our anniversary, but I'm kind of an impatient person. 

A lot of people lost bets after we made it past the five year mark. We struggled mightily through year six. And seven. (and year one, and two, and...) And here we are, year 12. We've been together (more or less) for the last 14 years. That's a long time when you're as young and care-free as I am. And I'm pretty young. Like...pretty young. In my heart. 

I'm madly in love with my husband. He makes me laugh. He pretty much cracks me up. A lot. He holds me when I'm feeling down. He hugs me for no reason. He compliments my cooking. And my outfits. He gives me butterflies in my stomach. Either because he makes me giddy, or irate. We shuffle between those two reasons from time to time. He's super handsome, has a million dollar smile, and big strong arms. He was the only person I wanted by my side, every minute, after we lost Harlynn. I could not have survived life after losing her without him. My husband, in my eyes, is kind of a big deal. 

I love my husband more than I thought I could love any man. Ever.

But he does not complete me.

Wonderful as he is, my husband has flaws. He has shortcomings. He disappoints me from time to time. We argue. We disagree. We have bouts of intense fellowship. He screws up. He makes mistakes. He's even wrong once in a while. 

If I, as a greatly flawed individual trust that another greatly flawed individual will complete me, my hopes in that "you complete me" junk will leave me nothing more than a sour taste of brutal disappointment

Brent is a smart guy. Really smart. Sometimes he's so smart it makes me angry. Like when we're arguing about something and he's so busy making so much sense with his smartness, he doesn't understand that I just need a hug and some M&Ms. He's smart enough to know, though, that he cannot complete me. Nor does he want to even try. Can you imagine the burden of that responsibility? The overwhelming pressure and expectation of first, finding all my faults and flaws and then working overtime to compensate for those - all for me? Forget about fixing yourself or having any issues - you have to complete ME. My needs. My shortcomings. You have to make up the difference in whatever I lack.

No way. No. Way.

Relationships aren't easy. They aren't even romantic. There are sometimes, romantic things that happen within a relationship, but the relationship itself is not romantic. It's messy. And confusing. And a lot of work to maintain. You can take a walk in the park, which might be romantic, but you can't expect your relationship to function as if it, as its own entity, were a walk in the park. Come back down to earth here for a minute.

Brent and I have been together for a long time. I know he isn't perfect (no matter how close he may come at times.) We all know I'm not perfect. Both Brent and I know, appreciate, and understand that neither of us could complete the other. Please tell me you understand the same regarding your relationship?

There is only One perfect being - that being Jesus Christ - who could complete us. Yet we struggle so often when others disappoint us. When others let us down. Because they should love us enough to know better. They should have known how their words or actions would affect us. They're supposed to be our other (or better) half. Without this person, I am only half the person I would have been before I realized I needed another half a person to spend my time with.

Wait, what?

You've heard it said before that marriage isn't 50/50. It's 100/100. If two people each buy half a sandwich and mush them together, they don't have a whole sandwich. They still have two halves of sandwiches. If you're an incomplete person, mushing yourself together with another person isn't going to make a whole person. It's going to make your life complicated and insane and you're gonna have to understand a thing or two about communication, fighting fair, and what it means to commit. You can't just go mushing around with people expecting to be made whole. Stop the mushing.

There is going to be so much hurt, heartache, and suffering that you'll endure in life. Don't expect another person to complete you - in those times especially - but choose wisely who you'll allow to carry your heart for you in those moments when you can't. Choose who you'll want by your side when the only thing you see is pain. Choose who you'll allow to see you in your most vulnerable moments, and who will help you - not live for you, but help you - come out the other side of that tunnel. And if you have your person, stop expecting them to do the completing for you. Meet them in the middle. As much as you need support and understanding, they need twice as much. Well, Brent needs twice as much, because he's stuck with me. 

I love my husband. I would fight, die, and haunt someone for him. He has some weird different habits, and he doesn't do everything the way I do. He raps in his sleep. (Okay, it was one time, but it was hilarious.) He knows too much about things other than how to not shrink my brand new shirts. But I love him. To the moon and back. To the ends of the earth. I would eat a mushroom for him. *shudder* But he does not complete me.

This song - this awesome, captivating, amazing song - makes me cry. Of course, a lot of things make me cry. But listen to this song. And keep a tissue nearby just in case.

Brent and I are both broken people. That's why we have Jesus. And because we have Jesus, we're able to hold on tighter to each other. Loving Jesus together completes our marriage. Our family. Not because of anything we do on our own. But because of everything we're able to do through Him