My Man

Pictures

There are few pictures in this world of me pregnant.  It just wasn’t my style to have lots of pregnancy pictures.  If I’m honest I regret that decision now.  I didn’t know there wouldn’t be very many pictures of Enoch, so any of him, even inside my belly, I now want.  A few months ago I was on Tim’s phone and came across a few that he had taken.  He of course managed to get the most.  This one was taken exactly one year ago today.  He thought it was hilarious because I was always eating and in my sweat pants…. so this picture captured it all.

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Mr. Timothy Beck

When Tim and I got engaged, my dad said to Tim, “Good luck, she’s your fire ball now.”  I didn’t understand what he meant, and I’m confident Tim didn’t either. As Tim and I were camping this past weekend, we have been talking a lot about life and marriage, where we are, and where we hope to be.

Discussing these things, I can’t help but think of all the things I have put Tim through:

  • Buying a house and then spending five years renovating it ourselves exactly the way we wanted it only then say to him, “I think God wants us to move to Kenmore.”
  • Him coming home and realizing I started renovating without him, by ripping out the wall.
  • Embracing life in the city, when deep in his heart he is a country boy.
  • Starting First Glance with me, helping raise money, starting programs, being our web support, and anything else we need him for.
  • Quitting my paying job to run First Glance for no pay.
  • Constantly having people move in with us.  Sometimes multiple people at once, and several of them living with us more than once.  A total of thirteen people in sixteen years.
  • Not having enough rooms the last time I wanted to move a total of three people in (plus we were pregnant), therefore he finished the entire basement.
  • I take these bike riding adventures, and he’s always the first call when the problems occur, the rain is too deep, or we finished and just need picked up.
  • The list really could go on and on.

As I think about some of these things listed, I can’t help but chuckle at them, with the words of my father ringing loud and clear.  I really am a fire ball.  I’m so grateful for a husband who thinks these things are all part of the adventure and not annoying.  He has done all the above with a joyful heart.  He has worked hard to love me well, provide for my needs, and even give me my wants for sixteen years.

Just so you know I did learn that putting the toothpaste cap on was really important to him so I do.  See it’s give and take.  You’re welcome 😉

In all seriousness…
He really is the love of my life.
I still always think he is the cutest man in the room.
And I am so very grateful for the opportunity to be his wife.

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Father’s Day

Father’s day has been a little rough for a few years.  We knew we couldn’t have kids and so the day has always a little tricky.  We navigated it alright… typically avoiding church, having one small conversation about the day being hard and moving on.

Last year was different.  We celebrated!  I was pregnant!  I was past the danger zone, or so we thought, and I celebrated the anticipation of Tim becoming a father.  I went out and bought him the smallest fishing pole I could find.  I knew weather it was a boy or a girl Tim would teach our kid to fish.  Even though I think it’s the most boring sport on the planet, which I’m fairly certain I told him when I gave it to him 🙂  He was excited, for the pole but more so the anticipation of teaching our kid to fish.

Now Father’s day has come around again. I couldn’t tell you where that fishing pole is now. In some ways I’m glad I don’t know.  What do you do with such things?  Do we keep it?  Do we get rid of it?  Where do we even put it?  I have a whole room with so many things begging those same questions.   No options seems like the right one.

And now for this year.  I don’t know what to do.  There’s a random father’s day mug floating around our office.  A wife had a mug made for her husband with pictures all over it of him and his kid.  It’s a reminder that Father’s Day is coming and a reminder that I can’t make one of those.  In fact, I’ll never be able to make one of those for Tim.

What do I do?  Do I get him a gift?  If so what?   Do we celebrate the day knowing it just reminds us that our baby died?  Do I say things like “you’re a great dad,” when he hasn’t gotten to live out his parenting?

I will say, I am so grateful for Tim and his love for our son, it’s just not what we anticipated.  So my heart is broken, more for him that for me on this day.   It all feels confusing, tricky and much more difficult to navigate than any other Father’s Day.

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“Enoch”

It’s interesting that I have an ‘E’ hanging around my neck and the name Enoch tattooed on my hand because in all reality, had our son been born alive, we wouldn’t have named him that.  We chose his name in the hospital after finding out our baby no longer had a heart beat and that he was in fact a boy.

Tim and I wrestled for pretty much the duration of the pregnancy on what to name our baby if he were a boy.  Tim often told people we were naming him “Tim Beck two,” and I reassured everyone that wasn’t true.  We wanted  a name that had spiritual meaning but wasn’t a biblical persons name.  This is more difficult than you would think.  There are lots for girls in this category: Faith, Grace, Hope, etc.  Not so much when it comes to boys.

