The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Matthew. May 5th, the day he was born. Today, August 25th, the day he was not born.

It's been an emotional day. Emotions are most welcome, as his part in my life sometimes feels all too distant. I do think of him daily. Hourly still. Most of the time I feel very normal; lighthearted and happy. Sometimes, though, when I ponder Matthew's part in my life I am able to feel the intensity of emotions that takes my breath away. But there is something in me that doesn't want to go there and so suddenly it kind of shuts down and I feel very removed. I have been wanting these months to write a letter to Matthew or a poem about him and I often start to compose it in my head, but then my all-too capable coping mechanism takes over and I can't feel it. I imagine that I will continue working on this for months to come. It will be okay to have my poem ready a year from now.

Troy and I decided to make the day special by having some quiet time with the kids on the back lawn in the evening to talk about Matthew, write him notes and let some balloons go. RAP didn't really participate, but CTP - oh. He is such a beautiful and tender child. He was pretty amped, which I think is normal for a kid facing intense emotions. He was excited and wiggly and would join Troy and me for a while and then run around, then return again. I asked him if he would like to say anything to Matthew and he so sweetly composed a note to him about missing him and wondering what he looked like, about feeling sad that he wasn't here with us. Troy and I wrote our notes and connected them to our balloons, but CTP kept his, saying it was very special and he put it in his most special place - his dinosaur bucket. The three of us lay side by side on a blanket. We each said a wish for Matthew and let our balloons go into the sky. Troy and I clung to each other a little while we watched them sail away.

May I please express our love and gratitude for our dear friends and family? I have been quite tenderly surprised by a little flurry of support we have recieved this week. THANK YOU for not forgetting us. We have gotten calls and cards and I even had a friend show up on our doorstep with an engraved silver heart with Matthew's name on it - it was a gift from a big group of some of the dearest people I know. You can not imagine how absolutely uplifted I feel by knowing that people remember that we should be welcoming a baby home right now. I deeply love you all.

My favorite moments of the day? First, as I was walking along with the kids I was talking to CTP about the significance of today, and that we were going to do something special tonight to remember Matthew. He replied, somewhat reproachfully, "Mom, I always remember Matthew." Me too, honey. Me too. The other was as the kids and I were in the living room. I was sitting on the floor reading while they were playing and chasing each other around. RAP paused for a moment to approach me - I thought she was going to make a grab for my book or express a need of some kind. But she just pushed my arms open to get close to me, snuggle in and nuzzle me for a moment of quiet before scampering off again. How grateful I am that she finds a home-base in me, that she will stop at my door to center herself. It only lasted a second but meant everything to me on this milestone day. Milestone. I don't want to hurry farther and farther away from May 5th, but these big days do come. And they go. And I am another step farther in my overwhelming gratitude for life and the lessons it brings, and the connections it makes.

Though my own poetry seems stuck at the moment, I did read a poem that, though the situation is not exactly ours, expresses so beautifully the experience of Matthew. Here it is.

To Glenda

Small as a jewel box is your little casket,
And you, as my smallest jewel,
Are treasured up to God within it.

I did not give you willingly,
Nor did he snatch you from me.
I rather think the choosing was your own.
Or, perhaps we three had planned together
In some other world,
That you would come and make this hasty call,
Then hurry on,

That you might light the lanterns on the way
So I could find the footing.
But I have forgotten. I think you, too,
Forgot for one brief day -
You tried so hard -
But God remembered;
And then you left me.

I took a comfort in the little clothes
I made so tenderly.
The little petticoat, the dress,
The dainty lace,
The little bonnet
That frames your tiny face.
Your eyes are closed,
And mine are dimmed with tears.
But maybe you can see with better eyes
And know I love you.

All the dreams we dreamed together,
While you were one with me -
These can wait.
I do not count them wasted.
Nor the drops of fresh warm milk
That fall unbidden from my aching breasts,
Like beads of pearl unstrung about your neck,
And caught by your fixed fingers.
These one day
Will be distilled as manna.
This milk that you never tasted will satiate your soul,
And life will be fulfilled.

Go then, my little jewel.
Go back to God.
Tell him I feel no bitterness at all.
With my own hands I offer you.
I have a treasure laid up in heaven.
And where my treasure lies,
My heart will follow.
You are my surety laid up with God.
And I will come to you.
I will, I will.

- Ora Pate Stewart


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, beautiful words. I so respect and admire the way that you guys have held to each other through the joys and sorrows of this experience, honored your emotional needs and placement every day, and have passed through this experience without residual blame or resentment. You are my heroes.


ghd3 said...

Thank you Rachel. We love you -- and I admire you tremendously. I love the picture, and the imagery, of the balloons, and the observations about Matthew's dear siblings.

You are in our thoughts. We love you.


luann said...

So sweet. I have thought of you often and am amazed at your strength. You have taught me so much and I am grateful!

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing Rachel. You express yourself so beautifully, just reading your thoughts makes me think I am there with you and your family. Our prayers go to you,Troy,CTP, and RAP during this time. You have a great perspective through hard times, I hope when my hard times come (which I know they will) I will be able to have a fraction of they faith you and Troy have. S.M.I.L.E

Windybrook Spinner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Windybrook Spinner said...

You are such a beautiful person Rachel and I know my life is richer for knowing you, just as Matthew's life is richer for being part of your family.