Saturday, September 20, 2008

Looking back

When I was pregnant with Aubrey and Ellie I would put on worship songs and hold my son above my pregnant belly and dance around the room with him to the music. He would put his head on my shoulder and I would whirl around holding all my babies at once, one in my arms, two in my belly. I often reflect on this precious memory. It comforts me in a very sad way. I close my eyes and see myself dancing with all my children so contently, unaware that soon I would lose the two in my belly. It was one of those rare experiences in life when time seemed to stop and the blessing of that moment washed over me like warm rain. It became an imprint on my heart.

Looking back I see how God helped create that memory as a gift to me. He must have known how much I would need it in the days to come. I didn't know at the time that holding all my babies at once would be a memory of the past and not a normal part of my future. I thought I had the rest of my life to hold them.

It is sad that my arms are empty now but I am thankful that I got to hold them at all, even if it was while they were still inside my belly. Once they were born my dreams of holding them were stolen from me. I was not allowed to hold Aubrey or Ellie because they were too small and sick to be handled. I could only look at them through the glass and touch their tiny hands. I would have given anything to hold them for just a minute. When I finally did get to hold them the first time was the last time. I held them in their final moments of life. Each one died in my arms.

I regret never holding them both at the same time. I don't even know if I would have been allowed to, but I regret never even asking to. I wanted so badly to have a picture of me with a baby in each arm. I also wanted my son to get to hold them. It makes me sad that my son never got to hold his sisters. We lost so much when we lost Aubrey and Ellie.

I also regret that they were not able to touch each other after they were born. I always wondered if they knew they were not together anymore and if they missed each other. The evening Ellie died Aubrey took a turn for the worst and I have always wondered if she knew her sister died and she missed her. Maybe she didn't want to live without her? I can't blame her. I didn't want to live without her either.

I didn't want to live without either one of them and certainly not without both of them. Knowing they are together gives me peace though. That is why we buried them in the same casket. I cannot imagine them without each other. If they couldn't be with us, at least they could be with one another. I know God is holding them both right now since I can't. They are not alone.

To be honest though I would prefer to hold them myself. I would give anything to be holding them now.

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