As we were striking out with our original guidelines for a name,  we decided to open it up to biblical names of people.  This was the first time Tim recommended the name Enoch.  He liked it because in Genesis 5:24 it says, “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”  Tim liked the idea that he was so faithful to God, that God didn’t even wait for him to die, but took him up to Heaven.  I liked the meaning but didn’t love the name, mainly because I was afraid he would be beaten up on the playground for it.  So, we moved on.

As the days got closer to our little one being born, Tim and I were bound and determined to pick a name.  We included our roommates and set deadlines, but we never came up with one.

On December 8th, we walked into the hospital with a girls name and no boys name, but that was insignificant once we found out there was no heartbeat.  After the ultrasound technician told us that we were in fact having a boy, Tim suggested we name him Enoch.  Suddenly the name made perfect sense, since God didn’t wait for our son before taking him to be with Him in heaven.

There are no words…

Sometimes there really are no words for things.  For three weeks I have felt that way, that there are no words.

Spike has been more than a pet to Tim and I for 14 years.  He’s part of our family.  I mean look at this face.  How could you not love him?

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It’s the Saturday before Mother’s Day, and our house is busy with activity.  As I’m in the bathroom upstairs getting ready to leave, I hear one of the most awful sounds. Immediately I know what it is. Spike is hurt.  As I pull back the curtain from the window, I have a clear view of the driveway where Spike is laying beside a truck that was recently moving.

As Tim and I are driving him to the vet, Tim’s hand is bleeding pretty bad because Spike bit him in the midst of his pain and confusion.  I should note that Tim doesn’t do well with injury to himself and blood.   In this 10 minute drive, Tim is now getting very pale, sweating ridiculous amounts, and bleeding quite a bit.  As we pull in, he then starts vomiting out the car door.  I quickly take Spike between rounds of vomiting and head in by myself as Tim is sitting in the car working hard to not pass out.  Tim keeps telling me he is ok, but he really doesn’t look it.

There are no words…

We find out Spike has a fractured pelvis that is disconnected from his spine on his right side.  Upon giving him back to us, Spike cries non-stop for the next three days.  There was nothing we could do to calm him. He simply cried no matter what we did and slept very little.  The poor dog was so confused because he couldn’t stand. He was in pain and really high from the drugs.

The last few weeks have been interesting.  Our dog functions a lot like a baby now: needing carried everywhere, fed special food that we deliver to him, waking us up throughout the night, cleaning up frequent accidents, and so much more.

Spike has never needed this attention, and we don’t typically give him this much attention.  It’s all a little weird, and yet similar to what we should be doing for Enoch.  I’ve watched Tim be a really good dad to our dog.  He gives me the updates on medicine, tells me how to pick him up or hold him without hurting him, and gets him blankets to lay on on the floor since he can’t jump on or off the couch. He’s sweet and does so well caring for Spike.

I’ll be honest; it’s all a little confusing.  Why is our dog needing attention like a baby?

We should have a baby, but he died.
Our dog was hit by a car on Mother’s Day weekend.
Now he needs treated like a baby.
There are no words…

And yes, Tim’s hand is fine.

 

I couldn’t leave the shoes

Two months ago, it was a Tuesday, which is always a hard day anyway.  The hardest day of my life happened on Tuesday, and every one since has been hard.

It was a Tuesday, and I was driving home from counseling, which also is hard.  Nothing like reliving the worst day of your whole life on a day that is full of so many reminders already.

I decided to stop by the gravesite on the way home, on this hard grief day and after a difficult counseling session.  It made perfect sense in my mind.  I needed to be near him.  I needed a reset.  I needed something to help dull the painful ache and endless tears as I drove 40 minutes home from counseling.

As I entered the cemetery and drove down the narrowly paved road all the way to the back of the cemetery, my heart sank.  I saw the cemetary workers were throwing personal items left at gravesites into the back of pick up trucks.  Immediately I remembered what they had said in the spring about personal items not being left at the gravesite.  But when your baby dies and you’re figuring out all the details that go with burying him, you don’t write it down in your calendar.  No reminder that on March 14th I could no longer have any personal items there.  I knew the day was coming, but I didn’t remember the exact date.  I didn’t know the date until I was driving to the back of the gravesite, seeing all the trucks.

It was devastating.  I began to cry harder.  I was hoping for reprieve.  I was hoping for a reset on this hard day, but instead I drove up to a very empty gravesite.  No little converse we placed there to mark his grave.  No lego’s that Isaiah built him months ago.  No little car that someone had recently placed there – I still don’t know who.

