So, I did what my Mama's heart had no choice but to do.... I made a decision to skip my visit with Rachel on Friday so I could work for Des....
I cleaned, I painted, I shopped. And at the end of the night, we were pretty much ready. We moved her from our bed, where she went to sleep, back into her beautifully decorated room just before midnight.... and when she opened her eyes on Saturday morning, she saw the finished results. ♥ (Minus the curtains and desk that we are waiting on to come in) :(
I do work good under pressure :) Photos coming soon....
Like any day when I attempt to skip my visit, it got to be dark and as the sun started to set, the urge to get to her also came upon me. I stood in my kitchen, knowing it was what needed to be done, but fighting the temptation to feel guilty. I know she doesn't care, but to me, it's a loyalty thing. I do what I do for her - for me - so that I know I am doing what I said I would do. Am I making sense? Hard to explain without people feeling like they need to release me of the obligation I put on myself. But believe me when I say it's not a bad thing for me. It makes me feel like I can still care for her regularly and for me, that's healing. Maybe someday I won't need that... but it's my heart and so I don't question it, I just do it. For me, that's easier than trying to convince myself that moving past my weekly visits is better or healthier or whatever. The reality of her death is what makes me so certain of the reality of a future in heaven. More than I ever was before her - more than I was before my Fridays in a cemetery. I sit there and I think of eternity.... and how certain a promise that is... and even when I cry, I am so thankful for that promise.
Back before it snowed, I bought new solar lights for her grave. I bought a set of 4, and I made 2 matching wreaths. I put a set there, and I put a set here. I also got another set of solar Christmas lights, like the ones on her tree, that I put on the wreath here. My purpose was so I could look out my kitchen window to where her bench is in the nice weather and see what the lights look like where she is. I've been severely let down by this because the lanterns I bought, have not worked. The first set I bought, I had to return because they were all cracked - so it wasn't much of a surprise that the second set didn't work... they are probably cheaply made. One of the two at her grave we saw come on once on her birthday. Matt was supposed to get them all out and go return them... and then it snowed. We got so much snow, they were covered... and I was mad we wasted money on these things we now get to keep - that don't work!
On top of that, the Christmas lights stopped working too because the solar panel was now under 16 inches of snow. I told my friend on Friday that I really wanted to get to her grave and take down her tree because the lights weren't working anymore and it was sad for me. They haven't worked her or at her grave since we got this snow weeks ago.
Well, Friday night, as the sun set... and I was starting to feel guilty about not going...I was writing my shopping list and I looked out my kitchen window. My face immediately lit up with a big smile....
Matt walked in from work just as I noticed them. They were lit for the FIRST time since we put them in the ground before her birthday! And the Christmas lights were shining for the first time since it snowed! I said "Look at this!" and he immediately asked "How are those working?" I just smiled like a kid at Christmas.... He said "Cause it's Friday, that's why." and walked off.... and I stood there thinking... we all know these crazy things happen. It's not just me anymore! My kids, and even Matt who is a hard sell on anything that sounds touchy feely... we see these things happen and it's impossible to deny they are real... and straight from heaven. It happens because it's Friday and that's her day and she is still alive!! That's why. It's just the facts. I don't know if Rachel is capable of anything like this from heaven. I tend to believe it's God who does these things to encourage my hurting heart. But either way, it's proof that He is real, that heaven is real, and that she is there with Him. It's proof that HE CARES about me. That He hasn't forgotten me. That He knows the special things that her & I share... daisies, dandelions, hearts, rainbows and 43's and that He uses them (or allows her to) to remind me that eternity is coming... that our goodbye is temporary.
To me though, I heard something a little deeper.... I heard her say "It's okay you didn't make it Mama, I still shine." And I heard Him say "My daughter, do you really think you need the SUN when you have the SON.... I can light up any dark night... I'm with her even when you can't be!"
I took a picture and looked at it... I suppose it's not a coincidence that the lights look like they are heart shaped in the photo? They certainly aren't shaped that way on the string or in the lantern! No photoshop here! Just God and my girl :) I love them both so much.... I'm so thankful for how He powers my heart to keep going with His light. I'd be lost in this darkness without Him.
|the lanterns stand a little more than a foot tall, but are still pretty covered in snow.|
Happy Friday, my sweet girl... the day you went home.... so bittersweet.
Thank You Lord for this light. Thank You for the confirmation that I was where I needed to be, and for meeting me here when I couldn't get there. Thank You for speaking my language. Thank You for taking care of her....I'm temped to say 'for me' but really, I got to take care of her 'for YOU' for a little while. Thank you for that 9 months and 43 minutes and for all the ways you allow me to still share her now as I continue to carry her with me. Thank You that I got to hold her. Thank You that I can forever hold her in my heart and for making Yourself so real to me when I need it most. Thank You for being in the details. Thank You.