December 15, 2022. I first became aware of this date sometime in the summer of 2020. My belly was large with the growing life of our last baby, and I did some calculations.
For the first several weeks after Jane died, I felt like the world must surely be ending any moment. I legitimately felt like we were all going to die. This is a common feeling for those that experience an out-of-order death, and I’m sure it didn’t help that we entered a pandemic just days after her death. Nonetheless, it was my reality, a tragic and gut-wrenching reality.
And in the middle of it, I was carrying another child: a beautiful little girl who is not a replacement, a substitute, or a remedy for pain. She is fearfully and wonderfully made; I know that full well.
This little girl has a certain charisma and stubbornness that not one of her siblings possesses. She loves Winnie the Pooh more than Minnie Mouse. She grabs my face between her hands and doesn’t cuddle as much as her big sister did when she wants my attention.
Yet, certain expressions dart across her face, and she tilts her head just so to keep the hair out of her eyes. Her weight in my lap and the size of her hand in mine—it all feels so familiar.
And it’s painfully crushing while I’m simultaneously filled with joy and gratitude.
Days with Purpose
December 15, 2022, is the day that Lucy is 890 days old. And by God’s grace, she’ll wake one day older tomorrow morning. It’s hard to fathom she is the exact age Jane was when she left this earth. There was a time I didn’t think we would all live to see her grow older than her big sister. And honestly, I can’t quite put words to the depth of my complicated feelings about it all.
But that’s ok. Gratitude isn’t a betrayal of my grief. My grief hasn’t gotten any smaller, but my heart has grown. My capacity to hold joy and grief together has increased exponentially.
So today, I lament and praise because it isn’t my place to ordain days. It’s my purpose to live them out faithfully.