Sunday, July 19, 2015
To my Arabella Grace,
It's been one week since the delicate balance of your life shifted, and in a moment...you were gone. It's been a week of great sorrow, inexplicable joy and the deepest heartache I have ever known.
We kept you with us until almost 7am the morning after your birth. We spent that time staring at you & tracing your face with our fingers a million times over, trying to memorize every feature. We were mesmerized by your perfect little nose & lips. You had my hair color & by the looks of it, my curls. Your hands & your feet were big compared to the rest of your little body. I've never been more in awe of our Creator. At 1 ounce over a pound, you looked like a baby doll. Beautiful & tiny & perfect.
In the darkness of the night, we told you how perfect you were & how much we loved you. We talked about Jesus & how amazing it must feel to be in His loving arms. We prayed. We cried. We stared at you in silence. The window in our hospital room was frequently lit up with lightning & thunder. As our heads would turn from you towards Heaven, it felt as if the Lord was letting us know that He was there, mourning with us & counting every single tear.
The morning sun crept up on us too quickly. We laid together on my small hospital bed & just held you close. Your daddy prayed one last time, and when the nurse came in to take my vitals a little before 7am, we said that we felt it was time for her to take you. As the door clicked shut it took everything in me to not jump up from that stupid bed & run after her screaming. Instead, your daddy held me tight & we sobbed together. It only took seconds for us to miss the presence of your sweet little face.
Both sets of your grandparents drove through the night & next day to be with us. They stayed with us all week long, helping us with whatever we needed. Your brave daddy took care of all the arrangements with the funeral home. And on Wednesday, we all got to see your sweet face one more time. I will admit that I was a little bit nervous about seeing you again. But the moment you were brought in and put into my arms...God covered me in His perfect peace. Being in your presence one more time made me smile & just filled me with love. Then we heard the boom of thunder outside and once again, it felt as if the Lord was letting us know that He was there, mourning with us & counting every single tear.
I asked for a bit of time with you alone. I looked over the little outfit that we asked them to put you in. It was so big on your tiny little body, but the epitome of what I hoped to dress you in until you put your foot down & decided you wanted to dress yourself. I played a song for you. I held you close to me, and the tears fell as I knew our time together on this earth was coming to a close. Those tears landed on your sweet little face. I read you a letter that I wrote that morning, and prayed over you again. I texted your daddy that I was ready, and he came back in to tell you that he loved you. He wiped my tears from your face and we clung to you a little longer before saying our final good-bye.
Your daddy picked up the tiny velvet satchel with your ashes the next morning. It is hard to believe that in less than 4 days, we went from hearing your strong little heartbeat to picking up your ashes. And we sobbed together at the earthly finality of it all.
But we are reminded by our awesome God that this isn't the end. Because of the saving grace of our precious Jesus we have the promise of Heaven. I can only imagine the exquisite beauty that you already know.
Even with that reminder, it has been a hard week. I miss you so much, and I cry. A lot. As I've felt my heart shatter more each day, I've been constantly reminded of one thing. Our Jesus is the same yesterday & today & forever. As I've struggled to sleep, I've repeated this in my mind over & over again. He is the same no matter how broken I am. He is the same when my prayers only come in the form of sobbing. He is the same when I am angry & asking why. He is the same when I can only worship Him through tears. His love for me is unchanging & will not change as I continue this sacred dance called grief.
I love you, sweet Ellie girl. I miss you like crazy.