Today marks the 4th birthday of our precious, Molly Ann. It really seems like just yesterday that she was here and then again it feels like it's been forever since I held her and kissed her soft, sweet skin.
I've been thinking about this special day for over a week. Trying to process how I feel and what I want the day to look like. I have learned in the past few years that the days leading up to a birthday or home-going day are often harder than the day itself. When the day comes and then passes, it feels almost like I've been holding my breath and am finally able to breathe again. As a mom of two busy toddlers, I have to admit that finding time to celebrate and grieve has been quite the challenge this year. Last year I don't remember a bunch of what we did, except that I probably had two nap times that day to sit and think and the girls were younger and not even walking just yet.
As I was folding laundry today, I thought back to the first 2 years of missing Molly and how I had all the time in the world to grieve, cry, sleep in, take a nap, write in her journal, go sit at her doorway, etc. I thought to myself, "Wow, I envy those days." And those that have experienced a loss know exactly what I am talking about. I do not wish Piper and Lily weren't here, I just wish I had a few more hours to myself that I used to have before I had kids. Grieving has taken on a new look as we have been blessed with additional children.
So today has been really hard for me. I mean, I feel depressed really. I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't take a shower and I really needed to, I don't really care what the girls eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and I just want to sleep, sleep, and sleep some more. But since I can't just sleep the day away, I have pushed on and done the bare minimum until it was getting close to the twins going down for naps.
I was feeling really lonely in my grief and heavy with sadness and that's when God used one of my daughters to whisper to my heart that He cared and was listening more than I realized.
I was standing in the upstairs hallway taping a photo of Lily back to her birthday poster when I heard her come running down the hallway from my room and saying something that sounded a lot like, "Mommy sad." Surely she isn't saying that, she is probably just repeating something that Piper said or talking about Mommy's hat or something that sounds like sad. I am realizing that a lot of words they say sound alike so I honestly didn't think much about it.
I continued what I was doing until she came right up in front of me and repeated the phrase. Yeah, it really sounds like she's saying I'm sad. How did she know that? Surely at age two, she can't tell that I am fighting tears and so sad. How could she have known that?
She stood right in front of me and I asked her what she said and she just repeated it again. "Mommy sad." I asked her if she said that I was sad and she nodded her head with a little "yeah it's true Mom" look on her face. I smiled and then she put her arms out for me to pick her up, which happens a lot these days. But instead of me just holding her, she wrapped her sweet little arms around me and hugged me tight, with her head on my shoulder. Her little voice whispered in my ear, "Hug." I told her thank you and then she wiggled out of my arms and ran back to whatever she had been doing before.
Apparently she had been sitting on her Daddy's lap and pointed to a photo of Molly that we have in our bedroom. He told her that it was her birthday and that Mommy is sad and probably needs a hug. He said that she hopped down off his lap and ran out of the room. He figured she would forget or get sidetracked and he also didn't know that I was just down the hallway where Lily was on her way to warm my heart.
God is so good to us. So gracious and loving to come near to us, even through the simple words of our kids. I am so grateful for Lily's tender heart and spirit that knew something was making Mommy sad and that I needed a hug as well. What a sweet little gift it was.