Thanks to those of you who have prayed so constantly for us. Both Paul and I left our daughter's funeral with peaceful hearts, knowing that we had at last completed one of the most difficult jobs any parent could be asked to do. I'm certain it's only because of the prayers that we have been given peace at last.
Here are my thoughts on it:
Heaven is spoken of so casually that the word can almost seem cliche. As humans here on earth we can never expect to grasp the beauty of being face to face with God, but when we hear the word used so often and so loosely it makes it even more difficult to understand the magnitude of what it means to be in Heaven. If Paul and I could even kinda/sorta understand what it means to have delivered Phoebe safely into the arms of God then we wouldn't shed a single tear. We're not supposed to understand, and we don't need to. What we know is that we can't imagine the happiness that Phoebe has right at this very moment, and knowing that makes every tear and every minute of bedrest worth it. We are proud because we feel as though we have joined forces with Christ and His suffering to bring Phoebe to that wondrous place. When we went into the Church today, one of the first things I noticed was the display of a crown of thorns that was set up for Lent. It reminded me that Paul's and my sufferings are intrinsically united with those of Jesus, and it was hard, hard work for all three of us.
I relate everything these days to birth, since I am studying midwifery, and this reminds me so much of labor! The pain seems unendurable, but as soon as you see the "baby" it's all worth every second of it. Paul and I will see the fruits of this labor of love when we go to Heaven and realize the gift we were able to participate in giving to our little one. *Chuckle* Another way I relate this to labor is that all along the way for these past few months I have had moments in which I cried and said I "can't do it" - in those moments the Lord was at my elbow saying "Yes you can, I know without a doubt that you can." Reminds me of a midwife at a birth! The midwife is always right about that, as was God when He persistently said I could it. I did it! I did it, and I'm right proud of myself ( :
Late last week when I felt signs of labor coming on slowly, I wondered and thought it would be nice (if I had to deliver a baby who would die) to do it one Good Friday. I thought that would be a good day for it because it would have significance. Guess what? God had another secret surprise in store for me. Fr. Fasano introduced his sermon at the Mass today by saying, "Isn't it interesting that this funeral of a sweet innocent baby should land on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows?" My jaw dropped and that was the only time during the Mass that I cried! Me n' Mary have become real buddy pals throughout this pregnancy. I related to her seven sorrows so well; from the Prophecy of Simeon to the day she had to hold her Son's lifeless body in her arms. I knew that if ANYONE could understand my anguish, it would be her.
There is a painting in the Church of Mary, pregnant with Jesus, greeting Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. On some sundays when I was at my lowest I would look at it and say to myself, "They don't understand what I'm going through...they both went on to have healthy babies...". I looked at it today and thought to myself, "We all three saw our children die before us. NOW we all three have children in Heaven."
It truly has been on honor to be chosen for such a job. Grieving is to be expected until the day we make it up to Heaven also, but that is part of the price we are happy to pay for Phoebe's eternal joy. When I think about it that way I'm like...oh dear, Lord, I want to offer myself as a vessel for more little saints if You want...but *shew* doing this ever again is a terrifying thought.
If this blog is getting to long and boring feel free to stop reading anytime ( ; I'll keep on rambling and don't expect anyone to read it.
I feel that perhaps my life's purpose has been fulfilled.
Oh what was that last important thought I wanted to put down? .....hmm I dunno. Anyway, I thank you because I know that everyone we know has bee praying for our peace of heart, and we got it. I know there are still many dark moments ahead. There will be tomorrow morning, for example, when I wake a few hours before everyone else feeling like my breasts will explode because my body thinks I have a baby to nurse. There will be the days in June when I will hear of the births of the babies that would have been born around the same time as Phoebe, if she were healthy. But I do feel assured that we've made it through the worst, and again, it has been a very high honor to be chosen to do it.