This morning I went onto a blog my friend Laura Groen (a baby loss friend, Mama of Lindsay - blog on sidebar) had posted about another little girl named Lindsay who also had a heart condition. I clicked on the music player and saw an old familiar song - The Wind Beneath My Wings - it all started with one click...and I came undone.
Let me give you the background.... when my Nana died at only 56 of a heart attack, this was a song that reminded us all of her, but especially for my mom & her siblings. For years, this song made me think of and cry over Nana.
When I got sober, I spent lots of time wood working at rehab (I know, strange they'd trust us with saws & polyurethene, but they did) And I made my mom an eagle with "You are the wind beneath my wings" carved in it and I put my 6 month sobriety chip in it. As I grew up - and out - of my drug addiction, I became very aware that my mom had a strength and a love for her children that was unmatchable. Now when I listened to the song, I thought of Nana - but I cried over my mom.
So then my sister had her first baby...unexpectedly and in not such perfect circumstances....and she made a video of Jailyn's baby pictures with that song on it. Looking back, we can all see what a blessing Jailyn is - although at times single motherhood tires my sweet sister out - we are all so thankful she kept her and that she is with us. I can't imagine life without her and I know my sister can't either. But at this point, the song not only spoke of how a mother helps her children to me - but also how our children help us and make us stronger....they keep us going.
It's a mother's love - whether recieving or giving it - that keeps us going when things are hard. Some people don't get it growing up or as adults. Some don't know how to give it. But in my family, I have been so blessed to do both.
So, I clicked on the song... and I at first was thinking about all of the above. But then as I listened, I started thinking about how Rachel in all her sweetness has inspired me to keep going... to do greater things... to be a better person. But then the roles switched - and at the risk of sounding full of myself (please believe I'm not) I'm going to share this...
I sometimes struggle with people saying things like "look at all the amazing things Rachel has done" or "read Rachel's blog" or "God had big plans with her life" - or even the term "Baby Rachel's Legacy" - among the many other ways that people talk about what Rachel's short life has accomplished for God's kingdom. And when I say "people" I am including myself in this. I say it all too. And I WANT NOTHING MORE than for people to remember Rachel, talk about Rachel, give Rachel and God the glory for all of this. (so please don't stop!)
But the human (sinful) part of me longs for someone to recognize that this is my legacy too. That this is my blog - my words - my pain - my journey. I IN NO WAY AT ALL want to take anything away from or steal any glory from my sweet, precious, irreplacable baby girl. That was never and will never be my purpose.
But as I listened to this song this morning, I started crying....hard. Asa on my lap and catching some of my tears on his fully formed head, I heard this song for the first time - TO me. From Rachel and from God, my Father. I was, for the first time, on the receiving end of this song - admittedly feeling kind of strange about the fact that I was deciding this for myself as apposed to having my child decide it for themselves. But in a way, I felt like God was affirming for me what Rachel will never be able to...
that I helped her to soar... to shine... to be known. That she couldn't have done it without me - and that maybe that is exactly why God chose me to carry her. And while I'm perfectly aware and completely convinced that I could not have done any of this without the strength of my Great God - I know I did do it. I know I still am. I know I always will. I will, for the rest of my life, help Rachel to shine. I will be strong for her. I will stand in the cold shadow of her death, every single Friday for the rest of my life and all the days in between - and I will be the wind beneath her wings.
I miss you Nana
I love you Mom
I love you Meggie (& Jailyn)
Miss you Rachel Alice Aube
And to everyone who has lost a baby or a mother....I'm so very sorry for your loss... whether you are the wings soaring high or the wind beneath them holding them up, it's a hard place to be - but a place where a love and a beauty like no other shines.