Thursday, June 30, 2011

Times flying...

26 weeks already.  It's amazing to think that baby girl #4 will be here in just a few months!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two years ago today...

That's my big girl.  In her swing for the first time.  Barefoot in green grass.  With chocolate on her face.  Just like she is today.  Only today, two years later, instead of being carried and being cradled,  that child is racing in the green grass of Heaven with her beautiful perfect body that works just like God meant it to (only she may not have the chocolate on her chin). 

Heavenly Grass by Tennessee Williams...
My feet took a walk in heavenly grass.
All day while the sky shone clear as glass.
My feet took a walk in heavenly grass,
All night while the lonesome stars rolled past.
Then my feet come down to walk on earth,
And my mother cried when she give me birth.
Now my feet walk far and my feet walk fast,
But they still got an itch for heavenly grass.

But they still got an itch for heavenly grass. 
I miss her so much...

I read this really wonderful article by a man named Steven Kalas.  He tries to answer the question "How do I get over this?"  this loss of a child, this living on without them.  And he says...

"You don't get over it. Getting over it is an inappropriate goal. An unreasonable hope. The loss of a child changes you. It changes your marriage. It changes the way birds sing. It changes the way the sun rises and sets. You are forever different.

 You don't want to get over it. Don't act surprised. As awful a burden as grief is, you know intuitively that it matters, that it is profoundly important to be grieving. Your grief plays a crucial part in staying connected to your child's life. To give up your grief would mean losing your child yet again. If I had the power to take your grief away, you'd fight me to keep it. Your grief is awful, but it is also holy. And somewhere inside you, you know that.

The goal is not to get over it. The goal is to get on with it.

Profound grief is like being in a stage play wherein suddenly the stagehands push a huge grand piano into the middle of the set. The piano paralyzes the play. It dominates the stage. No matter where you move, it impedes your sight lines, your blocking, your ability to interact with the other players. You keep banging into it, surprised each time that it's still there. It takes all your concentration to work around it, this at a time when you have little ability or desire to concentrate on anything.

The piano changes everything. The entire play must be rewritten around it.

But over time the piano is pushed to stage left. Then to upper stage left. You are the playwright, and slowly, surely, you begin to find the impetus and wherewithal to stop reacting to the intrusive piano. Instead, you engage it. Instead of writing every scene around the piano, you begin to write the piano into each scene, into the story of your life.

You learn to play that piano. You're surprised to find that you want to play, that it's meaningful, even peaceful to play it. At first your songs are filled with pain, bitterness, even despair. But later you find your songs contain beauty, peace, a greater capacity for love and compassion. You and grief -- together -- begin to compose hope. Who'da thought?

Your grief becomes an intimate treasure, though the spaces between the grief lengthen. You no longer need to play the piano every day, or even every month. But later, when you're 84, staring out your kitchen window on a random Tuesday morning, you welcome the sigh, the tears, the wistful pain that moves through your heart and reminds you that your child's life mattered.

You wipe the dust off the piano and sit down to play."

She was here, her life mattered.  It's been nearly two years but she is still a part of me and who I am and I don't want to let go of that.  We write her into the story everyday.  Sarah looks at her pictures every day.  We talk about her every day.  She is our second born, the dark haired one.  The one that was the Daddy's Girl.  The stubborn one, the bossy one.  She is the missing stair step in this band of daughters.  She is in everything that I do and in my thoughts, still, all day long.

Two years ago she was here, and she was happy that day.  And we are so blessed in that and I so grateful to God for letting us have her.  She was happy and that brings me more joy than words can say.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Fingerprint Friday...

Yesterday I woke up with a heavy heart and missed Marie all day long.  What would she be doing now?  How long would her hair be?  Would I be starting to maybe help her more with her letters to teach her to read (she could have, her mind was sharp, it was only the body broken).  I missed feeding her breakfast and trying to keep her feet off the dining room table.  I cleaned the bathroom and missed looking out to see her sitting in her nap nanny in the doorway and talking to me.  I missed napping with her after lunch.  I wonder what sort of big sister she would be and if she'd be as excited about the new baby coming as Josie is.

So I cleaned, I had lunch with my a good friend.  I ran Josie to gymnastics and Sarah took a nap while I watered.  We went in the pool when Sarah got up and friends stopped by to visit and all day long I was busy and had company.  And it was good. 

Last night after dinner we were out in the backyard and I randomly snapped pictures of our night.  I was mentally cataloging the good things, the blessings, and it helped my heart not to hurt so much.
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
 Sarah's picture face, waiting for the flash...
 My petunias.  They're so simple but they're so pretty.
 Blessed in that for the last eight years our house has been filled with tiny toe-nails for me to paint.
 Josie's imagination.  It is amazing.
 A flower in the ally, unexpected pretty.
 The sunset.  And Marie... she's just behind it.  Because there's no night in Zion.
 My tiger lily's with buds on, I can't wait to see them bloom.

To join Fingerprint Friday please go here.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Storms and a slow down....

Saturday was the big finish.  Josie's machine pitch/t-ball tournament went all morning.  I was so proud of her.  She played hard through three games, and went out to finish the last two innings of the last game after getting hit in the neck with a ball that had been tossed into the dugout.  It was good to see her accomplish something, and she was proud of herself.  Not to mention on her team, "1" there were 12 kids, only two of them girls.  Not bad at all!

Sunday, Father's Day.  We had breakfast together and the girls gave Luke their gift, a new sign saying "Dad's Garage" for his new shop.  We went to church, came home and grilled steaks and took naps.  When the Sarah got up we climbed in the Jeep and headed out to the cemetery.  We took Marie new flowers to replace the ones we brought out at Easter.  Pink, yellow, and white daisy's.  It is hard to have Mother's and Father's Day without her.  Especially Father's Day.  She was his baby through and through.

