The part you didn't see and how we are surviving.
People repeatedly tell me and Austin how strong we are, but the truth is, they just don't see us in our dark moments. Those occur behind closed doors when things are quiet, and we yearn for the laughter of our baby boy. His birthday, a day I had been planning for 6 months, was difficult beyond comprehension. So here's the part you didn't see.
At 10am we invited family and dear friends to celebrate Finn's birthday with us at his final resting place. It's weird how in sync Austin and I still are with Finn's needs, because that morning it dawned on me that we needed to bring Finn's bubble machine. I went outside to look for it but couldn't locate it, so I go in the garage and Austin is in there with the bubble machine putting batteries in it, because, he too knew Finn would want his bubbles.
When we arrived that morning, Austin and I laid down a blanket beside Finn's resting place and sat to celebrate our angel's birthday. I read him a letter I wrote; we played the Sing soundtrack, and the bubble machine blasted bubbles off better than ever before (we took this as a little hello from our Finny). And we wept for our baby. Wept for the life we all had together. Wept for what could have been.
It crushed us. Austin had already requested off for Finn's birthday, and we had planned to go to the zoo. He would have LOVED it. It breaks my heart that I'll never get to take him to the zoo and see his reaction to all the new sights and sounds. We struggle each and everyday at all the things that we feel robbed of, but we find strength in knowing that because of our God, we will see Finn again.
So how do we get through it? Austin and I are on two entirely different grief journeys which is 100% ok. I throw myself into writing and sharing Finn with the world; Austin has to cut himself off from the world for a bit. But at the end of the day, we get through it with each other. When Austin is having a weak moment, I am there. When I sob so loudly I can't catch my breath, Austin is there.
And when neither of us can bare the pain of another moment of this life we so wish we could escape from, we have Auntie Jess and Uncle Bob. For those of you who don't know, Uncle Bob and Auntie Jess came nearly weekly to see Finn. They loved him with their entire beings. So much to the point that it confused me and Austin. What does this young couple want with a baby? With us? But now, I know. It was all part of God's master plan. He knew that 1) Finn would change them, strengthen them, and love them and 2) that Finn's Mama and Dada's lives would depend on them one day. Uncle Bob and Aunt Jess have moved in with us for the foreseeable future. Each day their presence, their distraction, and their love keeps us going. It's a heavy load to carry to be around grieving parents, but they do it so gracefully and with so much strength. God knew what he was doing when he wove them so deeply into our lives.
And then we have the rest of Finn's Army. We have the ones that are working tirelessly to make sure his Fundraiser is the most incredible event Hillsboro has ever seen. And the ones that would drop everything they are doing if we called to hold us while we cry, to force us to eat, to do our laundry, to clean our house, organize our garage, or anything else that we no longer have the strength to do. We call them: Finn's Army. Here is a small portion of Finn's Army on his birthday.
But Finn's army is also all of you who continue to share and read about our perfect baby boy. You are all a part of Finn's army.
Please stick with me as I find my purpose through Finn and God. It's coming. I feel closer to it everyday.
For now, enjoy the little things like a self-made closet fort and pulling your mama's hair (see the picture below-one of my favorite memories with my Turkey).