My eyes seem to easily well up with tears this week. God has brought so many to my mind, I feel their sadness, and my heart is heavy with empathy.
In feeling the pain of others, I realize how far I have come in my own healing. A piece of my heart will forever be missing, but it is no longer laying in pieces on the floor. It still hurts, the shape of it forever changed, but I am no longer broken. I made the mistake of watching a movie last night, not something I often do (TV seems to be safer for me, emotionally), but my two big guys were out for the evening and my little guy was down for the night. I pulled up the free movie options on Amazon Prime, and saw the movie Labor Day. A romantic story about a man who tries to escape from prison, and successfully does for just one weekend. It wasn't on my "must see" list, but didn't seem like it would trigger anything for me. It felt safe, so I began to watch. Kate Winslet plays the leading lady, she is clearly damaged in the movie, and in the beginning it seems it is the result of her husband leaving her. It is not until much later that we learn the reasons she is unable to be an active participant in life and in the world around her. After the healthy birth of her son, she faces multiple miscarriages and then the stillbirth of her daughter. The death of her daughter cripples her, leaving her distant, broken,and closed off to the world around her. By the grace of God, that did not happen to me. It so easily could have. As they showed how she started to cut herself off, I could relate, I understood. I haven't been able to shake the feelings and my gratitude all day today.
I am grateful to my God for holding me, Kevin for being for constant, and my precious boys. How their sweet little spirits have healed mine. Hackett is an old soul, such a deep little guy, who is filled with many emotions, and so aware of them all. Overwhelming for someone of his age to be weighed down so heavily. I know, because I was too at his age. He asks me tough questions about my childhood and my feelings when I was his age, desperate to know that he is not alone, and in the process he cracks me wide open. Opening up things that I had buried so long ago. His gentle spirit and love for his momma make my heart spill over. As I was writing this earlier today, thinking he was napping with his dad after hours of snowboarding, he came downstairs and found me with tears on my face. "Are you okay mom? Koen?" were his first words and he sweetly rubbed my shoulder. I typically write in my own time, but he knows. I have never wanted to keep it a secret from him, I don't want to hide my grief and my healing, and I don't want to him to fear that my tears may mean something greater by not explaining them to him. He is what got me out of bed, and made me go on after we lost Koen. His laugh. Oh, his laugh, I wish I could bottle it up. He pulled me back from the heavens down to earth. He made me want to participate in life again, because I did not want to miss a moment of his. I legitimately don't know what I would have done without him. When I learn of a mom who has suffered loss and it is their first, I ache for them. I simply don't know if I would have been able to move forward without Hackett. Our love for him drove us to take the risk and try once again, knowing his desire for a sibling.
Tobin seems to know innately understand how deeply and vastly he is loved, by so many. I am not sure how, but he does. He seems to want to pour that love back. Joy spills from his little spirit. He has put my heart back together again, except for that one missing piece. Part of me wants him to stop growing up, and the other part is anxious to see what he will become in life. This happy spirit that graces our home, this precious life that wouldn't be here if his brother had lived. I don't know if I will ever wrap my mind around that. He is a gift. A gift I was unsure if I would be able to keep a year ago. A gift that I know I could not live without. How I love him. How he has stolen my heart. How he has healed me. Many mommy's that experience loss are not given this happy ending to their tragic story. I ache for them. It has not erased our pain or loss, but it has brought us so much healing.
A newer development this month is watching Hackett and Tobin's brother bond forming. Just when I thought I could not possibly love them any more, they fall in love with each other. I can't. I have no words. There is one curly headed brother missing in the Soper family, and for me there always will be, but for them it is just how it should be and that makes it perfect.
I am Jackie. I am a child of the one true King. I am a wife to my high school sweetheart, Kevin. I am a mom to my three sons - Hackett, Koen (my little angel), and Tobin. I am experiencing loss, heartache, and grief. On May 27, 2013, at 26 weeks and 6 days I went into the hospital with contractions, only to learn that my Koen's sweet little heart had stopped beating. Tobin was born July 8, 2014. I am on a journey . . .