Sunday, August 15, 2010

The reason behind it

This past weekend, Erik and I were able to get away - alone - for a few days. It wasn't so much to escape our lives, as we are constantly thinking about Sawyer - but to simply be together, and grow closer through our loss and grief.

On Saturday, we decided to make reservations for dinner at a rustic lodge inside White Pines state park here in Illinois. It was straight out of a postcard - walls and beams made of logs, a table next to a giant stone fireplace and delicious "down-home cooking."

There was a wedding reception outside in a beautiful foyer between the restaurant and gift shop and Erik noticed a white, horse-drawn carriage taking guests from the wedding for rides through the pine forest. He jumped up in the middle of dinner to book a trip around the park before the driver and his horse packed up and left for the day.

Excitedly, we paid our check and hopped into the buggy for the last ride at sunset (my first carriage ride ever!). Our driver was a friendly man in his 60s, lean and tall with a light southern accent - he introduced himself to us as Jim.

Throughout the ride, we all talked and shared short stories of our lives. Where we were from, how long we've been married...

And then the topic of children popped up. The first time I had been asked since Sawyer died - "Do ya'll have any children of your own at home?" Jim asked us.

I told him we had a beautiful little girl that kept us quite busy. Then, hesitated for a moment, and said that we also had a son who had died in June.

Jim listened as I briefly talked about Sawyer and I noticed that his stature had shifted - and for some reason, I knew he understood.

He told us that he had two children of his own - a son and a daughter - grown with children of their own. And then he told us about his first child - a boy, "born sleeping" in 1976.

As the sound of the horse and carriage moving through the woods echoed off the canyon walls, he told us all about the baby that he and his wife lost. He said that things happen for a reason, but what that reason might be, we'll probably never know.

He offered us his condolences, as we did for him and I thought about how beautiful the moment was. That we could share such an intimate part of our lives with a total stranger would have seemed crazy just a few months ago.

And now, it will be a memory that I will treasure in my heart for a long time to come - and know that somehow, Sawyer brought us here to that moment...

For a reason.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think those moments are gifts from God. Moments to share and have others share. You never know what an impact you made on Jim by sharing Sawyer with him. His son was born in a time that is was not acceptable to grieve the loss of an infant. I don't know, but I would bet because you shared Sawyer, he was able to open up about something he was at one time encouraged to put away. I am proud of you for being strong! I will be thinking about you tomorrow! I know it will not be an easy day! Prayers going up! Hugs!

Nicole said...

Michelle, that's a precious story. How great that you and Erik were able to get away together. Growing closer during these trying times is so important. Jim sounds like a sweet man, and I agree with Jennifer, you probably blessed him by giving him a chance to talk about his baby. <3

Wyatt's Mommie said...

Touched, I am so touched by this story. I haven't cried in a few days, a week or so if I think about it. But this made me cry. To be on such a peaceful, beautiful ride and to be able to share something so special with someone else who can relate is breath taking.

Thank you for sharing this. <3

Whittney Tomczyk said...

It is amazing how many people have been through such tragedy. It seems like once you lose a child, all of the other lost children seem to appear. People then feel comfortable telling you about their losses. It just makes me sad that so many others have had to live through this too.

Laurie said...

Just checking in from the woods - we are on "vacation" and I"m pretty much offline. But I had to check in. Love this story. It was a good read tonite. And, I send my love to all my fellow "baby loss moms". There are TONS of butterflies here in on this mountain in Georgia - tons - and I think of all the babies I know when I see them (your babies and my Gwen)...and their mommies and daddies....

Lisa said...

You always doubt the saying "everything happens for a reason". You amd Erik meeting Jim makes it seem true. I hope you have other positive things haapen in your life that ultimatley are honoring your son' s life. Blessed wishes, always, Lisa