Thursday, April 4, 2013

Life goes cruelly and beautifully on ...

'When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable."~ Kahlil Gibran

We still have such an abundance of joy in our lives despite the sadness that can permeate our days.Some wonder how that can be.But I have to say that we have never, since Zoey's birth,lost our ability to glance to our left or right, and find that things could indeed be worse. We have been able to say unequivocally, that goodness and beauty still flows through our family and beyond.But that clarity can only come if we make the choice to lift our weary and worn heads and hearts and see beyond our grief. We may have to remind ourselves more often through some of the trials and tragedies we have had to find our way through but for the most part,we circle back to gratitude. Losing Grace has truly called us to dig deep for that gratitude, that is for sure, but from moment to moment we just simply do our best and that will have to be good enough for now.

In the 7 weeks since Gracie's death, we have had 3 birthdays to celebrate. One being her sweet mommas. And we have celebrated. The best that we were able and tomorrow, we will do it once again. Tomorrow, Jessica Leigh turns 26. Seriously? This sweet little babe of mine, is 26? Hardly seems possible.

And me, I was practically a baby myself. All 22 years of me, who had this child, that absolutely saved me from myself.  A wake up call. A gift. And she knows that. And my mom in this picture,look at her. Mostly look at her hand in motion. My mom did that patting of babies backs like nobodies business. I learned from the best. And I miss her everyday.

I remember each of these pictures, and when and where they were taken, vividly. Like yesterday, vividly. And Jessica's hair, in the one with my mom holding her, was our first trip from NY to California. My mom started doing that little curly-q thingy on her head that trip out. I kept it up until all those ringlets came in themselves and boy did they come in.

As I poured over pictures it was so hard to choose.Especially because most of the super good ones are in the five, yes I am crazy, five scrapbooks, I made for her when she graduated from high school. So I needed to stop someplace and these seemed as good a place as any. She was five in these and five is such a magic number and that girl of mine, she is pretty magical, if you ask me.

 And here we are, 26 years later and her life has some amazing and magical things happening in it. Mainly the upcoming marriage to her guy of 7 years, Matt. We sure are looking forward to their summer wedding but something tells me no one more then the two of them. And, almost 6 years to the day that Zoey was born, life flighted out and went on to spend the first 3 months of her life in the NICCU at CHLA, Jessica began her journey there, as a neonatal nurse in the critical care unit, taking care of fragile babies, just beginning their precious little lives. A first in the history of CHLA's NICUU, that a sibling of a former patient came back to be a nurse there. Everyone finds it remarkable and maybe no one more than I. Full circle and incredible. And simply beautiful.

So tomorrow we do the sorrow and joy little dance yet again. Another thing we have gotten proficient at. And tomorrow as we make our way through the day, we will pause and be thankful that life does indeed go cruelly and beautifully on. 


Karol said...

Well said, my far away friend. I just told someone recently that we absolutely must learn to allow sorrow and joy to coexist. Without this we cannot, will not survive. Sending prayers for you and wishing I could be there to give you a warm hug.

Reagan Leigh said...

Missing you friend! Love those pics! And that beautiful curly hair! You sure do have some pretty, amazing kiddos!!!

Meg said...

Beautiful post and a wonderful reminder to look beyond the sorrow to the joy that is still here. Hugs to all.

Rochelle said...

Sitting here in tears as I usually do when I read your posts. Happy birthday Jessica. Full circle indeed. Love all the pictures.

Anonymous said...

lovely post Heather Oh yes those
blond curls along with Caitlin's curls they were indeed awesome. (and still are) I'm looking at Jessica's photo as I type this. The one where her hair is in braids - I have it on my desk along with sisters Caitlin & Taylor.

Truly is amazing that Jessica is now working in the same place as Zoey in her first few months of life, Full circle indeed!

Happy Birthday Jess....


Aunt Bluebelle

PS looking forward to the wedding..

Elizabeth said...

Your girl is so beautiful -- I wish her the happiest of birthdays and all of the peace and happiness in the world to all of you!

Bea Braun said...

I need a box of tissues every time I read your posts!!! What wonderful pictures! 5 scrap books - wow :) I'm glad you are celebrating the joyous moments. Looking back at those pictures and remembering each of those special moments is a treasure. Happy birthday to Jessica and Caitlin. Big hug to everyone.

Cammie Heflin said...

You know how I love ALL of your kids, they are all amazing and I can say that because I've met them! I adore Jess and you should be so proud of her, she is truly amazing just like her mama. Love and miss you so much, really hope we see each other soon!

Twilson9608 said...

Your Zoey is beautiful! Just happened to have run across your blog and saw her.. Had to say that I thought she was precious! Blessings, Making the Most of Today