Thursday, July 16, 2015
“Mama, watch meeee!” Muddy water splashes every where as little bodies slide down the glistening piece of bright orange plastic that drapes over the grassy hill in my back yard. Squeals of delight drift across the yard and a warm breeze seems to blow them right up into the sky maybe through the clouds and into the heavens. My heart is smiling. The girls and I are all off for the summer, and we are having Fun!
FIve summers ago I called it the “Summer of Makiah.” I felt in my heart that our family would be expanding soon even though we had battled secondary infertility since Makiah was a baby… so I determined that this summer would be all about her. It was 2010, and it was just me and my little buddy all day every day. We played barbies and mermaids and swam and visited grandparents and played with friends. The news that I was pregnant came in June and a few weeks later we had the ultrasound with the fantastic surprise that it was twins. It was the summer of Makiah and the summer of fun!
Then for two summers it was just the twins and I. Those summers were frigid and dark for me. We were lonely and the walls of our home often seemed like a tomb. Empty. Isolated. Stained wet with tears. Except that those little babies didn’t know it. I would cry and they would coo and laugh. The second summer Hope seemed to grow slowly, quietly as my belly swelled with our miracle baby, Maddie Grace. The ice in my heart began to thaw.
Then in the summer of 2013, we moved! The hot days were filled up with packing and house hunting and goodbye hugs and meeting new faces. Last week my mom read to me the note in her prayer journal for July 8th, 2013. It was the day we drove to our new home, and I had forgotten. We passed through a storm, but just as we approached our new home, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. With every turn we made it felt as if we were following the brilliant streak of colors that actually seemed to end on the very street where we were renting! And my heart felt full of the promise of new beginnings.
Then I spent last summer hobbling around nine months pregnant and hot! On July 21st, my fifth daughter, my precious Eliana Bree, was born! Her first name is Hebrew for “my God has answered” and Bree means “strength.” Every time we breath her name we are saying out loud “my God has answered with strength!” We intended it to be a declaration of truth when we named her, but perhaps it was even more prophetic than we knew.
This year is full of landmarks you see. In March we passed the day when Makiah had been dead longer than she was alive. That day fell on my birthday. Makiah lived exactly four years, four months, and four weeks. Ever since the twins were born, I have wondered about the day when they will have outlived their sister. If you have lost a child, you know this is significant. Our counselor has warned us about even subconscious grief as the time approaches. Once again when I looked at the calendar, I just could not believe what I saw. The day that Abby and Alena will have outlived Makiah by one day (well 6 hours actually), is Eliana’s first birthday.
Let me write that again in case you missed it. Ok, really let me write it again for me because I am so amazed!! The morning that I will wake up and know my daughters have outlived their oldest sister will be the very day that we are celebrating the one year birthday of our little “my God has answered with strength” baby! We couldn’t have planned her birth or known when we named her that this would happen. But my God did! I think I need to say it again… my God has answered with strength! This day that could be dark or dreaded was sent a package post marked by God himself exactly one year ago. I don’t know what to make of this except that somehow He wants us to know that our pain will be Redeemed. Our tears are not lost and we are not without Hope. And that is what I will carry with me in my heart when the sun rises on July 21st, 2015.