Saturday, March 16, 2019

Her 9th Birthday

A beautiful baby girl that I carried, birthed, and love should be turning 9 today. It's my birthing-day.

9 years since I held that perfect-but-without-breath 7 pound 9 ounce and 21 inch body and saw my face in hers.

9 years of treasuring her life and mothering her legacy.

9 years of her name being written all over the world in the sand, snow, and everywhere in between.

9 years of writing and speaking about her.

9 years and the missing and love haven't changed.

Honestly, I am at a bit of a loss for words this year. I have been so busy with working full-time and taking Masters classes and just life in general that I've barely had time to process Lily's birthday and my memories and feelings surrounding it. Not only that, but I'm dealing with some difficult things right now, which compounds my grief with it being Lily's time of year.

Around her day each year, I like to go back and read my blog posts where I see how we've celebrated her on each of her past birthdays. This year, I honestly don't have much planned. It made me feel sad to see how many special things I've done in her honor in the past and guilty for not doing more this year.

As I was contemplating these feelings, I realized this is pressure I put on myself for no reason. Her birthday season might look different each year. Some years I might go to the beach or somewhere else different and fun, while other years (like this year), the plans may be more simple. Some years I might get a tattoo or deliver hospital comfort boxes, while other years I may celebrate in a quieter way. There is no need for any pressure because my love for Lily does not wane... despite what is going on or not going on or how many years have passed.

This year, I need things to be gentler and simpler. This year, I will cherish long-held traditions and the memory of her life within mine. This year, I will let go of the pressure or the need to do certain things or write certain words in order for her life to "count," in order for the great loss of her to mean something. She matters and nothing in all of the universe could ever change that. I love her and nothing will diminish my devotion as her mommy.

A sweet acquaintance turned friend named Liza told me last weekend how she read my words after she walked through one, and then two miscarriages, and was in a dark place. She said my sharing about Lily helped her to know it was okay to grieve and feel sad over something she had wanted so badly. She felt validated and it helped her share her journey publicly herself. She said she doesn't know she would have it weren't for Lily and my sharing. She said I could keep this all to myself and it would be understandable, but that she's thankful I share Lily with others and that others are able to get to know my girl and can join in and be a part of her life and story. In turn, Liza sharing her journey has helped me walking my own, as I know it has helped many others too. It's amazing how that works.

She went on to say that the reason Lily died wasn't to help and impact others. That wouldn't be reason enough for those who have lost a child. Jesus never brings or intends death, but in His power and love, He is able to use the seemingly most bleak and utterly wretched circumstances and pain for our good and His glory. I find comfort in knowing that even in death and suffering, God has brought beauty. There is much solace in that truth.

Having my friend share this with me touched my heart deeply. I say this every year, but it seems the Lord reserves special blessings for the month of March. I have gotten precious messages from blog readers, some who have followed along for years and I've never heard from. One had a dream about Lily this month. This month is marked as sacred and these messages and words about Lily carry me and encourage me to continue sharing my journey.

My journey this year is that I thought I didn't have much to share... but maybe it turns out I had more to say than I realized. I love all you who love Lily alongside me.

Here are pictures from March 16, 2010...

Here is Lily's song

Here are the blog posts I've written over the years, both on Lily's birthdays, as well as the posts about how we've celebrated her birthdays:


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