It's been an emotional few days for me. I can't put my finger on exactly why - too many reasons, I suppose. This would have been Harlynn's first Halloween. Brent and I go back and forth every year whether or not it's a holiday we'll participate in - but to know I would most likely have been choosing a little getup for Harlynn to wear stings.
The cemetery will soon shorten their hours of being open and I'll only be able to visit during lunch hours or on the weekend. And that's only if the snow doesn't barricade my way. I feel as if I've taken time for granted in being able to visit Harlynn whenever I please. I won't be able to do that in a week or two.
Thanksgiving. Christmas. New year. All of it without our little girl. Sometimes I feel as if I've come to terms with it - that as much as I hate to, I can still accept it. Other times it feels like the wind has been knocked clean out of me. It isn't fair. It isn't real. It can't be.
I keep going back to the moment in the hospital when I delivered her, and before I could see her - before I even opened my eyes from the last push - the doctor said, "She's beautiful. Looks just like she's sleeping." I opened my eyes and stared up at the hospital room lights. I heard no sound. It was all surreal. There is no way I could have just experienced what I did. Every day I go back to that very moment. Every day I wish it were no more than a bad dream. And every day I'm reminded of the cold, hard truth. Harlynn isn't here anymore.
Haley has been asking a lot about her sister lately. The other night she led a prayer thanking God for Harlynn, for giving her to us, and for loving on her in Heaven. She's curious about when we'll go to Heaven. When we'll die. When we'll see Harlynn again. This morning her comment to me was, "Harlynn died way too soon." Don't I know it, kid. Don't I know it. As heartbreaking as it is to know she's still trying to process this as we are, I am so thankful - so glad - that Harlynn's name will always be spoken in our home. She will always be remembered by more than just her heartbroken mother. She will always be Haley's little sister. Always.
I think about all the other families I've come to know through this experience. All of the other families who will be missing a special someone at their holiday table. Who will be missing a tiny pair of feet in their family picture. Who will celebrate life and all of it's milestones, while remembering all too often the brokenness it brings. There are so many families. So many precious people I've come to know. So many.
Yet, even in the midst of my emotional moments, I still have hope. Hope our life will be filled with blessed moments. Hope our life will encourage the broken hearts of families like ours. Hope we'll find encouragement when we need it. Hope we'll not have to wait long for eternity. Hope that, as Esther was, we have been placed here "for such a time as this."