Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Here we are in December and I feel as though I’m stuck in 2020. It’s not as depressing as it sounds so bear with me.
I’m sure I’ve said it before but it’s worth sharing again. I thank God for the healing He has done in my life and the resources he has led me/us too. Without His comfort and guidance, the countless sessions with multiple counselors, inner healing work and deliberately avoiding any unhealthy coping/numbing/distracting I am still standing and breathing. That may sound exaggerated but it couldn’t be more true. I’ll elaborate…
Myles, Mazie & Latson - December 2019, Mazie's 1st and only Christmas
Back in September, I had some incredible breakthroughs during my EMDR and PTSD sessions. My counselor is just amazing and I love how she prays with and over me each time. When I first began, I experienced extreme anxiety from beginning to end and this lasted for months. If she were to ask on a scale from 1 to 10 where I was with the “memory” (it mostly revolves around the trauma), I would be no less than an 8 but usually a 10. How would I know? My heart was racing the whole way there and it felt like it would jump out of my chest as soon as I sat in the chair. I was tense and had a lump in my throat the whole time.
Over the summer, those intense emotions didn’t just ease up. Jesus embraced me in nearly every moment as I went back to those difficult days reliving each one. I could feel His presence and I immediately became lighter, more at peace. It was truly miraculous that rather than focusing on the chaos of it all, I could center in on the blessings in between - the social worker and priest who comforted us in the emergency room, the nurse who encouraged the sacred time with Mazie the day after in the ICU room when we got to bathe her, get her footprints, record her heartbeat and hold her for hours. Or instead of feeling the anger again towards the detectives questioning me as soon as Mazie was transferred to the ICU room, I remembered and was grateful for the detective who brought flowers the day we were home.
Latson & Myles with the LPSO detectives and deputies - December 2020
There have been times I could sense Jesus with us at the hospital and that has been THE most powerful source of healing possible. HE is how and why I am here today. He is how we could start processing. It’s painful to do but so necessary. We’ve had questions about much of what happened during a time that was nothing but a blur.
One way we did this was going back to the hospital a few months ago. That was hard as you can imagine. Not to mention that when I called the case manager we were meeting with, I was so nervous when she said to come through the same doors we had before. The meeting was to go over a discussion about donation (that will be another blog post in the future) yet little did I know of the impact our Mazie girl had made on the hospital staff. The social worker and medical records manager both shared how she and us speaking up about her have touched them as well as the nurses that took care of our sweet girl. It was another blessing that made this dark time a little lighter.
A priceless moment with the 5 of us at Myles' Christmas play - December 2019
Heavy anticipation followed as we approached a year. October through Thanksgiving and now up to Christmas, the time has been a surreal and painful reality of again what should be. Last year the holidays came so fast, that we were merely surviving. It was a total blur.
Now with the lives around us that have gone back to “normal” and traditions continue, we are keenly aware that none of it will ever be the same again without Mazie.
We are desperate to be around those who acknowledge her, understand how we feel and who “get it”. Once again, the Lord knew exactly what we needed. A dear friend, a sister by circumstance, invited us to a support group just this week where we met with other parents who are walking this painful journey with us. And we were reminded that the loss of a child is like no other grief with all of the layers that parents face…the guilt, the trauma, the milestones we miss. But you know what? In the midst of the tears we shared, there was also an instant bond. I know that meeting will lead to us all having the opportunity to exchange stories of our children and help each other heal. All of this to say that God gave us another blessing. He gets the glory.
Despite the emptiness that we can’t deny this Christmas, we are GRATEFUL for the birth of Jesus and for His redemption, salvation and grace. And we covet the support, compassion and prayers that have gotten us through this year from our friends and family.
With an open, surrendered heart we see the light in the darkness. Our Mazie girl shines bright and we carry her with her this Christmas and every day.
We love you beyond measure Mazie Leah!