Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend Recap

Friday when I pulled into the cemetery, there were so many gifts on Rachel's grave, I could see the mass of things from the road.  I was so blessed - and not by the material things - although they were perfect, but by the knowing that there were others there at her spot.  That others were thinking of her and wanting to bless my heart.  I'm so thankful. 

There were daisies (with a rose), a note 'from Rachel', a ballet shoe (now hanging in my car), a butterfly wind spinner, a pot of tulips, and a HUGE balloon - PLUS a couple of caramellos :o)  Me & the kids ate one and I left one with a daisy for Rachel... afterall, she was the one who loved caramel... I just ate it for her :o)

Saturday, I took the day off from work.  First we stopped at Rachel's Playground to play and hang another sign.  It was sunny and warm out.  I sat on the bench and enjoyed her playground for once. We weren't there long, but a fellow baby loss mama who follows my blog was there with her family to play at the same time.  We hugged before I left and although we only talked briefly, that hug was so needed...  God's timing is perfect.
Then we all went to the greenhouse to get some stuff for my garden and something new for Rachel's grave now that it's warm enough for real plants to survive outside.  I've had a couple gift cards I've been saving for the perfect time (one from after she died and one the MOPS group that I spoke at a while back gave me as a gift) and so we went shopping....

We found some annuals we liked, but couldn't decide on the color.  We were leaning towards the pink ones - until Des yelled "The orange ones are called Rachel!"  We looked, and sure enough... "Rachel" was their name - and that decided it.  I got 5 of them, one for each of the kids.  Seriously, have you ever seen anything like that?  It's crazy the things that happen.

Sunday morning, there was a mother's day 5K going on and I had told the kids that what I wanted for Mother's Day was for them to help me hand out fliers for Rachel's Race at this 5K.  I thought it was at the same location as Rachel's - so when we pulled up and there were no cars, I was bummed.  I *really* wanted to do this - not to mention we left the house by 8am to... We ended up at Rachel's grave, where I found a gift from my mom (a bouquet that matched the one I had put together the night before at my house) and a card.  This is where I had my first good cry of the day.... My mom had written something in the card about hoping I would see "Godwinks" throughout my day.  That is a word that my friend Melissa uses often on her blog and butterflies are a big 'Godwink' for her with her daughter Amelia...  well, no sooner did I read that word and there were little butterflies dancing around Rachel's stone.  I stood there and cried.  It was one of those moments where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that our babies are not dead.  There is new life in Christ. 

We left and went to find the race and managed to give out about 100 fliers.  Pray that it will bring participants!  We did all this by 9am!  Not exactly a day of relaxation, but it was what I needed on Mother's Day.

Then we went to church - normally I go to both services.  I go to first with the kids to meet my friend Becky there while Matt teaches Children's Church and then go to second with him.  I dropped him off and decided to go home until second service, which turned out to be God's provision.  They were doing a baby dedication during 1st service.  That would have put me over the top since one of the VERY FEW regrets I have about Rachel is that I wanted to do a dedication while I was pregnant with her and a couple people said it would make people uncomfortable so I didn't.  I've always regretted that and every time I have to watch a dedication, I get really sad about it.  This is why I still haven't had Asa dedicated.... I just can't do it.  It's okay cause the Lord knows I know who He belongs to.  I'm working my way towards the outward expression of that.  When I got back, then came the second good cry of the day.... the song was the same one I blogged about on Ash Wednesday.... but the verses that got me this time say:

All the weak; find their strength; at the sound of your great name
Hungry souls; receive grace; at the sound of your great name

The fatherless; they find their rest; at the sound of your great name
Sick are healed; and the dead are raised; at the sound of your great name
Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your great name

Redeemer, My Healer, Almighty
My savior, Defender, You are My King

I just kept hearing the same thing from God all day long... she's not dead.  It's hard to believe since what I understand of 'life' is here, on earth.  I can read all about heaven and hope in that promise, but to be completely honest, it feels impossible to me sometimes.  But for a God who some call 'intangible', He sure finds ways to help me feel His presence.  I felt it that day.

We went to my grandfather's for his birthday party and then back to the cemetery to bring Rachel her new flowers. The lilacs on the bush behind her stone bloomed on Mother's Day too. I have actually never seen lilacs this color.  They aren't purple and they aren't white... they almost look pinkish.  Maybe I've never looked at white ones close enough?  But it's a new bush and this is the first time it's bloomed since they put it in.  Matt helped me get her spot cleaned up and it looks pretty good.  We took a Mother's Day photo with Rachel's stone. 

There are times when the reality hits me.... my baby's body is under where we are sitting.  I mean, directly under.  It's just not right.  And at the same time, the fact that she is there with us in this photo makes me feel better.  It's so hard to explain.  To some, I don't have to. 
We went to visit my mom and celebrate my grandpa's 83 birthday.  Ate entirely way too much gluten and sugar and then went home to work in my garden.
Our neighbors gave us a ton of soil to use and we got the 'Rachel' plants in the ground.  Matt & the kids gave me a "Hope" garden decoration with sparrows on it so that was my finishing touch.  I stepped back and looked at it, a little discouraged with the fact that my garden's main purpose these days is to help me memorialize my daughter.  It looks beautiful and I can't wait to see how it blooms, but I'm just so sad that she isn't here. 
That angel is the first gift every left at Rachel's grave.  (thanks Donna) with her "Rachel" flower.

Right after I came inside, it started pouring... but there was a (heart shaped) hole in the clouds where I could see the sun... and I knew - there must be a rainbow somewhere.  Seemed the perfect ending considering the post I wrote that morning about rainbows....

So, that's the run down of my 2nd Mother's Day without Rachel.... I've been sitting on this post for a few days because I was hoping to add some thoughts or feelings to it...  but I think what I've come up with is that I survived it.

2 years ago on Mother's Day I announced to our families that I was pregnant again - that was with my girl.  We didn't get the best response, but I didn't care.  I was thrilled to be adding another baby to our family.  Last Mother's Day we had the grand opening for her playground.  Everyone thought it was such a 'good gift' for me for Mother's day, not understanding I didn't want a playground, I wanted her.  This year on Mother's Day, I felt more supported than I have in the last couple of years.  I had more blessings over the weekend than I usually get....and I am so grateful. 

I cried a couple times, pretty hard... but sadness wasn't the overall feel of my day.  My kids made me cards and I got a few cards "from Rachel" which I loved.  My favorite was from my sister - it had daisies and said "Thank you to the one who had to do it all....from the one you did it all for" and her daughter signed it from Rachel.  Every time Sam walked by me he waved and smiled and said "Happy mudders day Mama!" 

They were excited to celebrate me and I was excited to celebrate them.  After all, they are what makes me a mother.... Rachel included.

1 comment:

  1. I got my Daisy seeds this week =) Daisies are my favorite flower. I'll plant them this weekend...every time they bloom I'll think of Rachel.
    And like your note said: I can't wait to meet YOU!
    Your blog has brought so much information to me, through you and Rachel I've learned about how to be a better friend to a Momma that has lost her baby also. Thank you!


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