Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Quilt

Blue.  Red.  Green. Yellow.  Little rainbow hand prints joined at the thumb make colorful butterflies.  Rainbows fly between them.  A single sketch of a little girl stands in the middle.  Peeking out from blond hair are two eyes- one blue and one green.  She always drew them that way because "sometimes my eyes look blue and sometimes they look green."  I can hear her giggle and see her squish up her eyes with love's silly face.  Her name is written below her prints- in her own handwriting.  All her friends names are there, too.  It is a beautiful quilt.  More than pictures- it is my baby's last class. This is the last project her work will ever be a part of.  The stitches are woven through the fabric.  Through my heart.  Somehow knitting me to her memory... to the children and teachers she loved and who loved her.  A precious piece of love and time.   I would have paid any price for it at the auction.  My bids would have no limit at the preschool fundraiser.  But it never made it out for bidding!  It was already bought!  Paid for by the donations of her classmates' families and wrapped in love for me.  A surprise gift for her mommy.

As  the school year ends, so will a part of her.  In some ways it's as if a piece of her has died again.  The children have "graduated" and will scatter to different elementary schools for kindergarten.  This is the last class that she will ever have been a part of... the last time she will be thought of so often during the year... the last place she will have a cubby or a spot on the rug or a picture on the bulletin board.  The memories may linger for a while yet,  but the proof that she was here will now be tucked away in files and drawers.  And in my heart. 

Thank you.  Thank you for the beautiful butterfly garden- for the butterfly bench painted in rainbow colors and the glass tiled stepping stones so little feet will remember hers.  Thank you for the miniature butterfly garden at her grave.  Thank you for the balloons and the remembrances in the program.  Thank you for the tie-dyed tassels to remind us of butterflies and of her.  Thank you for the amazing painting of her castle in the clouds and for hope.  Thank you for not forgetting her.  Thank you for not leaving us so alone.  Thank you... for the quilt.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Five Years Old

"One, two, three!"  Fifteen hands, mostly tiny, release fifteen strings and fifteen pink balloons surge up towards the heavens.  As they climb the wind blows, and they drift apart like wisps of dandelions after lips are open and breath is blown.  The sky reflects blue, maybe the blue of her eyes, and watches as they slip past the clouds.  Fifteen voices shout to the heavens the things they hope Jesus will tell her.  I love you!  I miss you!  Happy Birthday Makiah!  Their love rings out across the playground, and maybe the echos can be heard in heaven.  I know they were heard in this mommy's heart.  Fifteen pairs of eyes stare until the pink orbs disappear into the distance.  

Later that day at the "resurrection ground," her mommy and daddy and sisters stand in the sticky south Georgia heat and attach our love to five pink balloons.  And a little mermaid one.  We send them floating up to meet her.  The sobs are stifled and somehow the heaviness in our hearts seems to lift a bit as we watch the pink messengers journey upwards.  Maybe God will let her see and hear our love all pink and flying.  Maybe she will smile and laugh.  Maybe he will hide the stinging tears from her... the way her ringing laughter has been hidden from us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Gift

The day she was born. Birth day. Born day. Water breaking, breathing hard, clenching fists day. Smiles in between big eyes pooled with water and squeezing day. One tiny heart beat drops to half of what it should be. People in white swarm. The doctor and the anesthesiologist and the crowd in scrubs do not leave. I do not know this isn’t normal. More breathing, fiery tightening, opening of the way. One tiny heart beat drops to half of the half of what it should be. Push! Push! They urge. The monitor loses the tiny heart beat. The doctor says it is time for cutting and sucking. I work with special needs children, and I am afraid of words like “forceps” and “vacuum” and heart beats that are half of half of what they should be. But I say ok. Anything! I will do anything! Anything to help her live. So there is cutting and blood and a tug-of-war with death. Death before birth. We pull against it! I once read that deciding to become a mom is deciding to have your heart walk around outside your chest for the rest of your life. In a moment it is done, and my heart leaves me. It is pushed and pulled and thrust out of my body and abandons my chest forever. Beautiful screams fill the room and the water pooling in the eyes spills over and out in happy waterfalls. Sticky pink skin and dirty blond hair wrap around my heart like a gift. There it is. My heart’s new amazing package swaddled in a crisp hospital blanket and peering up at me through curious little slits of eyes.

We celebrate this day of birth every 365 days. We count the number of years on this earth and rejoice that we are here.  What to do with the birth after the death?  How do we celebrate when the days on earth are over? Where is my heart now? It left me on May 11, 2006 and was born into a tiny package with a name that means “who is like Yahweh?” It must have died then, on October 8th, 2010 when she went to be with Yahweh. Can a heart be reborn? A mother must have more than one heart because as surely as it left me on that balmy day in May, it stepped outside my chest again twice this February. But my first heart is still lost. Maybe it is in that box with the weight of dry dirt pressing down. I don’t know how to resurrect it. I don’t know what to celebrate. The birth? The number of her years here that no longer grows? Like a fossilized plant the length of her life is frozen, preserved only in the amber memories of those who love her. Her friends are taller and ganglier, but she will never change.

Anything! I would still do anything. Anything to help her live. Even trade my heart for four years four months and 28 days of her soft skin and sweet laughter wrapping around it. Yes, even in the loss I celebrate The Gift.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Birthday Poem

A Birthday Poem written by Makiah's Nana (her Daddy's Mom)

MAY 11, 2006 – OCTOBER 8, 2010

Tomorrow is your birthday, you should be turning five,
but a boy was driving high so now you're not alive.
You are in heaven beyond the sky of blue,
while we are here with aching hearts and the pain of missing you. 
You brought such joy to all of those around,
Your laughter was such a happy sound.
Mermaids, fairies, bugs and butterflies,
brought smiles to your lips and would light up your eyes.
Your cat Buster still cries and looks
to see if you're in your room reading your books.
Your family that loves you so much
would give anything for just a touch.
To feel your arms in a sweet embrace
and to feel your kisses on our face.
But here we are with a broken heart,
because we are forced to be apart.
We will think of you all of our days,
And remember your generous heart and your sweet, kind ways.
  Our lives are richer because you were here,
And we will always feel you near.
We love you with all of our heart,
and look for the day we will no longer be apart.
Heaven is a beautiful place,
Someday we will join you by God's grace.
Until then, our sweet Makiah dear,
Our eyes will always hold a tear.


Monday, May 2, 2011

"When All Means Fail"

Tears drip.  I could hardly believe the words staring at me from the screen.  They rang out loudly like a bell, a declaration from beyond the grave.  Only they were written this side of death.  Barely.  A timely word to the despairing heart.  David Wilkerson, an evangalical who started Teen Challenge and Times Square Church in NYC, penned words in his blog Wednesday morning that pierce the soul and rend the thin shroud covering our questions.  A few hours later he was killed instantly in a tragic car accident.  I do not know if what he says about God's timing in death is true for Makiah.  Did the enemy steal her from us early or did she fulfill all the days written for her?  God foreknew but that doesn't necessitate predestination, right?... God's sovereignty versus free will... who knows.  It's the age old chicken and the egg argument.  I will never understand the WHY until  there is no breath in me.  But that is hardly the point of his words.  It's almost as if he knew that Death had come to take his dance... that he would cut in surprisingly, in the middle of a song... 


"Wednesday, April 27, 2011


To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”  Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.