Saturday, December 3, 2011

She Has Been My Delight

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight
Kahlil Gibran

When my eyes opened bright and early to my little Asa wanting to nurse, the first thought on my mind was that it was Rachel's birthday.... I stopped to asses how that made me feel.... I felt okay.  I looked down at Asa and for the first time since I've had him, I felt the healing he is bringing me.  I was so thankful to have him to hold and love today.

I realized this week that part of why my grief seemed to hit another low spot was because while I was pregnant, (I know this is going to sound bad) I sometimes got Rachel and Asa confused, as did Isaiah.  I would forget that I wasn't pregnant with her anymore and sometimes accidentally call him Rachel.  Once I had him, I stopped having moments of feeling like she was still with me - and so the wound felt so fresh. Sometimes Isaiah still accidentally calls Asa, Rachel... and my heart skips a beat.

I've been feeling bad lately because since Asa arrived, I've only napped with Rachel's blanket a couple times.  But since I hadn't washed it all year, I didn't want it near Asa cause it wasn't clean enough for him - but I never planned to wash it at all.  I've slept with it every night since she left me.  I know by now, her scent and everything about her is gone from it anyway, but I just couldn't do it.  This morning, for her birthday, I took a big step and washed her blanket and teddy - but I washed them with Asa's blanket.  I figured that way all of Rachel on her blanket and all of the first sweet weeks with Asa on his blanket have now been combined - and now her blanket is safe to have with us while we sleep.  These are the mind games I have to play with myself to get myself to do simple everyday things.

This morning was really tough.  I was totally resentful that Matt wasn't here.  My mom & sister came to save the day, as usual, but I still got out of the house way later than I wanted to.  When we pulled into the cemetery, there were so many cars that I asked Matt if there was a funeral going on too.  When I realized that they were all there for Rachel, I started crying.  It was overwhelming to see that many people come out to support us. I think there were over 50 people there. We sang Happy Birthday to our baby girl and then released 43 balloons while Phil sang the song he wrote for her.  And as our tradition goes, we sent everyone home with a daisy in Rachel's memory. 

**In the pictures, you'll see a single red balloon that went up too early by accident.  Nat, that one was for Sebby!

After everyone left, I took a few moments at her grave.  I often squat down there, but I've never had the urge to touch the ground like today.  I put my hand on the ground, right over her grave.  I could picture her under there.... my heart aching and tears flowing... and I told her (whether or not she could hear me) that I love her, miss her and wish I could have kept her.  I kissed my fingers and planted my kiss on the ground above her - hating the fact that a couple feet of dirt keeps me from touching her.  I remembered her chubby legs and how it felt to hold her.  I hope those memories never fade.  I miss her so much.
We came back home and all the people, minus a few, that were there the day Rachel was born came to have cake and ice cream and coffee with us.  My friend Jenn from The Party Bees made Rachel's cake.  It was so pretty and tasted awesome.  I'm having seconds right now as I type with Asa in my lap :o)  Multi-tasking!   It was such a nice visit... totally laid back, not emotional - and even not really focused on Rachel.  But the nice thing about being with people who met her is that I don't need to tell them how amazing she was, they already know.  I don't feel like I need to tell them about her, they were there.  And I was totally comfortable sharing Asa with them because I know they KNOW there is no replacement for Rachel. 

I got on the computer and was bombarded with Happy Birthday wishes, prayers, and thinking of you's - such a blessing to my heart.  So many people still thinking of Rachel ♥

So, I've had a few tears fall today.... I'm a little nervous the midnight hours will be harder when I'm up all alone with Asa... but all in all, today has been way better than I ever expected.  The week leading up to today was horrible, but God met me today for sure - and that same peace He granted us on the day she was born, was with me today. 

