Friday, July 5, 2013

A Promise of Days to Come

For my mom's birthday this year (which was July 2nd), I really wanted to give her a special keepsake to symbolize her being a grandmother. You see, she doesn't have any living grandchildren on earth and she deeply loves and misses Luke and Lily, her first grandchild and first-born grandchild. The loss of a baby doesn't just affect the parents of that child, but the entire family. My mom was so excited to be a grandmother! And her dreams came crashing down that stormy day in mid-March 2010. Now, it is really difficult for me, as her daughter, to see all her friends go on to have one, two, three (or more) grandchildren. And to know perhaps they don't even consider her a grandmother...

I am here to say my mom IS a grandmother... and an amazing one at that.

No matter how many future grandchildren there may be in my family (whether my children or my sibling's children) they will never be the first or second. They will never replace our beloved Luke or Lily. My mom is the most wonderful mother and grandmother that I know, truly. She loved me like Jesus when I was 20-years-old and called her to tell her I was pregnant out of wedlock. I had a heart of repentance and humility and wanted her to be a part of my journey that I knew would be difficult. She cried with me on the phone and in that moment, I knew I was forgiven. I knew that my parents would welcome me back home with open arms. They truly "walked their pro-life talk." Of course they weren't happy with the circumstances surrounding my pregnancy, but they saw and knew that I didn't need judgement and condemnation from them. They didn't act embarrassed or ashamed of me. They didn't love their grandchild any less because she wasn't "planned." They saw that I was already made pure before God, by the blood of my precious Savior. And they met me where I was, not saying my sin didn't matter, but realizing that it had been dealt with at the Cross. And God softened their hearts and gave them the grace to love me and my unborn child, in the time I needed love and support the most. My mom loved me unconditionally, in my brokenness.

My mom and dad supported me practically, spiritually, and emotionally throughout my pregnancy. My mom helped me prepare Lily's room. She shopped with me for her "granddarling," as she called her. She went with me to my appointments. She cared for me throughout all my sickness during my pregnancy. I truly don't know what I would have done without both my parents. When God spoke so clearly to my heart that He would work everything out if I obeyed Him and chose LIFE, He meant it...

Then, when Lily unexpectedly passed away, my mom was so supportive and strong for me... she took care of the funeral and burial arrangements. I was 20 and knew nothing of such things... not for an adult, let alone my baby. My mom was so strong, though she was completely devastated. She wants nothing more than to be a grandmother. And she is... I just wish her granddarling was here with her. Even though she's not here, the love in her heart is the same, if not even more so. My mom is the one person I can depend on in this world to celebrate, honor, miss, and remember Lily with me on days like her birthday, Christmas, and Mother's Day. I know I can cry on her shoulder and tell her how my heart is aching. I know she'll cry with me. Because I'm her daughter and I lost my daughter... three generations. We have a special connection between the three of us.

Not every parent or grandparent will be tested the way my mom has been... both with her child facing an unplanned pregnancy and with the loss of her first-born granddarling. I thank God for her support and love. I am so blessed that she loves Luke and Lily so very much, more than words can express.

As I said, I really wanted to give her something special to acknowledge her as a grandmother. I collect the Willow Tree figurines and have several of them, some my mom gave me. She really likes them as well, but nobody has given her one yet. I knew for a long time that I wanted to give her one, but didn't know which. I looked at the different grandmother options, but none of them spoke to my heart as much as "The Quilt."

When I saw it, I knew it would be the one I'd give her. I love how these figurines are simple enough that each person can give it the meaning they want. Even though this figurine isn't specifically for grandmothers, I can use it as such. One of the sweet memories I have from childhood is when my mom would rock and sing to me... something I dreamed of and longed to do with Lily when she was born. Something I know my mom also longed to do with her.

She did have the gift of rocking her briefly while in the hospital, after she was born. I am thankful for the photo we have of that sweet memory, though it's not a great photo. And Lily was already gone.


The actual quilt in this figurine is special as well because my mom made me a quilt seven years before my birth with the name Hannah Rose on it, before she had any children and had infertility. She felt that God had given her a promise that one day she would have a child to give the name of Hannah Rose (there's a lot more to this that I will share at some point). Anyways, we wish that we had wrapped Lily in my special quilt at the hospital for photos.

How I described the Willow Tree when I gave it to my mom: As a reminder of precious memories and days gone by and as a reminder of your hope and the promise of your future in Heaven and days to come. 

It's a reminder of the memory of my mom rocking me as a child... days gone by (as well as rocking Lily at the hospital). And it's a reminder of our hope in Christ and the promise of the future my mom has in Heaven... the days to come. She will hold and rock and know Lily again one sweet day, the way she's always longed to.

It was such a sweet moment full of tears when I gave this gift to my mom. She wants to frame the photo of her and Lily to put next to this figurine.

What a sweet image to think of her holding and rocking Luke and Lily in Heaven... it brings tears to my eyes to think when I get there (if she dies before me, which is how it "should" be) perhaps I'll find her holding her two grandbabies. I know she'll tell them all about me. They'll get to know each other before me... but that's alright. It brings joy to my heat to know one day they will be together and I won't be far behind...

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This post left me:

1 comment:

  1. This post is just beautiful. I am so glad you have this wonderful relationship with your mother. This is what makes a family a true family. My mother told me when I lost James Collins, Jr. that it would not have happened if I had been more of a Christian. James and I were very hurt. I couldn't believe my mother spoke those words to me. Hannah Rose, you are blessed!

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