Monday, March 28, 2011

Hannah Mae is 11 months old. I remember this time last year so clearly. It seems like yesterday. Except that it's been a loooooong day and a lot has happened in it. Our baby has grown into a babbling, crawling, squealing (with delight and frustration), dancing girl. She's into everything and hardly stops moving these days. We listened to a Prairie Home Companion last weekend and discovered the most amazing band (The Civil Wars) and we all danced around the living room. By all of us, I mean all of us! Hannah is really into bouncing around, dancing like a fool. She is hilarious. Of course, we enjoy dancing like fools too, so I guess she's in good company.

This is Hannah Mae bouncing and dancing like a little baby fool. 

The ugly truth is that lately I've been struggling with jealousy. I wish there were no empty chairs at our table.
Though our life is full and lovely and wonderful, there are missing ones who are missed every day. Every dance through the living room, every empty place setting at the table, every moment that takes my breath away with joy stings. The bittersweetness of this life is probably only apparent to us though. I try not to let my face show the pain in my heart anymore. Before Hannah Mae was born, I wore my emotions, my grief on my sleeve. It was etched in the lines on my forehead, in the circles under my eyes. I couldn't help it.

Now that we have Hannah Mae in our arms, I feel like I have to hide the pain that is in most every breath I take. Moving from 'home' has made these feelings even more tangible. Most people here don't know about Owen, or chipmunk and sunshine. They don't see us as grieving parents. We are just a couple of young parents with a baby. When I meet new people and the conversation is steered towards parenting, I do talk about Owen and our babies. I talk about them as any parent would mention their children. They are a part of me. It is as simple as that.

But really, there is nothing simple about this life. It is complicated and beautiful and messy, and it is right now and not yet. There is a constant tension in my heart. Living here, enjoying my home, loving each day with my husband and daughter, but longing for the redemption of all things, longing for the new heavens and the new earth, longing for the day when there will no more hurt or grief, no separation.
It is spring with an unexpected snowfall on a budding tree.
Right now and not yet.


Mrs. MK said...

Ebe...I'm thinking these thoughts, too. There is pressure (from outside sources and also from myself) to be perfectly happy now that James is here. It's not going to happen, there's too much missing...

Amanda said...

I love how you write Ebe! You say it so well. We don't have another baby, and I still feel this pressure to "feel better". In fact I have a whole blog post in my head about it:) Thank you for sharing your heart. It always helps me not feel so alone.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said. Somehow the Lord doesn't allow me to get outside of this tension. Fulfilled and yet longing.

Though my grief is for a different reason (a husband with MS), your willingness to share your journey through grief is a comfort to me.