Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Thoughts on Knox's 4th Birthday

Going into this, his 4th birthday, and our 3rd(gasp) without him seemed a bit different. Jon and I went to a respite retreat last weekend hosted by the author of this book and her husband:
This was one of the first books that someone gave me and I found it very comforting and reassuring to know that people had been through this and are doing more than just surviving. I was really nervous going in; I am not a particularly outgoing person especially around people I don't know, and I didn't know any of these people. I reminded myself that when Knox had his accident, I felt completely stripped, naked, and vulnerable. I felt pretty certain that those people who were coming knew what that felt like and I could be open with them.
They made it easy for us. Here we were in a group of people who knew just what we were going through. We were all living each other's nightmare. No one in the room had the "prize" that no one wanted for worst day ever. Being 2 1/2 years out from his accident, I sometimes wonder if people know how hard it still is. Yes, we live and love and laugh, but there are still times you want to curl up in a ball, pull the covers over your head, and never come out again or smash every breakable in the house into smithereens. There is still so much right there, under the surface. I didn't have to wonder if anyone there knew this because they live it even if it hasn't been 2 1/2 years for them or even if it has been longer.
It was kind of different to be with people that you could share your story and say anything with no judgement or no shock. We could all laugh and cry about the careless and insensitive things people have done or said because we have all had them. We faced different issues and same issues, and we could talk about any of them. We learned there is no right or wrong way to do many things, but the common theme was people holding onto faith and hope in the midst of their loss. That was beautiful.
Coming home, we were exhausted physically and emotionally. I was really too tired yesterday to even really talk about it though having lots of time to process it on the long drive home. Coming home was sweet though; hugging our kids and holding Creed. He was so pleased to see us. Jon made the comment this morning that we left Creed as a baby and came back to a little boy. We were only gone 6 days, but there really was a difference. He was saying a lot more words and doing new things. This has always been one of my favorite stages. I adore toddlers; they are so much fun even with all their messes!!! He is 17 months old and less than 2 weeks shy of the age Knoxie was when he had his accident. It reminds just all that we have missed with Knox and we can't help but wonder what he would be like at 4. It really isn't even something I can imagine or fathom.
I am grateful, beyond what I can express that we also have Creed. I remember thinking in those desperate days that all that had been taken from me; that we would never experience babyhood or toddlerhood again. That it had all been stripped away from us forever and before we were ready. And honestly, it was for Knox. We weren't ready to let him go. We loved him and enjoyed him and wanted to raise him to adulthood. Creed is a reminder that God still blesses us; that He is good; that we don't have to forfeit our hopes and dreams for our family because we lost Knox. He is a reminder along with our other children to keep living and worshipping. He doesn't and never could replace Knox, but we are ever grateful for him. He fills our arms; yet, they are still empty and we pray that he will know Knoxie through our memories.
A birthday can't go by that I don't post some favorite pictures:


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to precious Knox. So thankful for the time we had to enjoy that precious boy. Thank you for letting us share with you.

Heather said...

Rachel, you are amazing and I am so thankful for your willingness to be open and very real with your story. I wrote Knox's name on our calender for today so I would be especially mindful for you all today. I don't know why, but it's these days - Knox's birthday, my brother's birthday -that make me the most homesick. I guess I just want to be close to y'all especially then.
Anyway, rambling, I will call tomorrow or Thursday.
Love to all. We sure do miss the Anderson's.

Christi said...

I was wondering how the retreat went and I am glad you were able to take a lot from it. It blows my mind that it has been so long since Knox went home! I've been thinking of y'all today and continue to always pray for you.

Kiersten said...

Knox has been on my mind so much in the last few weeks. I'm so thankful for his life and the life yet to come that we can share along with him.

Adam and Andrew said...

Thank you for your testimony and courage to share something so personal and painful with all us out here. I can't believe that you've had to mark three birthday without him, it all seems so fresh to me still. Because of Knox I will hold my children a little tighter and a little longer and know that God is good even when we can't understand his ways.

em said...

very excited it went well - we were thinking of you guys recently

Rachel R. said...

Oh, Rachel. I cannot even fathom. :( My Sophia reminds me so much of your Knox - and to even consider the thought of losing her is unbearably painful for me. God must surely be your strength.

Thank you for sharing. Even though I never actually "knew" him, I know him as sheer delight, and appreciate getting to enjoy the memories with you.


Mrs. Dan said...

((hugs)) I miss that boy. Praying for you today!

Anonymous said...

I especially love those blue eyes and delighted smile of his. I've so enjoyed seeing how much you and your family enjoyed him while you had him, and how you've shared him with us in your photos and memories. Thank you. Tally in Congo

Heidi said...

"Creed is a reminder that God still blesses us; that He is good; ... He is a reminder along with our other children to keep living and worshipping."

This part especially really touched my heart, Rachel. Thank you for sharing.
- Heidi

Abby Hutto said...

I think of precious Knox often as I look at my Harris. Thank you for your honesty over the past couple of years as you have so openly and beautifully talked about your pain and struggles and God's ever present goodness through them. I hope that one day in Glory, God will show you how many lives you have ministered to and touched. We love your family and think and pray for you all often.

Nan said...

What a small world the internet... well, and the world can be! I've been following the blog of the cousin of a friend of mine who lost yer little girl to cancer last year. I have a feeling you now know them personally because they also went to the respite (just read about it today also)... The McClenahans, parents of Cora. I went to college with her husband's cousin and started praying for them when Cora became ill, just as I did when I first heard the news about your sweet boy. Your story touched me deeply even then when Heather sent us the first e-mail to pray just because Knox and Cooper were almost exactly the same age.

It's a very small world.

The ripples of your faith and hope in the God Who Sees through the valley of the shadow of your loss are traveling farther than you will ever know.

Grace and Peace,

The Morris Family said...

He is a precious little boy. I came over from the Macs. We too are 2 1/2 years since our 3 yr. Joel went to heaven. Your right, even after 2 1/2 years, the tears still fall so easily, the pain is still there but as we both are experiencing His great grace!!

Your children are so sweet!!


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