Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Need a Minute?"

Greetings to all! This is a tough one to start because I feel like I am really putting our hearts out there, but I need to write about it because this is kind of like my therapy. I also ask that there be no “advice” left in the comments this is just my feelings today ,words of support are fine just no advice please. I would normally not ask this but that is just how very close to my heart that is this.

Ali and I had a WONDERFUL evening last night we sat on our balcony and just talked for hours. We covered an array of topics from budgets, to work, to the kids school and of course our precious Cate. I had gone back inside to check on the kids and then came back outside to meet Ali. As I sat down she had “that look” on her face. The look that every man knows, “Oh no, here it comes!” We do not usually know what “it” is but we know that it is going to be big and so we clinch our teeth real hard and wait for the question that ALWAYS follows, “Can I ask you a question?” We are trapped, there is no other response than “yes” and this is how quickly a woman can back us simple creatures, men, into a corner so there is no way out. It is like that Twix commercial where the guy is shoving both candy bars into his mouth at the same time and the announcer says, “Need a minute?” That is exactly how guys feel and you ladies do it with such easy and beauty that we are obliged to listen to the question that is about to bring up some kind of emotion inside of us. We do not know what that emotion is going to be so we nod our head in painful surrender in the yes motion and wait.

Finally after what felt like an eternity she asked, “Are we done having children?” It was like a cannonball hit me dead in the chest. The question that has loomed in my heart since all of this began. It is a question that I have asked myself numerous times over the past month, but I sure as heck was not bringing it up, not right now anyway, maybe like it TEN YEARS. I know my wife and I knew that when she was ready to talk about it she would. As the depth of that question penetrated my heart my eyes filled with tears. Ali and I have always been open to children. We had one miscarriage and three kids in five years. That means that Ali was pregnant more than she was not in the first five years we were married. Pregnancy, although unexpected at times, was always a joy for us, well I say “us,” I really did not have to do much during the whole thing, but we love each one of our gifts that our God has given us, even our little Rachel, she was our first that we miscarried. On the anniversary of her passing we go out to breakfast in memory of her and to celebrate the very short time she was with us.

After Cate’s death, things have felt real different, pregnancy feels unimaginably scary. I remember when Ali was pregnant with Ella, God began to reveal to my heart that I was going to experience a new love, one that I had never experienced before, the love of a father and boy did I! I remember seeing each of my children when they were seconds old and LOVING THEM, I mean lay down my life kind of love and I did not even really know them yet. They had not “done” anything to make me love, that fact that they existed provoked love in my heart.

Love is always a risk. It is honestly a crazy reality if you think about it. You put all of yourself out there to be hurt, rejected, and let down, but at the same time you also open yourself to the opportunity to experience real joy, peace, comfort, encouragement, and life. If we do not ever make ourselves vulnerable to love then we will never experience these wonderful realities that spring forth from the act of loving. When Cate died I felt as though a part of my fatherly love was just crush, robbed, and obliterated. If you can remember back to your first “love” and your first break up, do you remember swearing off the opposite sex? Whether it was, Boys are stupid! Who needs them? or Girls are just ridiculous, hanging out with the guys is more fun away. All because you put yourself out there in an act of love, as young as it may have been at the time, and you were hurt, you were let down. As silly as it sounds that is the way I feel RIGHT NOW. I feel hurt, I feel let down and so my reaction is to avoid what hurt me, a baby. I am honestly scared to risk loving again right now. I do not want to try to “replace” Cate and I am scared out of my mind of hurting this bad again. I know that in no way was Ali asking to get pregnant today, tomorrow, or next week, but I know there will come a time when I think she will want to get pregnant again. My stomach is tightening even as I am writing these words, but I know that in time God will heal this hurt and feelings of being let down. I know that in time He will ease the fear of loving again.

After talking to Ali last night I realized that I have to begin to invite God into this specific hurt. That I cannot and will not let there be a wall built that protects this hurt. If I do that then I do not allow God to take me into the middle of that hurt and show me that He is and has been in the middle this pain the entire time. I know that this is what I must do if I am to allow the healing to begin. I believe that there is a new love to be experienced from all of this, just as God revealed to me that I would experience a new love with the birth of Ella. I believe that this pain will birth a new love in my life and so I open my heart, broken as it may be to the Divine Healer and the one who IS Love. Please pray for this specifically for Ali and I for this healing as well as if and when it is time for God to bless our family with another child we are ready, eager, and welcoming. We love you all so very much and continue to ask that you remain with us in prayer. Much Love, The Cantrells


Anonymous said...

Dear God, I pray for peace, love, comfort, hope and understanding as this precious family tries to find it's way thru life and the loss of a very precious little doll. I pray that You will lead them in the right direction and let Your Will be done. I pray that You help to heal the hurt and sadness that this family is trying so hard to work thru. I pray that You never leave them and that they always turn to You and each other when they need someone to lean on. I pray that You will continue to surround this family with loving, caring, supportive and understanding friends and family as they learn their way thru their "new" life. Please, Lord, let them know that they are loved and please send them "signs" that precious baby Cate is safe in Your arms and is at peace. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 29:11-14

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie,

No words of advice here but just know that my prayer will be that God, in His infinite wisdom, will reveal to you both what you need to understand to move forward. May He pull you, Ali, Ella and Dude into His loving arms for protection. I pray that the love of our Father will be felt so intensely by you both that God's intentions for your family will be seen with a clarity like never before. I love you both with all my heart.
Jane W

Hudson said...

