The tears start almost the second I open my eyes. Why am I surprised by this? After all, shouldn't I be crying since today is the day that represents what should have been? A day filled with joy at the arrival of our little girl. But instead life tends to be a bit of a fight now. I mean a real battle of my emotions, which this week I felt like I had been conquering for the most part. I get tired of crying, and knowing that this day was approaching, I had been fighting for some sense of joy and normalcy all week.
However, this morning I didn't want to even get out of bed. But I got up anyway. Because I knew I had to. Whether she can really see me or not, I want my little girl to be proud of her Mommy. So I get up. For her. I choose to keep going, not because I really have a strong desire to seize the days or face the world, but I have to choose to take steps forward. And today that meant starting by getting up. More than grief, I want to celebrate and honor Dani's little life. And I want others to as well.
I look at my Bible app and Psalm 23 appears from where I had been reading last night. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me..." Even though I may not be the one facing death, I am certainly affected by it now. And God's Word reminds me that He is with me. Then my sweet husband texts me reminding me that he loves me and we are in this together. What would I do without him? Next, the doorbell rings. Beautiful flowers are waiting. From a sweet friend who remembers Dani's life often and isn't afraid to talk about her. This isn't the first time in this journey that God has used others to encourage me to keep going.
So even though the tears flow continuously like rain (and I know that's okay), I try to think of what I can do for my baby. I have found that it helps me to find things to do FOR her. I pull out her baby book and work on finishing it...something I haven't had the courage to do up to this point. And later we will get fresh flowers and visit her grave. (I am thankful in a strange way for this spot to go. I know that's not where Danielle really is, but with my first baby I didn't have this.)
God has been gracious this week to give me glimpses of perspective. Reminders of how broken and sinful this awful world is. These last four months, I have understood, felt, and been more grateful than ever that Jesus conquered death. Though I selfishly want Danielle with me every day, if it came right down to it, how could I wish her away from the perfect peace she is enjoying in heaven to come live down here? So instead, I will look forward to the day when I can go join her.
I sit here writing with Danielle's little dress and hospital blanket by me, but also surrounded by other things given to us by special people. Things that were given to show us that they remember and love our Dani too. The sweetest thing that lifts this Mommy's heart is when people talk about my daughter by name. So, yes, please continue to pray for us as walk this road. We still desperately need it. But also thank God with us today for this wonderful blessing named Danielle Grace. God has used her little life so much already, and we pray He will continue to.
Dani Grace, you may have a different (and much better) address now, but you are remembered and loved so much! Especially by Mommy and Daddy. Can't wait to see you again, our little Monkey. :)