This evening I got the exciting message, "she's here!" Today my sister delivered her 5th child and my 4th niece. She looks beautiful and is a healthy baby girl. I felt great, I was excited for my sister and thankful that she arrived safely. Driving home from a friend's house, minutes from my own house, I had to pull over to let an ambulance pass. I have always been irritated by those cars that move over slowly or can't seem to get out of the way fast enough. I have always thought, "what if the person inside is someone you know? Move over quickly!" I now instantly think of Hope and the lights flashing and sirens blaring as they waited for people to get out of the way, rushing her to the Stollery last May. It was in the ambulance that Hope crashed and began to go downhill so quickly. Every time an ambulance rushes past me, the tears quickly rush down my face. I can't help but think of her and wish that somehow that ambulance had gotten to the hospital faster and that they had been able to find a way to save her.
Tonight, celebrating this new precious life in our family, I mourn the loss of Hope's life. It's an odd feeling to be overjoyed and deeply grieved at the same time. How can I cry and grieve on such an exciting day? I feel guilty for thinking of myself when my new niece has just entered the world. Hope was 13 months old, but she still bore the qualities of a newborn. Babies will always remind me of Hope, not lifting her head securely, never speaking and not truly eating real food. She was always a newborn in my eyes.
I realized this week that although being away a great deal this summer was a welcomed distraction, it was also exhausting. I'm finally home for the rest of the summer and I feel completely wiped. Tonight, 6 days after returning to Calgary, I am finally doing our laundry and slowly putting things away. That may be normal for a lot of people, but I'm usually way too anal for that. I simply can't seem to get back into the groove and I'm hoping this next week will allow me to get back on track. I'm tired of feeling like I'm behind on a million things. I still have a huge stack of thank you cards waiting to be written. People that have loved on us in some way and never heard back from me!
This Wednesday will mark the 3 month anniversary since Hope's death. I drove past a florist this week and saw a sign that said, 'August 21st- Rose Day'. I have no idea what Rose Day is, yet I found it oddly comforting that this 21st came with something beautiful, roses. The 21st days are the most difficult. I read a book by another family that had lost a child and they spoke about the monthly anniversaries and how difficult they were for the first year especially. I dread knowing that I have another 9 to go and will also have to endure; Christmas, Easter, her 2nd Birthday and even silly holidays like Halloween.
I continue to believe that God's ways are greater than my own. I know that his plans are best and I trust in that. It does not soften the blow or lessen the pain of being without Hope though. Her room is still empty, there will always be constant reminders and I still refuse to wash the shirt I was wearing the night she died. Sadie still brings her up almost daily and will often play with an invisible friend she calls Hope. Every doll is now Hope and each stuffed animal is given her name as well. She is not forgotten in our home.
Tonight I praise God for new life, the healthy life of a precious baby girl. I also ask the Lord to give my baby girl the hug I'm not able to give her myself.