I wanted to be there, no question.In fact I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Three years ago I was a few months on the other side of losing my Audrey and it was time. Time to head to the hospital.Time to watch life start again.Time to rejoice for others while allowing my heart to mend in the process.
I found the room where he would be born, and little did I know that this room held a beautiful reminder of a promise.
I am always good, love.
Hours, agony, and exhaustion gave way to the moment we had all been preparing ourselves for. It’s time.
Oh. It’s time.
The doctors reached, the momma cried out, and I felt my fingers tighten on my shirt as I watched him being born.
A baby. Just a sweet little 8 pound reason to keep believing that God was still on the throne.When just weeks ago I had stood in a cemetary and said goodbye to the red hair and the tomorrows that yesterday swallowed up.
I wanted to be there, no question. In fact I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
It’s been three years, almost. And my eyes start to burn and my jaw wants to tighten because it means that time keeps moving on without her…and why? Why does it insist on doing so?
But here I am again. The same hospital. The same momma that says “Happy Birthday” when her babe is born and loves and loves because she doesn’t know any other way. I came to support her, and to see what it looks like when hope comes bursting through the seams of life.
It won’t be long now. Her body is saying it and the doctors are agreeing. She is ready to start life all over again, and as her face flushes and her heart pounds, she screams out just as the doctor pulls her new daughter from her.
And there, on a bright morning in Nashville, I watched them lay the sweet, waxy, pink baby on her chest and there was no more screaming and no more fear or pain. It was all gone away, and in its place was this child. This promise that everything that hurts that way will be redeemed, and it feels possible here.
The baby doesn’t scream at all, and what might be nerves give way to the recognition that it seems to be her newborn nature to simply be still. The doctors smile and laugh and bundle and then Jess holds her perfect Adeline for the first time. All eyes are wet with love and relief, and I do a good job of celebrating. It’s so easy to celebrate when you’re with people you love and rejoice easily over. And the room reminds me that it doesn’t always go the way it has gone.
Sometimes the babies get to go home with their lullabye-singing mommas and their head-over-heels smitten daddies.
Sometimes, often really, they get to watch her sleep in her cradle and have whispered conversations about whose nose she got and why her hair makes those sweet little circle shapes and oh, how they want to devour her.
I know it happens, because it has happened to me.
What right do we have to a love like this? A love that says “yes,” before it knows anything other than “mine.”
And yet, I also know the other.
And as the nurses left and the baby rested and all lights were dimmed and peaceful, I wanted to hold her just for a moment. Not long enough to remind me of everything but long enough to feel Him.
I needed to feel Him.
She was, I thought, about this size. But no, of course she wasn’t. She wasn’t anything like this, and she never would be.
But who am I; this tender-hearted witness to the love that came down?
Not just here, and not just in life.But also in death.
We have no say in the matter, really.
We love as deeply as we are carved, and when the day is done we rise to see another.
I didn’t get to see the life I wanted with her.
I brush my face against Adeline’s and a part of me wants to whisper, “Do you know?”
Of course she doesn’t.But one day I pray she will.
That she will know me as the one who found the right hospital room despite all of the wrong turns I could have made between Audrey and her.
That she will know that I will love her the way I love her brother and that she will always remind me of the day love made sorrow stand still and rest in the truth.
But oh, how I miss her.
My tiny, pink-flesh and damp-haired baby girl. I never got to see your eyes, but I will. And I will know every part of who you are and what mattered more than everything I could see.
Because I have a God in whom I trust, in spite of the two very different rooms.One that rejoices, and the other that mourns.
How could this God be so?
Are you wondering why? Why would a good God let this baby have this and that baby have that?
I am here, friend.
And instead of asking why, might I offer a simple solution that I believe will answer the true question. I’m not sure it ever was “why” in the first place, but maybe “Who.”
He is my most intimate friend, my most respected Father. He is the One who carries the sun to it’s place and remains as faithful as rain falling down, down, down…
Into the place where you thought nobody would remember.
Not only that but He loves you. He loves you. HE LOVES YOU.
I lost her. I cannot see her again in this life, but I am not tormented as I was because of those three words that tell me I have nothing to fear.
He loves me, loves me, loves me. Over and over and upside down and in every way I can’t get my arms around.
And this new little love shows me breath and smile and tears. I have lights of my own, this house full of blessings.
I have enough to know that what I don’t know is safe.
One day I will meet He who says it is so. I don’t know that I will ask the questions I think I will. What’s the point of why when you have the Who?
I might just bow down, down, down…And before the King I will whisper with the stillness of heaven’s peace-if I can stammer the words. Sweet, sweet girl…how I have wanted to hold you again.
I wanted to be there, no question.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
*To read Adeline’s entire birth story and see pictures of her, please click here*