Friday, March 16, 2012

Two Years Ago Today, I Held a Piece of Heaven

Thank you so much, Crystal, from Calvin's Cupcakes
"A tiny flower, lent not given, to bud on earth and bloom in Heaven..."

It's March 16th. It's her day. A sacred day. Forever, I will think of her on this day and it will be set-apart for honoring, remembering, celebrating, and loving my first-born babe. I awoke early this morning, realizing I had slept through the wee hours, like most of the country did two years ago. Most of the country was in dreamland, blissfully unaware of my laboring through the night and going to Rex Hospital, only to discover a short time later that my daughter's tiny heart had stopped beating at some point in the days before. As I replay those events from two years ago, the memories come flooding back. Things I haven't recalled for a long time are fresh.

How might this day have been? Would my little peanut be awake yet, calling to me from her room, too excited to sit still anymore? Would I go to get her from her bed, her beautiful, big blues gazing up at me, capturing my heart once again? This would be the first birthday she understood more what was going on. Even if she didn't completely get it, she would know it was something very special and it was for her. What would the day be like? What things would we have planned for little Lily, all to honor her and make her happy?

Instead of what might have been, we will go down to the North Carolina vital records office to get a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. Something I didn't think I would be getting, but because of a recent law change, I will get this little piece of paper that says she was. I am so thankful for it and have waited to go on the day she was birthed. But, I don't need a piece of paper to tell me that two years ago today, I held a piece of Heaven in my arms. For a brief time, I held the little baby girl that has left me changed forever...

Today, her day, I will grieve the little girl that never once took a breath in this world. Yet, each time I take a breath the rest of my life, I will carry her memory and legacy with me, tucked away safely inside. I will grieve my baby, for that's what she will always be to me. Though, I didn't just lose a baby. This March 16th, what would be her second birthday reminds me of that. Time keeps marching on, not caring who it leaves behind. My little baby wouldn't be a baby anymore. She would be TWO! My two-year-old treasure. I lost a toddler getting into mischief, a little girl playing American Girl dolls, a teenager giving her life to Jesus, a grown lady being a voice for unborn life, a mommy to her own babies, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...I lost all the hopes and dreams tied up into this little girl. It wasn't just an idea that I lost. It was a person. A real, important, beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made LIFE.

I feel Lily all around me. And though it makes me tear up to think of my family eating red-velvet cake for a little girl who isn't here to celebrate with us....we will celebrate still. She is here....

"The heart that made you a mother still beats within yours. It beats with every beat of your own." ~Kala Waddell

She is here because I carry her with me. Always.

It is a sad day, but even more so, it is a beautiful day. My friend Faith said not to let me emotions rule, but let joy and praise rule instead. I awoke with tears and a smile...some sad tears, but mostly happy. Happy that she was and will be forever.

I actually have been excited about this day getting here. Last night, I felt the birthday anticipation and it felt good. It is amazing to have a day to call her own. A day where we can CELEBRATE HER LIFE!

This day, as I picture the two-year-old birthday girl, running around the halls with the excitement one gets only on their birthday, I imagine how her little feet might sound. With the ears of my heart, I can almost hear the pitter-patter of her little feetsies running up and down the halls of Heaven. Oh, I can't begin to imagine the glorious celebration over her precious LIFE! :'-)

Earlier today, it was dark and gloomy out, just as it was the day she was born. Just as it was her first birthday. I wonder if perhaps it will be like this each year on her special day, as a reminder that my precious Lord grieves with us. Then, suddenly, unexpectedly, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and a hint of blue could be seen. And it reminds me of this dance of sorrow and joy and how this whole journey is marked by tears of happiness and tears of sadness. God chose for Lily to be born in spring and I know that was not by accident. With spring, comes new LIFE, fresh hope. Even with the loss of Lily, I can have the hope that this sorrow is only for a short while longer. Then I will be with my girl for all of eternity! 
"Our LORD has written the promises of THE RESURRECTION, not in books alone, but in every leaf in Springtime." ~Martin Luther

The spring brings hope. It reminds me of the HOPE and LIFE I have in Christ.

Happy second Birthday in Heaven, my darling, set-apart Princess!

"I would rather have had one breath of her hair and one touch of her hand than an eternity without it."

