The Hardest Day of My Life…Finding and Giving Hope

Esther's Hope logoMy legs felt heavy as I woke up this morning, remembering what it felt like to get out of bed one year ago.

The hardest tasks of my life were just ahead of me. I had tried to prepare mentally as much as possible, but there was really no way to be ready for what we were about to walk through.

My mom had spent the night to give us moral support. As we each showered, got dressed, and tried to eat a few bites, the air hung thick in our little home. We were scheduled to be induced at 10am. We would be meeting our baby and saying goodbye. Before we left, my Dad and brother came over to pray with us. Then we loaded in the car and made the silent trip to the hospital.

To read Esther’s birth story, click HERE.

Today, in memory of our daughter, I am putting together our third Esther’s Hope basket to be given to another family who is having to say hello and goodbye to their little one too soon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThrough this last year, I have learned a lot about grief. On the hard days, it helps to have something constructive to do with the pain. That was one of the reasons I started this blog. The thing that brings me the most hope is to give to other families in honor of Esther’s life. Knowing that she touched another life  is the greatest reward here on earth. In July, we came up with a way to do this by starting what we call Esther’s Hope: projects to carry her legacy of life.

We took our first basket to the hospital on her due date. Going back into the labor and delivery department again was challenging emotionally. Yet it was so fulfilling to know that through Esther’s life, another family would find comfort. To read the story click HERE.

Our second care package was taken on Christmas day. Spending Christmas without Esther has hard and we had wondered what became of the first basket. When we approached the nurses station, we were greeted warmly by several people. God knew the encouragement we needed that day. One of the nurses said, “Didn’t you bring a basket once before? We gave it out the very next day. It was a very unexpected loss and the mom was so appreciative knowing it came from you, someone who had been through what she was going through.” Although it is sad to know that other moms have and will feel this pain, we were so happy to know that our gift had reached another family.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo today, I am preparing our Third Esther’s hope basket. As usual, it took me forever to make decisions on the smallest things. I literally stood in the basket isle for about 45 minutes at Hobby Lobby. I am sure other customers passing by wondered what was wrong with me as I took out countless baskets to see how they felt, looked, and measured up. I know this is my human tendency to make something that feels so horrible seem “perfect.” Nothing seems like it is good enough to represent her.

In this care package, we are putting a number of things, including:

– A hand made blanket from my sister

– A stuffed lamb

– The book, I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith

– The book, Heaven is for Real for Kids

– A small baby bible

We will also include a card that offers our sympathy, tells Esther’s story, and gives my blog information.

I know that in reality, a simple care package cannot begin to touch the heartache felt by the death of a baby. Yet I also know that during our deepest grief, some of the smallest gestures have meant the most. We want to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

It is my prayer that through this gift, sent in memory of Esther’s life, another mom and dad would find the everlasting hope of Jesus Christ. For with Him we can live, even though we die.

Today, even while I am mourning, Esther is experiencing the greatest hope of all. Heaven.

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