We came home, played in  the backyard, had good friends stop by.  And we watched the sky.  It was dark and windy and Luke was on the radar.  Nasty storms Sunday night.  The girls and I spent a good portion of the evening downstairs in the basement with tornado sirens going off and the weather radio on.  The wind and rain were amazing.  It literally came down sideways from the north.  And north of here it was bad.  Three fields are gone.  Three fields of wheat that was growing and beautiful are basically standing empty now.  And insurance will cover the loss but it's not as good as a harvest...

And Sunday was a day of storms.  Storms of the heart, storms of the sky.  Missing Marie and the rain slashing down.  Ice falling and leveling stalks of grain.  I know this.  God did not make hail.  It's a product of a sinful world.  Still, we are blessed.

Three fields is not everything.  Of the five or so fields hit only three are total losses.  Our house is fine, the farmstead is fine. We were all safe.  No tornado's touched down.  The girls didn't hear the siren and they weren't scared.  We still have wheat to harvest, we still have each other, we'll see Marie again.  And the weather is going to warm up again the end of the week so we look forward to that and maybe getting in the pool.  Finally!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Fingerprint Friday...

Sometimes you don't need to say much... is there any blessing greater than this fireball of a daughter sleeping sound on the quilt on our bed?

"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 "  Steven Curtis Chapman

To join Fingerprint Friday visit Beki's blog here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy days...

Summer has arrived here.  Josie has been out of school for two full weeks and it has been non-stop.  I actually don't like it like this.  I want slow, lazy summer days.  It hasn't happened yet but I know it will soon.  Sometimes I miss Marie setting our pace.  She slowed us down, made us appreciate things, kept us grounded.  Maybe it is Josie getting older, more involved but it seems that time is just passing far to quickly these days.

Landon's Hope was great!  We were so grateful to everyone who came and walked with us, and our team raised far more than our goal for the UMDF! 
Josie had her dance recital. She had been taking jazz classes since January and it was really wonderful.  She loves dance, we could see how much she practiced and how much it meant to her to do well at the recital.  She did great and it was so fun to see just how big she's getting.
Sarah is so busy.  I thank God constantly for her being able to be into so many things.  Her hair is not getting any darker, it's still white.  She reminds me of Marie more these days and I am grateful for that.  In so many ways I am lost for what to do with her.  It's been five years since I gave any thought to potty training and big girl beds.  Marie was a big girl too but it was so different.  With Marie I had to learn everything over again, and I feel that way with Sarah too.  I'm learning this all over again. 
Josie has been playing machine pitch t-ball for the last two weeks.  This Saturday is her tournament.  She really likes the game and it's fun to watch her.  She gets frustrated with herself easily, but I think it's a good learning experience.

This is my favorite picture that I've taken for awhile.  She looks so grown up, I'm really not sure when that happened. 

I will be 24 weeks Wednesday.  It's hard to believe we've gone through six months already.  In just four months we'll be meeting this new baby girl.  It's such a blessing, but I find myself struggling more these days.  I wish Marie were here to be going through this with us.  I want to share it all with her.  I can't imagine really who she would be a four years old.  She wasn't meant for that and in my heart I know it.  It's hard to accept, that I have a beautiful girl who was meant for greater things than this world.  Because I am grateful she's with Jesus, but as her mother I am selfish and I still want her here with me.

Luke is in the fields planting millet.  Only three quarters but it's good for the soil.  One up north and two out by the farm.  It will harvest in September when he'll swath it into windrows and leave it to dry.  Picking it up just before this fourth baby comes.  It's the continuity of it that brings me comfort.  He planted millet the year Marie was born, he planted it again the year after.  He is planting it this year, and he will plant it again the coming years.  The same kind of seed, the same soil, the same man.  Some things don't change so drastically.

Summer days oddly enough make me miss Marie.  Those were my last days with her.  The long, hot days of summer.  It will be two years and that makes me want to scream.  It can't be that long.  It can't be.  But it is.  And I can't stop time so we'll make the best of it.  The ache of two years for me is the being without her.  Little Mama is unaware of time, she's just where God meant her to be and she'll see me whenever I get there and she won't recognize that we've been apart for even a second.  And I think she's with the twin that vanished, the other little girl that we would have had, the identical twin to this baby that I'm carrying now.  We would have named her Jayne...   

Still, it's summer days and I need to turn off the water in the vegetable garden and fold laundry and carry the metal watering can around to the seeds the hose didn't reach and make Josie get dressed and do dishes and all the other work that God gave me to keep me busy and sane.  And I am blessed...


Friday, June 03, 2011

Fingerprint Friday...

It has been a very busy week!  Between vacation bible school, dance recital dress rehearsal, machine pitch (t ball) practice starting, and gymnastics kicking off we have been in the car a lot.  It sounds like Josie is involved in everything.  This week, yes.  It was sort of an overlap week in activities.  Next week will slow down and we can take a breath.

Today we are heading for the front range and a dentist appointment for Sarah.  Tomorrow is the Landon's Hope walk and we will spend the morning remembering Marie...  I am looking forward to it. 

I realised today that I have not taken any pictures this time with baby number 4.  That won't do at all.  I love having a record of each pregnancy with my girls and No. 4 will not be any different.

So, my Fingerprint this week...

22 weeks, baby girl number four.  Not a great photograph.  Learning to be joyful with a broken heart.  Missing Marie and rejoicing in the girls that I have with me.  Thirty years old and still trying to become who God would want me to be.  Life is weird...  I am getting better at just trying to rejoice in what God gives me in the moment.  It is easy right now because as you can see, I am pretty blessed.