For Lily's birthday, I would LOVE it if you'd light a candle for her, release a balloon for her, eat something red-velvety, eat hashbrowns for my little Spud, or do something special that reminds you of Lily. Then, I'd love it if you told me about it and send me a picture. It means so much to have others honor her with me. :-)

This is a video tribute I made in honor of Lily's special day. It is similar to 
the first one I created in 2010, but I made a lot of changes. For one thing, it 
now includes her actual heartbeat. :-) Be sure to pause the 
music at the bottom of this blog before watching. 
I will be posting later about what we've chosen to do for her very special day.

(Today is the last day to enter into the blog giveaway, in honor of Lily's birthday!)



  1. Such a beautiful tribute to your sweet Lily. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers today as you remember and celebrate her life.

  2. Happy Birthday Lily!!! Wishing you a wonderful day with all the angels, including my daughter Emmaliese. Such a lovely tribute. I had my hashbrowns this morning in honor of your little spud. You are such an incredible women and mother.((hugs))

  3. Thinking of you and your Lily Kate today. <3

  4. What a special day... Sending you {hugs} beautiful Hannah, and celebrating Lily with you from here...
    Hannah, as I was just quietly sitting, thinking of you and praying just now, the Holy Spirit dropped a picture into my mind and heart - I pray I can do it justice to explain it to you... It was Lily, dancing and twirling and running up and down a hallway in heaven; she was wearing a beautiful white dress. Another little girl joined her - this little girl was a bit smaller, but just as full of joy and wonder - this was my little sister, Hannah (her name meaning purity, grace and light - like you! She was stillborn in 2006, at 22weeks gestation). And they both danced together and played and giggled and oh - the joy! I can still hear the giggles echoing in my mind... And then at the end of the hallway Christ walked in, and outreached His arms and your Lily ran - she ran so fast - and jumped into His arms where He just held her tight and close.
    Hannah, I pray that today you would also find yourself running into His arms and feel the warmth of His embrace as He draws you close. You are a beautiful treasure; thank you for sharing Lily with us.
    Love, Rachael

  5. Happy heavenly birthday, beautiful Lily!
    Hannah you are such a strong wonderful woman of God. Lily has touched my life and heart! Hannah Your strength and courage has helped me to have strength and courage. This was the first blog I found after my Jonathan died. I just set and read, cried and found hope. I watched you beautiful video your so right this is only the begging......Lily's Legacy will touch many more. Saying a prayer for you sweet mama.

  6. I was going to comment yesterday, but I didn't have enough time. Beautiful post, Hannah, just lovely. After I watched the video, I got inspired and made something for Lily. Here it is:

    1. Wow, Marcia. Thank you so much! I was so honored by what you wrote and that you took the time to make something so beautiful for Lily Katherine! You are very talented. I am going to share it on my blog. :-)

      I also wanted to say, my sister is at her basic semester at Ellerslie right now and I am planning on making a trip out there for 10 or 11 days, probably from April 5-April 16. So, I will be there for graduation. Since we didn't get to meet during my basic semester, I'd love to meet you then. Maybe we could grab coffee at Alba's or something. You are a very special young lady of God! <3

  7. I have no doubt she was love and celebrated by you and so many others who have been touched by her life. She was definitely on my mind as were you.

  8. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  9. lots of love to you today ♥♥

  10. Thinking of you ♥

  11. Saw your blog, the other day and we had potatoes for dinner :)

  12. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  13. That was amazing and very beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your daughter with us!

  14. Wow!! so touching, ♥ hard to imagine going through

  15. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to Lily! I'm 53...never had a child of my own...and my only sister was still born like Lily. I was never able to say goodbye to my this tribute has special meaning to me! Your faith in the midst of this trial is amazing...and shortly...I will be posting a song lyric I was given on Jan. 1, 2003...that speaks of my own grief of never having a son or daughter to call my own. With God, I know all things are possible...and I'm still believing for my own children with my wonderfully beautiful new bride Carrie!

  16. My heart smiles and aches with you. We serve an amazing God who doesn't take the pain away, but walks ever so close during our times of sorrow. I'm sure my Nathan has met your Lily and they are running to Meet Jesus everyday and I see them taking turns getting to hold his hand as they walk and talk with him! One day we will meet them again and see the depth of God's plan for their little lives. Hugs to you today (and every day!) (I will light Nathan's special Candle for you guys today, just to remember her!)

  17. ((HUGS)) We are celebrating my mother's life today. She left us 30 years ago.

  18. Luke and I are going to eat spuds in her honor tonight. :)

  19. Hannah- This is absolutely beautiful. I am thinking of you and Lily on this special day and know that Lily is looking down on you and smiling that she has such a wonderful mommy. Lots of hugs coming your way!


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