Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

My New Normal

Losing my daughter has forever changed me; I will never be the same, and I don't think my life will ever be what other people classify as normal. I've read several meaningful and encouraging stories by godly women who have lost children, and they all describe life after tragedy as their "new normal."

The past few days have been particularly difficult for me as I adjust to my new normal. It's been harder than usual to find joy in the mundane routines like going to work and even in the more exciting events like going on a date to see Harry Potter (it was a MUST GO, by the way). Not that I don't enjoy doing these things; I do. It's just everyday normalities remind me that she's not here. I don't have a choice but to tackle life with an intensity of mixed emotions that just plain wears me out.

My new normal is having an emotional battle every time we go out for dinner. Going out to dinner is one of my favorite pleasures, but it also causes me to miss Stella a lot. When I'm in a restaurant, I think about how the Eber family wouldn't be going out to eat if we had a newborn at home. I'm saddened by how our "party of four" should be a "party of five." Ely reminded me again of this thought tonight, while we were eating dinner at The Olive Garden (thank you, Aunt Rosie!) We were seated at a round five-top table. The empty chair next to Ely prompted him to announce, "Somebody's missing. A girl's missing. Know who's missing? Baby Stella's missing!" This is one of the only times that I've seen Mike visibly upset in public. Little did he know, but Ely was echoing how I feel all the time.

My new normal is always having the feeling that somebody's missing. It's a little like the feeling when you lose your phone or your keys, or maybe even your dog, but multiplied by a million. And, on top of that, you'll never find what you lost, not in this life anyway.

My new normal is crying all the way to work every day. I feel ashamed that I ever complained about having to go back to work. While I do love what I do, I love my daughter even more, and I would have gladly given up my job to take care of her. During my one-hour commute, inevitably, 104.7 The FISH will play at least several of the songs that deeply touch me, and I'll have tears streaming down my face. I've never really been one to cry much, but let me tell you, the tears flow easily now, even when they're not visible. Now I long to do something more meaningful than web design, something that touches the hearts of those who are hurting. Though, as we sang in church two weeks ago, "Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee."

My new normal is having life and death conversations with my kids on a daily basis and hearing about them having life and death conversations with their friends. While my dear [pregnant] friend Jennifer was watching the boys last night, her daughter pointed to her mommy's belly and told Ely, "Mommy has a baby in there." Jennifer told me Ely lowered his head and sadly replied, "My baby died." Jennifer and her parents cheered Ely up by reminded him that Stella is in heaven. My sweet, sweet boy. At times, my heart breaks more for Ely and Milo than for myself, knowing how desperately my boys wanted to be big brothers. Ely, in particular, is very good with babies. Baby girls have a special placein his heart, and he'll gladly abandon favorite friends and toys to sit on the floor with their baby siblings to roll a ball back and forth or make silly faces.

My new normal is having a room in my house that I can't yet bear to use. Last week, after telling Ely for the umpteenth time that Stella isn't coming back, he reminded me, "but we still have her room." I replied that yes, we did and asked him, "Would it be okay with you if we redid her room?" Ely shyly and sensitively responded, "when you can handle it, Mom." Sometimes I really think God speaks through my boys.

My new normal is navigating the waters of friendship with those who have been blessed with healthy babies. I praise God that not for a second have I been angry, bitter, or resentful toward any of my friends who have recently had or is(Lord-willing) soon to have a healthy baby. I do find myself frustrated, though, when friends complain about what I consider insignificant problems like what room to put the baby in or not having enough help after the baby comes. Yes, these are valid concerns. But, what are these concerns in comparison to the blessing of having a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby?

My new normal is trying to figure out how to answer the question, "How many kids do you have?" Do I say two and not have to go into all the details about how Stella came into this world and left in six short days, or do I say three and explain everything? Two weeks ago, at the Children's Imagine It museum, I was faced with this question, and I just decided to say, "two boys" to avoid the follow up questions. Now I regret what I said.

My new normal is having the incredible burden that God allowed this to happen for a reason, and that I must not waste one single moment that I could be sharing the hope and faith that God has given to me. I keep going back to the line in Matt Maher's song that says, "This is the first day of the rest of your life." Every new day is the first day of the rest of our lives. I don't see the point in living without salvation, and I so desperately want others not to see the point either. I am so human, though, and I fail so often. But I want this part of my "new normal" to stay a part of me.

My new normal is anything but "normal." But it's my life now, and I can't turn back time. Please pray for me as I continue to climb uphill on this new terrain called "my new normal." Although I am spiritually the best I have been in a long time, I get so tired emotionally. My body feels the weight of my emotions, and I'm still having trouble healing physically.

Aaron Shust - You Watch Over Me
"You watch over me in the darkest valleys
You watch over me when the night seems long
You help me to see the way before me
You watch over me; You watch over me"

Psalm 34:18
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."


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About This Blog

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This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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