How many? Simple question. Why does it have so many ramifications for me? It's been almost nine years since we lost our daughter. And yes, the days get easier...sometimes. But there are certain things that take me right back to the center of my grief. Like simple questions. How many kids do you have? Seems easy enough. I have four. Or do I? I've birthed four. I've held four. I've nursed four. I've changed diapers of four. I've loved four with all of my heart. I have a right to say FOUR. And sometimes I do.
And yet other times, I don't. On those occasions, my stomach turns. As if I'm betraying my Kaylee. Saying "you're not my daughter." How could I say that? How could I hurt my ladybug like that? I know it's not rational. But who said anything about grief being rational? I know that when I say three, everyone else is comfortable and it all makes sense. Except to me.
When I say four, I eventually have to explain. And sometimes people just totally weird out on me. Shut completely up. Change the subject. I wonder if according to culture there's a closeness that's required before something like that is shared. And I would imagine that some people who are around me often might be tired of hearing about my sweet baby girl and are wondering when I will get over it and get on with life. The answer: never. Never will I get over burying my child. Every day it's a struggle. Sometimes easier, sometimes unbearable. Talking about her helps me. Heals me. But there are reminders every day like these simple questions. I cannot escape it. I will not forget her. She's my daughter.
When I cover up Kaylee, I cover up what an amazing work God did in my family to get us through that time. I cover up the power and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And I miss the opportunity to share my faith and possibly minister to someone else dealing with similar pain.
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." 2 Corinthians 1:4
In the Bible when it talks about Job being restored, it says God "gave him twice as much as before." And then it goes on to give the actual numbers for his camels, sheep, and oxen and it was all exactly twice as much. Then it goes to say he have him 10 more children. If he was given twice as much, he should have been given 20. UNLESS, those original 10 children were still his. They weren't gone...simply waiting for him.
So my answer? Four. I have four beautiful, wonderfully-made children. And one day, we will all be together again.