Saturday, November 5, 2011

Laughing at the Ducks

Several days ago while driving Isaac to preschool, I remarked to the boys that I wished we had taken Vivian to the park to feed the ducks.  (We pass by a park with a pond full of ducks and geese on our route to preschool).  Vivian had a favorite ABC board book, and the D page had ducks on it.  She would point to the ducks and look at me--her method of asking me to make the "quack" sound which I always did.  Vivian would have been tickled with joy to hear real ducks quacking and swimming in the pond.

My 4 year old son stored this comment in his mind until prayer time at dinner.  When he prayed aloud, he included, "I hope Vivian is having a good time in heaven, and I hope she is laughing at the ducks."  When I started to explain about the ducks here at the park, Isaac said, "No, not here.  She is laughing at the ducks in heaven.  There are ducks in heaven."  True and sweet of him to say!

$11.47 of Grace

People have said, "Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself grace."

So I'm standing in a toy aisle filled with dolls. For the second time in two days I'm looking at this doll.  It's just a little doll that comes with a doll-size sippy cup, a milk bottle and a pink teddy bear.  I'm remembering the Thursday morning before Vivian died, she saw this same doll at our speech therapy appointment at the school.  The therapist demonstrated symbolic play with the doll having a "drink" from her sippy cup. 

I specifically recall Vivian's eyes sort of light up as she took notice of that activity.  I could just see little wheels turning in her mind considering she too drank out of a sippy cup.  With that spark of curiosity, I was excited to find that doll and buy it for Vivian.  What I was really excited about was that Vivian might be transitioning into symbolic play from her cause/effect play.  This would be a huge milestone in my book.  How thrilling it would be to see Vivian imitate this play like a toddler would do!

As I stood in the store debating myself, it wasn't logical, and I couldn't really justify it, and quite frankly I felt a little silly.  But, I couldn't put the doll back on the shelf.  So, I paid the $11.47 for the doll and her accessories, and I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

The pink teddy bear is small enough that I think I will add it to a floral arrangement for our grave marker vase in the springtime for our sweet girl.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Copper Highlights

Ken noticed the details of Vivian's hair before I did.  Her hair looked an obvious jet-black color to me.  Yet upon closer examination, I too began to see individual strands of beautiful, natural copper highlights althroughout Vivian's hair.  Vivian seemed to radiate an extra special warmth and beauty when the sunshine reflected her copper highlights.  I was so excited to point this unique feature out to her when she got older.

It has me thinking about the gospels of Matthew10:30 and Luke 12:7 where it says the very hairs of our head are numbered.  I know I love every hair on Vivian's head.  I love her from head to toe, inside and out with all my heart and soul.  I can sit here in awe to realize and appreciate that God loves Vivian even more than I do.  After all, I am a finite and mortal person. 

But, it is challenging to deeply acknowledge God's love for me too.  It's amazing to be loved right down to each hair on my head.  I am thankful for His unconditional love because right now I'm not so interesting...just a study in the mess of my grief.  You know, where you can do a few things in periods of numbness and then you sit when your hands and feet turn into concrete blocks. 

I learned a couple years ago that my faith is a gift from God.  I am thankful each day for that gift because I tried for a long time to achieve faith, and it wasn't possible (but it was tiring).  Faith gets me up each morning and pulls my mind back out of the dark corners of "perfect hindsight."  Faith is drawing my heart and eyes and ears upward to listen, to be thankful, to live in the light and to walk through my grief.