Our journey of grief continues and the landscape changes daily. Some days I feel as though I'm coasting down hill and the wind feels amazing as it blows past my face. The next day I'm cruising along flat ground and I don't feel stressed, but have to work to feel joy. Then out of nowhere the terrain will change and the steep mountains arrive and I struggle with each step I take. A true journey. Ever changing and never boring.
Monday was a difficult day. I was coming down from a fun visit with two of my old friends from Ontario, Sadie's 3rd Birthday party and a whole lot of laughs. I went back to the hospital on Monday for the birthday party of a little girl that lived down the hall from Hope for much of our stay in Calgary. The hospital is difficult, but something I desire to conquer. I feel exhausted and overwhelmed there, but I felt like I was doing alright. Before leaving, Sadie and I went upstairs to the Cardiology ward to return some of the supplies we still had for Hope. The only visits we made to the clinic were during the time that we had Hope at home. It reminded me of the glorious days that I never realized were so precious and would be so few. They were testing the system and called a Code Blue while we were upstairs. It sent chills down my spine as the staff ran to answer the call and I knew that a similar team had been running to Hope in Edmonton on May 21st. It disturbs me to know that a place that was very much our home for almost a year, is now a place that lacks purpose in my everyday life. I was overcome with emotion.
This has finally brought me to the place that I needed to be. I have avoided grief counselling as we only have a certain amount of coverage and I feared that if I started before I was truly "broken" that I would run out and go broke trying to put myself back together again. I made my first appointment and will hopefully be able to work through the emotions under the surface that I have not begun to touch or process. It is also good timing as I saw our old cardiologist on Monday and he would like to meet with Shawn and I at the end of August to go through Hope's autopsy report with us. A meeting that will be difficult in our journey with grief.
As much as the last 48 hours have been an uphill climb, it is never without breaks. Out of nowhere will appear a place for me to rest and be reminded that we are not alone and are loved and cared for. Even today I had a special delivery to bring a smile to my face and remind me that an army walks alongside me. I am still in awe of the community that God has raised up around us and I am so thankful for that support.
I have not been able to shake the feeling of being rushed at all times. I am constantly asking Sadie to hurry up or do things quickly. I still feel an urge to get somewhere quickly. Hope is no longer here and I'm not in a rush to the hospital, but my mind still feels that I am. I want Sadie to experience the joy of playing, running errands and living life with a mom that can enjoy it. Would you please pray for me as I seek to find more patience, relaxation and joy in the small moments of life? Shawn refers to it as "fun mom" when my laid back personality breaks through the fog. I need "fun mom" to come back on a full time basis, well maybe part time so I'm not late for everything!
Sadie still talks about her sister constantly. She has asked if Jesus has wipes to clean up after Hope, as I wiped Sadie's bum. She told me that we only miss her because we loved her so much. She asked me if when we had a new baby, if the baby would be healthy. She even asked me how big people that die fit into the little box that Hope was in. No mother should have to explain to a 2 year old that coffins come in all sizes. Hope was dearly loved by Sadie and is still sharp in her mind. I am burdened by the truth that this will not always be the case and I seek to cherish the things she says about her now.
Today we received the books our friends made, 'Hope's Reach'. I have begun to read the stories that people sent in on how Hope impacted their lives. Shawn and I read many tonight as we laid in bed and were brought to tears. I look forward to the many hours that will go into finishing the book as we read along. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to read the stories and hear of her impact. We are also humbled. I was reminded tonight of how great our God is. A God that could use a tiny little girl to captivate the world. Much like the tiny baby Jesus that he used to bring life, and life to the fullest for us all. I still hope in my heart that the people touched by Hope's story will allow Jesus into their lives. I want to have a party in Heaven with all those that are there because of Hope's struggle and the way Jesus used her to show his love for our world.
I know that one day I'll be with Jesus and Hope in heaven. Until then, I live in a world that needs HOPE and I will do my best to help others find it. Sometimes climbing a mountain gives you a view of the world you've never seen before. It has truly opened my eyes and taken away the opportunity to be naive and believe that this is a beautiful place. True beauty is only found in Jesus and it is there that I choose to place my hope.