Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stand in the Rain

Sunday was 18 months since I said hello and goodbye to my girl.  It was a hard day, but I did a good job avoiding tears - which I'm starting to see is what people actually call 'good'.  So, I guess I was 'good'.

I've been meaning to post about the day because some beautiful things happened, but my thoughts are a little tainted by an underlying issue I have going on this week so I'm a little lost for words.  I guess I'll just try....

I spent an hour talking to my friend Kim on the phone before church.  I went to church, with a fresh daisy hooked to my diaper bag representing my girl, and the songs seemed to be hand picked for me.  The general tone of worship being all about God being bigger than death.  My heart cry was of praise to Him for all He's done and carried me through - but also to help me to continue to believe in His promises - here and in heaven.  That He's good and His love is great.

After church Kim came over and spent the afternoon.  We had coffee and then her & I went to Rachel's grave.  We stood above her grave in the rain, just talking, for well over an hour.  She brought a cute pink pin wheel that matches the one she brought to her sister's spot.  The weather was doing the strangest thing...  It would be raining and then stop for just a few minutes and the sun would come out, seemingly shining just for us - and then return to rain.... and I knew there must be a rainbow somewhere.  But the way that weather described the last 18 months of my life is what got me.  Rain. Sun.  Rain.  Sun.  Back and forth.  Inconsistent.  Lots of wind.  Knowing there's a rainbow, doesn't mean you can always see it.  And how growth happens because of the combination of sun and rain...and before you know it, the seeds turn into flowers.  If you stared at a seedling without looking away, you'd never see it growing.... but that doesn't mean it isn't.  I don't usually feel like I've made much 'progress' - but when I compare 18 months ago to now... I can see how God has grown me.

And the most special part was that while I stood there, soaked with rain and mist, I wasn't alone.  I had a friend by my side just 'there' with me - and she was soaked too.  The bests gifts I've been given on this journey don't come in the form of things or words - but rather always ones where my friends are willing to stand in the rain with me - not to tell me how I should view the rain, what I should do about it or where to buy an umbrella so I don't feel it anymore... but just to feel the drops with me and not walk away.  To be with me where I am.

We didn't stand there and talk only about Rachel.  We didn't stand there and 'obsess' over my loss.  We didn't even cry.  We just spent time together in a place where my baby is buried and even had a few laughs.  I know some people don't get this.  I know some people envision me a blubbering mess - and even if I was....is that wrong?  Well, I guess to some it is 'after all this time'...but I'm not a blubbering mess.  I do however think of my daughter every. single. day. multiple times a day.  And will for the rest of my life.  That doesn't mean I don't have hope.  It doesn't mean I don't believe that I'll see her again.  And if you endure the loss of your child, you will know that both pain and joy can and do exist in the same place in your heart.  But heaven feels so far away.

After the cemetery, we came home and ate and hung out a while more.  And when she left, I did some busy work and ended up talking to my friend Amanda for hours until the 3rd had turned into the 4th....again, not only about Rachel and not through tears... all the while knowing I was on the phone solely for the purpose of distracting myself.  I'm so thankful for my friends.

Asa was upstairs asleep in his co-sleeper and when I walked into the room, his little blanket didn't seem to be enough for the cooler air that night.  I looked around, but his blanket had been put into the hamper to be washed and the only one I could see was Rachel's....  I usually sleep with it until he wakes up and then switch the blanket for him...  but he needed it.  So, I covered him up with her pink blanket and crawled into bed without him or 'her' in my arms for the first time in 18 months.

And I fell asleep.......

And while I did okay sleeping with completely empty arms, I don't view this as a 'step forward' or an 'achievement', nor do I want to be told that it is.  Because to me, I was just doing the same thing for Asa that I always did and always will do for Rachel - sacrificing to care for him.  I didn't want to sleep without her blanket - especially on her anniversary, but there is no need of mine great enough to stop me from giving my everything for my children.  At times it's in the big things like having a c-section for Rachel and at times it's in the small things like sharing her blanket with Asa.  In life, in death - they are my babies... and always will be. 

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