Friday, December 19, 2014
Two years minus two days
Kept Forever in My Heart
There are two of these little figurines sitting on our dresser--two little reminders of our heart's greatest treasures. It's almost two years since we said goodbye to our eldest child-- a child we never had the privilege of meeting, a child we barely got to know, a child we didn't even know how much we loved until he was gone. I wanted a reminder of this baby, something I could look at and see regularly. We chose this figurine.
Then, when we said goodbye to our second child, I wanted another figurine in honor of her, but wasn't sure if I wanted to go with the same style or not, but then my friend answered that question for me when she sent me an exact replica of the first Willow Tree and I knew it was right and it is. Two little figurines sitting one either side of our unity candle on our dresser. Fitting, I think. Our two little babies are a part of our family-- they have driven us together. In sickness and in health, in grief and in joy, our love has grown stronger. We will always miss our little ones, but I can truly say that we have been made better, stronger, fuller, more sympathetic of those going through similar losses.
And yesterday, when dear little Mya came to our house, I was able to hold her in my arms and hug her and give her a little kiss and I didn't fall apart. It felt right. It felt good. Yes, I thought about what it would be like to have had two little girls playing on the floor together and fighting or staring or whatever it is 7 month old little girls would do to each other, but I could rejoice in the gift of life. I could find joy in the big eyes that looked up at me and slowly blinked in her own little game. I'll have to be honest, that was a first for me, I think, to be able to enter into the life of another little girl and enjoy it without wanting to just walk away.
And as I look back two years, I miss our first born as well, but God is good and He is faithful and I have no choice but to trust Him. Healing takes time; it doesn't all happen at once, nor do I think it happens in one continuous line. It's more like a spiral--a little progress and then coming around the corner where you battle the same losses and the same tears and the same fears, but you get a little higher each time. There will always be parts of my heart that will belong to my two little angels in heaven, but I think those parts of my heart are enabling the rest of my heart to love in a deeper, fuller and richer way those who are left below.
The thing that pulls the hardest is knowing how to answer the question: Do you have children? Yes, we have children, but how do you explain that in a 30 second sound byte without the conversation getting awkward? If I say no, I feel terribly guilty for not acknowledging Nicole and if I say we had a stillborn, then I feel guilty for not acknowledging our firstborn, but how do you do all that? And when, Lord willing, I hold me newborn baby in my arms, what will I tell people? That she's our oldest? But she's not. It's so confusing!!!!!!!! And while for the sake of conversation and awkwardness I make a difference between miscarriage and stillborn, in my mind and in God's sight there is no difference. They are both children, loved by God and, I like to think, playing at His feet.
So this Christmas season, in the midst of all the busyness, treasure the gift of Life that was made possible by Jesus coming to earth. There will always be joy overshadowed by sorrow, life in the midst of death, but as the Christmas carol puts it: "Sorrow and grief are lulled by thy light; thou hope of each mortal in death's lonely night."
And someday, by the grace of God, our whole family will be together forever and the struggle to describe our family will be over. What a day that will be!!!!!!!
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