Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year

We are getting ready to greet 2010... beginning a new year, a new life of sorts, and being dragged foreward without Marie.  I have no idea what the new year will hold.  To be honest, I am dreading 2010.  At least 2009 had Rie in it.  It was her best year, and then at the end of summer she flew.  My best and worst year of my life.  I am not ready to say goodby to that yet.  But time marches forward and as I am learning, I do not have the power to control it.  So onward I go.

This song makes me think of my Little Mama, expecially the last two verses... This is how I would like to live my life from now on.

Untitled Hymn by Chris Rice

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live! 

She is dancing for Jesus, and I can't be sad about that.  I just need to figure out how to get by without her... 
May you all have a blessed new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

John 16:33

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Christmas without Little Mama was harder than I could have ever imagined it would be.  No dresses, no shoes, no showing off my amazing beautiful princess at Christmas Eve service.  No presents unwrapped by her, and a blizzard on Christmas Day keeping us from spending special time we had set aside to be at the cemetery.  People not mentioning her name, me rambling about her like a crazy woman because she must be mentioned often, and over and over again and I'll be damned if we have a gathering without her being part of it.  For the first time in my life an overwhelming desire to hide under the covers... Then Josie having a hard time, missing her sister.  We talked about Christmas in Heaven, hearing choirs of angels sing, and how beautiful Marie's dress must be this year after all, it was made by Heavenly hands.  We're thinking it was the palest shade of pink and she was barefoot because all though they are adorable Marie hated her tiny shoes, she was happiest with nothing on her feet.  We talked about how it's unbelievable how beautiful Marie is now, how she's healed and free.  But in the end at bedtime it boils down to simply "I want my sister".

We know just where she is, that Rie Rie is just waiting for us, but it doesn't make being apart any easier.  Especially on a holiday where the celebration is our Savior's birth but there is such an emphasis on family being together.  Every gathering this year felt a bit like a knife in the side.

There was joy, it was Sarah's first Christmas and it was fun to see her eye the lights and tear some paper, but it was our first Christmas without Rie too... bittersweet.

I know there will come a day when I'm not just getting by and start living again, but honestly it seems like it will never come.  It is overwhelming the desire to be with a child that's no longer on earth, and pull of needing to be with the other two is a constant thing.  Mother guilt to the power of ten...

So I am holding on... John 16:33.  Thank God this is not all there is!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Gratitude

Luke and I would like to thank everyone who has prayed, sent cards, sent meals, sent flowers, left comments, and supported our family over the last year.  You have carried us, and your prayers continue to lift our hearts.  Thank you all so much for the strength we have found, the friends we have made, and the hearts that were opened to us.  We are blessed to have been allowed to share our sweet Marie with you, and are blessed in the comfort and love that were shared for Luke and I, Josie and Sarah.  We wish you a blessed Christmas as we rejoice in the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 and John 11:25-26, we are grateful. 


Friday, December 18, 2009

A season...

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

When you look at this stone try not to ask God why Marie's time was so short... instead praise Him for how long Marie was here in our arms.  There was a time that Luke and I worried that she wouldn't see her first birthday, instead she had two of them.  There was a time that her personality was gone, lost in a haze of medications.  We put her into His hands and the right doctor was found and God gave Marie back to us in all of her naughty, silly, sweet glory.  We were given a beautiful summer, and while this is a season for mourning, Marie can finally dance...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Landon's Hope

There will be more to come on this soon, but for now just check out Landon's Hope.  We're going to put together a team again, Our Miracle Marie, and look forward to seeing you there!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of god
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of god
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of god
So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?

I see God-
In the baby on my hip, the house that is dirty and needs cleaned, the husband that is asking me yet again where this or that is.  In the five year old refusing to eat her banana/green beans/apple/grapes/corn again...  In all the things that pull me out of my own head and cause me to focus on the needs and praises of others... and in the quiet moments when I close my eyes and can still see, hear and feel Marie...  Thank you for that God, thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

School Program

Josie's very first ever, in the history of the world, very excited about and couldn't wait for it Christmas program at school was Monday night.  It was in a word... adorable.  They sang really well, I think it was three real songs a couple short poems and then they watched a movie in the library with their teachers.

