Back Together

taylor swiftI would be downstairs and I could hear the music start from up in Anna’s room loud and clear. A few minutes later the music was drowned out by her singing at the top of her lungs.

“We are never, ever, ever, getting back together
We (WHEE!) are never, ever, ever, getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk to my friends talk to me
But we (WHEE!) are never, ever, ever, getting back together”

Who was my little girl  singing to with such passion in her voice? Who was she never getting back together with and when was she with someone?

I went upstairs and peaked into her room and there she was dancing, singing and being so joyful all while sporting a scarf and a pair of “cool” sunglasses. She had no idea what she was singing just that she liked the rhythm and was able to memorize the lyrics. I smiled, and instead of turning it off, I decided to appreciate Taylor Swift for all of her good values, morals and for what she was doing for my daughter ~ she was bringing Anna joy.

Anna only played her Taylor Swift CD ~ that was her favorite and a gift from her big sister. She would listen to it over and over again, always pushing the back button to repeat her favorite, We are Never Getting Back Together, singing that one the loudest and with the most passion. Sometimes she would venture out of her room and sing her way down the stairs, always waiting for me to come and give her a wink or smile. I think she wanted me to be part of her concert.

I knew that one day Taylor Swift would be coming to town, or close to town, and that her concert would be our first together. I knew she would be so excited to see her live ~ when I close my eyes I can see her expression of joy in finding out she was going and I can see the look of excitement on her face as Taylor walks out on stage for her first number. We would buy t-shirts, a program and sing every song together, word for word. Well, she would sing them word for word and probably correct me when I messed up. The thought of this experience with her always made my heart happy ~ I couldn’t wait.

Anna glasses

The time has come and tomorrow night I’m going to see Taylor Swift in Seattle with some of Anna and Abigail’s friends and their moms. I am so appreciative that they have included Anna and I in this experience even though it will be hard. I will get a t-shirt, a program and maybe even a poster for Anna’s room. With tears in my eyes, I will sing each song, word for word, at the top of my lungs for my girl. I know, without a doubt,  she will be there with me, and although I won’t see her I will feel her joy ~ I know I will.

Experiencing life without my girls is extremely hard but I make the choices I do because in them I feel my girls presence. Often, in grief, we want to shut down and avoid the deep pain of absence. Somedays I don’t want to feel it anymore ~ staying in bed with a pillow of my head sounds so much nicer than facing  yet another day without Anna and Abigail.

I have found though, that in the midst of my deep pain there is another emotion that I feel even more deeply when I choose to open my eyes to Heaven and allow myself to see the possibilities it holds ~ I feel JOY.  If I closed myself off to “life” with my girls then I would never experience the joy they feel in Heaven. I think that is God’s gift to me in the midst of my suffering ~ a glimpse of the unimaginable joy they feel in eternity. So I choose to get out bed and experience life as it would be if my girls were physically here.

I’m going to our first concert together and it’s her favorite ~ Talyor Swift.

When I get to Heaven I know she will thank me for taking her and for not hiding and I will thank her for being there with me ~ always.

WE WILL BE BACK TOGETHER!
us 1

 

Flutter

I remember the first time I realized the flutter in my belly was actually Anna moving around. It was the first time I felt a life growing inside of me. I smile at the memory of lying in my bed, hands on my belly, realizing that I was going to be a mom ~ Anna’s mom.

Years later, while cuddling her in bed, we would talk about how she was the only one that had ever heard my heartbeat from the inside. She loved that fact and so did I.

Last night I felt the flutter, it was subtle but I know it’s our little one stretching, moving, and if it’s anything like Tom, dancing. This little one can also hear my heartbeat from the inside. I’m sure that Anna feels honored to share this with her little brother or sister.

There are times in our lives when our journey or life circumstances create a realization in our hearts and minds that may not have been realized if things were different. I have to be honest and say I would trade my life circumstances any day and stay in the dark about many things that have been brought to light since the girls went to Heaven ~ unfortunately I don’t get to choose.

I have witnessed the life cycle of my child. I was there when she took her first breath and I arrived, to a scene no one should ever experience, shortly after she took her last.

I remember holding her little hand for the first time, amazed at the fact that my body helped create this little being ~ I knew right then she was going to teach me so much about life.

I, unfortunately, also have the memory of holding Anna’s hand in the funeral home ~ her body no longer breathing life and I knew right then that my girl was also going to teach me so much about what happens when a life, as we know it, ends.

It was there I was enlightened.

It was there that my deep deep suffering was accompanied by a tremendous peace ~ a peace that should not come to a mother experiencing the loss of her children. A peace, that to this day, I sometimes struggle to fully understand.

