Our Last Normal Day

photo 2One year ago was our family’s last normal day. I remember it well.

Monday, February 11, 2013. The sun was shining, and it felt like early spring. I was 16 weeks 1 day pregnant with Esther, and Kyla was 19 months old. Adam was in the middle of his workweek, but we were looking forward to him being off the next day. We had plans for the week to do some shopping, celebrate Valentine’s day, and enjoy some family time. I was finally feeling human again after weeks of morning sickness. I spent the start of the day deep cleaning our house.

After Kyla’s nap, she and I made the quarter mile walk to my Grandma’s house for a visit. As I pulled Kyla in the red, two seated wagon, I basked in the sunlight beaming down on us. Everything seemed to be right. The warm weather made my  mind wander to the summer months, when we would be welcoming our new baby into the family. I smiled with delight as I imagined taking both of my little one’s for walks in the wagon. I felt so content, so thankful, and so wonderful.

photo 1How could I have known how wrong I was? That everything was not okay. That in 24 hours, the dreams, warmth, and delight in my life would be instantly sucked away.

In the evening, I continued to utilize my new found energy, catching up on laundry and baking super-healthy muffins to nourish my growing baby. As I went to bed that night, I felt happy, excited, and like I had accomplished so much. I distinctly remember thoroughly enjoying the day.

It seems strange to me now, because I know. My dreams had already died, I just wasn’t aware. Still, I enjoy reliving this day in my mind. I enjoy remembering how happy I was. I enjoy remembering the carefree feelings that were there. I enjoy remembering our normal life.

Now, one year later, it is almost ironic how different things really are. Even the weather seems to reflect the different reality we are living in. Instead of spring being “in the air” it is bitter cold, with a thin layer of ice covering the ground. We have had one of the harshest winters I recall, having lived most of my life here in my hometown. Whereas in many years, by February we are tasting spring, this year we are still trying to thaw out.

As I contemplate my life one year ago verses today, I see the symbolism all around me. We are still trying to “thaw out” from the coldest, harshest year our little family has lived. We are longing for spring. We are still adjusting. We are hoping for new life to rise up through the death and cold that has been in our hearts. And we are learning how to smile and dream again – even just a little.

I still wish I could go back and change the outcome. I always will. I long so much to rewrite the story. That will never change. Yet in this year we have learned a lot about how to live here. Yes, there is still much to learn, days to get through, and grief to feel. But we have made it one year. We have banded together and held each other up for one year. We have been knit together deeply this year. We have found God intimately this year. And now, we are praying for spring. I can feel it on the horizon. It will come. The warmth, the sunshine, and the joy…They are in our future.

One year ago today was our last day of “normal” life that was untouched by deep loss and tragedy. One year from now, who knows where we will be? Life is an adventure, albeit painful at times, but I am excited to find out what’s in our future. Because, ultimately, I know who holds it…both here and for eternity.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

2 Timothy 4:8 …In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Comments

  1. Thinking about you and praying for you as you walk thru the memories of this painful week…
    I love you
    Nathan

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