Tuesday, April 13, 2010


When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
Job 2:11-13

I have to admit that I am not the greatest comforter to those facing hardship or loss. I NEVER know what to say. When I do have some sentiment to share with those I love who are in pain, I can rarely work up to courage to offer up those words. I often have found myself wishing there was something I could do, but always keep my distance justifying it with thoughts like, I shouldn’t bother them right now or they really don’t need me, we aren’t that close, I don’t know what to say

I am learning everyday that I am wrong more often than I am right.

When you are hurting, silence can be immensely painful and discouraging.

I have never been more grateful to be “bothered” with someone’s emails or words of encouragement or their tears. I received some insight on this by the Mommy’s I have met who have carried and cared for a child knowing that their baby’s time on earth was limited. What I have heard, and felt myself, is that often they have felt avoided or as if they were the elephant in the room. Grief and pain is uncomfortable for everyone: this I now understand intimately.

It is difficult for me to share my pain with others. I hate the thought of burdening someone with the pain I carry and on the flip side, I worry that they might be uncomfortable with the joy I have in Amelia. It is a strange position to be in. Questions wiz through my mind in anticipation of conversation with each person I greet… do they know about my sweet baby, will I have to explain, how much do they really want to hear…

That being said, I LOVE to talk about my baby Amelia and I love it when people ask about her! Tim and I have appreciated DEEPLY each card, phone call, email, prayer, blog comment, hug, hand shake, kind gesture, gift and thought. Every time I see an email in my inbox that mentions Amelia I smile, ear to ear. We know how difficult it can be to reach out. Know that your effort and actions have brightened our day.

I cannot resist mentioning a few of the things people have done that have left a mark on my heart:

Joe (and sweet Mary) – for making time to talk to me everyday about Amelia, for planning a blood drive in her honor, reading her blog faithfully

Ash – your phone calls, hat hunting, tears, devotion to your babies (in and out of the belly)…

Brian – talking me through final planning, calling my Gigi, reading Gigi entries from her great-granddaughter’s blog

My Lolo – who lives and fights-I know where Amelia gets her strength, calling my Gigi and my mommy, talking with me about my angel baby

Jean – How come you didn’t go into nursing? Can anyone love through service like you?!?!?

Gigi – showing us all what the name “Mother” means, you are a gift from God and I treasure you.

Angee – there is no room to list the half of it! Answering questions, finding the answers to questions, being my baby’s advocate, the comfort I feel knowing that you will be there when she arrives...

Jill – your prayers, your phone calls, your faith, your mother

Leslie – your tears and anger

Kate and ^Morgan^ – for listening, sharing, inspiring…you will never know

Stephanie P – for the two little preemie outfits for our angel baby, for your questions and virtual belly rubs ;)

Amy V – your thoughtful comments on Amelia’s bog, and prayers

The Aunts (and uncles) – no one has a family like ours! You are the glue. I love you.

Pastor Jank – a true Shepherd, your prayers, kind words, gift of music, bible study topics, sermons and smile.

Steve & Sara – for agreeing to photograph Amelia. Priceless treasures.

Dr. Kirsch, Dr. Barsoom & JoAnna – You will never know how the gift of medicine and compassion that God has given you has CHANGED the lives the people you serve.

My pregnant friends (sisters really) whose joy is my joy.

Ohhh, I never should have started listing-this could be the longest blog entry ever!!!

EVERYONE who has sent a card or email, and keeps sending them!

EVERYONE who has spoke with me on the phone, and keeps calling!

EVERYONE who has reached out to my parents

All the mommies who have shared their story and their precious babies lives’ with me.
Forever in my heart...
Renee & ^Amanda^, Julie & ^Lyndan^, Elena & ^Lilly^


Unknown said...

You quickly learn what are the right and wrong things to say and do when you're on this journey and you will continue to after she is born. That is one thing I am grateful for having learned.

Unknown said...

As I read your words I feel them. I've been there myself and have felt the exact same way. I agree with Holly and am grateful as well. You quickly learn what to say. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am grateful to have met you. I have to say thank you for mentioning Lilly that makes me happy. You have no idea how much I needed that today today. It means more than you know :) Thank you for sharing Amelia with us :)

love and prayers

Unknown said...

One more thing you mentioned Lolo, are you by any chance Filipino? Lolo means Grandfather in Tagalog its what our kids call my dad. Sorry just had to ask.

love and prayers

AmyV said...

Totally agree with you on not exactly knowing what to say or how to word things. Do what feels right to you, say the things you need to say, If you want to scream and cry do that, if you want to be happy and be thankful, do that. You have a right to do and say whatever you are feeling. Your friends and family are here with you on this journey, regardless if the road is bumpy. I have learned that you can't hold things in, you have to say what you feel, live the way you want, and not let the feeling of burdening someone overwhelm your need to express yourself. Amelia may be teaching you that others shouldn't judge, that life is short, and that we all need to take the time to smell the roses. For you to take the time to thank others in your time of need is gracious. You are welcome.

Stephanie Patzer said...

Are Holly & Elena experiencing the same type of journey you are on? I love that you have met others who can and will relate to your emotion. I also wanted you to be in other women's lives that are in similar circumstances, you are such an angel and I believe this is Amelia's way of reaching out, her life may be short of this earth, but I believe she will carry on for many generations. Also, come by when you get a chance, I have a little something, something for you and Amelia!

Unknown said...

Yes, Holly and Elena both have angel babies...

Holly is ^Carliegh's^ Mommy
and Elena is ^Lilly's^ Mommy

they are both bloggers and are living the pain and joy of having a child with Anencephaly.

Marsha said...

Melissa and Amelia,
Abby and I read your blog faithfully. It is difficult to know what to say via the blog and to you in person. Just know that we love both of you and tears flow when we read your beautiful words. You are so inspiring. I can't imagine all of the emotions you are feeling. You are always in our prayers.

Blessed Mom said...

I have learned this exact same thing during this last week. I used to keep quiet because I didnt know what to say or didnt want to hurt anyone. Our ultrasound last Tuesday showed that our precious little Faith also has Anencephaly & like you we are carrying her to term. In the week since then I have learned that silence hurts MUCH more than even a stumbling comment made out of love & concern. I bookmarked your blog & will continue to follow it. Our Faith is due August 7th so fairly close to yours. My prayers will be with you, I am so sorry you are going thru this too. I am blogging about Faith too if you wish to read it. http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/blessedwith6/