Not really sure where I left off, so I will just summarize the last couple weeks and pick up with today.
We have definitely spent a lot of time with family in the recent days. For that I am thankful. I have family leaving for Mexico in a matter of weeks (http://livinginthelandofodd.blogspot.com), so we have made a conscious effort to spend some quality time with them as a family--and just as a couple. We also had family in from Michigan whom we enjoyed visiting. Then we made a quick July 4th getaway to Iowa to visit my immediate family members as well as our Iowa church family. And now, we have family up from Florida and more family coming in this week from Utah. Not to mention the Sharbaugh/Parsons family reunion we have coming up this weekend. I told you, much time has been and will continue to be spent with family in the upcoming days.
In the midst of all this family time, we have also begun to search for a house. We are thankful to have been able to get out of our lease without penalty and start this process. We have no clue what God has for store in us for the next few weeks--let alone the next few years--so for now, we will just stick to the west side of Indianapolis and try to find a sense of normalcy in our lives.
Today, however, had a few interesting moments to say the least. My sister-in-law and I were checking out at Kohls. Because I clearly look pregnant, the lady at the register asked me when I was due. "Oh, not 'til Thanksgiving actually. Almost 20 weeks!" To which she replied, "And is this your first?" A million thoughts racing through my mind as I feel warmth pulsating through my cheeks, "My fourth, actually." "Oh, bless your heart. So do you have both genders?" For whatever reason, I followed that comment with an awkward laugh--I just don't know how to respond. People in our culture generally do not want the upcoming information to be laid upon them from a stranger. "Well... I have a two-year-old little girl and we just lost our son." Instant look of pity falls on the face of this unsuspecting cashier.... that inevitable look of pity and sadness. "You poor thing..." and a few other mutterings which I am unable to recall as at that point, I was quickly looking for the exit. Frankly, I just don't know how to respond to people that come with the inevitable questions one is asked when they are pregnant. Whether it be the mail-lady, the cashier, the neighbor I met at the pool, it just doesn't feel like there is a "right" answer.
Lastly, I would really like to try to truly put into words how hard tonight was, but I really don't think that's possible, so you'll pretty much just get the facts. We received the disc (with the professional pictures taken at the hospital before we said goodbye to Malachi) a short week or so after the funeral. Not going to lie, I was scared to open them. It's hard to see pictures of my baby--even happy pictures. I honestly cannot begin to describe the emotions, thoughts, and feelings flooding my very being as I went through them. Thankfully, John was home. He saw that I was lost in thought and the tears streaming down my face. As soon as he came over by my side, the floodgates opened. I mean uncontrollable sobbing. Crying so hard that it hurt. My breathing was completely out of sync. John could do nothing but hold me and try to coach my breathing. It's not the first time I've broken down in tears since Malachi's funeral, but it was definitely the worst--at it was horrible. You just can't explain the hurt that a mother feels when she no longer gets to hold her baby or kiss him goodnight--but instead had no choice but to kiss him goodbye. Before I become a blubbering mess again, I will end this post. I should get to bed anyway. Good night.