In Joy and Sorrow

I'm not exactly sure what the point of this post is going to be, but lately I've found myself reflecting on the past five years of my life and marriage and how many things have taken place and shaped who my family has become.

The last five years have been the happiest and most difficult years of my life. I married my husband, I had four beautiful children, I gained family and I gained friendship. I also experienced the loss of a child, the passing of many family members, the effects of divorce, and the struggle of balancing life and managing to stay mentally healthy.

I honestly don't know how I've come out on the other side of all of these things. Dealing with loss, wether it's the form of death or the loss of the life I've known, is very difficult for me to handle. I cry during movie previews, TV shows, commercials, I even cried on my way into volunteering for my daughters kindergarten classroom for the first time because I knew it was the first of many memories. Needless to say, I'm an emotional person. It's annoying, but it's also a little freeing too. It means I can communicate how I'm feeling, good or bad, and I don't have to hide it.

Dealing with the loss of a child is something you never fully recover from. Everyday I'm reminded of him, and every milestone one of my other children reaches is a reminder of what I won't be able to experience with Elijah. I only knew him for 37 weeks while I was pregnant and 12 hours after his birth, but I miss him. Since my youngest son Calvin was born, I've felt a connection that's hard to explain. I think that Calvin has a lot of physical and personality traits that would have resembled Elijah's. When I hold Calvin and watch his joy and excitement in the littlest things, I feel a connection, and I feel as if a part of him is still here with me. I find this very comforting. I know I will never be able to fill the void that was left after his death, but I can find new things to find joy in.

My husband is one of those things that brings me joy. He's the most frustrating man I know, but he's also the best man I know. He's patient, loving, and dedicated, and I don't always make things easy for him. But marriage isn't easy, and we've learned a lot throughout the last few years. Many couples don't survive the loss of a child, and it was a true struggle, but we've come out on the other side learning some very valuable lessons. I love how much he loves our children, and wants to play an active role in their lives. I never would have expected us to have four children in four years, but it has been the most wonderfully, terrifyingly, enjoyable experiences I will ever have.

Over the last five years, I've learned that things change, and that's ok. We have lost family members, we have lost marriages, but we've survived and we've found a new type of normal. We've welcomed new life into our family, and with new life comes new opportunities and new memories. I just can't help to wonder what the next five years will bring, it makes me nervous, but I'm excited to see where we will go from here.

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