The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, May 05, 2008

One Year Later, and a Birthday Happy

Today is the one year anniversary of the birth and passing of our baby Matthew. As I type this I am sitting by the back windows of our home watching my son and daughter wander around in our leafy back yard, and I am filled with wonder at life. Time is a very strange and fluid thing, I think, and something that our eternal souls don't settle with very comfortably. As I have been reflecting much these few days I am unbalanced between feelings of ages having passed since that chilly rainy day one year ago, and feelings of having said goodbye to Matthew only just now. My emotions today are similarly uneven; tottering between comfortable peace, a sense of deepening loss, and yet still joy in gratitude for all that Troy and I have, including this.

Now it is later, and we have had a somber and tender day, yet still filled with the regular busyness that life with children, employment and a home holds. I really wanted to do something special to celebrate and remember Matthew, but it felt a little forced. I do appreciate so much the smattering of phone calls, visits, gifts and even a surprise anonymous package we received. I wish I knew who our beautiful "sun jar" is from, but I don't, so I'll send out a general thank you to the thoughtfulness and sweet message of the sender, and to each touch we felt today. Anyway, though we wanted to do something special nothing felt like it was enough, and you know, nothing could be enough. Once I was able to recognize that feeling within myself, that it was okay for this just to be a hard day, I felt better. I wrote our baby a note to tell him this, that I couldn't do anything on this day but express that I remember him literally every hour of the day, and that I wish that I knew his face. Troy and Stomper also composed a note, and Stomper chose a tiny toy he really wanted to send. We tied our offerings to balloons and had a really lovely family time (even Bitty seemed to be slightly aware of what we were doing) on the back lawn, cuddled on our Matthew Blanket (thank you still and again, dear Mayfields) and let the balloons go.

So, on this day of what feels like emotional time travel, we are returning to a place in ourselves that holds this experience frozen, each raw emotion of anger, loss, tenderness, faith, surety, and sorrow still fully fresh when we choose to look there. We feel again our gratitude for the family we have, the closeness we have gained, and again the longing to get back what we never can.

I don't know what else to say. I think I'm exhausted, actually, and need to snuggle with my husband and go to bed. I would like to end by posting a poem I wrote a couple of months ago, when I felt like I was finally able to write. I love my friends and family dearly, and again express my faith in our journey home.

To Matthew,

To Asher.

To Kathryn and Emily Jean,

To Danielle, Winnie, Margaret and Sarah

To you silent and still ones

Whom we long to know and a little bit we do

Whom we yearn to cradle, touch, smell

Whom we ache to rest our hungry gaze upon

To breathe in the fuzzy warmth of your skin

I say to you that you are known,

That your names are spoken, whispered, remembered

Upon our lips, upon our skin, in our bones and on our walls

Whatever part of you we knew, we know by heart even still

And think of it, be it the kicking in our bellies or the mournful bundle in our arms,

We think of it with beauty and darkness together.

Babes, you are quiet as secrets, which we tell ourselves daily.

Do you hear us shout with joy and longing to think you belong to us?

Do you feel in our words and songs and breaths

The echoes of your presence?

Can you know that with each touch we give

Some of it goes to you?

Certainly you know, you feel, you wait


And listen to the chimes and ringing bells that are our hopes

Sounding forward to you in glory


Carrie said...

That is a beautiful poem. What a great entry that I am sure you will treasure throughout the years.

Misty said...

My dear Rachel: You have such an incredible gift of expressing yourself. Tears are running down my cheeks -- I am so grateful that you allow us into your thoughts. We love your little family so much and are thankful for your influence in our lives.

Michelle said...

What a beautiful poem. You know, I often feel that nothing is enough when someone I love is grieving, so thanks for the reminder that something is better than nothing. I wish I had been thoughtful enough to call or something. Know that we love you guys.

Melissa said...

Rachel, that is so heartfelt and sweet. You really do express things so well. I am amazed at your ability to see the joys in your life even at this difficult time of remembering and grieving. Thanks for the good cry. we are thinking of you.

Gina said...

I am not even sure what to say. Tears are literally falling off of my face. Thank you for your example. Thank you for loving me and being such an amazing friend especially through this trial. I know how much you miss Matthew, because of the aching I feel for Asher. I hope you know that your Matthew is very real to me, I never forget about him when I see you, or your family and especially your children. We have a literal treasure in heaven. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.

tiffrsmith said...

You are such a strong, amazing woman. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful poem with us. You are such an inspiration to me.

luann said...

I am always amazed at your abilities! You have taught me so much and I continue to gain strength and wisdom from you! I admire and love you!

chlojo said...

That was absolutely beautiful and brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your sweet personal memories and thoughts. Miss you guys!

Sheri said...

That is so beautiful. I think of Matthew often and your sweet love for him. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse of life in the Preslar home on that precious day.

Love you

Brent & Kate Jefferies said...

You are an amazing woman. I love and admire you so much! What a beautiful poem and sentiments.

Kath said...

Beautiful, Rachel.
Love you.

Adair said...

what an incredibly beautiful made me cry.

Windybrook Spinner said...

Wow. Thank you for putting Winnie in your beautiful poem. I am always amazed at your thoughtfulness. Even though she lived for a bit, I didn't really get to see her face either. That is something I wish for too. I am glad you were able to make his anniversary special. It's because of Matthew that we became friends and I am extremely grateful to him for that.

Sparverius said...

Thanks for sharing those thoughts and feelings. I enjoy being a part of your life, even in this small, blog, way.