Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Treat Every Day Like Chirstmas

It's Christmas time.  And right after that the New Year.  That means its time for reflection, new horizons, goals and dreams.  At the Weaver house, the winds of change are blowing pretty hard this season.  And we're looking forward to a NEW 2016 and all the change that it brings.  But today, I am reflecting on days gone by.  Memories of the people and places and things that made me who I am today and remind me of what Christmas means to me.

Take a look at this Christmas Card picture from our family in 2011.

What do you see?  Christmas greetings.  Adorable kids.  Fun photography.  A tiny baby fighting for life. Cute owl graphics.  Snow, ornaments, family names. A sweet card sent out with love and care to share with family and loved ones the blessings of the season.

Do you know what I see?  Something missing.  Each image shows me a memory, and a piece that's missing.  My sweet friend Gabi made this card for us.  She used those same owls on a sign that hung in our home, and then in my temporary hospital home that year to help keep me focused on a healthy baby.  She used them on a website that helped raise funds for our tremendous medical bills.  And she used them here to convey the hope and future of our family.  Lives get busy, and I don't see her as much as I used to.  I miss that... That bottom picture of the feet is missing somethings, too.  Our talented friend Beth took that picture on a HOT July day in Oklahoma just after we discovered we were having our fourth baby, and this was our Big Reveal image to share with everyone.  This was in the days shortly after we had lost my big brother.  (FYI - standing like that and getting that shot was INCREDIBLY difficult and sweaty - Jake was 4 and the girls were 9: wiggly). Beth has moved on to Texas and is raising her own family now.  We miss her.  This image shows the hope we had for the pregnancy - which was dramatically cut short.  I miss the expectation we had for a more normal gestation and infancy. (Don't get me wrong, so blessed by what we got instead, but I mourn the loss of a dream.) I miss being a family of 5.  It was different; Finn changed everything. For the better, of course, but a definite divergence from where we were going. And my brother Brian.  He wasn't here all the fun.  4th niece/nephew. NICU days. All the holidays, birthdays, milestones and moments from the last 4 years and 9 months.  He missed it all.  And I miss him. He should have been here for that picture, and all that came after it.

And up to the top 2 images.  So much missing.  How hard for those 3 little faces to have to deal with a family torn apart by 70 miles, illness, surgeries, stress and separation for a total of 5 months start to finish.  They were SO BLESSED by all kinds of surrogates to stand in our stead as I fought for 2 lives, Britt tried to be in two places and once and all things to several people, and then as Finn started his journey into this world.  But Emma, Lara and Jake were missing things, too.  Normalcy.  Mommy. Daddy. A brother they were only allowed to see through glass and touch with one finger for the longest time. A baby that didn't get to come home for Christmas. They weathered that storm so well.  Built resilience.  Taught them many tough life lessons.  They are stronger for it.  I miss those tiny faces and those effortless smiles.

And my sweet, sweet tiny miracle baby boy Finn.  He brought joy to our world.  And pain, and stress, and lessons, and LOVE.  So much love. From every corner of our universe.  So many people were touched by his presence, prayed for his life, and loved him without even knowing him.  He spent that Christmas in the NICU.  Santa came to see him there.  We had a Christmas lunch in the car consisting of Lunchables and Capri Sun after we had opened presents at home just so we could see him and hold him that day.  He was missing in our home that morning.  And for the entire 3 months he spent in the hospital.  He was missing from that sunny day picture at the top of the card.  And his siblings are missing from this picture of him.  So much separation!  But so much to be thankful for!  

2011 - NICU
2015 - Santa's Workshop

Little Dream Weavers - 2015
Emma (13), Jake (8), Finn (4), Lara (13)

As we get older and the kids get busier, we realize that the pictures of all 4 kids in one place at one time are going to get fewer and further between.  But we always have the memories.  The blessings. The lessons that made us who we are.  Somethings may be missing, but nothing is missed.  Every detail to our story has been written by the best Storyteller there ever was.  We celebrate His birth and what he did for our world this Christmas season, and EVERY Christmas season.  Thank you God, for sending your son, Jesus, to be our Savior.  And thank you for being a better Writer of my story than I could ever imagine.

Merry Christmas

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