I had a day yesterday.
No. I had a day yesterday.
I didn't expect it to bother me very much-- in fact, I wasn't even sure that when the day actually arrived-- that it would really even end up on my radar.
Boy, was I wrong. Radar, shmadar. Turns out, it was one of the first things on my mind when I got out of bed, and the last thing I thought of as I quietly sobbed myself to sleep. Grief has a funny way of making you think that you've reached that next level, the one where you don't care nearly as much, where you don't break down at every little trigger, where you think that maybe, finally, things have subsided and you can get back to whatever the new normal is. And then on a day like yesterday? Grief jumps out of nowhere like one of those creepy jack-in-the-box(es) and knocks you flat on your butt. I had one of those days yesterday.
There was a celebration yesterday. A celebration of two precious and long-awaited little lives. When I say long-awaited, I mean that these little lives, these babies, did not come to their mommas without a lot of fear, frustration, heartache, grief, and loss. And I know this because these two mommas are very dear friends, whom I love. Very much. We have shared good times. And sad times. And hard times. They are my friends. My sisters. And I wanted to celebrate with them. I really wanted to celebrate with them. But I could not seem to move past/rise above/get over the thought in my mind that what was a double celebration should have been a triple celebration. That one of my little ones would have added to the reason to celebrate. That when I lost my little Pearl, yes, I lost the chance to be a part of that group of celebrated mommas yesterday, but I also lost the chance to have a kiddo grow up with my friends' kiddos. There are a lot of facets to this baby loss grief, but that is one that cuts deep. There is a special kind of hurt that happens when the visions of little girls and boys toddling around together, pulling on each others pigtails and dumping sand on each other's heads, crumbles into a million pieces. When it all falls apart. And there is no way to put it back together.
Yesterday was, in lots of ways, a day that I would rather forget. And yet. Tonight when I was texting my husband while he was at work, I recounted yesterday as one of the best days I have had in a very. very. Long. time. In fact, I told him that it ranked in the top ten, in the 4 years that we've been married.
Yesterday was tough. It was one of those milestones in this grief journey. The kind that knocks you back a step or two. But see, I married a really good guy. I married the kind of guy that can make it okay when absolutely nothing about the circumstance is okay. I married the kind of guy who is willing to use his FMLA time to stay home from work and care for you when you need it most. The kind of guy who takes you by the hand, kisses you on the cheek, and tells you that he knows that today sucks, but he isn't going to let you face it alone. The kind of guy who spends the rest of the day, tending to your every need--with a smile on his face and a grip of reassurance on your hand. Who decides that you need your own glitter space. And then builds you one, that same day. Oh, and while you're getting settled into your new glitter space? He decides to go grocery shopping and whip up ribs and cornbread for dinner, just in case you still needed an extra dose of comfort.
We all laugh at my constant obsession with all things glittered. But really and truly-- it is my outlet. I have always been one that can get lost for hours if all I have is a pair of scissors, some glue, paper, and glitter. I also write, and play with my puppies, and exercise, and cook-- but my strange little creative gene-- my glitter and paper and scissors--can get me through the longest and loneliest of days while my husband is at work and I'm desperate to find something that I enjoy as a mental vacation from the grief that threatens to pull me under on those especially dark days.
And so, when my husband decided to give me my very own space to cut, glue, glitter, and emboss to my heart's content? He met the deepest of my needs in a very tangible, practical way. He loved me. Selflessly. Practically. And when I walk by the study, and I see my new little space. My eyes well up with tears. Not at the ribbon or the perfectly organized glitter or the crazy cool sticker spinner that we made together. My eyes well up with tears because my husband has served me and loved me in such a way that I am overcome with an immense amount of respect for the ways in which he cares for me, and for a desire to return the favor and love him--selflessly--back.
My husband isn't my savior. He can't fix it all and he can't love me perfectly. But I do believe that God gave him to me as a gift. As an extension of Christ's love for me. And so when Jesse metaphorically wrapped the towel around his waist, bent down, and washed my dirty, broken, blistered feet yesterday--in an earthly way, he loved me as Christ loves me. And that is a powerful thing. That is a love that binds wounds. That heals. That brings joy in the midst of sorrow.
And so I guess this is my public announcement of respect for my husband. My shout out. My skywritten declaration that he is a wonderful husband whom God uses to love me and hold me together on days like yesterday. That I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Christ-like man that he is. And that I am so unbelievably grateful for his presence in my life--and as much as I would give just about anything to have my 3 babies here with me now--the loss of their precious little lives has brought Jesse and me to a new level of intimacy that I did not know was possible. We have been to the depths together--and an immense bond has been forged as a result. And I would not trade that for anything.
I love my friends. I can't wait to meet their little ones. And maybe someday, that dream of toddlers running around harassing each other can be realized. Some days, I'm brave enough to hope that it will.
And I adore this guy. And I am privileged and crazy blessed to call him my husband.
Matthew 19:4-6 NIV
"Haven't you read," he replied, " that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, " For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 NIV
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Song of Songs 8:6-7 NIV
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.