I fell apart.  I immediately called Tim.  He came and soon found out that they did in fact throw those items away.  They were confident they were somewhere in the very full dumpster.

I couldn’t leave them.  I couldn’t leave those shoes!  It reminded me way too much of December 9th at 9:30 am when we left Enoch.  We left him at the hospital.  If I’m honest this scenario replays over and over in my head more than any.  It was the most horrific thing I ever had to do.  I left my new born baby… the baby we never thought we could have, the baby I carried for 40 weeks, the baby I took on adventures, the baby I loved more than anything imaginable, the baby of our first and only pregnancy.  We left that baby, our son, at the hospital, less than 12 hours after he was born.

I remember that morning so clearly: Tim handing Enoch to the nurse, because there’s no way I could have, and our walk down the hall.  I remember my body feeling so weird…  I had given birth; I was in shock;  I had stayed up all night; I was hungry; and none of it seemed real.  We walked down the hall. I was glad Tim remembered how to get out of the hospital because I had no clue.  I don’t even know what floor we were on.  It was all such a rush to get in there.

As we walked out the door and into the parking lot, the bitter cold surprised me. The sun was shining. But you could see your breath, and there was a thin layer of ice on our car.  We climbed in and started to drive.  What do you do after you just gave birth to a dead baby and are headed to an depressingly empty house?  Stop by McDonalds.  I was so hungry and knew when I got home I wouldn’t want to deal with food, so I bought a breakfast sandwich. And in my dazed state, Tim drove us home.  All of it seems so weird looking back on it now.

I replay those moments time and time again.  I often ask myself and others why we left him there.  It was the most traumatic part of that 24 hours, and I have not yet talked about leaving him at the hospital without tears coming to the surface.  It was awful.

And now 14 weeks after this traumatic event they throw away his shoes.  I can’t leave his shoes.  No way.  Never.  Leaving him at the hospital was the most horrific thing I’ve ever done.  I couldn’t leave his shoes.  I already left him, not his shoes too.

It took an hour and a half of digging through that dumpster.  Finally we found them, along with some broken legos.  It was another half an hour of putting it all back in the dumpster, but there’s no way I could have left them.

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And now the gravesite looks so empty.  We are waiting on a gravestone, but there’s nothing right now.  If you drive to the gravesite you don’t know that there is anyone even buried in that space, let alone that it’s my son.  His name is Enoch, and he’s amazing and nobody knows he’s even there.

I’ll be honest it’s been harder to go since that day.  It’s hard to go and see the bare ground where my son lay.  It seems so empty.

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One year…

It didn’t make sense.  There’s no way it could be true, but I had to know if I was pregnant.  All signs pointed to no: never once suspecting in fifteen years of marriage, a doctor saying we only had a 3% chance, and let’s face the realities that age is not on my side.  But my body was pointing to the fact that I might be, and I couldn’t ignore those signs for too much longer.  It’s a  weird thing knowing we are infertile and yet feeling like I might be pregnant.  So, as much as I didn’t think it could be true, I had to at least get that thought out of my head.  And so I bought pregnancy test.

The next part also is tricky too.  How much attention to put on the test.  I don’t want to be too hopeful, but if it’s miracioulsy positive, then I want it to have some meaning.  So in addition to the pregnancy test I buy stuff to grill out, and plan to take it on a night Tim and I would have time together.  Spring was just breaking through, and it was a warm night.  Tim loves burgers over a charcoal grill, and so I make sure we are stet up for that on this night.  As he lights the grill and we wait for the charcoal to get hot, we also wait to see what the pregnancy test will say.  Just minutes later the test is very clearly positive.  I am in fact pregnant!  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tim so excited, as he hugs me and picks me up off the ground.  Such joy.  Such anticipation.  Admittedly I am a bit more hesitant than he is, knowing it’s early in pregnancy and planning to take the second test in the morning.  But that doesn’t squelch his excitement one bit.  As we continue to cook outside and enjoy the warm spring air he says, “this is the best day ever.”

I’m grateful for that day one year ago.  I’m grateful that we created a fun memory to find out the news.  I’m grateful we withheld telling anyone for a while so that it was just ours.  It really was all a gift.

Although today I remember that night with such joy, it also is met with deep sorrow.   He died.  My greatest fear came to reality eight months later in the most awful way.  And on this one year anniversary we also officially ordered Enoch’s gravestone.  We hadn’t until now, partially because the task seemed so overwhelming and so final, but it was time for many reasons.  And unintentionally both are landing on the same day, today.  The joy and the sorrow continue to meet time and time again.

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Tim and I never took a picture that night, but we did take this photo the next night