Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In Like a Lion

True to the saying that March comes in like a lion, there's a blizzard going on outside my window at this exact moment! Thankfully we're all snug at home. Paul's been working longer hours lately, what with the demands at work due to the economy, and with an hour commute each way, he's been getting home pretty late at times. But tonight he's at home, already in bed. He's home with the flu or food poisoning (he went out to eat last night for work). We won't know which until someone else gets sick. Should be an interesting 24 hours or so.

The weather is a huge contrast from yesterday morning. It seemed like spring was finally here. During breakfast we could see two coyotes playfully hunting mice at the edge of our property (1000 feet from the house). We saw multiple male pheasants beating their wings and calling out to find a girlfriend. The driveway (loose term for 400 feet of dirt) had some spots that slightly resembled quicksand. And Ethan was finally able to pry the hat and scarf from our long-departed snowman off the ground with little effort.

In all honesty, I'm kind of dreading spring. Winter is the season of rest. For nature as well as for our family. There's so many things to be done during the other three seasons: planting, tending, weeding, mowing, harvesting. It just doesn't seem to end until the snow flies again. Winter has been my season of grief and my grief is not yet over. Like I've said before, it sneaks up on me and pounces and I find myself a complete wreck for a few hours or the day. Winter has been conducive to grieving, allowing enough time to be sad for awhile and then move on. I'm afraid things will get so busy this spring, that I'll find myself not grieving, only to be assaulted later on by all the sadness built up that I didn't have time to feel.

I miss Felicity so much! On Saturday I led my local breastfeeding group and I saw a friend's baby girl who was born a few weeks before Felicity. She was so sweet! She babbled and cooed and was such a reminder to me of Felicity and what she would be like right now. It hurt but it felt good too. Weird description, I know, but I don't know how else to describe it. Then on Sunday, I was scheduled to be in charge of the nursery and due to a friend's illness, I was in there during both Sunday School and 2nd service. We have a small church and currently only one infant in our church family. He was born just two weeks ago and I wasn't sure if his parents would leave him in the nursery or not. I assumed they wouldn't, but mentally I had to prepare myself if they did. They didn't, but his mom came into nurse him and then later to change him. Seeing him felt good and sad too. Congratulating his parents was so hard! I'm so thankful they have a healthy baby, but I miss my daughter so much and I can't help but wonder "why me?" What qualifies me to lose two babies in less than five months?

Winter fits my mood. Spring seems too happy for me and I'm not ready for that yet. Lately, I've been reflecting on Mary, the mother of Jesus, and thinking about what her life and grief were like. To bear a son, knowing that He would become the Messiah for His people. How could she live, wondering all the time, when and how it would happen? Luke 2:19 says, "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Did she contemplate that the angel's promise might involve Jesus' death? My grief seems so petty in comparison to that. And yet, it is MY grief. Only I can bear THIS mother's grief. And wait. . . . .

4 comments:

Persuaded said...

i think of you often, and pray for you daily my dear...



you mentioned that you were leading a breastfeeding group... are you by any chance a lll leader? i ask because i used to be one myself, and thought that would be a neat coincidence if you were one too☺

Molly Koop said...

Rachel,
Since you mentioned the grief of Mary, I wanted to make you aware of a beautiful reflection that might help you in your time of grief. Mary, in this way, is often called "Our Lady of Sorrows".
The Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) are events in the life of Mary which are a popular devotion and are frequently depicted in art. There are prayers and reflections associated with these and I can get them to you if you want, but I'll just list the sorrows and their biblical references for now. You can contact me if you want more. It is clear that Mary knew from the beginning that although her life would be very blessed, it would also be filled with much sorrow. And how much more sorrowful it must have been for her as she had perfect love for her perfect Son.

1. The Prophecy of Simeon over the Infant Jesus. (Luke 2:34)
2. The Flight into Egypt of the Holy Family. (Matthew 2:13)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days. (Luke 2:43)
4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary along the Way of the Cross. (Luke 23:26)
5. The Crucifixion where Mary stands at the foot of the cross. (John 19:25)
6. The Descent from the Cross where Mary receives the dead body of Jesus in her arms. (Matthew 27:57)
7. The Burial of Jesus. (John 19:40)

Upon my own reflection, I have been able to think of an experience I had with Henry that closely mirrors Mary's experience with Christ. It has helped me to unite my sufferings with her and know that she prays for my suffering as well.

This is a holy season where we are able to reflect on the sufferings of Christ as well and be united with Him in His passion. What joy will come to our hearts on Easter morn!

My prayers are with you,
Molly

Jennifer Ross said...

I hear ya. It's very hard for me to look at other pregnant women and newborn babies. When your baby dies, your left incomplete.

I look foward to spring so I can visit Isaiah's grave more. I want to make his grave beautiful with flowers. When I do special things for him at his grave, I feel like I am taking care of him, just like I would be by giving him a bath here at home.

~praying for you and your family~

Jenny

Heidi said...

Spring is also a time you can plant Felicity her own garden. You can plant real flowers at her gravesite and her stone will be able to finally be placed.

Spring will be busy, but that business will not leave Felicity out!