Friday, December 2, 2016

A Kiss from Heaven

I've had a fairly 'easy' year of 'grieving' or whatever you call this stage of grief. I don't feel like I actively grieve anymore - so it's kind of catching me off guard how sad I am this week.

I've cried. A lot. At random times and mid-sentence when I don't see it coming. I'm not used to that anymore. I was, but now I'm not. And it is no fun. It feels alienating and uncomfortable. It makes me want to hide away. To wear sunglasses to conceal the puffy eyes I'm carrying around. It makes talking about surface topics with people who don't know or care almost impossible. I'm trying to wear a smile and keep sharing it. Especially since I know I'm not the only one feeling this way as Christmas draws near. So many people hurt this time of year. It's hard to miss people you love at Christmas time. I suppose having a Christmas baby die only accentuated that truth for me.

I knew last year before December was over that this year I was going to slow way down with Rachel's nonprofit and turn in towards my family and be more intimate with Rachel's special days. It's a good thing I wanted that, because something tells me that with everything going on with our house since August, we wouldn't have been able to do anything like I usually do. But as her birthday gets closer, my heart has been hurting, so unsure of what I will want or not want and what will be ok or not ok when Saturday rolls around. As usual, God put something on my heart pretty heavily just in perfect timing....

There is a local mom who lost a girl to SIDS 15 years ago. Her family has been without heat because her furnace is broken and landlord hasn't fixed it yet - so I asked the board for Rachel's Legacy if they thought it was appropriate to buy them heated blankets for Rachel's b-day and they said yes! So today we went and bought heated blankets and some hot chocolate and mini marshmallows and brought them over to them. I explained to her that this is not something I could afford to do on my own, but that our board of directors thought that it was the perfect idea to give them a gift, as a fellow baby loss mom, that would keep them warm. I added the hot chocolate because you know how I feel about that. ♥ Thank you to everyone who has supported our ministry because it's YOU who actually gave this family this gift today - but you also gave me a gift in being able to deliver it and do something in memory of Rachel. Thank you ♥♥♥

We stood in the cold rain and talked about our daughters. It's amazing to me how I can cry with someone who is technically a stranger to me and feel so understood. She listened, she shared. I did the same. And then we hugged - and there is something about a hug from a mom who has lost a child.... There is something special and strong and full of grace and mercy and unconditional love in a hug from a baby loss Mama... It's different and sincere and deep... all of it from the conversation - to the tears - to the hug. And boy, did I need that today.

I realized how beautifully different my Rachel Alice has made me. Because I am all of that in a hug, too - and am better than I was before her in so many ways. Many ways in which some would say I'm weaker or less stable, but I know in the ways that matter to God, I have grown. It's been a long, lonely and painful journey these past 6 years and 4 months since her diagnosis. I was surrounded by hundreds of people, but so, so alone in it.

I got home and saw a message from this mom saying "thank you so much" and I responded with only a big heart and it said "Sent at 1:43pm" And in that moment, I felt a special, strong, full of grace and mercy and unconditional love, kiss from heaven on my heart. God always allows me to see that she somehow knows. I don't know how or in what way or what time is like there, but I feel pretty confident in saying she knows.

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