To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Friday, January 31, 2014

You'll Remember

I woke up this morning feeling off. I laid in bed trying to figure out if I was getting sick, if I had slept wrong, or if maybe it was something indeterminable. I got up and began to get ready for my day, trying to shake whatever this cloud was, hanging over me. I did what I could, which was everything. I showered. I got dressed. I made Haley breakfast. I put make up on. I tidied up the kitchen. I got Haley dressed. I loaded up my own breakfast and my work materials, and we got in the car. I drove to my home-away-from-home, my new office (which is the home of our friends, and my new bosses). I sat down and ate my cereal watching the kids play. I went upstairs and set up shop. I started working. I did everything I could to distract myself from that looming "off" feeling that was determined to follow me around.

Eventually I couldn't concentrate anymore and decided to call it a day. I loaded up my materials, bundled up my daughter, made plans for next week, and drove back home. I made Haley's and my lunch and I longed for nap time in a way I've not longed for it before. Once Haley was tucked away in her bed, I drifted off to sleep in my new napping roost on the sofa. If I sit a certain way in a certain corner and cover up with a certain blanket, I sleep really, really well.  Except for today. I kept waking up. Whether I snored, or just couldn't get to that deep sleep, an awesome nap eluded me. 

Haley soon awoke, as did her daddy. He was home napping because of his wonky work schedule today. After a few snuggles from his special girl, I started peppering him with questions as I worked on our new budget. He wasn't helping, and I was getting too flustered too easily, so he got to work hanging the new curtain rod and curtains I purchased for our living room. After almost seven years of living in this house, we finally hung curtains you can't see through. As he was drilling the wall above the window, I happened to look outside.

I don't know what it was. I still don't. Something about the way the setting sun was hitting the trees as they swayed in the bitter cold wind. I started to well up. Then, Rufus Wainwright's cover of the song "Hallelujah" came on our Pandora station. The tears spilled over. I blinked, hard, trying to contain them, but the floodgates had opened. I broke down.

Brent caught sight of me and tilted his head to the side. He thought I was in a mess over the budget. No, it's not pretty, but it wasn't the cause of my tears.

I miss my baby girl. A lot.

I look around our home and I see things that aren't. I hear sounds that will never be audible. I hold a weight I can't ever hand off to anyone else. It's her. She's here....she's in every room of our home in some fashion. She's in every corner of our hearts. But she's gone. 

Haley heard Brent asking me if I was okay, and came over to investigate. The look on her face....oh my lands. She saw her mama crying, and she knew. She just knew why. With her own face turning red and splotchy, she asked me why I was crying. As I looked at her big blue eyes, I thought she might spill over with sympathy tears of her own.

"I miss your sister. Can I have a hug?"

If I hug her, she doesn't have to see the ugly cry. And who wouldn't want that little sweetie wrapped up in their arms?  She hugged me tight. She patted my shoulder. She asked, "Why do you miss my sister?"
"Because she's supposed to be here. Mommy didn't want her to die."
"I didn't want her to die either. When I went to the hospital, I cried."
"Yes. We all did."
"Even Daddy?"
"Even Daddy."
"I didn't touch her. I just looked at her."
"I know. I'm glad you got to see her."
She leaned forward to hug me again. 

That was more than four hours ago, and the tears are still flowing. I can't turn them off tonight. 

Maybe I am getting sick. Maybe I am just having an off day. It doesn't matter. I still miss my Harlynn. Sometimes it sneaks up on me just how much, and the wave of grief overtakes me without warning. 

If you find yourself walking this road, you will hear people tell you that you're not alone. The truth is, you aren't. There are people who know this, who know what you're up against. You're not alone. However, you'll never feel more alone than when these moments creep up. There's no one to call because there's nothing to say. There's comfort in the silence at the appropriate times with the appropriate people, but it's not often you can call someone to choke out, "Can you come over and just sit in silence while I cry?" So it's better just to cry where you are. In the middle of whatever you're doing. And you'll feel alone. You'll feel it intensely. But you'll remember you're not. You'll remember you have people praying for you. Thinking about you. Loving you. You'll remember you know other parents who have this same hell in their life. You'll know they have these same moments. You'll remember you're not alone. And in that solitude, you'll remember you're being carried every step of the way. You're not alone, because no one can make it through this alone. No one.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

I carried you your whole life, straight into the next.
What I wouldn't give to carry you again.


  1. Big Hugs. Val, you are most certainly not alone. Neither is Harlynn. Prayers.

  2. Grief sucks. Horrifically. Been there. Thank you for your blog.

  3. I hate the greif you bear. I hate it so much because you're my baby girl, you always will be. Some people think it's been a long time but I miss Harlynn as much right now as when we got that phone call. You aren't alone. You're in our hearts, on our minds, in our prayers. You have Brent, who loves you and Harlynn, her big sister and her little brother on the way. God, the Son and the Holy Spirit all surround you. I know you know all this but I can't do anything else, so I tell you.
    All my love, through tears,

  4. always remember, this too shall pass