Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time Flies.

Today marks the 1 year since my husband returned HOME (safely~Praise God!) from Iraq. I still can't believe that we've had some stability for this long. Life sorta fills like normal, well not really normal due to the obvious, but normal non the less. I thought it would be fun to post some photos taken on that HOMECOMING Day.

Aw, homecoming.......I often wonder if Andy received the same Homecoming in Heaven that Jeremiah received, returning from Iraq. Were there "Welcome Home" balloons scattered throughout the heights of Heaven? Were there family members and friends there to greet, love on and welcome Andy as he was finally Home? How about homemade banners and signs on the walls of Heaven? Or maybe a police escort with sirens blaring as they drove him up to the gates? I guess we won't truly know until we arrive. But I do believe that Andy got an even better Homecoming. Isn't it awesome to be welcomed Home in that way, whether here on earth or in the gloriousness of Heaven. I'll bet our homecomings to Heaven will be more than what we could have ever imagined.

Today also marks 8 weeks since Andy received his eternal reward and was called Home. I don't really have the words that could ever describe the hurt and sadness that I feel right now. I'm at a loss. He is missed terribly and loved more than he will ever know.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ethan: Portrait of an Active Boy.

First, let me mention that I became an Aunt again today :) Jeremiah's sister, Haley and her husband Andy are the proud parents of a daughter, Cecilia Ruth Cowan, born at 7:56am (MST), weighing in at 7 lbs and 20 inches long. I hope to have photos soon :)

For the past several months I haven't taken as many pictures of Ethan as I would've liked to. On Friday, I decided to "follow" him and capture as much as I could of him with the many activities that kept him busy. This was probably over an hour span of time. I think he got annoyed that 1.) I was following him everywhere and 2.) he was tired of me with the camera. Ah, the life of a boy that wants NOTHING to do with taking pictures. Oh, well. One lesson I have learned since my brother's death is that this life is too short. We never know when we will be called to our eternal home. It's interesting how something so tragic and awful can make you really think about your own life. I want to spend time and capture lots more photos with my little boy. All I need to say is that he is very unique (as are we all :), sweet to his Mommy, and a very active little boy. So....sit back, relax and enjoy Ethan: Portrait of an Active Boy.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

~Psalm 139:13-14~

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Dream.

I have had lots of thoughts the past seven weeks and haven't felt like writing until now. For some reason I'm not as open on pen as I was when Charlie died, or maybe I am, I just don't want to face reality yet. It's been 7 weeks since my brother died. The last two Wednesday nights, including last night, I've dreamt about Andy. Don't cha just love when your subconscious mind goes to that place you weren't expecting?! Well last night's dream was very real to me. I spoke to Andy and in return, he spoke to me. Now, before I go on, we all know how dreams can be~weird, not normal, crazy, could never happen, etc. Ok, I warned is my dream....

I don't know where I was but I found out (by who I don't know) that Andy, as well as some other people who had died recently, could come back to earth for 4 hours. Not really sure why 4 hours, but it was, 4 hours. He came to Shannon, as he should being he is her husband. And obviously as anyone losing a husband/wife would want those 4 hours all to her/his self. I think Dad and Mom got to see him too. I remember Dad knowing and not telling me until it was almost time for Andy to leave, going back to Heaven. I don't remember where we were but the group was gathering, ready to go back to Heaven. The group was filled with mostly older women, don't remember seeing any small children. In fact I think the youngest was Andy. It was quite funny, actually and somewhat peaceful to see Andy with these older ladies, as he was often given hugs and kisses on the cheek by the older ladies in Mom's church. They just LOVED him. But he's Andy, who wouldn't, right? I rushed over to see him. It was as if my brother was waiting to see me. I probably had a couple minutes. I remember crying and holding his hand, saying, "Andy, I'm so sorry that you died." He looked at me with his impish grin and said, "It's ok, Mary-Anne. I'm ok." Just like Andy to reassure everyone else, to not fear, that it's ok. I smiled at him saying, "I love you, Andy." Right before he vanished in mid-air, he said, "I love you too, Sissy." That was it. Andy was gone. I finally had my good-bye with Andy. I was able to tell him one last time that I loved him.

I'm not sure why my subconscious spurred that dream on. Maybe because I didn't get to see him, laying in that hospital bed, talking to him like everyone else had a chance to, holding his hand and reminiscing of stories when we were young. I can't describe the pain I am feeling by losing my little brother. It's intense, it's devastating. It comes in waves, usually while rocking Ethan to sleep, thinking, "Why didn't Andy get to experience the love of his own child?, Why isn't Andy here to see and hear about all the cute things that Ethan is doing?" It's so not fair. It's just not.

I've been reminded of my losing Charlie, through thinking of and being there for Andy's wife, Shannon. Each and every time I think about what she has lost, I feel it. I understand it all too well. I know what she has lost, cause I've lost that too, with Charlie. I have so many other thoughts that I need to filter before writing down. It's still so surreal and it's hard to even think about grasping my mind around the thought that Andy died. I realize that Shannon and my Mom bare most of the pain. But I not only lost my brother, but a life-long best friend. I have a photo at Charlie's burial (I think you took it, Keri!) of the Rubado's, me and Andy. Our backs are to the camera. We are waiting and watching as the hersh (sp?) is being opened and Charlie's casket is rolled out. Andy is putting his arm around me, proudly and comfortingly. He, my little brother was there for me, when the worst possible thing in my life happened. He was standing by my side.
Brothers are good buddies,
kidding like crazy, companions
in life's adventures and good times
Remembering school,
waiting for summer to begin?
Comrade, kindred spirit,
true blue friend at my side
Through calm or stormy weather,
You will always come through.
(from a wooden frame with a photo of Andy and I, that I gave to Andy)

I love you, Bubbie.