Mountain Tops & Valleys

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I would love to be able to go back to being in the hospital with Owen.  Everything felt crystal clear.  I knew what my role was.  I knew what I had to do.  My family was there.  We didn’t have to worry about the small stuff – we were in the big stuff and it was clear.

Pastor Chris spoke this past Sunday about what he called “mountain top moments.”  Those moments when the curtain between the past and the future is drawn back and we have a glimpse of what tomorrow has for us.  I knew I would be planning a funeral.  But I also knew that many great things would come from my family’s tragedy.   I felt calm, strong and confident.  I said my prayers, knowing what my heart desired.  I prayed that His would be done.   I prayed for the strength so that I would come through this pain, stronger and closer to Him because of it.  I prayed for others strength rather than for my own.

I find myself now yearning for that closeness again.  I want to feel His grace on my shoulders.  I want to have that clarity again.  I would do anything to freeze that time forever.  Go back to sleeping in the hospital next to Doug, with the sounds of the machines in the background. The late night talks with Owen’s nurses.  The constant flow of visitors.  Everyone taking care of one another.  Sharing chairs.  Sitting in this tiny room like gerbils – all over each other.  If I had the choice, I would go back to that time.

But I can’t.  I cannot turn back the clock.  I cannot recreate something so tender.  It was a tease, just a peak at what God had in store for us.  The five days we had was a gift.  A fleeting glimpse of a gift.

So we come down off the mountain and are where?  In the valley …. where pain and suffering are promised.  We are living in a world in which is un-fix-ably broken.  Where innocent words of “oh are they twins?” stabs you in the heart making it hard to breath.  Always unexpected – a smile in line while waiting for a cup of coffee.  Then the innocent words and the heartache sets in.

Someone asked me if I was always pained or annoyed with the dumb things people said.  When shopping with all three triplets, we were a FREAK show.  I’m talking show stopper – I began to pretend that I couldn’t hear people just so I could get my shopping done.  I miss being the freak show.  I was different.  I felt chosen – these triplets were spontaneous.  God chose me as their mother.  He picked me.  I felt special and now I feel like I blend in.  Twins are not nearly as eye catching as triplets.  Funny how big of a difference just one more makes.  My answer to the question?  It was easy to make a joke out of the dumb things people said before.  Laugh about making a t-shirt that answered all their questions so they wouldn’t have to bother me.  Video tape people’s dumb questions while at the mall.  Quote “Holy stroller Batman!” and laugh til my belly hurt.  Now the questions take my breath away.  They are the same dumb questions.  I want to correct them but the pain doesn’t always allow me.  It’s a pain that I didn’t have when Owen was still alive – in the hospital even.   I wasn’t the invisible triplet mom then.

How do I get back on the mountain top?  How do you escape the pains of living in the valley?  I don’t think we can.  We are aren’t meant to live on the mountain top.  But the glimpses are meant to give us hope.  They are something to hold onto when things get hard.  God is constantly working in our lives.  Change is inevitable.  Things are passing away but new things are always on the horizon.

Yes, my son died.  But a daughter lived.  Yes, I have to watch Jaden mourn the loss of his brother.  But I also get to watch him grow in his faith at the young age of five.  The undoubting mind of a child.  So we live in a world of pain and sorrow, but I cling to the hope of tomorrow.

Love, Mel


  1. I have commented on your post before but not in a while. I can totally relate to your post in so many ways. My triplet son was also 6 1/2 months old when he died. He never left the NICU though. The 1st months it was horrible everytime I heard “are they twins” though I got it from the beginning since I never got to have all 3 home with me. Before I was able to easily correct them and say no they are triplets there brother is still in the NICU etc…then after he died the 1st few times I explained they were “surviving triplets” then I would get the I feel sorry for you looks etc…My son has been gone for 2 years and I still find myself not telling the complete truth to avoid the comments and looks. If they are not with me and I talk about them I just never mention that my son is dead. Just depends on my mood, who I am talking to and if I ever plan on seeing them again. I get the feeling of being different. Mine to were spontanious….I wonder why I was given this extra ordinary gift for it to just be ripped away from me. As time has gone by I try not to dwell so much on what I can’t change. When they are called twins I just nod and smile and keep walking. If someone stops and drills me I tell them they are surviving triplets and before they can say anything I tell them their brother died when he was 6 months old and we are doing okay now. I to remember how clear things were during the worst moment of my life. I was able to be strong, take control, the day my husband and I made the decision to turn our son’s ventilator off I had a peace, a calmness I can not explain. I’m sure part of it was numbness…after his heart actually stopped I couldn’t even cry when we left the hospital. I couldn’t cry at this funeral. After a few months the closeness and warmth that I felt all around me was gone. I felt alone and that God was just not as near me as he once was. I was empty and scared. I was angry, sad, etc…my son was gone for more than 6 months when I truely grieved his loss. To this day I’m not sure how I feel. Sometimes I wonder if “THAT” really happened to me. It takes me back to his videos, his pictures, the medical documents that bring all the memories flooding back. I feel that warmth of how much I love him and the tears start falling. I think overall I’m okay these days. My son suffered so much during his short life that I can feel comfort and peace knowing he is OKAY now and he no longer has to suffer. I wish you the best as you navigate life after loss with your little ones -Jennifer

  2. Oh Mel, I have no words right now. I wish I could just take away the pain. cause as I don’t know you it brings pain to my chest, just knowing u feel this way. May god be with you all now and always. your such a strong mother. I’ve learned so much from you. Thanks for always sharing your thought’s with us!!!!

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