Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blessing Crew

Twice this month we have had the privilege of attending the blessing of babies that are dear to our hearts. First our NICU friend, Leo, and this past weekend our sweet niece Tora. These recent experiences have given me the opportunity to reflect on the circumstances of Crew's blessing.

You may (or may not) have noticed that there are no pictures of Crew on his big celebration day, no announcement of his blessing, no invitations to a luncheon. You may have wondered exactly how long we were going to wait!

The fact of the matter is that we had him blessed in the hospital when he was 10 days old. Our stake president and bishop gave us permission to give him a name and a blessing whenever we felt it would be appropriate. While we know that it is not theologically necessary for Crew to have the ordinance performed before death, it was very important to us emotionally to have it done. When Crew was life flighted for emergency surgery on his bowel rupture, we didn't know how things were going to turn out. Having already buried one son 5 days before, it didn't seem so crazy to think that this one might not make it either. We felt the time was right to have him named and blessed, just in case...

I wish I could remember the words of the blessing, since I have been able to write down and reflect upon Kinley's and Tanner's over the years. I remember a vague feeling of peace and that's it. It was such a stressful situation that it required all of my focus to simply remain on my feet near my baby.

Crew has had many many priesthood blessings since that day. We have seen the hand of God perform miracles on our tiny prince time and time again. We have been very blessed in tender moments that are too sacred to share. My life would be very different without these rich, unspeakable blessings that have come at the cost of so much sorrow.

Nevertheless, I found the very human side of myself grieving this weekend over the "blessing day that never was". I was completely blindsided by the unexpected emotions. I have managed to stuff deep inside the pictures I once had in my mind of blessing my two treasures in their matching white outfits. Because Crew's "official blessing" was so different and so incomparable to previous fantasies, I had been able to successfully repress my sorrow over the loss of Dex's special day as well.

I felt very silly to be thinking such thoughts. I just wasn't anticipating them at all. We have had such wonderful experiences with Dex; he has slipped into a very real and very important role in our family, and spiritually I feel quite comfortable with our situation. And you already know the joy I feel in Crew's path. I wish I could adequately express in words the happiness and absolute peace that fills my heart because of the perfect mercy of the Lord. Therefore, it felt so ludicrous to be hung up on the mortal side of things. I guess though, it might have to be "my normal" to be content in the eternal perspective and still allow myself the moments to say "my baby died and that's really sad!"

Can I have joy in our situation and still feel bereft of the mortal dreams we once had? Apparently so.

At my mother-in-law's suggestion, I dressed Crew up in his blessing outfit and took pictures. It was emotional for me, but I'm glad that I did it. I didn't wash the outfit beforehand, so the "newborn" size still fits him perfectly. We bought matching outfits for Dex and Crew to be blessed in as soon as we knew they were coming. When they were born, soft white blankets were purchased and my mother-in-law remodeled Dex's outfit to be a beautiful, tiny burial gown. Crew's outfit has remained untouched in the closet until today.

I love my tiny miracle babies. I suspect that I'll continue to find myself sorrowful from time to time as we reach new milestones with Crew. He is so beautiful in white. He is so precious and so pure. My husband and my children are treasures, and I'm the luckiest woman in the world.


Krisi and Adam said...

He is just so handsome in white, the pictures are beautiful. Just looking at them filled me with the spirit. What a blessing it was for you to know he was able to get that naming and blessing should something have gone wrong. It will make his baptismal day that much more special.

The Smith Family said...

I loved your templates when you did that blog and have followed your journey on this blog. I know I'm just a "blog stalker" but I felt very prompted today to tell you how much your testimony and faith has blessed me. Everytime I come to catch up on your blog, I feel such faith and reassurance. Thank you for sharing this with me and I hope you know how much it has meant.