It was there when I realized that Anna and Abigail were not gone but rather holding us in a blanket of hope. Their physical bodies, the ones we created, were gone but their souls were very much alive.

It was there that I opened my eyes to the gift that God was giving me, the realization that Anna and Abigail were not ours for the keeping but rather His and in opening my heart fully to this He gave me the gift of their eternal presence which I feel daily through my peace.

Last night, as I felt the flutter, I was enlightened once again by the gift of a little soul wrestling around inside of me. Tom and I created the body but God, He placed the soul for us to nurture, care for and love until it’s time for it to go Home.

Drawing in my Bible

There are mornings when it seems I can’t quite make it happen. I’ve got orders to process, emails to write, a dog begging for a walk, a blog post to ponder over or I just simply,  choose not to. I know it should always be my first priority and when I do start my day off in the Word it always helps my hurting heart. It never ceases to amaze me that, when I make the choice to start my day off in prayer and in the Word, the words that I read are exactly what I need to hear.

It’s always as though God is whispering His truth into my soul.

About a month ago I was meandering through Pinterest, just for fun, and came across a pin which lead me to this website ~ Illustrated Faith. This site then lead me down a creative adventure of the world of art journaling in your bible.

I immediately got online, ordered a journaling bible, some water-soluble pastels and pulled out all my watercolors, markers and colored pencils I had stashed in our studio.

I knew that what I had found was the a key to unlocking the creative side of my faith. I love to draw and be creative but often find excuses of why I don’t have time. Being creative is what I did with the girls ~ Tuesday art night, weeks of having the dining room tabled piled high with art supplies, our own art studio equipped with everything you need to create.

I miss my creative partners.

About a week ago my journaling bible was finally delivered. I cleared a space at the end of our dinning room table and set up a little creative space for myself. All my supplies within arms reach and photos, that I usually keep in my bible, out where I can see them.

For the past week I have faithfully spent time sitting, reflecting, reading and listening to His whispers. I then create in my bible what I feel moved to create. Sometimes it’s taking a scripture that really speaks to me and rewriting it in the margin. Sometimes it’s illustrating how the words look and feel in my mind and heart. Sometimes it’s just underlining and highlighting my favorite scriptures. It really has been very organic and has nicely woven my interest of art with my passion for listening to God and reading His Word.

I may still have excuses some mornings of being too busy to make it to this space, but I really feel that being introduced to this method of studying the bible is yet another nudge from Heaven to keep me anchored in the Word.

Following His nudges have never failed me and being creative at our dining room table connects me to my two all-time favorite artists!

bible journaling 2

Strawberry Blond with Silver Highlights

This morning I was admiring my new hair cut in our bathroom mirror and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I leaned forward and took a closer look and it was affirmed that my hair is changing color.

My whole life I have considered myself strawberry blond and very proud of that fact. This morning I saw silver, lots of it. It’s not the kind of silver that stands out against dark hair…one strand here and one strand there, easy to pull and get rid off. Mine is more of a shimmering silver color that blends with my strawberry tones.

You may not notice it when you look at me but it’s there and I can honestly say it makes me happy.

I want to grow old, I want to move through this world, I want to go home and be with God and my girls ~ until that day, I’m going to rock strawberry blond hair with silver highlights, and maybe, silver hair with strawberry blond highlights!

silver

 

 

 

Trading Places

A while back I was introduced to a blog, Mundane Faithfulness, where a mom writes eloquently about her life.  She is a wife, mother of 4 and she is losing her battle with cancer. She is beautiful and her words have touched my heart.

I read her words and I know intimately the same God she writes so eloquently about. I know the peace that she is praying for, the peace that He has brought and continues to bring her family and mine. I know that peace and I also know the pain that comes with the absence of the one you love and really never imagined your life without. My heart aches for her husband and children ~ I know that pain.

I read her words and I wish so desperately we could trade places so her children did not have to miss their mother.  I sit and think about how life is not fair for us, two mothers having to suffer through the pain of being separated from the ones they love most. The separation is temporary but knowing that does not dilute the pain. God does, however, provide us with the peace that we need to survive the pain. He gives us joy in ways we never thought possible. I am so thankful for our God, the God that holds her family and holds mine.

Her life is a testimony and her love for her Father and her faith in His promise is so clear. She knows, without a doubt, He will take care of her family ~ just like He’s taking care of mine.

I have spent some time these past few days daydreaming about Heaven (I daydream about Heaven and my girls a lot actually). I smile at the thought that my prayers will lead my girls to this beautiful mother as she enters Heaven and that Anna and Abigail will show her how to make rainbows.

 

Rainbow outside my front door. The tree is Anna and Abigail's tree.

Rainbow outside my front door. The tree is Anna and Abigail’s tree.