Like I said at the cemetery, I don't believe she really knows about all the things I do for her...and I'm glad because the fact that she is spared from earthly pain (or even the awareness of MY earthly pain) makes me happy for her mother, I want that for her.  I am just so thankful for all the people who have faithfully been there for us throughout this hard year.  We got so many cards, messages, prayers.... I don't know how I would make it through this without all of you.  I am really disappointed that only a couple people from my family and none of Matt's even acknowledged Rachel's birthday.  And so maybe the blessing of the support I get from all of you is magnified by how little we would have without you.  But either way, thank you.  Thank you for loving us... and thank you for loving our precious daughter....through a time when we have had so little to give, if anything, in return.  Please know how much we appreciate it and that nothing goes unnoticed.

It's been a long hard year without her.  I know my trial isn't over.  But I'm so grateful that today was a day of peace and joy....even in the midst of sorrow.

And along the path, there are big blessings in little things... 
My niece Jailyn made a card (I posted pics) that says:

Happy Birthday Rachel! 
Love you my cousin.  You will be part of my hert.  a big part.
I no you hafint met me realy - But I saw your face.  You were butiful.  Love, Jailyn

This sweet letter had me in tears immediately.  She is so precious and loves her cousin so much.  Kids are awesome.  She was one of the few people who got to hold Rachel and I'm so glad she did.

I also got a really nice note from Laura at String of Pearls and even a note from the Organ Bank (we weren't even able to donate her valves!) acknowledging Rachel's birthday/day we had to say goodbye.

Here are the pictures from today.  They're only missing one thing in my opinion.... the beautiful one year old we're celebrating and missing.  I would love to know what she would look like now.  What would she like/not like?  How would she fit into our family??  All things I'll never know...

And so as her birthday comes to a close, I'm a little uncertain of where I go from here.  I know that the more time that goes by, the less people will think of her and understand my sadness.  I don't think the journey is going to get easier any time soon and that scares me.  But the one thing I know is that I would endure this and more for that little girl any time.  Carrying her was my privilege, knowing her was my blessing, and loving her has been my delight.  That is why I weep - and I'm okay with that.

Happy Birthday Rachel Alice.  I'm so proud to be your Mama.  Love you sweet girl.


  1. Happy Birthday, Rachel Alice! BIG hugs, Stacy! You have no idea just how much I admire you, your strength and your devotion to Rachel, the rest of your beautiful family and to God. The birthday celebration you planned for Rachel sounds like it was absolutely perfect and I cried too as I read through it. Thank you for sharing your heart, your thoughts, your happiness and your sorrows...thank you for sharing your sweet girl and your faith...with us. God bless you today and everyday. Great job, momma! <3

  2. Oh Stace, it looks like it was such a beautiful day for your sweet girl!! It warms my heart too that so many turned out to honour her, and you.
    Thanks for the stray balloon for Seb. Love you for thinking of him too.

    Happy Birthday beautiful girl xx

  3. <3 sounds like a beautiful day for Rachel. So happy to hear this!
    Hugs and prayers, anja

  4. So upset that I missed this, but SO happy this day turned out peaceful and beautiful for you to celebrate your sweet girl. The pictures are wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy 1st birthday Rachel. xoxo

  5. What a beautiful gift from God. So glad that her birthday was such a peaceful celebration for you! :) I'm so glad so many came out to support you and honor her. I wish I could have been there.....I was thinking of you all day. I will continue to pray for you all as you journey this road. She will never be forgotten! Love, hugs, and prayers...

  6. So glad the day was peaceful for you. And filled with such love. So special to share her day with so many who loved her. You honored her well! Hugs!

  7. Happy Birthday sweet Rachel! Your life is having a big impact here, and will always be remembered. It shows even by the fact of how many people turned out to honour you on your birthday! You have a very special Mummy too xxx

  8. I was so happy to see your face, smiling in so many photos =) It's really nice to see you starting to have a little Peace. I know nothing will ever make it all better - but a less sharp pain you can live with.
    Healing doesn't mean you forget...always know she's with you all <3
    Happy Birthday Rachel!

  9. Happy Birthday Rachel!
    I love all the pictures of her special day. The cake turned out amazing! love it. Beautiful birthday post...your post always are.

    You girl will NEVER be forgotten.

  10. Happy Birthday Rachel! The pictures from her celebration are beautiful! So glad that you had a wonderful support system Saturday and it went smoothly!

  11. She will always be one of your greatest delights <3


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes