Strange Things

As January rolls around, strange things start happening in me. I'm fine one minute and not the next. Memories swirl. Moments replay. Worship is like opening a floodgate. It's literal music to my ears and yet, scissors to my heart. The week before. The fear and worry. The granted peace and knowledge of truth. The scrambling. The craziness. The room and nurses and doctors. The clear voices and the muffled silence.

Emotions overcome me at the most unexpected times and quite honestly, as silly as this sounds, each year I forget this happens. I never seem to have my makeup handy when I need it and a puffy-faced, tear-streaked mama pretty much always draws attention, whether people want to say anything or not. I'm not actually surprised it does happen, just caught off guard when I'm not "prepared."

Sunday was that day for me so far and as hard as I tried, I couldn't stop the tears from falling.  I was fine with it in the middle of worship.  I mean, I have that written in my Bible and I couldn't help but laugh later.  worship- coming completely undone in the sight of the Lord.  That was definitely me! But then during the service (which was about lust none-the-less!) the tears were still rolling. (People probably thought I was upset about the message... wonder how that looked!?) I even had to excuse myself before service got out and cried in a bathroom.

So I'll be honest... logically, this doesn't make sense.  Four years ago I was (unknowingly) a week out from meeting and saying goodbye to our son. NO DOUBT that is emotional.  But again, head knowledge and heart truth tell me that everything is just how it was ordained to be.  The Lord saw fit to call Maddox home.  His body was not intended for this place... he is spending eternity with his Lord and Savior, not just mine.  That is mind-blowing to me.  He is not in pain, hurting or truthfully even concerned with what is going on down here.  He is full-time with the Lord. He is good. So are we. So then... what's with being overwhelmed with tears?

Throughout the year, I am usually good.  It's a rare occasion to see me crying about what could-have, should-have, might-have been.  It's not what is and I trust the Lord. FULLY. We talk about Maddox.  He is included in nightly prayers (not praying for him but thanking Jesus for his life). His life, his purpose, his sickness, heaven, prayer, healing, redemption, faith, undying love... it's all part of our family. It's part of our conversation and part of who we are.

And still... four years later I grieve.

And I'm sure you know why.  The thought of losing a child is beyond comprehension. The thing is, it's not about him.  It's completely, selfishly about me... It's about not having the four children that I have birthed with me. It's about not knowing if his eyes would have changed color like my older two or if he could be into Cars like Deacon was or legos like he is now. It's about wondering if that void will ever be fully filled and knowing that this side of heaven, the Lord is going to have to take it because a piece of me is missing. It's about having so little time with him and fearing he will be forgotten. It's about heart and head and worship and prayer.

It's knowing it's okay when it doesn't feel like it at that moment. Knowing it's okay to hurt, to grieve, to miss him and long for heaven... and ultimately, it's okay to know that this is somehow all part of God's revised plan. This world isn't as He designed it so nothing is how it "should" be. But, He is bigger than just a plan A. Mine or His own. And my simple knowledge that my son is rejoicing and spending eternity with Our Creator... well, when you get right down to it, that's all that matters.

So as strange as this sounds... it still feels strange to grieve like this after years have passed. Our family is filled with joy and love and laughter... but for this mama it is still emotional and sad, even having the faith that we do in Christ Jesus.

So if you know someone who has lost a child, at any age or gestation... Please just love on them a little extra hard. Whatever feels right to you is most likely appropriate and if you don't feel comfortable in person, let them know in a card, email or text. It does a grieving parent's heart good to know that their child is treasured by others, both remembered and loved.

"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."- Isaiah 33:6


The Nichols Fam said…
Thank you Kenzie for allowing us to see the Jesus in your heart and in your family. And thank you for the reminder to give extra love to those mommas out there who need it most. Love you friend.
Anonymous said…
Kenzie, you have such a beautiful way with words. Praying for you guys this week!
-kate heidbreder
Anonymous said…
What an amazing peek into your are an amazing mother, friend and inspiration! God is using your sweet words! Kristy
Andrea said…
Remembering Maddox with you Kenzie and this gift of his life.
Sherri said…
I have followed your blog for a long time. Today it spoke to me. My daughter and son in law have an adopted daughter from Ethiopia. They were waiting for their son to come home from Ethiopia and join their little family. I was the excited grandma. They met their son two weeks ago when they travelled to Ethiopia for a court date. He would come home in a few months, but that was not to be, he died on Monday in Ethiopia of pneumonia. I will never meet this precious little one. I am glad is mama and papa met him and held him. Your message is wonderful. I am going to share it with my daughter. We know God has a perfect plan, but it is hard to wait for it. Maddox will never be forgotten!
Christa said…
loved your post and think of you and maddox often. Miss you and love ya lots!
Anonymous said…
Your writing is beautiful and inspirational as well! Maddox will never be forgotten! We know he is with Jesus in Heaven. What a comfort! We think of him often and smile! Prayers are coming your way daily!!! God Bless! With much love, Mom and Dad
Kenzie said…

