I love that a bunch of you commented on how great it was to see me smiling in the pictures I posted. A couple of you said it seemed like I was getting my “spunk” back. I feel like there are glimpses of it every day, but yesterday was really hard.
I found a notebook that I hadn’t seen around for a few months, and when I opened it I saw a page where I had been doodling potential baby names. It must have been around November or so. At first, there were boy names and girl names. A few pages later, it was just girl names. Then it just said Audrey Caroline Smith.
And there she was.
As the days passed, I kept notes about what I needed to be doing as I prepared for her. Fresh tears came as I saw my “lists.” Mixed in with Christmas ideas for my friends and family were memos to myself about where I had found the best price on a stroller and what I was going to do to get Kate’s room ready for two kids instead of one. I guess it was stuff that seemed important at the time. A couple things were crossed off, but most of them weren’t; there just wasn’t time, I guess.
The rest of the notebook is blank.
I kept flipping back and forth between the words and the emptiness, thinking of all the ways that I would have rather filled the pages.
One of the hardest things for me about losing Audrey is that I want to know who she was going to be. I just wanted the chance to love her for a little longer. I stare at her little face in pictures and sometimes I can’t do anything but curl up in a ball and miss her. So last night, that is what I did. I just sat and missed her.
Many of you have sent me links to other people’s blogs because they have lost a child. I want you to know that I go to every single one. I don’t always comment, but I pray. I look at the sweet family pictures and read people’s words of love and faith, and I weep alongside strangers because I know what it feels like to have a half-empty notebook. One of the hardest parts is the entry before the loss (if it was unexpected), because it seems like life is just so normal, no indication of what is just on the horizon. You want to scream at the computer (or in my case, the notebook) like it’s an old movie where the heroine doesn’t see the villain, but you do.
I looked at my words and I wanted so badly to be able to go to that girl, at that moment, and tell her that she didn’t need to rearrange the room. She didn’t need to buy burp-cloths. She had no idea.
I had no idea.
I don’t know why this affected me so much, but I do know that last night, I fell asleep crying because I missed my sweet Audrey so desperately. And I thought of Greg and Nicol and the way they were probably doing the same. I thought about the fact that Luke’s little onesies were still in the laundry room and his diapers on the nightstand.
I can’t imagine what God must have felt when we walked into a small, unfamiliar ultrasound room months ago, and the pages went blank. And tonight, the only thing I can think to say is a 5 word sentence that hurts to write.
I want them back, Lord.
I want my Audrey, safe and sound.
Sweet Luke, come back.
I’m not crazy, I know this can’t happen, not in this life. But I am crying out for my baby, for our babies. For all the pages…Oh Lord, why???
I don’t know how to say this in a way that adequately connotes what I felt last night and all day today, but I will try my best.
It isn’t easy for me to write. It isn’t easy because it makes me think through things I might rather leave undone, and it makes me vulnerable in a way that is humbling. But, in some way that only God can make sense of, He is using you all to teach me about myself, and even about the way I love my daughter. She has inspired me to do something I never would have done before because of my own fear, and the beauty is that I have been so blessed in return. You don’t even know me, and yet you take the time to send me letters, prayers, and encouragement. Because of this blog, I have seen how God’s people love.
What a tremendous, beautiful gift you all have given me.
I kept thinking today about the symbolism of the empty notebook, telling the Lord how that image stings in it’s finality. I kept thinking about my faraway stranger-friends who encourage me to feel what I feel.
I think I realize now what I didn’t last night, because of you.
The pages won’t stay empty forever. They will be written in honor of Audrey, and in honor of Luke. They will be written for every baby that has left this earth before mommy could tuck her in.
I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart for encouraging me to pick up my pen, to tap my keyboard, and to start to fill in the emptiness. To love her with my words, and to share her when she couldn’t share herself.
It has been a hard few weeks. I know that God is in the midst of it, as He always is, but it hurts to be without them.
Thank you for your prayers, and for offering to be a part of our grief.
May you be blessed as richly in return.