05 March 2011

Tonight I am overwhelmed.

I have spent the last forty-five minutes pulling and piling fabrics, trying to find just the right combination of colors and patterns for Hazel's first birthday banner.

And as I stood there puzzling over greys and pinks and yellows and blues, furrowing my brow trying to find just the right festive-yet-girly combination, I realized that the banner really wasn't why I was overwhelmed at all.

"Nothing will do. Nothing is good enough. This is Hazel's first birthday and absolutely no fabric combination will capture the joy of this moment."

Silly yes. Really, very silly. I know.

But after that crazy, fleeting thought, I remembered the last time I felt that way - the last time I had a very similar thought: It was the day we buried Evie.

I remember standing at the florist shop, belly still swollen from giving birth only days earlier, insistent that I had to pick just the right flowers to lay on her grave. They needed to say "I love you helplessly", "I miss you desperately", "I'll always be your Mama" and "goodbye, precious daughter" all in one fistful of foliage.

I had one chance to get this right. And none of the flowers in the whole shop were good enough for my baby or for that moment. None of them would do. None of them were pretty enough or delicate enough or perfect enough. And yet, the decision couldn't wait. How can a Mama communicate a lifetime's worth of love and nurturing into a simple bundle of stems and petals?

Nothing can. It's a helpless feeling.

But now, I DO get to give something to my Hazel. I get to show her my love in word and in deed and even with a birthday banner! And I know that when her big day comes, my thoughts will only be on her and the joy the Lord has brought.

But tonight, I can't help but long for my Evie-girl. I ache for the chance to make her a banner. To give her something - anything more than that one silly bouquet. I want to make her a cake and light a single candle and watch her make a mess of it.

We're realizing now more than ever - as we experience so many precious firsts with our sweet Hazel - that we've lost more than we even imagined with our Evie. All the pink, all the dresses, the girly smiles and the sweetness that only a daughter can bring to a family. And, all the firsts. The birthdays. The graduations. The wedding. The babies.

I gleefully and gratefully celebrate the year that God has given us with our Hazel. And, we anticipate with hope many MANY birthday celebrations to come. But tonight, I am feeling the sting of death. I am feeling the loss of the first birthday party that I didn't get to plan for our Evie. And it hurts. Man, it hurts.

Missing my little "Life of Grace" tonight.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18


Cheri said...

i don't know what to say so i'll just say that i'm praying for you right now. you're an amazing mama to your sweet babies!

Seagers said...

I feel a pit in my stomach for you. I love that verse that you included at the end. I think of it often when facing a trial that I cannot handle. I know you will make a beautiful banner, and maybe you could pick a fabric in Evie's honor to include in it. That way it is a celebration for both of them. I don't mean to step in as if I know you! But, it just popped into my head.


Heidi said...

I don't know if this is Biblical or not, but I believe our littles can feel our love, even when they're safe in the arms of Jesus. (((hugs)))

The Morrisons said...

I miss her too, friend! Love you

Karen said...

Oh, Raechel, what bittersweet feelings you must be experiencing. My prayers are with you this morning as you mourn and celebrate all at once.

Bethany said...

You are a phenomenal writer and are so candid tonight. Having never experienced the loss of my own child, I have no idea how to relate. I can feel the thickness of your grief through in this post, and I will pray that God gives you the peace that you need today. Thank you for sharing and for being so real!

Erin said...

I don't really have words to say but your words have touched me. It is ok to hurt and it is always amazing to remember her!

stephanie joy said...

i don't know what to say.... but that i'm tearing up and praying for you right now. your precious evie is in THE best place she can be... safe in the arms of Jesus. hugs and love to your hurting soul today.

Marisa said...

Oh, sweet Rae, your words and heart are so familiar. I know that sting and awful tugging all too well...feeling as though nothing will be enough for the precious daughters that could not come home with us. So very valid. Your Evie, my Maggie--their absence will always be that much more profound in those sacred seasons...birthdays, graduations, weddings, babies. Praying for your heart, sister friend.

Much love to you,

pinkflipflops said...


Christine said...

You are so loved. And so is Evie, so much more than we can imagine.

Also, for a bit of lightheartedness, "fungled."

Bethany said...

Raechel - thank you for sharing these words with us, your blog readers and friends. Praying for you....and for God to continue to heal your heart.

Debra Joy @ jubilee life said...

Thanks for [consistently] having the courage to share your grief. Your journey with Evie has been incredibly encouraging to me as I've grieved the recent loss of my own unborn daughter, Jubilee. Your courage to share gave me the courage to share. So thanks.

keight dukes said...

tears and a deep heart ache for you. i cant even imagine the complex array of emotions that have come on this journey and through all these sweet hazel moments. praise jesus that evie is dancing with her Father amongst flowers that will never die and that we will be dancing with her forever one day. cant wait to see those banners. love!

Ashley said...

I don't really have the words either. I read this post last night and I'm still at a loss, but know you are thought of and prayed for!

can't wait to see the banner!!

Tracy said...

My heart aches for you today. I cannot imagine the pain that comes from doing ordinary things. I feel twinges and pangs, even still, with simple things like seeing people's ultrasounds. Even after Isaac. I don't think the grief magically "goes away" after the birth of a healthy child. I know you know that, but it still catches me by surprise sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of Evie and missing her, too. Mom

Jordan said...

This is such a beautiful, sad and honest post. Thank you so much for sharing bits of your heart and life with us. I can't wait to meet your little Evie-girl in heaven-- I know she must be a very special little girl. :)