Bryan and I have been thinking about y'all lately. We miss you guys and pray for your family daily. Much love, Bryan & Stephanie Carnes

Anonymous said...

Still praying.... still so thankful your heart is open to share!!!

Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...


You drive me nuts in your ability to make me laugh before throwing out a very serious issue. I feel like a middle-aged women going through menopause--hot flashes, no hot flashes. Anyway, a friend of mine once told me that she could no longer begin a conversation with THE QUESTION. Her husband's parents used to began all of their "serious" conversations with it. So, when they got married and she wanted to discuss a "serious" issue, she noticed he would completely shut down even before she got the issue out. Her womanly eye and beginning "I have a question" was all he needed!
It was good to see you guys at Rise and to hear you speak. I felt especially privileged to see your new/old dance moves. Ali, you looked fabulous!!
You guys are in our prayers.

Much love,

the Orillions

Anonymous said...

thank you. you inspire me so much to look at my own walls in my heart and to be open to Christ's love and healing. heaven knows i need a lot of both! thank you.

i am praying for you and your healing.

Crystal said...

May God continue to guide you in every way possible. I will continue to pray for all of you. No child will ever replace the children you have lost, but I pray that God will lead you in a direction to comfort your heart through this time. God gives the gifts of life, so let him lead the way.

With Love
Crystal Judice

The Magill Family said...

Will be keeping your family in my prayers as always.

volpecircus said...

your love for each other and the strength and honesty of your marriage is inspiring. may the Lord bless you, hold you in His arms and give you His peace.

Anonymous said...

Just when I started reading about Cate's time here on earth, I was questioning whether or not to try to conceive a child. After reading about your struggles and your faith, I began to realize that I had lost faith in God. I was being independent, not relying on God, but myself. Through the sharing of your life, your faith, and your miracle (Saint Cate), I have begun praying again. I am learning to lean on the Lord again like I once had. My husband and I have also decided to try to add to our family. We will continue to pray for you and your family. I also pray that God will guide you about if and when the time is right to add to your family. May His loving arms hold you tightly.

Pat Broussard said...

Jane W sent this today for Thought for the Day. Thought I would share it with you. I am not sure who was the author of these words.

"When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly! God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close"

Anonymous said...

I just returned from a retreat and I was behind on reading your entries. Between you and Ali I am at a loss for words but forever praying! Love you guys
In Gods time

Lila Lambert said...

Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist, sweet companion of our exile, we come to our Divine Physician and to the Fountain of life... in our great need we trust in our living Consoler and He takes us by the hand through our desolation, in reflection of His brightness we are enlightened

Marin said...

Continuing to pray for you all ---thanks so much for continuing to share your journey.
Love, Marin

Anonymous said...

Always thinking about all of you and always praying..praying for peace, love, and comfort. Praying so hard for Ali..her blog touched me so deeply. I often go back and read it over and over again...because it brings me back to the reality of what I almost and still may feel oneday.
Please know that although I have never met either of you, you are a huge part of my life. Cate is a huge part of my life...she has blessed me in a way I cannot express in words.
I will begin to pray for your hearts and the healing and openness for another precious gift from above. We love you Cantrell's...God Bless You!
Love, Stephanie Johnson

Anonymous said...

still reading and still praying for you and your family... you help me refocus on the important things DAILY!

Anonymous said...

Peace Be with you

Anonymous said...

I have 5 beautiful children and I cannot even imagine anything happening to any of them.. so I cannot imagine what you and Ali are going through right now... But with that said... I know God will heal you in time to accept more gifts from God(more children) because they are the most special gifts that God can give us.. I truly believe that.

praying for you always

Anonymous said...

I love you guys...praying always.

Anonymous said...

charlie and ali
in a small small way i understand the fears that you speak of. this is not meant in any way to be advice...i just want to testify to the Love of the father in that not only did we lose Moriah Faith on Feb 2nd, but then we had Helena Mercy on Feb. 2nd the next year, and then Gemma Charity on Feb. 2nd, 3 years after losing Morah. I remember when we lost Moriah and I said "how am i supposed to be able to find peace in this pregnancy if i am just worried about making it past the 33 week mark where we lost Moriah?" And when we got pregnang with Helena just 3 months later, it was a time of total surrender. I had to remind myself that He was gonna carry me no matter what. I just want to tell you how much we love you guys and we know that He has a great plan for your family. And while in our humanness we feel let down at times b/c we don't always understand His ways, we can be encouraged that He will give us a future filled with Hope...love you guys so much!!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family every single day- I think about you guys a lot-like multiple times a day, and I know my family does too-We are all praying for you guysand will continue to do so. I love you both so much! Erin Dawson

Anonymous said...

When God leads you to it, He leads you through it.
Continue to trust in God...He will tell you what/when to do. It is amazing how much love a heart can hold. You continue to be in our prayers.

Megan Perkins said...

Praying a rosary tonight for you both.