Thursday, January 26, 2012

525, 600 Minutes...

One year ago today, you my sweet girl, made your entry into this world and in doing so entered the hearts of hundreds. Your birthday certainly didn't turn out quite as expected. While we did expect to be somewhat overwhelmed as we learned to care for your needs, we never could have imagined that those needs wouldn't include changing your diapers, learning to feed you, or soothing your cries. We never expected those needs to include feeding tubes, ventilators, EEG's, and finally helping you to die. 
I would have expected your first year to be measured so differently; how many outfits did you outgrow? How many diapers did we go through? How many late night feedings? How many sleepless, beautiful nights? How many bedtime stories read, and bath time routines had? How many stolen glances of you sleeping on your daddy's chest?
But here we are, 525, 600 minutes later and no answers to the questions above. Today and every day from here on out, I will measure my days and my life so differently, because of you. 
You have changed my whole heart. I could never have expected to feel the intense love that I do for you. Because of you sweet Sof, I will measure every year, month, week, day, and moment... in love. 

The words in this song have always inspired me, but I hear them with such a different intensity today. Because of you; your birthday and your beautiful, powerful life; ever day is a Season of Love. 

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Moments so dear

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure - Measure A Year?

In Daylights - In Sunsets
In Midnights - In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches - In Miles
In Laughter - In Strife

In - Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure
A Year In The Life?

How About Love?
How About Love?
How About Love?
Measure In Love

Seasons of Love.
Seasons of Love.

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Journeys To Plan

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure The Life
Of A Woman Or A Man

In Truth That She Learned
Or In Times That He Cried
In Bridges He Burned
Or The Way That She Died

It's Time Now - To Sing Out
Though The Story Never Ends
Let's Celebrate
Remember A Year In The Life Of Friends

Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Remember the Love
Measure In Love


Happy First Heavenly Birthday, Sweet Pea. I hope you are surrounded by the glory of Heaven today and everyday. I hope the choirs of angels sing you the most beautiful birthday song, and I hope that you feel the love that you have brought to your mama, reflected back to you.
 I would give anything to kiss you gently as I wish you a Happy 1st Birthday, to watch you tear into a piece of cake, to have you fall asleep against my skin. But today is your birthday, and though different than I could have imagined; it is time now, to sing out because your story doesn't  end.
So let's celebrate and  remember....Remember the Love.
I love you, baby girl, ttmabbg. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here I am, Lord....

Pretty, pretty girl,
Last week in church, I was touched when a familiar song was being sung by the choir. I always get excited when they sing a song that I know from my youth choir days back home, and I always look at your daddy and proudly exclaim, "I know this one!" 
As the words to, "Here I am, Lord" began, I was surprised by my reaction. I felt that all too familiar feeling of tears welling up in my eyes; as I began to think about a conversation that I had with someone several months ago. 
There are a variety of things that people say to someone who has just suffered a tragedy, or in my case, the loss of you, my sweet girl. Some of those things are kind, gentle, all are well intended...but man do some of those things just make me crazy. 
Even just the other day, when hearing about you, a gentleman with kids of his own said, "Don't worry it gets better." And then continued by asking me if we would "just" have more kids, and how many we "wanted". He was kind, and I fully understand his uncertainty with what to say to me. I refrained from answering what was screaming in my head, "It doesn't get "better" and I "Want" my daughter in addition to any other children we may be blessed with. If it was just up to what your daddy and I "wanted", well these days would surely be different. 
One of the other comments that I have always struggled with, and has especially angered me this past year is the old, "Everything happens for a reason." God, I hate that saying. Or I should say, I hated that saying. 
That is until one day, when I was blessed to connect with a very spiritual woman who has also endured the loss of her own sweet baby girl, approximately 15 years ago. She is way ahead of me in growth from her loss and I appreciate her insights profoundly. She has a beautiful sense about her and a unique ability to offer various spiritual perspectives. 
Because I hold her in high regard as a sort of spiritual counselor for me, I groaned inside when she uttered those very words that I hate. "You know, everything happens for a reason."
She picked up on my snarling as she spoke, and I explained that I don't know how I feel about that statement. I still struggle so much with the idea that a loving God, would choose to, albeit spread such love, but through such pain. 
She offered me a unique perspective that I have come to cherish. 
As we reflected on her daughter and you, baby girl, and the love that you brought to me and so many others; she challenged me. 
I often tell you, sweet Sof, that I don't know how it works, meaning things beyond death. Sure I have faith, I believe in heaven and in a soul's journey....but I have no idea how it works. 
This woman offered; "What if in Heaven, these souls all got together? What if God was discussing the need to awaken a sense love and restore a sense of faith in this world that we live in, where we are often too busy to make time, to pay attention, to truly love? What if God didn't choose this for Sofie at all? What if, as God was explaining what was needed, that it wouldn't be easy, and in fact it would be a short, difficult life but that it would bring great love...what if Sofie's soul stepped forward and said, "Send me. I'll do it. Please, send me." And what if further if she looked in the very eyes of God and said, "and I choose them to be my parents, to share in this journey with me." 
As she paused, I wiped tears from eyes and said, "Well if that is how it works, if this was her choice, well then how I could be anything but proud of her." 
If my sweet baby girl was the one to choose, to be born into the life that she was; for a greater purpose, well then that fills me with a mother's pride. I can live with that. 
I understand that in this lifetime, I will never know "how it works", but this perspective brings me peace. 
This perspective helps me to heal my relationship with a loving God, that didn't choose this fate for my daughter, but was equally proud of her for her bravery when her sweet soul stepped forward to fulfill her journey. 
As I listened to the words of this beautiful hymn, I couldn't help but feel overcome with pride and love for you, Sof. 
I choose to believe that this is how it works. I choose to believe that you chose love over a long life, that you chose to awaken faith, and that you chose us. 
I have been filled with pride for you since the day I found out about you, but this is a feeling of pride unlike any other. You sweet girl, continue to teach and remind your mama how to look at at, love, and live life differently. 
You are brave and beautiful. I love you, Sweet Pea, to the big Heavenly moon and back. 
Well done, Sweet Pea, well done. We are so proud of you. 

..."I who made the stars and night
I will make the darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart."....