Wow...four months already? Four months so soon? It's hard to believe that it's been four months since I had her. Sometimes it seems like an eternity and yet sometimes it seems like just yesterday.
One of our priests at church has been transferred out of our parish to help at a retirement center for priests. Today was his last day. He was the priest who celebrated Mary Grace's funeral. It was sad. It's been four months and she's gone and now he's gone. Of course it didn't help that they played Eye Has Not Seen in church today. Here are the lyrics that touched me:
Our lives are but a single breath.
We flower and we fade.
Yet all our days are in Your hands
so we return in love what love has made.
What a beautiful verse, and yet such a poignant reminder of what we've been through. I like to think of us having returned Mary Grace in love to the Father.
Meanwhile I'm still waiting for new life around here... I don't feel like our family is anywhere near complete... but what if God's plan is that it is? What if it's just supposed to be me, Robert and Isabel? That's really difficult for me to accept. In fact, right now, I'm sure I don't accept that. And by that I mean, I will simply keep trying. It is discouraging to feel like a failure when I don't get pregnant month after month, and discouraging to keep losing babies when I do get pregnant...especially when they have all been random losses. I know we all want what we can't have, but is wanting more children to bless our family something that I can't have? Maybe. And maybe one day I will have to accept that it will just be the three of us here on earth.
And maybe God isn't done with my suffering yet. Because it is a type of suffering that women who have been trying to conceive for months go through. But I can keep my eye on the prize, and I can remind myself not to whine about not getting pregnant and not to despair over the losses that we've had...I can remind myself that my suffering has redemptive purposes when Christ uses it to help others.
So thank you Mary Grace on your four month anniversary, and my other little ones in heaven, for what you are helping Christ accomplish through me. And please ask Jesus to send us some baby dust to help us conceive a new little blessing.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Robert and I decided to enclose some special items in her coffin when we buried Mary Grace. We wrote letters to her and sealed them in an envelope which we put in her coffin, along with a little white lamb named "Winky". Isabel went with us to choose a little lamb in the week after Mary Grace's delivery, and we purchased one for her as well which she sleeps with. Both sisters sleep with the same little white lamb.
The following is my letter to Mary Grace. It is brutally honest and I am sharing it so that you can feel the honest and deep love which I have for my daughter.
letter to Mary Grace
My dear Mary Grace,
Oh how your Mommy and Daddy loved you, even before we felt your first kick. You were so anticipated and so greatly desired! Your big sister Isabel never got to hold you, but she talks about you all the time and we prayed so hard together for your "complete healing". Well now you are completely healed and with Jesus. I'm sure heaven must be more beautiful than we can even imagine. Mommy is going to spend the rest of my life as close to Jesus as I can be so that I can join you one day and hold you when I get to heaven. I know you are not in any pain. You will never have to shed a tear or hurt here on earth; I know our Blessed Mother is taking good care of you and cradling you in her arms. You will get to take walks with Jesus and your two other siblings are there to love you.
As hard as it is to accept that not being with your Mommy, Daddy and big sister Isabel is the best thing for you, I believe that God's plan must be so beautiful and so big and I'm so blessed that He was able to use your life for His purpose. You were the tiniest tool which the Master used to craft some giant plans.
I want you to know that I was a little scared to see you when you were delivered. I didn't know what a little 21 week baby would look like; I didn't know if I'd be strong enough to accept what I'd see: to accept that I was holding my tiny baby's body whose soul had already gone to Jesus. But you have to know that when the doctor brought you over and set you in my lap, you were absolutely beyond beautiful, and you were so perfect to me and Daddy. We were in utter awe of how perfectly you had been crafted by God. You were the most gorgeous and amazing thing I have ever seen and I was overwhelmed by God's work when He made you.
I love you so much I think my heart is breaking.
Mary Grace, now that you are in heaven and you are right there in the very grace of God, I need you to pray for us. Pray for Mommy and Daddy and Isabel that God will give us extra strength to move through our grief. Pray that God will bring Mommy and Daddy closer and closer together and strengthen our marriage through this. Pray that God will give us the right words when we are talking to Isabel about you. Pray that we will move our lives so very close, to the very heart of Jesus' heart and that we may remain there, bathed in His loving care. Pray that Jesus will bless us with more children; that Isabel will have siblings here on earth. Pray for our family and friends that they are brought closer to God by the example you were for others. Please tell God "thank you" for allowing us to take care of you for those 21 weeks you were growing inside of me.
I love you, Mary Grace. You will always and forever be my daughter and a special part of our family. I loved every moment that I carried you and I will forever love being your Mommy.
I love you my sweet, tiny baby.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today was a rotten day.
It's been three months since we buried Mary Grace and I'm just getting reminders left and right that I don't have my baby and that life goes on without her.
People plan birthday parties and baby showers and anniversary dinners...and I am still aching from the loss of Mary Grace. I'm supposed to be well over it all by now according to most people.
But today the pain is very real that I don't have my baby and that life goes on without her.
I found out today that our neighbor is pregnant...due in August. Oh that's nice, we could have had babies a month apart...except that I don't have my baby and life still goes on without her.
I went to the dentist last week and my hygienist was 39 weeks pregnant. Lovely. I should've been nearly that pregnant now...
I don't want to put on a happy face and go smile and chat at parties. I want to curl up in my bed and cry. Isn't that part of the grief cycle?
Sorry there are no cheery words today or inspirational thoughts.
Just a sad Mommy who misses her little girl. Life goes on without her whether I want it to or not...but I think it's at least my right to take a day here and there to grieve that fact.