Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Squishy

Tonight as I lie here in my bed, tears streaming down my face, I can see this picture across the room on my dresser. I love this picture because it stirs so many emotions inside my heart and soul. I love the way Branson looks in this picture, as though he is sleeping in the safety of my arms. I love the look on Rob's face, one of a proud father. I love the way that my eyes seem full of peace. I think that you can see many emotions in our faces...joy, sorrow, pride, loss, misunderstanding, and peace.
Tonight as I look at this picture I feel very lonely and a little empty. I wish with all the energy of my being that I could be holding Branson in my arms again like that right now, that I could whisper words of love in his ear, and feel his spirit envelope mine again like it did that day. Instead, I lie here with aching arms and an empty cradle next to my bed.
I am grateful however for my "squishy". In this picture Branson is wrapped in a soft, blue blanket that we brought to the hospital with us that day. He spent most of the day swaddled in that blanket. He also spent time in a plush, brown blanket that he was wrapped in when the nurse took Branson from us. We were able to get both blankets back from the hospital...and they have now become our "squishies". I'm not sure where they got their name, but Rob and I each have one. We have slept with our squishies since the day we had Branson. Each night we both cuddle up to one and hold it, along with each other, as we fall asleep. I don't think that either one of us will ever forget the day we held our son in these blankets, for a short time they held the child that we have grown to love so intensely over the last year. They are a symbol of that love.
I find myself holding my squishy during the lonely times, as it is one of the very few "physical" things I have that was part of our short time with Branson. I think of all the tears that have been shed on it, all the loving words that have been whispered into it, all the heartfelt prayers that have been offered while holding it, and all the love that has been "squished" into it, and I am so grateful that it's mine to have forever.
I have wondered if there will come a day or a night that I won't feel the need to hold it close, but for now I can't imagine it. For now I'll hold it tight and share a few more tears with "my squishy".


Vest Family said...

I cried with you tonight. The picture you posted of you, Rob, and Branson reminds me most of how I remember your adorable baby Branson. I am missing him with you right now. I am sorry that, in these moments, time seems achingly still and the thought of waiting seems too much to bear. Always remember that a reunion with Branson is certain. In the meantime, hold your squishies as long and as often as needed. They must have some comforting and healing quality because they once wrapped an angel.
Sending my love your way,

Brittany said...

Hello, I hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog. I am a friend of Kim & Jed's. I am SO incredibly sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I know that you will be with your sweet son again, you will get to hold him in your arms, and you will get to raise him!! What a blessing it is to have the knowledge of the gospel.

I wanted to share a blog with you, you may have already heard of it. It is a story of a mother who's baby girl passed away a few months ago. She (the mom) has one of the most amazing testimonies of ANYONE I have ever come in contact with. Our family has had some very challegning trails that we have recently faced, just reading her blog and feeling the strength of her testimony has helped me to get through my trials. It is www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com

I also started a blog a few months ago that has links to different inspirational stories on it, if you would like to check it out it is www.placeforinspriation.blogspot.com, there are some very touching stories on there to read.

We are praying for you!!

Gordon said...

Dearest Natalie,
I have struggled for a couple of days to know what to say or how to respond to your latest installment, your wisdom and insight are so awesome. I hope this is ok and that it comes across like I intended. I want you to know how proud I am of you and Rob and how much I love you.
I used to wish I could take all the hurt and loneliness away and make it better....I don't think that I will wish that any more. I do wish I could some how return little Branson to your arms and into your heart....but I don't think that is to be..... In the meantime I don't know if I know of an instance where I have seen such a large amount of spiritual growth and development take place as in your lives. I am so impressed with your attitude, your faith and testimony.I would like to share a thought.
Heres the situation, I have known scme young men who have accepted mission calls and in the process of leaving have left behind a girl friend at home. The parting was hard and difficult and in many respects full of the pain of being seperated from one they loved. At this point something very significant happened, depending on the spiritual maturity of those involved hung the chances of a successful reunion at the end of two years.
The young man was thrust into an environment where he would for the next two years have a steady diet of the gifts and blessings of the spirit. If the missionary was worth his salt there was a change wrought in his life to the point that he would never be the same again and he could never return to things as they were. Here's the point....IF....in his absence the young woman didn't also seek after the things of the spirit so that she was developing and changeing as well...... they began to grow apart and most of the time it ended in a "Dear John" or a "Dear Jane" and the relationship came to an end.
Natalie and Rob, although this is and perhaps will be the most difficult challenge of your sojourn here on earth I am so grateful to know and see the level of spiritual growth and development that is occuring in your lives. At this point you may not even recognize the full extent of what is happening...but as one who looks at it from a little bit different persptective I can see it happening.
For a short nine months you had a very close association with an ANGEL...a CELESTIAL BEING and in a very real way your hearts were knit together..NEVER...to be seperated again.
In the wisdom of a Loving Father in Heaven who knows the end from the beginning in all things and in a very real way knows what is best for each one of us... Branson was taken home. The seperation especially for both of you has been the hardest thing you may ever experience in this life...but remember.... Branson is now assured his place in the Celestial kingdom. Just think of it, that is a wonderful thing to contemplate. The pain and anguish you are now experiencing is refining your heart and soul so that when that time comes for your reunion you will have been prepared to be worthy of the place of glory where Branson now is and is worthy of. Of this truth I am absoultly certin...the joy that you will know at that time will be ten fold the pain of empty arms and aching hearts that you now feel. I know that it may seem a long way in the future but I pray that Heavenly Father will help you to know that it is as real as if it were going to happen today.
May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen you....and prepare you. I love you.

Michelle said...

I have a "squshy", too! I'm so glad to know I'm not insane! :)
Mine is a soft green blanket that Benjamin was wrapped in while we held him. I haven't washed it because it smells like my memories of that day, and I love that.
After a year, I don't sleep with it every night anymore--I don't even know when I stopped. Suddenly I realized it had been a while and I was okay.
Branson was so beautiful! I love the pictures you have of him.

Michelle said...

Wow! I just read your dad's comment, and I love what he said!
My therapist mentioned something similar, quoting from Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning." Something about how our agony at the loss of loved ones makes us more worthy of them.
Such a beautiful analogy your dad used. I have never thought of it that way, but yes, it will take much growth for me still here on earth to feel like I belong in the place where Benjamin and Branson are. Isn't it a breathtaking honor to think about it that way? We are mothers of celestial sons!