There is a beauty in death, if you can look beyond the pain to find it. The leaves, in all of their glory, have been radiating across the countryside for weeks now, their vibrancy lighting up the landscape like fire. Nothing quite compares to a New England fall, the variety of colors astounding even those of us who have lived a lifetime here. But now their beauty has faded and, in a last effort to cling to the life they had lived, each one holds on with a surprising tenacity. Their resistance is pointless, but I don't blame them. They are holding on to everything they've ever had, clutched in a vice-like grip on the last semblance of living they have left. No, I don't blame them at all. I envy them. At least they're still holding on.
I can't be the only one that is still reeling from this surreal turn of events. March is cancelled. April is most likely cancelled. The rest of the school year is potentially cancelled. Summer is on probation, and nobody is able to see far enough into the future to make accurate predictions about the fall. It's absolutely nuts! But what is crazier is how I've been dealing with it.
“There is no heartbeat.”
Those words have echoed in my ears over and over again. I’ll never forget that terrible day; how I waited for an ultrasound to confirm my doctor’s fears… how I then drove to my husband’s office and we cried together in the parking lot.
Loss never looked this real before to me. Death never hit me so hard.
The icy air burst through the door as we pulled in the tree; one last heave as the prickly branches poked at our cold fingers. Green sprills poured all over the entry floor - my toddler clapped her hands with glee. It was a ‘big twee in the house’; her childhood wonder pulled at my heart.
He should be here to see this. The thought that ran through my head a hundred times a day once again brought emotion welling up at the back of my throat. I pushed it down and put on a smile.
As we begin this year's countdown to Christmas, my family and I started an Advent reading calendar to prepare our hearts and help keep our focus on the important parts of Christmas through the holiday mayhem. We've never done it before, as our kids have been too little to really understand, but as we sat down today with the lights twinkling and the fire roaring, it really started to feel like Christmas. As we cozied up, the storm raged outside (the RAIN storm, mind you, in 39 degree weather on the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER - oh so festive!) and the Christmas music was playing softly in the background when our 6 year old asked, "What is 'Advent'?" I answered without really thinking, "It's the time leading up to Christmas that we use to prepare our hearts and remember what Christ did for us." And in that moment, a lifetime of Scriptures and Christmas cliches culminated in a newfound revelation that brings me to where I am now, sitting at my computer, and writing to you.
The snow beat down as I gazed out the window at the glistening world of white, a beautiful sight even as the light from a dim sky slowly began to fade. My buzzing thoughts once again had slowed long enough to stray to that forbidden dream, that forgotten longing; the telling dull ache that resonated from deep within my soul. I had been in this place before... in fact, I knew it well. But simply understanding the pain would not soothe it; ignoring it as it tugged on my heart would not make it go away. I was lonely.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! Nothing gets me like twinkling lights, sweet spices and the music that has made the holidays magical from my childhood. One song in particular struck a chord with us this year as my 5-year-old and I listened to choruses to decide her Christmas solo. Nearly as soon as we … Continue reading When I Heard The Bells