July flew in with changes and flew out with more; just like life.
Right smack dab in the middle of the month we celebrated Mabel's birthday. Leading up to this day I was feeling all the usual anxieties. Though the actual day came and I was ok, it wasn't without extreme moments of critical sadness. This day, of all days, is the most painful for me as her mother.
After all, I was blessed to give her life on this earth.
The night before the actual day we ended up staying at a friends house later than usual. Somehow that ended up being coordinated with another who decorated our driveway in the most beautiful way for our children. It was really a sweet surprise for me, but especially for them. To see her name is always astounding. It's like etched in writing that she was here. It's important..
Birthday morning was slow and easy. I woke with Rache on my front porch, as I kind of expected but didn't want to tell her. The day ended the same, late into the night on my porch; her holding me as I churned and ached with painful memories and gentle relief for my daughter in Heaven. We talked also of painful friendships; some so disappointing and others so unbelievably sturdy and necessary. It was a really sweet day to remember the first time I held her body, stroked her dark hair and breathed her in.
Every birthday after the day of her actual birth brought some sort of sad and painful milestone missed. We watched her get worse and her body grow weaker each year. On earth, each birthday was a reminder of how little time we would have to physically love her. Now that she isn't with us, there is an ease in knowing she will no longer suffer through those days just for our benefit of watching her grow. She will, instead, rest and run and live in eternity.
The greatest gift, for me, is knowing she is with our Father in Heaven.
So on July 16th we celebrated Mabel by drinking yellow coffee (made in her honor), buying birthday balloons and doughnuts to share, eating Mexican food and ending the day with chocolate cake, of course.
As I knew it would happen, even some of those closest to me; some who walked into the sacred room where she was dying and saw the changed color of her skin, and stood beside us as Matt spoke over her life at the cemetery and who held my shaking body in days and weeks that followed-chose to really passively and painfully cause unneeded stress and hurt on this day.
Some, though, who I least expected to be supportive, finally stood up from the rubble and spoke words that brought comfort, words that I had probably been waiting to hear for years.
So the yin and yang of life continues, as it always does. There is still disappointment even on the most excruciating days of our lives, causing more pain that should be necessary. And there is still joy there too. It's the undeniable version of life that is reality. Beyond that everything is uncertain but here, in the present moment, these things are absolutely guaranteed.
More changes have occurred this month, as well. Beautiful and fulfilling ones. I am really thankful and excited for this next, new chapter in life. I am thankful that as the days go by I can simply be still and know that God is directing my path, as He always, always has.