This weekend I surprised Daniel with an overnight date for our early anniversary. With Christmas and work, shopping and chaos- it seems like we don't make time for one another. At least not nearly enough. This year I have fallen deeper in love with my husband than ever before. I wanted to celebrate with him the obstacles we have overcome and the bridges we have built that have carried us over pain and sadness.
We finished shopping for the kids, had an amazing Italian dinner, held hands and reminisced. I wanted to come home late in the night. I missed our kids and our home. But we stayed and enjoyed a night of solid rest. It was good for both of us to wake up and truly look at each other. We welcomed the day slowly instead of the normal hurried pace that children often bring.
When we came home we continued our weekend with rest and some of our favorite holiday traditions. I held my kids tight and listened as they ran through the house noisily. I looked at Daniel on several occasions as if sending him to corral them and he responded each time with a simple,
"They're here. Just let them be noisy."
So we did.
We let them play, and holler, and argue and sing. We let them eat candy and tell stories and we laughed a little more with them than we had in the prior days. We exuded patience and gratitude that they are here with us still, for we truly never know when they will no longer be.
My home has become my refuge this year.
I am no longer sad and grieving the way that I was at this time last year. My mind is clear and I am plugged in to the events happening around me. There is still a haze and an irreplaceable feeling of sadness that lingers. Christmas is difficult, not just because our daughter has a disease but because there has been loss in our family before. Each loss has left a hole in us and it has changed things drastically. Time helps but the truth is that never will it feel the way it once did. We are trying hard to preserve these days for our kids who are innocent and curious. I pray that they remember being tucked in this house with me for weeks on end as a blessing the way that I feel like it is.
I truly don't feel a desire to get out. I have shut myself off from the outside world in order to re-focus. I'm here with them and I'm engaged in them. We are having conversations that only we know about. We are doing things that are unique to us. It's a time when this family is connecting in a way that we haven't in a long time. Distractions have been overlooked and we are seriously cherishing just being with each other.
The kids built their gingerbread house and then we watched as it cracked and broke.
It reminded me so much of this home of ours. Daddy tried so hard to make the icing beautiful but even in it's beauty, it fell apart. It didn't matter, though. However busted the outside appeared, the house in it's entirety was delicious and rich to the taste.
I smiled as the kids continued to feast on the candy, icing and gingerbread for the rest of the night.
I hope they find comfort in the sweetness of our own little home as well.
These days that used to be overshadowed by talk of disease and medicine aren't anymore. Seldom do we focus on it. Rather, we are living with our children and enjoying the things that we have today. I have tuned in so closely to myself and to the Lord lately and am learning things that are only for me to learn for this time. I am grateful that I have allowed myself to be at peace with the quiet and with the time that I am alone.
Today brought my most favorite gift.
I sent them out and drank them in.
I held Mabel and she was rigid and stiff. She fussed and choked as I stood watching the flawless snow fall. I reminded myself that whether sick or healthy, they are only ours for awhile.
It brought comfort and I pulled her in closer.
Things inside of me are shifting once again. It's just time.
But I feel like it's a much more clear version of that which I need to be focusing on anyway. It's a brilliant view of what has always been and will always be most important.
As the snow covered their cheeks and their hands were bitten by cold, I thanked God for the gift of white.
Pure. Spotless. Redeeming.
While I'm fostering this one, I am so desperately hungry for our true and lasting home...