Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our gifts ... In Honor of

As promised from a recent blog post of mine, I have finally sorted through some very weird technical issues on my end so that I am now able to share the images and music that tell Our Story.

What I have learned about myself recently is that although I have a "way with words" and that I best express myself in writing, and even out loud, that there are many times when I don't really know what I mean so I don't know what to say.

Or I feel liked I've attempted to explain myself in every which way I can, but I still often feel misunderstood.

That is where "images" and "music" and "lyrics" and "inspirational people" and other people's words in blog format come into play. Sort of to help me along in my journey through Life.

I am so very thankful for these gifts. That is what I like to call them, in any case.

Tomorrow marks the ten year birth & death of our daughter, Emily Rose Grade, who never took one breath here on earth. She was "due" July 9th. No cause of death was ever found. We never got an answer to our question of Why?

I've come to realize in the past year that I  don't even need or want an "answer" anymore. 

And although her life was very, very "short," she also has a Story worth telling. 

Please click here to read this beautiful tribute to our baby written from the loving, compassionate, thoughtful heart of a friend.

And then also please click here to read what another Mom has learned through her own loss and suffering, but has so graciously been able to put into words much better than I ever could have; what it is I've been trying to say all of this time. 

I, essentially, am the only one who really got to know Emily, as it was my body that God used as a vessel to bring forth her Life and Death.

What I find most interesting is just how many lessons I learned from her, in her "short" life, in her life in my womb.

A life that never lived one day on this earth. A life that never breathed one breath of air.

But the impact of a life that has changed the course of the next generation leaves me in a place of awe.

Emily's life taught me irreplaceable, life lessons that have shaped me, her Mother, into who I am today.

Who I know I wouldn't be if never got to know her like I did.

The lessons that continue to grow me and teach me into who I am meant to be, strive to be.

The biggest, most important lesson of all, though, is something I know is very important to share with all of you ~ one we all so easily take for granted and miss. The moments just fly on by, sometimes without us even noticing.

Please take with you from me this important nugget of truth that I have learned. I hope you tuck it close to your heart and remember.

Every single moment of Your Life matters.

It really, really does.

But more importantly, it is learning how not to take any one of those moments for granted.

Or waste them.

Nor one day. Nor one person in your Life. Nor one opportunity to make a difference in the world. Nor one moment to make a wrong into a right.

Don't put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today.

Don't put off until tomorrow telling those you love them that you do.

Don't put off until tomorrow forgiving those whom you need to forgive.

Don't put off until tomorrow living & enjoying your life ... the gift that it is to the world.

For the past nine years every time I see the red, white, & blue colors and seeing Our Flag flying high, I would always feel that old familiar "sting" to my wounded, scarred heart although at the same time I understood the meaning of it all - my freedoms and my thankfulness very present within.

But the reality of it all is that it has also been a reminder to me of what was lost.

Not just a child. Not just a sibling for our children. But the dream.

So this year as that "date" comes again, as it always will ... Tomorrow! ~ July 4th Independence Day ~ I learned and realized that the "energy did change" to this good place of Honoring Her ... Emily Rose.

Her Life. Her Story.

All told through mine ... Ours.

Her Day - the day she met Jesus. The day she went to her eternal Home was and is a day worth Celebrating!

And I just can't help feeling something called Joy this year, instead of only sadness and gut-wrenching pain because I fully know & accept that there will always be hurt, but I am at this place of something called bittersweet when I think of our baby.

But this year, I am feeling so much more of the sweet {Thanks Oprah!}

And that is a really good thing.

It is called faith. The real kind. The kind that truly knows & believes that all is truly well and good, without any doubt and without the need to ask any more questions.

What better time than now, as this decade comes to a close for us, as we move onto the next Season of our Lives, but especially for me, Lori, to finally! be at this really good place of looking at The Flag and The Colors ... all of these signs and reminders and wonders from God ... and Smile! big inside and out because they also, much more importantly, remind me of something much much grander and oh-so-good ~

That is something called Love.

God's Love for me

With humble gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for the gift I was given ... Emily's life ... my time spent with her, and for the good that God brought out of it all, I will not be looking down anymore, but rather I will be looking Up! and lifting my hands even higher to the One who deserves all the Honor and Glory and Praise.

Thank you, as always, for reading my blog and for always passing along the love, support, prayer, encouragement, friendship and kindness to me, Mark, our family, especially at this time of year.

My hope is that in reading my blog, listening to the music and viewing the pictures that you also will take away some lessons all taught through a beautiful, precious, perfect little dark brown haired girl named Emily Rose. She came very softly and quietly into our lives, and left us in the same way. She left something behind called a Legacy that will always live on through us.

Thank you for remembering our Emily each year amongst your July 4th holiday plans ~ dear friends and family ~ because we do know that you haven't forgotten. That she still is and always will be remembered and honored by so many of you.

To watch and enjoy this video sung by Selah called I Will Carry You, please hit "pause" of my music player first.

{I dedicate this one to you, Emily Rose Grade, dear Daughter of ours in Heaven,
In Honor of You. Your Story. Your Life. 
~Thank you~
Love always; until we meet again, your Momma}

Our niece, Elizabeth Aurelia Edwards

Mark's promotion to Fire Captain

Luke & Grandpa John
St. John's Military Academy

Megan & I at her cheerleading competition

Jimmy ... my curious blue-eyed boy ... always into mischief

Matthew & I ~ 8th Grade graduation

Jonathan & Luke ... cousins & friends

Daisy May just after she was at the groomers, looking pretty darn happy!
Love & Friendship

1 comment:

JamiLynnKastner said...

Bah! I'm BAWLING! What a great blog Lori! The music.. the pictures... Ur words... GREAT! I <3 you girl and I am FOREVER grateful God intertwined our paths again. May God hold you close today and give you only a hint of bitter and a heap of sweet. LOVE YOU!