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Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Smoldering Wick

It flickered and sputtered and then died out.  I struck a second match and held the orange flame close to the tired, bent wick.  This time it caught and the savory smell of berries filled the room.  Outside the rain was pelting the house.  Lighting a candle felt cozy...  peaceful... happy... something I haven't done since October 8th.
Re-entry.  Like a space ship approaching earth's atmosphere, I feel I am approaching re-entry into life.  It is looming before me, and my course is propelling me towards the painful process.  It is impossible to get back to life on earth without blazing through the atmosphere.  Dangerous.  Fiery.  Unavoidable.  Unless I want to float adrift in a sea of darkness and separated from those I love forever.  My life has had no normalcy, no routines, since the wreck and months of bed rest.  I haven't had a schedule or worked or planned meals or even gone to the grocery store.  I have been sidelined- knocked out of the game.  And I haven't cared.  But today I wanted to light a candle... like I used to.

My sputtering candle reminds me of me.  I am so incapable of praying like I did.  Or studying the bible like I did.  Or having faith like I did.  But this verse keeps coming to my mind day after day.  "A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.  In faithfulness he will bring forth justice..."  Isaiah 42:3  I hope it is true.  My life depends on it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Life is about moments.  Moments to hold tiny babies close.  Moments to rub their silky cheeks on mine.  Moments to kiss their soft, downy heads.  Moments to comfort their cries.  Sometimes I wonder if I will get to keep them...  the babies, I mean.  Will I get to take them to kindergarten?  Will we see them dance in a recital?  Will we get to watch them grow up?   I wrote about moments in the journal of letters I kept for Makiah since she was born...

March 2007
"My dear, sweet Makiah,
    You are 10 months old now and such a joy!  My heart is full of things to write you.  Your personality is absolutely delightful!  You love to laugh- being surprised and chased by Daddy are your favorites.  You absolutely glow when we sing "If Your Happy & You Know It."  You clap and stomp your feet and do the wiggles.  You love to drop things and say "uh oh" with such seriousness.  You are saying "shoe" and "fish."  You give the most precious slobbery kisses and your hugs just make me melt.
     I love rocking you at night.  We pray, and I pray Psalm 23 over you.  I get to nuzzle your hair and smell your clean baby smell.  My darling, you are such a blessing from God, and I try to treasure every precious moment.  Time is all we really have.  May ours be full of Jesus' love, my sweet daughter!"

I did not know then how true those words were.  Now is all we really have.  What will we do with our moments?  What will you do with your moments?

James 4:13-14

Monday, March 14, 2011


 It came on my birthday.  A posthumous gift of sorts.  I gingerly touched the smooth brown surfaces and ran my finger across the pointy tops.  Makiah's little fingers had gingerly collected this bag of tiny brown acorns.  She loved "tiny fings."  The last time I picked her up from a play date with her best buddies, she cried as we drove away from their house.  "I forgot my acorns, Mommy!"  I assured her that we would get them the next time we came over.  There was no next time.  My friend sent them home to me last week in a tiny plastic bag.  I wanted her acorns.  I had promised her we would get them.

The girls are here now, and we are so thankful for their health and safe delivery.  We are also thankful for the many, many prayers offered on their behalf.  As wonderful as it is to hear crying and have tiny, soft heads nuzzle into our necks and shoulders again, I have made an unexpected discovery.  My grief is unchanged.  In some ways it is heightened.  I have not written because well, for one thing I am (gladly) sleep deprived and coherent thoughts are harder to come by, but I have also hesitated because I feel this invisible expectation that I must be happy now.  I am so happy about my Abby and my Alena, but I am still so devastated about my Makiah. 

Some days it just seems so unreal that she has vanished from our lives here forever.  I just know she is at preschool with her friends, and that I am going to pick her up at 12.  Other days it is excruciatingly real.  When I am feeding one baby while the other is sleeping, and it is so quiet.  I should be playing barbies or reading princess books or coloring with my spare hand.  She wanted so badly to help feed "her babies."  She asked me once before I was pregnant why it was taking so long for her to get a baby (all her friends had new siblings).  I told her I didn't know, but sometimes God wants us to keep asking him for things and not give up.   Why did it take so long?  Why didn't she get to enjoy them?  Why is it so hard to let go of the life we had and should still have and to embrace this new reality of life without her?  Why can't I wrap my mind around the finality of her death- that she is not coming back? 

So much was stolen from us... from her sisters... from her.   So many things she had to leave undone:  the sisters she cannot kiss, the preschool graduation she can't sing in, her 5th birthday party at the swimming pool she had already planned,  the Tinkerbell ballet she couldn't wait to dance in,  the  acorns she didn't get to go back for...

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Life

Alena & Abby
Our nest is no longer empty...
"Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-  a place near your altar, oh Lord Almighty, my King and my God."   Psalm 84:3