Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life should somehow have slowed down

In the days leading up to Abigail's death, Loren and I had been unable to really eat anything. When we had left the hospital's little chapel, we were both surprised to find that we were at last ready to eat. There had been a sense of finality and release once we had spent that time in prayer and praise. So we left the hospital and went to the only place we could find open so late at night, Waffle House.

It was a very strange feeling, sitting there in Waffle House with life going on all around us. Inside, I felt like life should somehow have slowed down. I wanted everyone who saw me to know that my daughter had just died and my heart was broken. Instead, I said nothing. Not even our waitress knew that we had just lost such a precious part of our lives. We ate our meal in relative silence and managed weak smiles as we were leaving. The waitress had been unusually kind and quietly attentive. It was another blessing.

When we got back to the little house that we had been staying in through the graciousness of strangers, my mom was asleep on the couch and our three remaining children were in sleeping bags side by side on the living room floor. We stood in the doorway and held each other as we watched them sleeping. After watching for a few moments, one of us said what both of us had been thinking. "We are so blessed."

Really. Just think of all those parents who lose their first child...or their only child. When we left that hospital, all our parental hopes and dreams were not imprisoned within it's halls. We had living, breathing, beautiful children waiting for us in that cozy little home. We had a reason to drag ourselves out of bed the next morning.

When we spoke those words out loud, my mom stirred on the couch. She looked up at us and asked, "Is she...?" We nodded, and the tears came to her eyes. As hard as it had all been for Loren and me, it had to be just as difficult for her. I knew her heart hurt just as much for us as it did for herself. But she stayed strong through it all. I love her for her strength, both then as she allowed me to be strong when I needed to be, and to let go and cry when I needed it, and now as she has read all these posts. I love her for never having to pretend that any of us have forgotten how very much we loved Abigail.


Sheila said...

Beautiful posts thank you for sharing Abigial's precious life with us.


The Purvis Pendulum said...

you are amazing. I love you and your family and I am so gratful to have you as a friend. You will never know how much your friendship means- or how much it ment to me that you let me talk to you after my loss so openly. It was so healing to have someone to 'understand' how I was feeling. I'll never forget that. God bless hun!

MamaMcgreevy said...

Thank you for sharing Abigail's story here. Abigail's story had already left a mark on my heart, but reading it here again makes it indelible. She was an incredible gift from God and it still amazes me how she touched so very many lives in her short stay on earth.