If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. ~Mother Teresa
Today is a new day and for this, I am glad.
Yesterday was equal parts tragedy and healing. The only way I came through it was by the prayers and heartfelt sentiments from my husband and beloved family and friends. Love surrounded me, engulfed my being, took hold of my heart and the pain seemed to fly away on angels’ wings. Only a few times before have I been so aware of His graces showering over me. I needed a showering like that yesterday. So, if you prayed for me or sent some goodness my way, I thank you with heartfelt gladness.
Somehow, running mundane errands and walking a bit through Uptown with Baby Girl (while my other little loves were happily learning and playing at their schools) was just what I needed. We spent a quiet, low-key, no-hush sort of day together and it was the perfect ailment to my hurt and the illness she’s been fighting the last few days. After the morning school drop-off, I could not go back home. I just couldn’t face housework and small reminders of loss. And, deep down, I knew that what I truly needed was a change in routine. That meant heading outdoors with my Baby Girl to breathe in the fresh, late-summer air and let the sun shine down upon our cheeks and shoulders while we listened for the birds chirping their mid-morning tunes. For a moment, I pondered going for a hike, but she was still too ill to take on much more than a small outing. Instead, she and I walked and wondered together—hand in hand–marveling at God’s beauty all around us, rejoicing in the change of pace from our typical Friday. She was so well-behaved while I finished those few errands. So well-mannered, in fact that the extra time we had allowed us to peruse around new shops, and revisit some old favorites. We strolled along admiring so many precious things, and I have to admit, we indulged in a little retail therapy, too! (What’s a girl to do when she sees a designer bag that she’s been coveting on super-clearance sale? [For Me] Or, a stuffed animal cat donning a tutu? [Of course, for Baby Girl] I mean, a beautiful purse and a cat wearing a tutu! What can be better than that?) Some things are just meant to be had.
All shopping was done and we found our way back home. To my amazement, peace surrounded me the moment I entered inside. The sense of contentment was felt in the air, but also deep inside me. I knew the prayers were working.
Graces were abundant as I received some unexpected, thoughtful, sentimental treasures throughout the day. First, there was a gift from a best friend who, unfortunately, understands my pain because she, herself, has suffered through three miscarriages. Firstly, the cards this woman writes to me are treasure troves in and of themselves. I have saved every single one of them that she has penned to me over the years as our relationship has grown into the deep and profound friendship we now share. The card she sent for me to read yesterday is filled with words so wise and heartfelt that moved me in so many ways. Her written words are a keepsake—a reminder of love from a kindred spirit. The physical gifts she presents are equally meaningful and lovely. Yesterday’s gift was no exception. A beautiful treasure to receive, it now hangs prominently in our front entryway and will be a daily reminder of how blessed we are to have a family to cherish—a combination of loved ones both here on earth and in heaven.
The gifts of expressive love continued as I heard a knock at my front door and found the local flower delivery person holding a beautiful white floral arrangement for me. I did not have to wonder who would send me such gorgeous flowers in the middle of the day—none only than one of my dearest, oldest, best friends. This woman—someone I have considered an honorary sister for the last 18 years—has lifted me up in prayer countless times, sends me uplifting Bible verses via text or email, and spoils me with beautiful flowers at times when I least expect such a gift. She lives 2,500 miles away, now, but there are days when it feels to me she and I are closer than ever before. She is my sister in Christ and her soft-spoken words and graceful ways have blessed me abundantly.
My children, unknowing and innocent, went about their day as they always do. But, I noticed that I was being awarded from them extra compliments and physical affections. The Boy even exclaimed, “Mom, you are the best cook ever!” A miraculous exclamation coming from this seriously picky eater! Baby Girl needed held and rocked more than usual, was hugging and kissing me all day long. The Girl, was kind in her exchanges, helpful around the house, and even finished homework without complaint. I wasn’t going to question the meaning of it all. So, I took it in as small gifts of love and sympathy from my three little loves.
The Husband and I share in this grief, of course. But as men often do, he expresses his feelings of loss and needs for recovery much differently than I do. I tend to be outward with my emotions while he holds back. I write, he runs. Yesterday, his little ways of checking in on me, coming home with a bouquet of my favorite flowers, letting me cry as much as I need to, allowing me to have a couple of hours to myself to exercise and be alone—these are his gifts to me. For his ability to sense what I need in times of sadness, somehow knowing exactly what I need when I can’t even tell him myself, having an insider’s edge to my innermost being—these are gifts greater than any other. God knew what He was doing in matching The Husband and I together for life. I trust that my prayers for My Husband over these grieving months have helped him come to terms with losing another child, too.
When I wrote that love letter to my angel baby, John, I felt it was time to put into writing all that I had been holding inside. Now that I have released my thoughts, I feel lighter and more at peace than I have in the last six months. Writing truly is therapy. So are love, friendship, and prayer. Today, I am thankful for another day to love and be loved, to write, and pray.