Eyes Toward the Sun

   Sunday, October 28, 2013

Mark suggested that I post some of my writing assignments from school this semester on the blog.  Since the blog has suffered a little neglect since we started the crazy transient life of a family in clinical rotations, I thought, "sure why not?"  Hopefully, a little action on the blog will remind me to give it more attention than I have been.  I surely need to practice my writing and this is as good an avenue as any.    
This is an assignment that corresponds with the This I Believe project/campaign that was started in the 1950's.  It is a public dialogue about the beliefs of people from all walks of life.  This I Believe, executive producer Dan Gediman said, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs.  Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”

You should check out their website.  There is a good chance that some of your mentors might be included in the essays (such as Jackie Robinson, Albert Einstein, Hellen Keller, and Maria von Trapp).  Serious, go check it out.

Eyes Toward the Sun

I believe gratitude heals broken hearts.  Sometimes our lives don’t pan out exactly like we’ve hoped.  Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery?  Winning it big would make a person’s life pretty great, wouldn’t it?  How would you respond if you didn’t win?  What are you going to do?  Cry, sulk, allow depression to overtake you?  That would be pretty silly to get upset about something that God, or say, the Universe didn’t give you, right?  For me, the lottery scenario, as trivial as it might seem, helped put things in a better perspective.  Even though I didn’t win one of life's metaphorical lotteries, there was still much to be thankful for. 
April 3, 2013 was another quiet day as my seventeen-month old daughter, Eden, and I played together at home while Daddy was away at school.  Not long after Eden went down for her afternoon nap, I rushed to the bathroom.  My heart sank as I saw the familiar signs.
I recognized the process of what was happening.  I tried to convince myself it wasn’t and it could possibly be attributed to something different, but I knew better.  Two previous times in the last nine months I had experienced these symptoms; my body was aborting my pregnancy.  I was helpless as I watched the loss of yet another developing baby.
The sparkle that had been in my eye disappeared immediately.  I refused to cry because to me that would have been admission of certainty that I wasn’t willing to concede to then.  I prayed asking that it might not be what it seemed it was.
Into the night the symptoms persisted.  I was rapidly growing weaker.  Despite my husband’s demands that we go to the hospital, I refused.  With no more strength left to argue, let alone stand, he picked my limp body up off the ground and carried me to the car.
My cousin drove from a distance away where she lived to our small little town to take Eden for the night. 
At the hospital after an IV, tests, ultra-sounds, and the same questions asked over and over by different medical staff, we were left to wait in the sterile ER room.  I thought to myself, “Maybe it is with dual purpose that these rooms are so cold and austere feeling?” It ensures a hospital visit to be more like a business transaction – a brief exchange of information, straightforward and as little emotion as possible.  
In the early morning hours, we finally received the long awaited results.  The doctor informed us that I had indeed “lost the pregnancy.” 
I was grateful for the lack of embellished words that night.  I was grateful for the ambiguous cold of that stainless steel room.  I was numb and unwilling to think of my disappointed hopes and my desire to give Eden a best friend with whom she could play.  It helped me forget the burning desire, which emanated from my very core, to bring forth another spirit from Heaven.  It assisted me in temporarily forgetting the photo of a smiling Eden we had sent to family and friends a few weeks back with her holding a sign that announced, “Big Sister.” 
We thanked the doctors and staff and went home.
My husband and I were grateful for the remaining time that night to be alone and to exist as husband and wife and receive strength through our bond of love.   
 In the morning we drove to meet my cousin and pick up Eden.  We joined Eden in her excitement to have just experienced the first sleepover of her young life.  We embraced her tightly.  It is probably because of our loss that we were that much more aware of the blessing and miracle that had come to us at her birth.  She made us a family of three and for now we would continue as such – celebrating our happy moments and milestones (such as first sleepovers with cousins), loving each other as richly as our capacities would allow, and being grateful for the day in front of us that demanded to be lived and its potential exhausted.
While I initially mourned our loss, I could not be permanently sad for not having received another child into our family.  My Heavenly Parents have given me one of Their spirit children.  She is ultimately Theirs and so are all children that come into this life.  If Heavenly Father desires another one of His children come to our family and our stewardship, then accompanying our righteous desires, it will be so.
I resolved that I would be grateful for those people and those blessings in front of me.  For a period of time, I mourned the loss of another precious soul coming to our family but I simultaneously recognized my family is as Heavenly Father would have it be. 
I believe gratitude heals broken hearts.  To cast our eyes in the direction of the light is restorative of our joy.  Despite the bitterness of disappointed hopes or expectations, there is a world of beauty and wonder in front of us that deserves to be savored and appreciated.  The time to live and be cheerful is now.
“Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.”  - Doctrine and Covenants 101:16
These things I know.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing to me how as women we can so deeply mourn the loss of a child who we never held in our arms, but I think that love for our children, born or unborn, is the most beautiful part of our divine nature. I miscarried twice between Camden and Luke and I remember those being such painful days. Lots of love to you, cousin!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story. While I haven't experienced the loss of a child, it did take years for me to get pregnant with our first. Then again the second time we weren't able to get pregnant without the help of medicine. I remember those years, and days in the bathroom filled with tears and thoughts of a never ending trial. Then unexpectedly we became pregnant without medicine with our 3rd and much sooner than planned. If I've learned anything over the years, it is that we have much less control over what our family looks like and when our children come. But I do know that God does hear our prayers and knows us and we will love our families in all their shapes and sizes. I loved your comments on enjoying the moments your have with your daughter now.