Josie looked beautiful in her dress and danced to every song they sang.  She was right up in front in the front row with a little girl friend of hers by her side.  On the other side of that little girl was the fellow who is currently Josie's future husband.  Apparently he agrees with her, so I was sort of happy to see that there was someone standing between them.

We settled in, Luke with the video camera and me with Sarah as the music began.  They were singing "Must be Santa" and as the music started I was rocketed back in time.  I've sat here before, watched Josie perform here before, but with a different child in my arms.

Watching Josie Monday night it was impossible not to remember sitting with Marie, watching her little awed face as the music began for a dance recital.  Watching her stare at the stage as Josie graduated from preschool, watching her then become incredibly bored as the program drug on.  Sitting in different places watching Josie play soccer, Josie do gymnastics.  Marie was always watching, and always so happy to be there. 

It was tough to be out, to be celebrating, to be a family minus one.  I wish she could have been in my arms.  To watch her face light up as the music came up and the lights turned down.

Sometimes I am really knocked over by all the memories we won't get to make with Marie...I wasn't ready for this.  But I also know that five, ten, or twenty more years I wouldn't have been ready.

Then, in those pain filled moments missing Marie with all of my being I see Sarah's face as she stares at the stage.  Mouth open, she has never seen anything like this before.  She sits with me, her father, her God-Mother, her God-Father.  We play pass the baby and Sarah does remarkably well about two thirds of the time.  Luke then takes a fussy little monster out to the lobby and watches the rest of the program from there.  She must be up you see, Sarah must always be moving.

Jose's program was wonderful, beautiful, a reminder of an absence and a new experience for a blessing.  Double sided, bittersweet... but then that is my life.

My girls were so pretty though.

And then they were tired...

Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.
-- Louise Gl├╝ck

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Have you seen my sunshine?

Here she is!

One of the prettiest things I've ever seen...

And with fantastic taste in hats...

And I am lucky enough that I have three of them...


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Can't stop time...

It keeps moving on, moving forward.  Josie knew it had been three months... My heart broke...  "It feels like a long time since Marie's been here" she said over waffles... "I don't like it".  Me either.

Thanksgiving was survived.  I was numb.  I smiled when I was supposed to, laughed when I should have, we visited with one another.  Sarah didn't nap at Aunt Lois' house and was incredibly just a little cranky...  Josie refused to eat her sweet potato balls despite there being a marshmallow hidden in the center.  Luke and I just felt lost.  Both of us thought... Rie would have loved Aunt Gail's lemon jello... the pumpkin pie... the cool whip on it... she would have eaten this, she would have liked that.

After dinner we went to the cemetery to spend some time with her.  Of course she's not there but it's nice to have a place to go.  It was unseasonably warm...  We kneeled on the grass and I sobbed... it wasn't easy.

Saturday we did it all again, at Luke's moms.  Once again, it was okay.  We're not complete, we're still really wounded and still healing... we made it through the day and it wasn't all bad.  Still, it just wasn't the same and it would have been nice to have Rie there...

Josie is missing her terribly.  They were best friends... there aren't many pictures where they're not together, not many things they didn't share.  She is hurting and we're trying to help her. 

Josie would just like to have Marie around... this is what they were doing one year ago today.

They adored each other... it's hard for Josie not to have Marie physically present.  Luke and I both struggle with that.  The permanence of this...  Our girls were close as could be, it's hard for them to be apart.

And then this one... she figured out how to scream.  It's very cute but hard to tell if she's happy or upset... her voice is so high pitched.  Still, to be able to use your voice to assert yourself like that.  To make yourself heard, it's pretty amazing.  Marie stopped crying before she turned one and I hated that she couldn't express herself much.  Over last winter and the last summer she began to be able use her voice again, but still she never cried.  It's a beautiful sound, to hear Sarah.  I'm enjoying it... still, she could scream a little less and it would be okay...

Advent is here.  The wreath is on the table.  We're preparing for the greatest gift, the holiday feels so different now.  Because He loved my Rie so much He sent His son... He knew He would have to die but He sent Him anyway so that Marie could have eternal life.  He loves her that much... it is huge.  Grateful doesn't even begin to encompass it.  Because of Jesus we will see Marie again someday, we just have to wait a little bit...

Happy Advent...