Friday, May 11, 2007

Ode to the Mothers

Apologies to the three of you who noticed that I did not post on my normal Wednesday. I finished finals on Tuesday, and have since been catching up on some things neglected such as: hugging Ginny, catching up on e-mail, and going to the bathroom (not in that order).

We are looking forward to the summer. Ginny has some jewelry shows lined up and I will be taking some classes. This Sunday for Mother’s Day we are joining some friends for a day trip to Shoji’s stomping grounds (Branson, USA).

Mother’s Day will be celebrated more than ever in our household. Some close to us have approached this holiday with reservation and questions as to our feelings. These are good questions, with hardships in life, each one deals with things so differently. But we will not be looking the other way this Mother’s Day.

It is certain to bring mixed emotions, as has every component of our experience as parents. But Ginny is a mother. There is a wild identity crisis when faced with losing a child. You were parents. Now what are you? Well, Ginny is a mother. Complete with all the experiences that only other mothers can identify with.

Motherhood is only gained, never lost.

And what a mother she was. And although, I would love to dwell on that fact, she would not allow it- with my anniversary letter, she is certain she has been the topic quite enough. And, even though, I would beg to differ, out of respect I assent. Suffice it say, her love for Eliot was pure and beautiful.

Instead, I want to focus on all you mothers. You blog-loving community of mothers. I know you’re out there.

We have been so encouraged by people who have told us how much Eliot’s story has challenged them to be better parents. However, truth be told, we believe that Ginny did nothing as a mother that was not inherent in the job description. To be a mother, one must love in self-sacrificing ways- putting another’s needs ahead of their own. This is what a mother does.

So, happy Mother’s Day to all of you blessed enough to count yourselves as mothers.


Military Mommy said...

Sweet Ginny - Happy Mother's Day to you. Your open heart has shone like a beacon of light for all who visit here.

Thank you for your testimony of pure, unselfish love.

You inspire me to be a better mother. And I think that is the biggest compliment of all. You encourage others to cherish and love what is right before them.

Your heart points straight up to the author of all that is good.

love, Michelle

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

First off, please know that many more noticed you were absent on Wednesday. Those people might not have said anything, but are a little OCD about checking your blog several times a day. Although I have no idea who those people might be. :-) *sheepish grin*

Secondly, Ginny, I hope this is a lovely and perfect Mother's Day for you. I will pray it be a day of Blessings, Blessings, Blessings and nothing but more Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day Ginny!! Matt is so very right when he says that you cannot take motherhood away. I have said a million times over, God knew exactly who to give that sweet little boy to for his brief stay on earth! Eliot could not have had a better mother =)

I hope you have a day full of great memories and a sense of peace and accomplishment on this, your first Mother's Day.

Still praying for you in Texas!

Lisa Hartsfield
Arlington, TX

Erin From NY said...

Happy Mothers Day Ginny <3

Mayhem And Miracles said...

You are so right. We are so BLESSED to get to be mothers. As someone who has also lost a child, you are also right that once you have been a mother, you carry that title forever! Ginny, you have had all the rights and privelages and trials and heartaches that Motherhood entails. Your heart has been transformed. You are Eliot's Mom forever. I hope that all the sweetest memories of your son flood this special day and bring you peace and a smile. Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Just want to wish Ginny a Happy Mother's Day!!

Carey said...

Happy Mother's Day to you Ginny!

Melody said...

Thank you, Matt, for recognizing that even babies in Heaven still make a mom a mom. After I lost my first 3, everyone looked the other way at Mother's Day with the exception of my precious sister who sent me cards and gifts for 2 Mother's Days. You go to church, the pastor asks all mothers to never know whether to stand or sit because you are in a crazy tragic situation. I always felt like everyone was looking to see if I stood or sat.
I commend you once again on your faith and this incredible website so that others can understand loss and know what to do better than if they were just floating around in their happy little lands.
I have two favorite verses....the first is what we put on the boys' footstone "Now we see through a mirror darkly, but one day we shall see face to face. What we know now is only partial but one day we will know completely as we are completely known." I Cor 13:12 True? Who knows why this crazy stuff happens except that through it all God is glorified. And"He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can dream or imagine" Eph 3:20...because He can do more and He will do more, just as you are furthering His Kingdom by your faithfulness in the little things.

Happy, Happy Mother's Day, Ginny.

^bbb^ 11-03-03 at 22 weeks
BBB ^d^ 1-08-06 at 30.3 weeks
I am an earthly mom at last!

jasper said...

Matt and Ginny,

I recently saw your video about Eliot. He is such a couragous little boy. I think about him frequently now......Of course our time here on earth in just temporary and short, you will meet him again in heaven.

God Bless,

Liza's Eyeview said...

Happy Mother's Day Ginny. I know you will try to be strong today (or maybe not I know...but I guess)... But know that it's ok to cry (if you feel like crying when you think of Eliot).

I posted this several days ago... for my sister in law ...and I think you might get some encouragement too. Yes, once a mom, always a mom. Happy Mother's Day.

keithandjennifer said...

