Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where is Heaven?

This song, by Janice Kapp Perry, makes me tear up EVERY time I hear it. It started working my tear ducts a few years ago after I found out that my grandpa had Lymphoma. I remember listening to that song, on repeat, for a couple of days after the news shook me. When he passed, two and a half years ago, I had to listen to that song for about a week, on repeat, to bring comfort and help me grieve.

Sean and I recently went on a hike (really just more like a walk through the woods) and the song that played in my mind over and over was this sweet song. Thankfully Sean hiked in front of me, and couldn't hear my sniffles and see the tears stream down my face. I kept having flashes come through my mind about the things I loved about our visits. I also was a bit emotional because I could still remember the sound of his voice as he would say "Hiya Rachel", and the smell of him as my face would get buried in his chest while his arms engulfed me in a big hug.

Today I found myself humming this song as I was laying down for a nap. The tears instantly came. I couldn't sleep. I don't know all of the words, probably just ten or so lines. I mostly know the tune and the chorus, but apparently that is all the permission my tears need to come spilling out.

In quiet moments
when I am all alone,
I close my eyes and try to see
my Heavenly home.
Where is Heaven? 
Is it very far? 
I would like to know if it's beyond the brightest star.
Where is Heaven?
Will you show the way?
I would like to learn and grow and go there someday.

I keep wishing I could call and tell him everything that has happened since he has been gone. Since I can't do that, I figured I'd write him a letter.

Dear Grandpa,

I thought you needed a family head count since February 2008. Since that February, our family has added a granddaughter-in-law (Brittany),  two grandsons-in-law (Andrew and Sean), a great granddaughter (Hailey), soon to be four great grandsons (Eli, Koby, Brandon, and name unknown), and an incubating great grandchild (name unknown). Soon you will have a total of eight great grandchildren-- I bet you never imagined so much growth in two and a half years!

I know that you always said that you wanted to see me get married. I remember when I first called you, after finding out that you were sick, crying with you as you told me that you wanted to hold on until you could see me sealed in the temple. Well, the day came.  On November 21, 2009 in the Draper, UT temple, I got to be sealed to Sean Quigley. It was a magical day, and I made the best decision I have ever made. I can't wait for you to meet him! We are expecting a baby (quick, huh?) on March 1, 2011, and as this baby turns and kicks inside me, I am comforted knowing that you get to spend time with this little spirit. If it is a boy, we hope to have his middle name be Gary-- but Sean is pretty set on it being a girl, so we may have to wait a bit. 

We are happy, healthy, and anxious for Sean to finish his last year in dental school. It took a little while, but I am adjusted and loving life in Pittsburgh. Hopefully we'll be out west next summer. Since that February, I put schooling on hold, finished two marathons, a half-marathon, and two Ragnar Relays. I teach the little squirmy, but cute, sunbeams. It has been a challenge, but is preparing me for what is to come (thankfully they won't come seven at once, knowing how to throw tantrums).

I miss you, and think of you often. I miss you waving at the end of the driveway each time we would come and visit. I wear your Anacortes sweatshirt to bed, and once I washed it I cried cause it didn't smell like you anymore. I can hear your voice still. Every time I take juice in the car I always think of your big cup of juice with ice that you would take with you when we'd go on rides. I remember sneaking sips of it. I remember sitting next to you in church and having your hand guide our little fingers into your pockets to find treats. I remember your love and your unfailing testimony. 

I remember you.

I love you,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Take that!

The perfect comeback came out of my mouth today. Normally I would feel guilty saying something like this, but I just smiled and walked away after it slipped.

Said to someone at the salon today that started the ignorant pregnant talk.

"Looks like I was fertilized well, huh?"

Oops... looks like I found a way to release my extra hormones...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Peeking into my life at 16 weeks

This poor baby is probably getting tired of hearing the same conversation day in and day out. If I am tired of it, I am sure the little life inside of me is rolling his/her eyes-- a trait from me, unfortunately. I work at a very busy salon, with 31 other stylists. Throughout the day they call me over to show their clients my growing stomach. Sometimes I throw in a little laugh, I usually say thank you, and I always turn beet red from the attention. Here is what I hear on a daily basis...

Here are the nice things that I like to hear:

"Oh wow, I didn't realize you were pregnant until you turned."

"Look at that growing belly, you make such a cute pregnant lady."

"You make me want to be pregnant again."

"You and Sean are going to have cute little kids."

And here are the things that I hear too too often. These are the things that turn my face bright red, cause my blood pressure to soar, make my knees weak, and sometimes cause me to practice self-control and not self-defense. I occasionally want to send a punch to the mouths that let some of these comments escape from their minds out their mouths.

Said from my client, a nurse, who is 50 and a mother of three:

Nurse: "Congratulations! How many kids do you have?"
Me: "This is our first"
Nurse: "Really? How far along are you?"
Me: "Just hit 16 weeks yesterday."
Nurse: "You're kidding me! You look like you are at least 5 1/2 months along!"
Me (turning red): "Thank you"
Nurse: "You are pretty big, have you had a sonogram? Have they checked for multiples? Are there multiples in your family?
Me: "Nope, yep, yep"
Nurse: "Well if you don't have multiples, I would look into gestational diabetes, (and some other pregnancy-related complications, but I shut her out at this point). The symptoms are blah blah blah blah blah (more shutting her out)
Me: "How was your daughter's wedding?"

The man that sat in my chair five minutes after the previous conversation:

Man: "I couldn't help but notice that you are expecting- Congratulations"
Me: "Thank you"
Man: "You must be like 5-6 months along, huh?"
Me: "Actually, I just hit 16 weeks."
Man: "You're only 3 1/2 months along????!!!!"
Me (please tell me this day will end soon): "Yep. Looking pretty ripe, huh?"
Man: "Well, I am no expert in the area of pregnant women, but my wife is expecting our first, and she still has a flat stomach."
Man: "I am a physician, however, and I have seen many pregnant women. If I were you, I would have them thoroughly scan to make sure there aren't two or three in there."
Me (trying to catch my breath at the thought of him suggesting that I am large enough for three): "Thank you for your advice, we'll check into it."
Man: "You might want to read about gestational diabetes and excessive amniotic fluid."
Me: "Thank you, that'll give me something to do tonight."
Me: "Any fun plans for the weekend?"

To sum up the last shocking conversation that I had this week. I went to the mall to try to find some new work pants. I had an armful when I went into the dressing room. The dressing room attendant noticed my stomach and asked the usual questions. When she found out how far along I was, and that it was my first, her jaw dropped-- seriously. Secretly my eyes rolled-- when she wasn't looking. She lifted up her shirt and told me that she was 5 months along with her third. Her stomach was where mine was at about 11 weeks. We went through the whole routine about multiples and pregnancy complications. Yada yada yada.

I am learning that people are just trying to be helpful. I am also learning that I need to just let it roll off of my back, even when you hear these things every day ALL day. I asked for a little humility this week in my prayers, and I think that I have been humbled through the conversations that I have with people day in and day out. I am lucky to have a loving, supportive, trustworthy, hard-working, spiritual husband to help me raise our kids with. I am lucky to have wonderful, supportive, loving, hard-working, trustworthy, and spiritual parents (on both our sides), that have taught us to be parents by their examples.

As the weeks move along, I am realizing more of the changes that will take place. I am nervous to become a parent, and only hope to be as patient as Sean and both of our parents are and were. Maybe that's why I get to wade through all these conversations-- I think (despite my eye rolling) I will find ways to patiently wait for the subject to change in my next uncomfortable conversation.