Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Today is Wednesday. This was the day we had planned to spend in preparation for Poppy’s birth, but instead Nathan and I find ourselves getting ready for a busy day of planning for her visitation tonight and the memorial service that will follow tomorrow. The vast disparity between the day I envisioned and the reality we are living in is jarring. It’s still so hard to believe that it’s over. I know the journey isn’t complete, but her precious life that we have anticipated for so many months has already played out its time on this earth.
I was thinking again this morning on her time here with us. So many things about it were lacking: I never had the opportunity to change her diaper, to feed her, or to give her a bath. I didn't ever get the chance to hold her as she drifted off to sleep and then watch as her chest rose and fell with each deep breath. There wasn't time to hold both of my girls together-to cuddle them together and sing some of Marianna's favorite songs. In fact, if I thought about it for awhile, I could probably come up with a list a thousand items long of things that I wish I could have experienced with Poppy, yet I know there isn’t a lot of good that comes from dwelling on what is not to be. I don’t want to travel down that path and live in the world of what wasn’t, because in the end, that road does not bring the things I want. Not that I'm saying I know exactly what I want right now, because I don't. I'm confused, and my mind feels muddled and bogged down in many respects. I can't tell you what I want next week or next month to hold because right now I can't see past today. Yet, despite my current state of comparative mental upheaval, there are still some things that I know that I long for. I want life, joy, and hope. These things are what Jesus wants for me, so I know it is always going to be right to pursue them. But in order for these things to become a reality, I must make a choice. I must choose to remember what was—the unbelievable blessing of the three hours that were given to us. I know with everything in me that the time that was given was a gift. Something inside me is convinced that her body was not physically meant to survive for one minute outside of my womb, yet God graciously breathed supernatural breath into her tiny body to allow the things we had prayed and cried out for to be granted to us.
I want to focus on the list of things that I was able to do with my beautiful little Poppy. I was able to hold her and tell her how much I loved her. Nathan and I got the chance to pour out our hearts to her in the operating room, telling her that she was the answer to our prayers, and that she was a living, breathing sign of God’s faithfulness to us. I was able to smile and be the proud parent as our closest friends and family gathered around her, lifting her up in prayer and blanketing her with overwhelming love. I experienced the purest joy from getting to see my first little miracle hold the second one in her arms and kiss her. Finally, I had the unique opportunity to hold Poppy in my arms as she left this earth and went to heaven. Not many mothers get the chance to know that that their babies went straight from their arms to the arms of Jesus. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful picture, and it is one I will treasure my entire life.
These are the things I want to cling to over the next days, weeks, and months. I know it’s okay to be sad about the loss, but I never want to forget the unbelievable blessing, joy, and privilege we received from God in getting to be Poppy’s parents. Someone wrote and said that they looked up Poppy’s name in a book they have, and the verse that was next to her name was from Isaiah 35:2. It says, "It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing...They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God." I don't have words for a better tribute for her life.
Tonight we will have a visitation, followed by her memorial service tomorrow. I won’t say that I am looking forward to it, but I will say that I am excited about the service because I believe it is our opportunity to express our thanks to God for the beautiful work He did through His daughter Poppy. Please be in prayer for us as we walk through this uncharted territory. Pray that the days ahead will be a time of rejoicing, remembrance, and thanks. We love each of you so dearly. Thank you for your faithfulness to us.