Oh my word... I am brokenhearted for the loss of your precious little grandson, a beautiful child you never got to meet this side of eternity. I am so broken for your entire family and will be lifting you all up as you endure this devastating time, emotionally and physically. Please email me if there is anything I can pray for more specifically.

God's peace and love in this time,
Kim said…
I am so appreciative of this post!

I teach medically fragile students, and one of them, who happened to be my favorite (and who also happens to be my boss's daughter) died in October. It's been really difficult to deal with - I just miss her a lot and I hurt so much for her parents and siblings (she's the oldest of six). Obviously what I'm feeling is so very different from what you are feeling, or what her parents are feeling - but it helps to know that the struggle through grief is normal and that it helps her parents to know others miss and think of her too.

Praying for you as you approach Maddox's day.
Anonymous said…
I have been thinking of you this week. For me as well, January rolls around and I think of Maddox. It is hard to believe that four years have already gone by, especially since his birth is still so clear to me. Sending you many hugs and warm thoughts. Much love...Georgia
Stacy said…
A friend just sent me the link to this post and let me know she's thinking of me and praying for me... thank you ♥ I lost my daughter Rachel last December to anencephaly. Your words all had me nodding in agreement. I get it. My blog is
Lori P said…
Beautiful words, Kenzie. Completely undone. He is SO faithful to put us back together every time. Praying for you this week. Thanks for always being transparent--I have learned so much from you and my faith has been strengthened by Maddox and his journey to Jesus!
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cb said…
Four years, forever yet just yesterday. Your openness and honesty once again moves me beyond words, but helps me remember that no matter how long it has been, to remember friends who have lost children at any time so they know they haven't and won't be forgotten. Maddox will forever be in my memories as will you and your family. Thank God for the healing that comes from Jesus!
Frances said…
I am just now reading this almost 2 months after you wrote this and I so thankful to for putting into words what so many of us have felt after loosing a child. I am almost 2 years out from the passing of my 4 son. I for the most part am very verbal, but when it comes to my son Stephen it is so hard to express the feelings I have.
Thank you so much,
Frances Still
Kathy said…
God surely has given you the gift of communication. You put your feelings into words so beautifully that we all relate to. You honor your sweet son, Maddox so well.
karina said…
Hey, Kenzie. I know this is an older post but I just read it and had to tell you my story.

One day I'm walking through Sam's Club and the store is full of blue hydrangeas. They are everywhere. One of my friends had given us a blue hydrangea when we lost our twins. I think to myself, "Oh it was almost six years ago. No, what is today? Wait. It was six years ago today." I proceeded to call my husband a bawl my way through the entire store, so much so that several strangers felt the need to ask me if everything was ok. I was so shocked at my reaction and embarrassed.

It took my awhile to define it. I had been at peace about the loss of my twins for a long time. If I had had them, I definitely wouldn't have my dear son Kevin. I know that they are with Jesus and that one day I will meet them. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I had such a strong reaction six years after our loss. You know what I figured out? A mom never gets over losing a baby/child. Sure, you can heal. You can feel at peace about it even. But in this life there is always going to be times when something from that loss hits you and it feels as fresh as if it just happened yesterday. It's like getting sucker punched by grief.

It's been 8 years for me now and almost 9 since I lost my daughter. I'm not sure I think of them everyday, but almost. Rarely when I think of them do I feel that sucker punch, but I expect it to happen at times for the rest of my life.

Hugs and peace to you.
ChefWife said…
Hi Kenzie---
I know this is so out-of-the blue but you gave me a bible devotional book when my son Bennett passed away 4 years ago (when we lived in Katy and went to ccs preschool). Bennett's Angelversary is actually April 21st and no matter what a month leading up to this date and a month leading up to his birthday...I cry at everything that reminds me of him.

I absolutely love your blog and I can not tell you how much I feel the same as you do.

Thank you for reminding me that everything I feel or think is normal. It is all a part of grieving even after four years.

Much love and aloha for thinking of our family at our "darkest" days.
Laurie Fujieda

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