Today over at Portland Moms Blog I shared a few minutes of one of my days ~ just one of many I have to live without my girls. This post was very difficult to write but I felt it was important. With each new day and life experience comes a new wave of grief and at the same time a tremendous amount of gratitude for the ability God has given me to survive the heartache. I miss my girls more and more as each new day passes.
Every year about this time I get an email asking if I want to purchase my Hippie Chick Run photos from previous years. The Hippie Chick was a run that Anna and I did together. I would run the 10k and she would meet me just before the finish line ~ it was our thing. The photos taken at the run are usually really expensive so I never wanted to purchase them.
This year when the email came it said that this was the last chance to purchase photos from 2013 so I decided to look at them once again, just in case. As I was flipping through the five that were taken of me this one appeared. I swear it’s the first time I had seen it. I cried remembering what it felt like to cross the finish line with my girls on each side. Every other year it was just Anna crossing the finish line but this year, our last Hippie Chick together, Abigail joined us.
I ordered some prints. This is my new favorite photo of the three of us. It speaks to my heart and when it arrived yesterday it was so clear to me why I love it so much. This is how I get through each day. Abigail holding my right hand and Anna holding my left, both gripping tight till I get to the finish line. The gold tons in the photo (that is how it came) represent Christ, He’s all around us wrapping us in His love and kindness ~ we are surrounded by His Grace.
The last couple of months have been tough. Fall lasted so long, there are still leaves piled up on our streets, and my PTSD has become something that is just with me instead of the usual waves that come every so often. Watching Alice grow, discover, learn and become a toddler has been wonderful and very emotional. There is so much I can say about mothering this beautiful little one in the midst of grief, but I will leave that for another time.
I have signed up for the Hippie Chick one time since the girls have been in Heaven but my heart wouldn’t allow me to go. After seeing this photo I think it is time to get in shape and prepare once again for “our thing” this Mother’s Day weekend. I know Anna would be super excited to have Alice run across the finish line with us.
This photo is what my heart needed the week before Christmas and our double birthday celebration on 27th ~ Abigail will be 16 (I can’t believe it) and Alice will be turning 2.
Anna and Abigail are holding my hands always and I am ALWAYS surrounded by His Love and Grace!
Last night I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I miss my girls.
I decided, after an hour of prayer, what I needed was something to hold on to. I reached under my pillow and pulled out Honey, Anna’s favorite blanket. I wrapped my arms around it tightly and held it to my face.
I fell back to sleep.
This morning Alice was playing as I was getting ready for our day. I could hear her talking with her sister’s babies. She is such a good little Aunt. I walked quietly into her room not to disturb her world and found her wrapping Baby Mary in Honey, just like Anna used to do.
She looked up and smiled.
Alice holding her big sister’s blanket ~ that is what makes my heart happy today!
It’s been raining and the sun has been peeking through the clouds today, a perfect recipe for a rainbow on Anna and Abby’s 4th Heaven Day. We headed out on a walk mid-morning in hopes to see their artistic work fill the sky. I prayed for God to release His glory as a sign for my broken heart.
I prayed and prayed.
Then He answered.
Our rainbow today isn’t the traditional arc of colors that fill the sky, but rather the arc of love that has been cast on us from all of you, our community both near and far.
For the past 4 years you have showed up, unconditionally, and honored our girls by choosing to love. You have walked through the shadows with us, held us and cared for our girls by speaking their names, sharing their love and celebrating their joy.
Thank you for remembering, for honoring Anna and Abby and for filling our hearts with warmth and love.
Thank you for being our rainbow.
PS. This happened this afternoon in Forest Grove ❤
The leaves on Anna and Abby’s Tree are still pretty green. In the next couple of weeks, maybe even days, they will turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow.
Then they will fall.
They will all fall and another year will start.
Fall is a mix of emotions because there are so many reminders of the exact moment my heart was broken and it is filled with so many beautiful memories of our favorite season together. Each morning when I open the curtains, and I see the leaves changing, I can either focus on that one moment or I can choose to focus on the millions of other moments that fill my heart with love and joy.
Some days, it’s hard not to be consumed by the brokenness I feel and fight everyday.
Most days, I choose the path that brings light to my memories and my girls.
Today, we decided to celebrate so we went out hunting for special leaves to add to our collection.
I think these leaves were sent from Heaven and Alice agrees.