I've got sunshine on a cloudy Day....When it's cold outside....I got the month of....well, freezing June. That's not how the song goes, but that's our reality today. It's the first of June, and the heat has kicked on in the house several times today. Yes it seems it's a cool, wet summer here in the prairie land. A small part of me wants to think the reason the weather has been so crummy this year is because even Mother Nature herself is grieving alongside us, wishing she could have known Harlynn here on earth. And as the weather stinks, so does my attitude. The wind and rain and clouds are enough to make me lose my mind a bit. I need sunshine. I need warmth. I need the physical proof and representation of "brighter days". I want to believe they exist.
This morning as I was outside trimming back the lilac bushes (or trees, rather, since they're so out-of-control tall....) I was wondering if Heaven had lilacs. Their perfumy scent is one of the loveliest scents I can imagine. Even while trimming branches in a cold light mist, I was glad for the excuse to be up close to the blooms. Can Harlynn smell the lilacs? Does Heaven have smells? Would you have had allergies like the rest of us, sweet baby girl? I wish I could have heard your cute little baby sneeze. I wish I could have watched your teeny nose wrinkle.
You know, I used to find it so unfair that people had to die. I thought it was so unfair they didn't get to be here for and with the rest of us. Today, though, as I was working away with the hedge clippers and arborist saw, my tune changed. It's unfair to have to live. It's unfair to be here amongst the evils of the world, while those we love and have lost are already experiencing the riches and glory of Heaven.
It's been a weepy day here. I'm struggling emotionally, and lacking motivation to do most anything. Brent is dealing with the frustrations of home repair and maintenance. (But I know the basement will look amazing when you're done, honey!) As a result of both of us feeling frustrated and down, we decided to order Chinese food for dinner and take a break from our healthy eating. Yes, it's backwards. Yes, it's counter-productive in reaching our goal. But it's what we wanted, and neither of us had the energy to come up with a different solution.
After our lo mein and fried rice, and maybe a won-ton or two, I moved on to the fortune cookie. I'm one of the three people on earth who loves the taste of fortune cookies. I don't care for the ridiculous paper contents, but I genuinely like the cookie itself. Today I read my "fortune", expecting a bogus cliche phrase as usual. Instead, what I read made me tear up. Seriously - a cookie fortune made me cry? Yep.
"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."
Thirty-seven weeks. From start to finish, Harlynn's little life was 37 weeks. She had it all. She had warmth, comfort, songs from her sister, conversations from her daddy, back rubs from her mommy, and even a daily dose of chocolate. She went to church every Sunday with us. She got hugs. She got tickled. She heard us pray for her. She heard music. She heard laughter. She got a lot of exercise. She was showered with as much love as you can possibly give someone, despite never seeing or holding or kissing them. She had a good life. She had a good life.
Shortly after our comfort food indulgence, and my fortune cookie cry fest, the day brightened. The sun came out (at bedtime, go figure...), Harlynn's namesake couple stopped by, and I had a good tickle/giggle fest with Haley. She's currently practicing her elk call from her bedroom right now - at least that's what her high pitch squeals remind me of.
All of that to say this: As much as this sucks, (and there is no scale big enough to measure how much this sucks) as much as this hurts, as wrong as this all seems, there is a brighter day. There is a radiant hope. There is a warming of the soul. There is a just and righteous end. There is.
Harlynn, sweetie, I wish I could have spent more time with you. Every moment of every day I wish you were here. But I praise God for the time I had with you, and for the fact it was, truly, quality time.