This year, we have our own grief closer to home to process. I'm focused on "gracefully" getting through Gabriel's first birthday on 9/12, the day his twin sister didn't live to see.
Still, I didn't expect today to be as hard as it was. I had non-stop activity from 8:30am to 9:30pm, most of that outside the house, and I saw 40 of my kids today (a rarer event than I'd like), but it still wasn't enough distraction. My mind kept wandering to the events of a year ago today.
Maybe Gabriel and Gabriela were actually born today then left to die in the riverbed the next morning. Who did it? Why? Are they remembering the babies today? Do they regret their decision? And my tortured questions: why would God have them be rescued only to take Gabriela home a few months later? Why couldn't the best doctors in the city save her? Why did the chicken pox have to infect her brain, a one-in-a-million complication?
Of course, the virus infected Gabriel's lungs, and he pulled through. A double survivor!
Since yesterday, preparations have been in full swing for the birthday party Tia Luz and her daughters are putting on for our special Gabriel. This afternoon I checked on cake preparations in the kitchen and as Maria iced Gabriel's cake, jokingly asked if the smaller cake was for her since tomorrow is also her birthday. I almost didn't believe her reply: "It's for Gabriela. That's what Tia Luz told us." The tears and emotions immediately sprang up and without saying anything because I didn't have a single word in reply, I fled the kitchen.
Even though I consider myself a detail-oriented person, in 7 1/2 months it never once crossed my mind to make a cake for Gabriela. It's so sweet, but so painful at the same time. I could barely form a thought for 30 minutes after they told me, aching to hold and see her again, until I had to lead a meeting and simply had to pull myself together.
Tonight as I unwind and recover from an intense week full of work on every front, I caught up on the Piper's blog, a family whose baby was stillborn two years ago. The latest post was very comforting: "Today is a Re-living Day" . This has been the year of unending tears for me. By the end of January I considered myself well over a year's quota, but was nowhere near done!
Thank you Lord, for reminding me that You care when we hurt!
You have kept count of my tossings;
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?