I think the holidays will always get me a bit. The kids are off school, and I haven't been able to sleep in much. Today I woke up at 5:45, and am sitting on the couch with the Christmas lights on and am reminded of those days after we lost Norah. There were many nights where I would wake up in the middle of the night and come down and just sit here with the twinkling lights in the background. Greg would come down and find me sobbing and coax me back up to bed.
Each year that has gone has given me a bit more time to learn how to deal with the pain of losing one of our children. The pain isn't so sharp as it was four years ago, but I still think of her and still wonder what it would be like to have her here. I look at Cecilia and often wonder if she would even be here if Norah hadn't passed.
God gives us our stories, our history, and we can't escape them no matter how hard we try. If you would have asked me 10 years ago to predict the future for myself, I never in a million years could have contrived everything I've gone through since we lost Norah. The emotions that come along with an ovary loss, the loss of so much blood that caused a baby loss, the struggle to get pregnant again, the beauty of that rainbow baby, the loss of feeling on my right side, the loss of my ability to speak, the stroke, the many, many MRI's and CT scans, the memory loss, the therapy, the headaches, the doctors appointments with no answers.... It's been a lot!
After writing it all out like that, I can't believe that it all actually happened to me! I have to remember that I have a medical history now that I will always have to explain, but I will do it with gratitude--gratitude that I am alive to tell about it all, that it all happened to me, and I am still here standing.
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, I realized I've been so preoccupied with the getting ready. We've shopped, we've baked, we've seen Santa, we've looked at Christmas lights. The kids are excited, and I can't wait to spend Christmas day playing with all their new things. But for a moment I will remember Norah and think about her being in our crazy mix. God sent me that baby to save my life in many ways. Just like He sent us Jesus to save us from our history, from all the things that bog us down, from all our sin. This is the greatest gift any of us can receive! I will receive it with joy and gratefulness, will you?