"I like your bench" he said with a smile "I was the first one to put a bench here and now everyone has them." He continued. I looked up from what I was doing and said "that's cause they are a really good idea, but this actually isn't her stone...this is a temporary thing until her stone comes in....she was just born in December" He stopped and looked down, realizing I said "born" and not "died" (I guess I still have a hard time letting her death be the focus) and as his eyes connected with the small rectangular spot without grass, his body took on a different stance. He put his hand on his face and said "oh, that's tough", his wife pulled on his arm and they walked away... He turned around a minute later and said "those bells over there sure do sound nice, I can't believe how the sound carries". I guess bells are a more comfortable topic in a cemetery than a dead baby. The fact is, I had never noticed them before and even after he said it, couldn't hear what he was talking about... my mind was fixed on the little grave and my sweet baby who is buried there.
"Tough" - I guess that's a good word for it. I went back to tying her flowers to rocks and the kids started running again, playing hide & seek behind headstones and hitting each other with fallen branches. "Tough" must be short for what my new life is. I have yet to find one word that could describe what my heart feels. I have written thousands of words and I still don't believe that my words could do the pain justice. I also don't believe they could do my joy and gratitude in knowing Rachel justice.
Yesterday was also Good Friday. I sat on Rachel's bench reflecting on the death of my Lord...that Friday was a "tough" day for Him too. But He carried His cross and gave his life for His Father's plan. A plan to rescue all who believe in Him from a lifetime of separation from Him and an eternity in hell. But on Good Friday, God's plan was never to leave Jesus there, but to have Him rise again on Sunday. I thanked the Lord for so many things as I sat there... that her grave had dried up and my feet weren't sinking in... that Jesus died and arose again...that Rachel's soul didn't stay there with her body... and that God can make such beauty out of things that are so "tough". I praised Him that Jesus was willing to do what He did and that He gave me the willingness and desire to do what I did. I thanked God for Jesus and for Rachel. This Easter, I think I will be rejoicing to a whole new level. I could not have this assurance of Rachel being in a 'better place' if it wasn't for Jesus' resurrection on Easter all those years ago. He's the only way. My daughter's heart will be rejoicing that He conquered the grave...my mother's heart will be rejoicing that Rachel did too because of Him. Thank You, Jesus.
Last night, we went to Kelly & Denise's to put our handprints on Rachel's fence. The fence came out awesome and then we did some fireworks together... thinking it might become an annual Good Friday celebration... I mean seriously, we celebrate Independence Day like that... I think Good Friday deserves some fireworks too!
Sam cried when we first put the paint on his hand and after he did the first flower, we asked if he wanted to do another one... through some pretty serious tears he whined "yesssss" and then he was excited about it. Des rushed right through them so she could get back outside and Isaiah was VERY particular about which stems he put his hands on. All in all, it went really smoothly with only a bit on paint on... you guessed it... Isaiah.
|Samuel goes first!|
|Des didn't need any help...|
|Denise painting Isaiah's hands|
|"What? You don't like the color?" :o)|
|Mama & Daddy's turn!|
OK, and as a total side note... right now as I write this... IT IS SNOWING OUTSIDE!! AND it is actually ACCUMULATING!! I am seriously disappointed that God couldn't give me an early spring after the winter I've had, but never mind that... how about an "ON TIME" spring?? We will be building a playground in less than 2 weeks.... please pray for our weather!!
Have a blessed Easter with all the joy that the Lord gives!