This week will be hard.
I should be packing up the many things it takes to bring a baby to visit family for the first time. I should be finding that carseat cover that kept my other two boys warm during the winter months. I should be folding clothes and getting a little suitcase ready for a 4-hour drive to our home town. I should be counting diapers, wipes, burp cloths, etc. But I'm not. And it's hard.
It will be hard celebrating Thanksgiving with Elihu being in heaven. I'm thankful for my salvation. I'm thankful for my growth through the last 6 months. I'm thankful for God's gift of His Son. I'm thankful for God's will being revealed in my life. I'm thankful for my two living boys. I'm thankful for my loving husband. I'm thankful for our warm home. I'm thankful for our van that doesn't have payments. I'm thankful for Elihu. But he's not here and that's what's hard. It will be hard to be around all the babies this Thanksgiving without my baby.
It will not only be uncomfortable and emotional for me, but I'm sure it will be uncomfortable and maybe even emotional for others too. I will see my three nieces together for the first time without their little baby boy cousin. I will see my niece who had a due date close to Elihu's for the first time. I will be amid all the joy that Thanksgiving and family coming together brings. But my heart will be heavy in that joy. There's a piece missing. And my greatest fear as that others won't notice. That they won't think about Elihu even once. That he's gone and it's over. That's it.
But it's not over for me. He's a part of our family and I just want people to remember him. And even say his name and tell me that they've thought of him or how this is a hard time for Jonathan and I. I pray for people to be sensitive to my emotions. I'm an emotional and sensitive person anyway, and I have a feeling that I won't be able to control those feelings all the time.
I want to be thankful. I want to be joyful. I want to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. I want to enjoy time with family and friends. But I want to be able to express my grief over Elihu's absence. I think that Nichelle's post Tick...tick...tick...Time to Be "Over It" expresses some of my thoughts. I just pray that people give me grace to process our first Thanksgiving without Elihu without feeling like I need to be "over it."