Some recent events have given me some perspective. I have been at the highest high. I have been at the lowest low. All of this has taken place in just a matter of weeks.
Sometimes we get farther from God than we would like due to circumstances. Sometimes circumstances bring us closer. Sometimes, it seems, a circumstance can do both.
I tend not to get personal on my blog. I don’t wear my feelings on my sleeve. I have been told that my expressions do not change. I have even had students tell me over the past several days that I am the same person I have been all school year.
When I think of the happiest days of my life, five particular days come to mind. I can’t tell you the exact dates of all five days, but I remember each fairly well.
The first of those five days had to have happened in the Fall of 2006. My wife and I had been married just over a year. She gave me the most exciting news that I could have ever imagined. We were going to be parents. The result was the second of those five days. On June 3, 2007, which just happened to be our second wedding anniversary, my son Will was born.
What seemed to be just a few weeks later, and in reality wasn’t much more than a few weeks later, my wife gave me the news again. We would be expecting our second child. Again, this led to the fourth of those five most exciting days in my life. On May 2, 2008, my daughter Reagan entered this world.
Years have passed since those days. I have had the opportunity to watch those little babies grow into a handsome, smart, athletic boy with all the potential in the world and a little, beautiful, bright girl who I am sure will live out her dreams. And finally, that fifth most exciting day in my life came. My wife once again gave me the news again. I was to be a dad for the third time.
January 10, 2013, we were excited to go to the ultrasound to see our new baby. I had memories of the first ultrasound I went to when my wife was carrying Will. I remember looking at his head. I could see certain features. I was looking at my own reflection. It looked as if my wife was carrying me. Memories were going through my head of the ultrasound in which I was first introduced to Reagan. I can remember looking thinking this one doesn’t look like me. She looks like her mom.
All those memories were in my mind as well as potential names for my new child. The image came up. Immediately I began looking, trying to decide is this child going to look like me, or will the kid look liker her? As I looked intent on figuring out the answer to my question, the doctor broke the silence. He said, “I can’t find a heartbeat.” He asked another person in the room to go get another doctor to come help. She came in, but the answer was the same. No heartbeat.
I can’t describe what I felt at the time. I had millions of questions but no answers. There were no answers for the questions I had.
Instead of my wife’s news turning into yet another greatest day of my life, a Thursday in January turned out to be the worst.
I definitely don’t feel like the same person I was before I walked into that doctor’s office. I can’t complain much since I have the two best kids in the world who enjoy nothing more than snuggling right up to me during the middle of the night, but knowing I lost a child I never got the chance to say hello or goodbye to hurts nevertheless.
I want to thank everyone who has texted, called, shared experiences, kept us in your thoughts and prayers, or shared kind words with me. While I must say this is the most difficult thing I have ever experienced, in some way it has made it easier.