Yesterday was Mother's Day. It was hard. Anniversaries are hard. And my second Mother's Day without Marie here was difficult.
Josie was so excited and gave me a necklace she had made in art along with a folder of coupons, a card, bookmarks, and a picture all talking about how much she loved me. Sarah was a stinker, but that's sort of what she's into right now. The terrible two's have hit my little princess early. Josie made a frame in Sunday school with her picture in it.
I kept thinking, Marie would have sung in church. Marie would have made a foam picture frame for me and I would see her face smiling back. Marie would have some craft she might have made, Marie in a summer dress and sandals, Marie in her Daddy's arms, the farmer's daughter... if Marie was healthy. If Marie had been doing well enough to go to church. If Marie felt good it would have been a very good day. Because in my mind Marie is always as she should have been, and it is because I know she is healed.
Luke worked hard to make the day special. He did dishes, made lunch, changed stinky diapers. I sobbed in the car going to the cemetery... We do it every Sunday but yesterday was hard. Because I want her in my arms. I want the rest of the world to see that I have three little girls and they're beautiful. I want to kiss and cuddle little knees and feet that would be getting kissed golden by the sun because the weathers been so warm. I can't equate the child that I love, the one that I fought for, prayed for, cried for, would have died for... I can match her up with the cold stone...
Sometimes it all still feels to horrible to have happened. And it's been a year and half and I think people get sick of my carrying it with me. But I can't put it down. It's my cross, the one God gave me. And I am better at dealing with it now but the pain hasn't changed. It's deep, in my gut, it pierces my lungs, and it crushes my heart. And it still feels the same as it did the day that I saw her last, just sleeping. But she wasn't, she was gone Home. And that's what I carry.
And I'm pregnant. And I am so filled with worries. Having another baby after having buried one is different.
With Josie I was so blissfully ignorant, nothing bad would happen. With Marie I was too... through her pregnancy I was just so exited to meet her. At my 20 week ultrasound she was shy, and so we didn't know if we would be having a boy or a girl. I remember praying a few days before she was born "Lord, please let it be a little girl". I was so in love with her name, Marie Isabel. In my mind I saw a dark haired girl, eyes snapping. And she was. But I don't know that I ever prayed for Josie and Marie to be healthy. I was naive and I just believed that they would be, that nothing horrible could happen to me.
And then we found out about Sarah. And I prayed. I prayed that she thrive, it felt like too much to ask God to make her healthy. I just prayed that this child would thrive. And she does. She was a surprise too, at the ultrasound the cord was between her legs. And there she was, another girl and I was in awe of her but worries of Marie were heavy on my heart. We barely rejoiced at Sarah's birth and despite that she carried us through the darkest days I have known.
And now this baby. I am 18 1/2 weeks along. The beginning was scary, they were so cautious because my blood work was off and my numbers were too high. There was the ultrasound where I saw the two circles, two lives so tiny their heart beats couldn't even be seen. And then the next ultrasound when there was only one baby. And I have been sicker, and I haven't gained any weight. And I felt this baby move later than the others and because I know the dark, I know the fear, I know the weight, I know that bad can happen I worry. Do I feel this baby move later for some reason? Is this baby okay? And I pray. "Lord, please let this baby healthy". Somehow now I'm brave enough to ask for that. A healthy baby. I ask God to let it grow, let it thrive, let it's life be used for His Glory. But I'm terrified. I don't know that I could loose another. It's too much to consider so I try to avoid the thought.
Carrying a child after you have buried one is different. There is joy there but so much worry. Because I know now, I have seen with my own eyes how fragile our children are. How fragile our lives are. I understand fully that this child is not my own, it is only with me for me to love while I can. And I don't want to let it go, let another go, ever. Because the hugs that I cannot give to Marie make my arms hurt and I don't know that I can handle any more pain.
Every day I seem to do battle with this fear, this worry. Every day I feel like I could sink into it. Instead I just want to be happy. I want to delight in this gift. I know so many who haven't had one child, let alone the four I have been blessed with... and I want to have joy. So every day I feel like I fight for joy against my worry...
It's different living after the loss of a child. Even though she's not lost, I know just where she is it's not here. And that is the hardest thing...