It's been 18 weeks. I find myself unable to comprehend how time has the capacity to continue - to forge ahead - while I am constantly re-living the same moment over and over and over again. The moment we learned her heart wasn't beating.
I can still see the ultrasound screen. I still smell the hospital smells. I still hear myself crying out. I still taste the salty tears. I still hear the silence.
That moment changed everything for me. For my family. It changed Brent's and my relationship. It changed how we parent Haley. It changed how we worship. How we pray. It changed our social lives. It changed our priorities. That moment changed everything. Yet while I am frozen in time, the world continues to move at full speed around me.
Tonight during bedtime prayers, Haley prayed that God would take us to Heaven when we want to go there, and that he would help us to spend time "with our baby sister." These are the times when my heart fills and breaks simultaneously. I didn't know it was possible for a heart to do that, but it has done so several times over these last 18 weeks. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a man who looked to be in his mid 40s get out of a pickup truck and search around for an infant headstone. He found it, knelt beside it a while, touched it, and left. The grave stones in the area he was are from the 1960s. I'm convinced he was a brother. Seeing that gave me pause. Will that be Haley one day? Will she be visiting her sister's grave after 50 years? How long must we wait until forever comes?
Haley's sitter ("Granny") told me some women were talking to Haley at the park one day. They asked if she had a sister and Haley answered them matter-of-factly. She does have a sister, but her "sister is dead." My three year old, breaking the news. Another heart-filling-and-breaking-simultaneously moment. I'm so proud of her for holding on to her sister's short little life. For mentioning her. For claiming her. Yet it breaks me to pieces that Haley has to share that story.
To everyone else, it's been 18 weeks. Most don't even want to remember it happened. But to me, it has been a series of moments. Moments I don't want to have to experience but since they're all I have, I cling to them with gratitude.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I know this to be true. Even during the moments I cry out in desperate pleas of brokenness, he is definitely with me. He is definitely near. And to him....time is irrelevant. Eighteen weeks are but the blink of an eye. And no matter how long a road it feels for me, I can look back and see - when I went through it kicking and screaming, crawling, dragging my heels - he has been with me for every second. Every moment. Every facet of time.
Next: August 24th
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