When I say the past few months have been a whirlwind and a blur, they have been but in a beautiful and so very special way.
This blog has and will continue to be an intentional way to document our journey. If you have been following along, then you know by now it has been far from an easy path. We have broken down, stumbled a lot and are only able to keep going with direction from our Heavenly Father.
With that said, I must back up to us feeling the urge to sell our home a little over a year ago. I shared about that in a previous blog post. We prayed hard about that decision, feeling like it was the best one at the time to make for all of us, especially the boys. At the time, we are all actively pursuing therapy for our grief and as I have mentioned before, I was doing EMDR for the trauma that haunted me. That alone escalated the urge to leave the place “that took my little girl”. We agreed that it was too hard to go “back there” and the boys couldn’t think about swimming in that pool again. Just as importantly, is their safety. They love to play ball with their friends and there wasn’t any space for them to run around in the backyard, only the front. So we put our family home up for sale and it sold in a few months. I would be lying if I said that we didn’t miss it. We have so many memories there and nearly all of them are with Mazie. We pass by it often since the boys are still good friends with boys in that neighborhood. It stings to drive by and know it isn’t ours anymore. Yet another thing to grieve.
We realized that a new house wouldn’t take away our pain, only distract from it. I adamantly said from the initial onset of grief that I wouldn’t give in to that, which I learned from inner healing is dysfunctional behavior. With the real estate market being so crazy, we also didn’t want to make a rushed decision. While we prayed about making the next right step (all you can do after such a tragic loss), God answered our prayer before our house sold.
One of our friends and neighbors called to let us know that a rental sign had just appeared in the front yard of a house in our same subdivision. Again in the market recently, there has not been many rentals available so this was no doubt God’s perfect timing. We knew we had to jump on it right away and we moved in April 1st. A couple of the boys’ best friends lived across the street and they didn’t have to change schools. This helped to soften their grief and give them much needed familiarity. We celebrated Mazie’s 1st birthday in Heaven at that house too. Unexpectedly, we got a call 6 months later from the real estate broker that the owner needed to move back in for personal reasons. Talk about being put in a bind and terrible timing. We were facing a year of our “heartbreak anniversary”, Mazie passing.
One of our favorite spots in our old home with Mazie girl
Even though we kept praying about taking the next right step, the anxiety of not knowing where to go in such a hurry got to us. We looked at houses, missed out on houses and lucked out weeks before Christmas with another rental not too far away. Once again, some of the boys’ good friends lived on the same street which provided more temporary comfort. It was a smaller home so we knew that with Gabby coming and all of our family living out of town, we couldn’t be there long. It gave us a little more time to pray about our next family home to purchase.
Our 1st rent house on Mazie's 2nd birthday celebration
In March, we thought we found “the one” and was in a neighborhood we always loved. Well, we for sure have the worst luck ever and it fell apart in a very stressful way. God revealed that it was certainly not meant for us. We told our tenant that we would be out in the month of April and she needed to sell but fortunately gave us one more month to find a home. We had less than 2 weeks to make it happen. In that short timeframe, Latson was grieving and missing Mazie significantly. His emotions were affecting his sleep and schoolwork. Out of desperation, I made some calls to make him a counseling appointment and one of them was DIVINE. So is the connection to this special person I was blessed to meet, work with and become friends with instantly back in 2016.
Everyone that knows Reecie, this dear friend of ours, loves and feels the same way we do about her. Blessed! Our stories are now parallel. When we met, there was no way to predict just how they would be. Reecie lost her precious Clinton Ryan the same way at 2 years old. That inspired her to start her own non-profit last year called The RescYou Group. They help families just like hers and ours who have suffered the loss of a child.
Our last phone call before leaving the hospital was to Reecie. I had to wrap my arms around the one who would “get it”. I hate that we have this in common but I couldn’t be more grateful to walk alongside her. This sacred moment of her holding Mazie still leaves me speechless.
Reecie holding Mazie in the hospital
Fast forward to this April, when we urgently had to find a new home. I talked to Reecie to find the help we needed for Latson. Part of her organization’s services are to support siblings. During that same conversation, she mentioned getting her house ready to sell! I had been to her home several times and it was in the exact area we wanted to be, where the kids go to school. That was something else we prayed hard over, considering every option, including a Christian home school. But they didn’t need or want any more big changes so soon (although we are still praying about that decision too). So Reecie said the very next weekend they had already planned on moving out to get the house painted and ready to put on the market. And I said well what if you don’t have to? That phone call was on a Thursday and the very next day we all (Adam, mom and the boys) all went to look at it since they hadn’t been before. It was clear this is where God wanted us to be.
When we sold our home, it was like a part of us stayed in those walls. That’s why I wrote a letter to the buyers. To be honest, I’m not sure it mattered to them like it did to us. But do you know that Reecie had written a letter to their potential buyers, before knowing it would be us? It was truly heartfelt and I knew the depths of her soul that was poured into every word and what this meant to leave behind. As she said, this was not just a house but a home of healing.
With Reecie & Gabby at our new home on Mazie's 3rd birthday, SO SURREAL!
We have now celebrated Mazie’s 3rd birthday in Heaven at our “home of healing”. It’s where we feel embraced, warmth, LOVE. I pray that we always feel Mazie’s presence here and Clint’s too. We have already transformed the landscaping to hopefully attract butterflies with the flowers. And one thing we may be excited about the most is to be able to hang some of the most meaningful, breathtaking artwork some very special people have given us in honor of Mazie girl.
While life has been busy, it is so important to me to document these special moments that only God could orchestrate. He is truly in every moment and His timing is perfect.