Saturday, November 23, 2013
Madeleine's baby book
Even when I was pregnant with her, God gave me signs. Perhaps I didn't want to believe them as real signs. As hindsight is 20/20, I know now. It doesn't bring me peace or tears but to me it reaffirms that God has always had His hand on her.
Like every mother I believed I had a special baby in my belly. In a time of mourning for a close person's miscarriage, I felt guilt that my baby was continuing to grow into our 6th month. Immediately after these thoughts and spoken words, I felt something different: this baby was different. I didn't feel this with her sister; what is different? Why is this one "special?" Now, we all know.
Three months later, Madeleine was born 7 days before her due date. October 2 is the feast day of the Guardian Angel.
Today as I got out her baby book and was explaining to Annalise how God put a tiny little her inside my belly to grow, we started remembering Madeleine's birthday. I decided today was a good day to contribute to both of their books.
Back when I was pregnant, I saw a baby book inside the cart of another pregnant woman in Costco. I looked everywhere and couldn't find another one. Why did I want THAT book, why not any other one? I told my mom about it. She ended up buying it for us.
Today, as I went through Madeleine's book, I had a moment. Another moment of God's clarity. Annalise's baby book I just finished writing about her 4th birthday. And Madeleine's book: it's Baby's First Year. Just one.
Somehow I made it through this morning without crying. Pages that used to make me deeply sad, I used my favorite pictures to cover up those words that I couldn't respond to because my baby was so special, so different than most other babies. The day she stood up all by herself to play her little piano on the table. The peeky boo picture of Madeleine covering her face. The day she learned to hold her own cup.
I miss her so much. And today I realized God's comforting hand upon me. He tried to show me that she was so special, that she was chosen for his glory. I never have believed that God gave her cancer. I know that God did not give Madeleine cancer. I do know because I witnessed it, Madeleine's unfailing faith that she felt His grace. He taught so many through her. He took a terribly tragic circumstance and has been using it for His glory. He continues to prepare the rest of us for the rest of His plan for us. The human in me, in us, will never accept her cancer, her suffering, her death as just. It's not fair. A child deserves....the human in me, the mother, says she deserves to grow up, to have all of life's wonderful opportunities. The Christian in me says she's so lucky she frolics and plays in heaven. She won't experience any more of a human's suffering on this earth. I hope one day I can really think and believe this way all the time. Because I still regularly feel like we got robbed, cheated, destroyed by losing her.
In May I will become a fully converted Catholic. The journey I'm currently on is building my intimacy with my God, who I feel extremely close to right now. I spend more time with Him now than I have in a very long time. We fight, I scream at Him, and He still loves me, still comforts me. Since going back to work I have to keep my guard up during the week just to function; on the weekends I melt into myself, my family, my God. It is really the only way. The only way to feel hope that this suffering will end. One day I will meet my maker, thank Him for His blessings upon my life and embrace Him, and be reunited with the wonderful amazing child he lent to me to love, to grow in my womb and change my life forever.