Friday, March 6, 2015

Cocoons and Butterflies

Sunday is the 23rd month anniversary of Amy's passing and Monday will be Amy's 2nd birthday in heaven. If she was still here on this earth we would be celebrating her 33rd birthday.  Instead Bill and I are spending a long weekend away. We will be remembering Amy and celebrating her life in our own way, as only we, as her parents, can celebrate her life.... no longer lived with us.

This past month we did celebrate a birthday. Our first since Amy has been gone that we sang and had candles to blow out. (Well, one candle.) Tessa's birthday was celebrated on February 16th. We went to a local restaurant as I didn't feel like cooking and after the meal they brought out a piece of cake with a candle in it. We all sang as I held William in my arms. I kept it together while I was there but I cried most of the way home.

The last few weeks I have been sewing for the baby and getting ready for Tessa's shower. I made all of her presents that I gave her. They didn't cost much, but they came from my heart. 
A minky butterfly print on one side, cotton on the other, and silky edging all around.

A butterfly lovey out of the minky fabric.

 I took six of Amy's hangers and covered them with yarn. Then I sewed a butterfly charm on each one of them

 My mom makes painted silk scarves and I was able to take a portion of two of them and make hair bows for the baby. I used these as a bow for the top of the present.

This special present is almost 38 years old. This was a hanky I carried in my wedding and then made into a bonnet that I wore on Tessa when I brought her home from the hospital. She carried it in her wedding and then I turned it back into a bonnet for her little girl.

I took a few pictures at the shower before it got started and then the rest of the pictures were on Tessa's camera. A good friend of Tessa's did all the food with Laura and Emily's help.

  I was in charge of the decorations. 
Mementos from Brad and Tessa's childhood and Tessa's own baby book and guest book for the shower.   The bulletin board in the background shows her dedication dress and the flannel sacque I brought her home from the hospital in.


Friends from birth.
I tried to keep it simple. Tessa had a few ideas from Pinterest and we had a  tulle and butterfly theme.  I had butterfly cut outs on the table and stuck to the ribbons on the balloons. I also pinned them to the tulle curtains on the windows. We spent the most time on 4 bulletin boards where we displayed her and her husbands baby pictures and baby clothes. 
The evening went well. We had a full house and Tessa got everything she needs to start out.  I was so exhausted and so my emotions were at the breaking point. Once again I was able to hold it together until right as we were leaving and I gave Tessa a hug and told her Amy would have loved the party, with all the balloons and butterflies. I had a good cry afterwards. Tessa told me later that Amy had the best seat in the house. She was there with us and enjoying all we did. 

Why can't I have that attitude? Sometimes it is so hard not to have her physically with me. 
I have been in such a slump for the past few weeks. I have been missing Amy so much and crying often. 
I could blame it on a lot of things:
A few weeks before we had gotten Amy's baby clothes out of the attic and Tessa went through them and decided what ones she wanted to use for her little girl. 
The anticipation of the new baby and the worry that she and Tessa will be okay. 
Remembering two years ago and the days with Amy in the hospital.
Finding out that Bill will have to have more surgery next week as his shoulder is not healing correctly.
The thought of spring coming soon, the busyness of the business, the "what ifs" with Bill's health and the work that will need to be done. 
Always financial concerns. 
The weather........... very cold with some dark days of snow and even rain. 

I could blame my moods on all these things, but deep down I know what the problem is. 
I have been neglecting my quiet time with the Lord, of studying His Word. I hurry through it so I can get my work done or I say I'll do it this afternoon and then I get busy and it doesn't get done. 
This whole week I have spent the time I need to each day with God and my attitude has greatly improved. I am anticipating the birth of my granddaughter with joy and I know that God controls her life and Tessa's life.  God also controls Bill's health and our finances. I do not need to worry about the future. 

These verses were brought to my attention this morning:
Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." 
Lamentations 3:22 & 23  "The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness."

I get emails from a writer that I greatly enjoy and she penned this poem  and shared it a few days ago.

By Stephanie Grace Whitson

A lifeless shell (to earthly eyes)
Can open, freeing its surprise
To dance on a garden leaf.

Gossamer wings gently hesitate
To fly. And then, as wind abates,
It flutters toward the sky.

Out of sight, it yet exists,
And, dancing on, its wings persist
To unseen garden leaves.

No less alive, though out of sight,
It testifies to each man’s plight;
A common destiny.

For each of us must leave behind
A lifeless shell. And earthly-minded
Men can think, “Life’s done.”

It isn’t true. Although unseen,
We flutter on to gardens green
With joy, alive in Christ.

Alive in Christ, whose dead cocoon,
Though buried in a garden tomb
Arose to give new life.

Here’s hope for all in facing death:
A lifeless shell (to earthly eyes)
Precedes the birth of butterflies.

Coincidence?  I think not!

Amy is alive. I know it in my heart and my mind. She is more alive than I am right now. She is healthy, whole, and gloriously happy.  I will still have times of tears, times of grief and times of sadness. But I know Who can heal my heart. Thank you Lord Jesus.