Happy Mother's Day Ginny, I do not even know you but you are an inspiration. Thank you for your life, love and faith. It is inspiring.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Happy Mother's Day Ginny--I've thought about you a lot today and hoped that you felt loved and cherished on this special day.

And Matt, you are a good man. It'll be an honor for me to meet the two of you someday. You are good people, following a great God. Thank you for always pointing us to Him. :)

faithemmanuel said...

I just found your story- what a testament to love. Thank you. My husband and I lost our first child also. (Through SIDS at 51/2 months) God is glorified through the strength to praise Him through it all.

Happy Mother's Day, Ginny.

The Miller's said...

Happy Mother's Day, Ginny! This is my first post on your blog--I was "introduced" to you just over a week ago. My second child died March 10th, just 10 days after birth from a Congenital Heart Defect. Yes, everyone wondered how I would handle today (okay, I wondered too) but it has been a GOOD day. Matt, thanks for recognizing ALL mothers--wherever their children are. Thanks for sharing all of your feelings--it is comforting to know there are others grieving the loss of a child on earth while celebrating his arrival in heaven! Holly

CakeHead said...

I have just found your blog. It has touched me deeply and I am in awe of the parents you are. Happy Mother's day to Ginny, and an early Father's day to you.

PinkJeweledCat said...

I just wanted to leave a quick comment. Somebody talked about your powerful testimony in a comment left over at Especially Heather, and I'm so glad I looked you up. God has been just leading me to all these powerful testimonies of what He's capable of acheiving in us when we just put ourselves in His hands. I'll come back more because I want to submit something for the 'what we've learned' challenge in one of your earlier posts. Ta for now dahling!

Gretchen George said...

Ginny, Happy Mother's Day to you. I hope that you'll be able to feel the spirit of your son with you on this special day. My prayers are always with you and your family. What a special family you are!

Hugs - Gretchen George

Anonymous said...

Ginny, Happy Mother's Day from the Unruh's!!!!

JK said...

Ginny's love for Eliot IS pure... IS beautiful... forever. Praise God he awaits you in eternity... The Lord assures us that our lives here on earth are the merest vapor. Praise Him that we can say with certainty that we will see our loved ones again. Someday, we will all praise God again together. For eternity.

God bless you both...

Jennifer Mercer

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Protect them,
so all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord,
surrounding them with your shield of love.

Psm. 5:11-12

justabeachkat said...

A very sweet post from the very sweet parents of a very special and sweet little boy.

Sara said...

Happy Mother's Day a bit late, Ginny. I hope you had a wonderful time in Branson.

Matt, I linked over to you from another mom's blog, and for the past half hour have been reading up on your family's journey. Eliot is a beautiful boy, and just from the love expressed on these pages I can tell that you are beautiful parents. I'm so sad he's not still with you here on earth, but your celebration of his life is so amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us.

The Walkie Talkie said...

Matt- Make that 5 people who noticed. Jayme and I discussed your "absence" but decided it was due to finals. Your posts are always eagerly awaited and greatly appreciated. Hope Branson was a blast- heard Soji's bathroooms are GREAT. This time of year always makes me think of Kamp. Jenny Beth

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across the link to Eliot's video on YouTube while I was looking for something else on a completely unrelated topic, but, as it sometimes seems, those random Internet pathways seem to have been guided, rather than simply random.

I want to thank you both for sharing not only your son's time, but your journey of faith and doubt. Thank you for being honest and showing some of the struggles that you went through and how they've affected both of you.

You spoke of Eliot having taught you perspective -- the value of every moment and how trivial the mundane can be -- but what comes through more clearly in reading is the overwhelming trust that you had in God. Your prayers for healing were not answered in a way that you might have hoped, but you joyfully accepted the time that you had with your son. You celebrated every day as a gift, even when they must have been unimaginably difficult. Thank you for sharing that faith and trust.

Tonight the three of you are in my prayers.

It's a Mom Thing said...

I watched the movie you made of your son, Eliot. It is posted at a fave blog of mine MommyLife. What a touching tribute to one of God's little blessing. I just did a Google search of your son's name and happened upon your blog.

I really like what you said about your wife being a mom. She is a mom. I know a family who just lost their 10-month old in a car accident. He passed away on Saturday night before Mother's Day. I can't imagine the pain she felt. But I pray that in the future, she will be able to celebrate Mother's Day knowing that she is a mom.

Your boy was such a beautiful child. I know you look forward to seeing him again in heaven! What a day of celebration that will be!

Holly said...

Yes, you are right. Ginny IS a mom - and she did what moms do. She did what God instilled into mothers to naturally know how to love, to nurture, to care for their children, to sacrifice whatever it takes for their children. It is GOOD, and it is right!

What is rare - is that we don't always see this now. The world tells us it is un-natural to so deeply love, even in the midst of such pain. The world tells us to get rid of the baby, the pain, before we "know" it and before we are so deeply hurt by it.

Ginny, you and Matt truly are inspiring - and so is Eliot. God is using you, HAS used you, will keep using you. Your love and care for Eliot and your enjoyment and celebration of him should be sung from the rooftops.

Someday, friends. Someday you SHALL hold and see Eliot again. Hold on to that.

With love,