Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11th, 2009 Due date, Anniversary date.

Well the bittersweet day has arrived. Robert suggested we have a picnic at Mary Grace's grave today, so we did that. I liked the idea immediately. It was nice to be able to share something as commonplace as a family meal at her grave. I realize that sounds quite strange, to go and have a picnic at a cemetery.

And it is a little.

But it also made me feel like she was still part of our she was there with us in made me feel good to share something else with her other than just my company. Partaking in a meal near her seemed a little more intimate than just staring at her grave.

As we were pulling into the cemetery, Isabel announced our arrival, "We're here to the cemetery to see Mary Grace!" And then after a brief pause, "Is Mary Grace here?" she asked.
"Well, Mary Grace is in heaven, sweetie," I replied.
"Here? Is this heaven?" she questioned.
"No sweetie, this isn't heaven." (I inwardly chuckled at her innocent question and thought with delight if only we could go and visit our dead loved ones in heaven whenever we wanted, just like going to visit them at the cemetery). "This is the cemetery where we go to remember people who have died." 'Are we really having this conversation?' I thought.
"Oh. Look at all the flowers, Mommy! Those are for all the babies." (Oh the innocence of children...she thought the entire cemetery was for babies who had died).
"Well some of them are babies and some of them are older too, like grandparents." I told her.
*Another pause*
"What did Mary Grace look like, Mommy?"
"She looked like a little baby, Isabel. She looked like a tiny little baby."

Later, while we were eating she picked up the conversation again...
"Mommy, when will we see Mary Grace?"
"We'll see Mary Grace when we go to heaven. One day we will all be together in heaven. She just went first." At this point I found that I could no longer finish my lunch. It was just too hard trying to keep my emotions in check and eat as well.

She just went first.

Isn't that the reality of it? The joyful reality? We are all wanting and waiting to get to heaven. That is our ultimate goal, the purpose of our lives; to live out His will for our lives and be with Him in heaven.

She just went there first.

She is the lucky one. She didn't have to go through the sadness or trials, or pain or ugliness of this world. She went straight to heaven. She got to skip the hard work and go straight to the reward! Straight to glory and joy, and power and the light of awesome. And how lucky she is.

So while today is sad in some ways, it can be a day to celebrate and have some sense of joy. I don't have to worry about her on earth. I know she is in good hands in heaven.

And now I can focus on the joys of being married to the love of my life for 6 beautiful years. We have loved hard and cried hard over these six years, and I could not have done it all without my husband. He is the rock of our family and my best friend. Thank you, Rob for all that you are to me! Happy Anniversary!


Meredith said...

This is a great and beautiful post. It has tears just streaming down my face for many reasons, but most of all from the realization that the Holy Spirit revealed to you that she got to go first. And like you said, How Bittersweet. That's such a hard and mature (spiritually) concept to grasp, but you're exactly right...she's in the best place of all! I'm happy for you that today did have some joy to it and that you felt a sense of peace at the cemetary.
As I was watching Isabel today cling so close by your side and wanting to make sure you didnt stray far from her side, it reminded that our Heavenly Father wants to be that same way with us. He constantly wants us to know that He's there, He's present, He keeps his word when He says He wont move, He watches us ever so closely, He reaches out to hug and hold when we're in need,and He never takes His eyes off of us. So, on this day that I know was, and will continue to be ever so hard for you, be comforted in the fact that our God is with you, He has never left your side. And He has given you so many glimpses at His faithful presence and I pray you feel his tender arms around you the way you embrace Isabel and the same way you so dearly put your loving arms around Mary Grace the day she was born. We love you guys and we too, cant wait to meet her in heaven! Thanks for sharing your day with us!

Hil323 said...

I think your friend Meredith said it all really. I grieved yesterday and prayed for your peace. So did my family. I'm so glad you found peace. I'm still so sad that I was sick and couldn't be at her funeral to say goodbye and to be with you my sweet, sweet friend. Please don't forget you aren't the only one who wants to see her in heaven as well! Mary Grace has so many people here that love her, she is blessed ,both by being in heaven (with her other siblings (there is a good friend there for her too) to play, pray and rejoice with! Having so much love here, and being in heaven-- what an amazing blessing when you think about it, even though I know you ache for her anyways-as do your friends and family. Your faith and strength and Mary Grace's story has impacted not only all of us who follow this, but probably has influenced many others. I love you and your family, including Mary Grace--Hil

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

This is a really wonderful reflection!