The last few weeks I have time to think, process, and pray about many things. This past week a sweet friend who I met while living in California is undergoing a very scary event. Her precious little 6-year-old is in the ICU fighting off complications from a common cold. She has turned a corner and is improving, but the family faced some very scary moments. I spent much of my quiet sitting time this week in prayer for them. Pleading with God to not take away their baby. My mama heart was bleeding for her. My friend posted this morning how the events have shifted her perspective and that their family was changed forever. Great tragedy will bring you to your knees and have that impact on you. Since May, I have changed. Koen's impact on my life has been huge. Sadness, of course, but he has brought me clarity and strength as well.
I love the Olympics. Given my inability to do much of anything I was able to watch them in their entirety. I love the idea of the Olympics, the competition, the pride in my country, but most of all I love the stories. Two stories touched my heart in a huge way this year.
Sarah Burke, a Superpipe Skier (a pioneer of the sport), died while training in 2012. NBC did an interview with her parents and this is what her mom said: "Before this happened I would have said the worst thing that could have happened to me, ever, was to lose Sarah. Then I realized there was one thing worse than that. It would have been to never had had her at all in my life." The loss of a child is unthinkable. The mere thought of something happening to Hackett is more than I can bear. But the heartache of knowing that I will never know Koen in this earthly life hurts so much in a completely different way. I was never able to have had him in my life.
(You can watch their interview: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/halfpipe-podium-points-sky-tribute-sarah-burke )
Noelle Pikus-Pace, the silver medalist in Skeleton in Sochi, bravely shared her story of loss. She is the mother of three, but lost her third (a little girl) when she was 18 weeks pregnant. She had left the sport, but after her loss her heart was so broken she needed something to help her focus and heal. Her husband encouraged her to return to the sport. How brave to bare her heart and show her tears of pain, even after her silver medal win. I started to blog to get the feelings out of my head. I still wanted to remember the pain, hurt, and triumphs, but needed to let them go. This was my outlet. It was also a way to communicate events without having to tell my painful story over and over. But I think there is a blessing attached to this now. So many have shared their stories of loss with me, many of those losses occurred in the first trimester. Some have kept those losses quiet. Often it is advised to keep your pregnancy news quiet until you hit the safety of the second trimester. No matter when the loss occurs, it is still a loss. It hurts my heart to know so many have felt the same heartache that I have in silence. I hope sharing my story helps others know that they are not alone and they don't have to keep their pain quiet. Noelle has done that too and I am so grateful.
(You can watch her interview:
I am Jackie.