Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Security Blanket

This time of year will always be bittersweet - no matter how many years pass, Springtime will always remind me of Grace. As new life begins to sprout up from the ground, it reminds my grieving heart that my sweet pea has also bloomed in heaven. I am in awe that it has been nearly three years since our sleeping beauty went to be with her Prince of Peace. I remember in those early days of grief wondering how I would ever survive each passing day - let alone three years? It is nothing short of miraculous that I am here three years later, not only surviving but truly living again.

I have felt a sense of strength in my spirit this year. God has strengthened my resolve and breathed new life and new dreams into my heart. After Gracie passed away I felt stripped of who I was for I became so wrapped up in her care and the care of my family. I felt like a toddler stripped of their security blanket and left to face the world without it. There were days I would cry out in tantrum - longing for her to be back in my arms. Truth be told I took Gracie's actual blanket (my favorite one in the picture above - made by my dear friend Kim) with me everywhere I went - literally EVERYWHERE for the first few months.

In the grocery store if I saw diapers or a baby toy I would reach in my big purse and out came the blanket. I didn't care if people thought I was crazy - I needed to feel her, remember her, and by clenching that blanket I was able to continue shopping. Or if I saw a familiar face or a Puraltaor Truck (that used to deliver her products) I would whip out the blanket just like a toddler would! Sounds a little crazy I know - but in those dark days of grief and depression it was what I needed.

I remember thinking I am never going to be able to give up her blanket! Will I be going to Olivia's high school graduation with the blanket in hand? Thankfully, God is my ultimate comfort and as the days turned into weeks, then months and now years I don't carry it with me throughout the day. I do still keep it close to me at night. It is a tangible way to remember her every night and thank God that she is safe in His arms every night as well.

This blanket was always with Gracie. It is so soft and the colours depicted her personality so well! It is probably the most treasured article of hers that I own. I made myself watch her video this morning - her video eulogy that was shown at her funeral. It is so painful to get through - but as I saw her wrapped in this special blanket, it brought comfort to my heart. She was wrapped in our love from day one, and as much as this blanket physically covered her, we as a family saturated our sweet baby with all the love we had!

Thank you for those of you who still read my thoughts and have followed our story of Grace. I know you loved her and our family. Your prayers have sustained us and again we would appreciate prayer covering over our family as we celebrate and remember the day Grace stepped into true healing - her heaven due date - March 3, 2009.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Precious Day of Love...

Tomorrow, February 14th, people everywhere will celebrate love. Valentine's day for our family takes on a whole new level of love as we reflect and remember Grace's day of birth and the profound love that entered our lives that day.

Gracie's dates are so special to us! When Feb. 12th 2008 came and went with no Gracie, our hearts were anxious and saddened and disappointed. I remember after crying from a long day in hospital and coming home with sweet baby still nestled within, I prayed. Although I was disappointed that no beds in the NICU were available for her, I just had to believe that God knew best.

Here is a note from Feb. 12, 2008 that I updated on my Facebook for friends and family...

We were so hoping to be introducing our dear Grace to you this morning but instead she is still safe within my womb!!! We arrived at the hospital at 630AM, I was admitted, dressed in a lovely blue hospital gown and was poked a few times by a training nurse for my IV. Then we waited and waited and waited until finally we were told that there were NOT enough beds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for Grace. VERY disappointing. We were so ready to meet her and hold her and just be done this 'waiting game.' We are trying to trust in the fact that GOD is in control and knows the perfect time for her to be born and we understand that she is safer within than to be born without a bed in the NICU. Please continue to pray, we need those prayers more than ever. We are so tired and the kids are tired of all of the change. It looks like the tentative date will be Friday at 11am? But they may call earlier? So we will try to keep you posted. Let's keep the faith and keep praying even more fervrently for healing and wholeness in our Baby Grace. We so appreciate each and every one of you and thank you for supporting us on this truly Amazing journey of Grace.

Nelia and Andrew and kiddies.

God did have another plan - He, in His great love for me, knew how much comfort Gracie being born on this day would bring me. I had no idea that Grace was on loan for such a short amount of time, but He did. Her dates of birth and passing bring a comfort to my heart and a reassurance to my mind. Even though my heart was so heavy & I was left feeling confused that day(Feb.12, 2008) the author of life saw what I just couldn't possibly see or know. Unthinkable pain was awaiting, but also immeasurable love and joy. I will always be so thankful that my sweet pea was born on Valentine's Day - the day we celebrate love!!!! She will always and forever be my sweetest little Valentine, a gift I will forever be thankful for.