I woke up to the snow storm and in a way was relieved because I knew I wasn't going to have to bring Des to art class... that left me more time for the cemetery this week, which I've been so desperately needing.
I had a plan... you know how those go, right? So, my plan was, I was going to get school done, feed them lunch, get them all dressed for snow and go visit Rachel while they enjoyed the mounds of snow in the cemetery. I thought it would be perfect... they will run around and I'll get to sit with Rachel for as long as I need.
I did the first 3 steps and then we got there.... The roads in the cemetery hadn't been plowed yet. They were covered with 8 inches of snow. I pulled over and got out to inspect, wondering if my van could handle it if I drove through it. I was pretty sure I was going to regret that. I spent the next few minutes praying that God would send a plow truck...to no avail. I pulled over and called the cemetery.
This cemetery has been such a blessing to me. I told her who I was and that I was there to visit Rachel... She seemed to be familiar with us. Rachel is a popular little girl :o) I asked if she knew when the roads would be plowed. She told me not until the streets were all taken care of; most likely by tomorrow. She said that there was a burial scheduled for tomorrow so they would be plowing to that grave and would make sure they did Rachel's road too... I am so humbled by this. They deal with people every day who have a loved ones in the ground there. She could just say "sorry, this is how we do it" but she was compassionate. I felt a little crazy as I heard myself say "But today is Friday" as I started crying. She said "I know it's a tough day" as if to know what I meant. I asked her if it was okay to park on the road and she wasn't sure... I was working on my "plan B."
God created me with a strong will... one that drove my mom nuts when I was little. But it is that part of my personality that steps in when things like this come up. It's what helped me to walk the road that has been set out before me with Rachel. I believe God created me the way I am for these very things. I think that is what "they" mean when they say He doesn't give us more than we can handle... it's more like He prepares us in advance for the trials we will encounter.
I pulled my van over as much as possible with the snow...wrote out a note that said "Visiting my daughter in the cemetery, Be right back" and put it in the window (hoping to avoid a tow while we were gone!) and got the kids out. Sam had fallen asleep in the back and was snoring away. Where's his energy today?, I thought. Rachel is pretty far down in the cemetery so I knew this could be a rough walk with just me and the 3 of them. I just knew that not following through would hurt more... so I sucked it up and started walking. I had brought my shovel to clear off her grave, but had to let that idea go... only so many hands!
Sam wouldn't walk, so I also had to carry him. It's amazing what a mother's love can accomplish. This is the first my body has gotten for exercise in months. I always go big... sigh. I strapped my camera and keys to my neck, picked Sam up and me, Des & Isaiah trucked through a 1/4 mile of snow up to my knees...their thighs!
I can't explain how I felt at this point other than to say my heart was heavy...and so was Sam!
We got to her grave...the marker I made is working...it's up above the snow and her name is visible - yay! We brought a couple flowers; a white one from Daddy, a purple one from Mama and three yellow ones from her bothers and sister. I cleaned up her stuff and got everything pretty and I said "I would do anything for you then and I'll do anything for you now, sweet girl." And I promised the others that I would do the same for them.
We walked back (slightly up hill) and my legs were soaked and freezing. Isaiah kept sitting down cause he was tired. I stopped at the top of the hill for a minute to wait for them. Sam had now fallen asleep again and was practically hanging off of me. The snow was whirling around on my face. I looked up and saw a big white bird fly over me, soaring softly above the trees. I've many times seen big black crows there and have even felt like God has used them to answer different questions I've had (long story...) but today the white one just simply felt like a sign of life... "my sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow" (check out lyrics to this amazing song Here)
As I trudged along, I kept thinking about the verse that talks about keeping my eyes on the goal... running the race that is set before me... on the way in , I focused on Rachel's grave. On the way out, I focused on the van. It became apparent to me that all these "little" trials are all part of my bigger trial... they all are part of my healing process. My determination to let nothing stand between me & my girl today is the same determination that has helped me all along. In the big picture, the "goal" is Jesus. I need to be just as determined to let nothing stand between me & my Lord. This is how I will be able to run the race set before me in all things.
I got 3 out of my 4 kids into the van (glad it was still there!) and we headed to go get hot chocolate, knowing that we would be "one serving short of complete." (see old post here) and as we left my 4th child again in the cemetery, I had a great sense of accomplishment that I had made it to her today. I needed that. I thanked Des & Isaiah for hanging tough with me to go see her. I know she probably doesn't mind, but I just don't want to let her down. I never will.
|we brought the balloon today too.|
|Sam was upset I put him down!|
|"white hot chocowate wif camel" (Des giving bunny ears)|
We came home and our neighbor had snow blowed our driveway... so blessed to have such amazing neighbors. Thank you!