Well, life is "different." That's all I can say. We have gotten through the first year and 4 months since Tori's death, changed and just different, but life is finally starting to feel somewhat "normal" again. It's taken this long, and I really feel like for me personally that it's gotten somewhat better because of my "job" (it's so much more than a job, though) and all of the relationships and blessings it's brought into my life.
I told you all awhile back that I started selling Premier jewelry back in March. To be exact, I started the week of Tori's one year anniversary of her death. I needed a second, part time income and that is why I initially started. But the relationships I've built through it (it's a Christian based company and has offered so much more than jewelry) have been life changing. It has helped boost my self confidence, my feelings of self worth & work through my feelings of grief (give me happiness & purpose as a person) believe it or not. It may sound crazy, but it's true.
Like I said, it's SO much more than selling jewelry. It's about the relationships I've built, like the girl I signed up named Victoria, "Tori," the week of Mother's Day. I honestly believe that was a small blessing the Lord gave at that time because I truly needed a pick me up, and it helped console me the week of Mother's Day to be honest. Some people thought it might have been difficult or that it was even just a coincidence, but it was almost like a confirmation to me of some kind....that Tori will always be "alive" to me, and that her memory will always be special and "live on" through others. My "new" Tori will always be special to me, I know, not just because of her name, but because she has the sweetest personality and has ended up encouraging ME many times when I'm supposed to be the one encouraging her!! :) Needless to say, I've met and been able to minister to and encourage (and be encouraged) so much during these past 5 months. My husband has even commented how much happier and self worth I feel from this experience. I KNOW that the Lord brough this into my friend's life when He did and then later into mine for this reason. Otherwise, I may still be trying to get through each day trying to smile, find something to be REALLY happy about (and I mean more than just a smile or laugh...I mean lasting feeling of importance). My Savior and my family are plenty enough reason to have full joy, but you know what I mean by needing something just for "you," that daily will give you that self worth...or else you could just shrivel up and die. Maybe you don't know what I mean, and grief of losing a child just makes you feel that way. Either way, it's not been perfect, but much more bearable and happier than it has in a loooooong time (2 years to be exact).
It's hard to believe that 2 years ago, I was still pregnant with Tori at this time. I remember that summer vividly. Our air went out when I was almost 6 months and it was mid July to August, so I remember it vividly :) If you've ever been pregnant in the summertime, you know what I mean!! :) I quit work full time in July that year to stay home with my babies in a few months. Little did I know, that only 2 months after quitting work, my life would be changed forever. From the day I went into the hospital in September and they said you won't be leaving here until you have this baby, I knew I was changed forever. I knew that it wouldn't be weeks or months that i would be there, either. I knew how sick I was, and I couldn't feel that way for too long...it was too serious. I was there for a week before I got too sick and she was born. NICU life began and we were never the same.
Honestly, if she wouldn't have been born early and all would have been perfectly normal, I probably would've taken it all for granted and brought home another healthy baby and went on with my selfish life, not appreciating or considering all I have over the past 2 years. It's scary the big things that God can use to get our attention, but if we are reliant on Him and willing to be changed and molded, He blesses us beyond imagination. I would ultimately want her here, but the impact her life has made on me and many others, is worth it. yes, worth it.
I have been having major baby fever lately to be honest. But we have SO much medical debt and cemetery bills (we went ahead and bought plots beside her) and we've got to alleviate some of that before I even think of having another baby. We want to be smart about it and not strap ourselves. It's almost not fair (by the world's standards) to have to pay for things and not have a baby here to show for it. Ultimately, though, i know the Lord won't put anything on us we can't handle (and that includes financially) and He has provided and blessed us thus far, so I know He will continue to in some way (it may not be some supernatural rescue like I've been telling my husband), but eventually we will pay it all off. There's also the health risks for myself and my baby I worry about now, which is only normal, but I don't want fear to be the reason I choose to not have baby if the doctors have given us the okay and can have another. Just pray for us in this area if you feel led. For us to be able to alleviate this medical debt (which is why I started Premier) and to have peace about having another child if and when we are supposed to.
Thanks for "listening"....reflecting and looking back and thinking about things can be helpful sometimes somehow. I have seen the Lord take my pain and use it for His glory many times already. I know somehow He wants to continue to use this experience and this precious baby's life that was formed and developed in my womb with no surprise to her Creator. I know He knew what He was doing and I don't question it any longer. I thank Him for the GIFT of this precious baby and the 6 months I had with her, and will never regret any of it. I'm glad you all got the chance to "know" her just a little, too. :)