Repost from December 27, 2012: Eleven years. Wow. Time passes by so quickly when we aren't looking. Sometimes it seems like a blink of an eye, yet at other times, a whole different lifetime. The picture on the right was taken just a day before Kaylee went home to meet Jesus. I like to believe she's praying for us in it. It makes me smile. Somehow it's as if she knows what the next day will bring.
Burying a child isn't normal. But even harder still is the simple task of living after such a tragedy. People ask me how we got through it. But you're never THROUGH it. That suggests some sort of finality or ending. The pain of losing a child doesn't end. It's a wound that never heals.
Thank God for a Savior that tends to that wound on a daily basis. Another death, the holidays, a birthday, a familiar laugh, a special toy or song, all or any of these things split the scar wide open again. Only the salve of Christ's love can ease the pain. Cover it so nothing else gets in there and makes it worse. Protect it from infection of bitterness, anger, and other things of this world that tend to find their way into our hurting hearts.
Later today we will make a ladybug cake. We'll sing and celebrate the birthday of my little girl who is not here with us. My little girl who never got to have a birthday party. Never got to learn to play piano. Never got to swim. Never spoke a word. Never had a first kiss. The nevers could go on and on. They are endless. And they are where the bitterness lie. I cannot go there. At least I cannot stay.
I tell my boy, Kaleb, who struggles with anxiety and some pretty intense emotions, "Don't focus on the bad, think of the GOOD things." So that's what I will do.
For three months, I got to hold the most beaufitul baby girl of all time. I got to nurse her and love her. I got to see her first smile and hear her first coo. I got to give her her first bath and feed her her first cereal. I got to comfort her when she cried. I got to hold her in my arms when she left this world. And I get to love her forever.
So yes, today we will bake a cake and sing and celebrate the birthday of the little girl that changed our lives forever. Looking forward to the day when we can all celebrate together.