“How is your baby?” they ask; caring people who once saw me with you, and now see me without you, drawing the logical conclusion that you are bundled at home, cooing and napping and growing in love. Sweet Flicker, I desire so deeply to be able to answer them (without having to share your absence, of course, which upon revealing ignites a wave of so sorries and are you okays and if you need anything let me knows). I would give almost anything to know how you are doing in your life eternal. Actually, let me revise that last statement. I know that you are experiencing a happiness and peace beyond anything I can comprehend. Thanks be to God for that faith-filled comfort. But what are you doing? How do you spend your days? Who is rocking you to sleep? Is anyone singing to you? Oh sweet Flicker, while I know at a high level that you are so loved in Heaven, I crave these details more deeply than I have craved anything before. Probably more deeply than I will crave anything again.
The certainty with which I know you are living in a beautiful eternity is matched with an equal and opposite force of anxiety over what the future looks like for your dad and me in this world. Will I become pregnant again? When? With what intervention? Will limb body wall complex happen again? Lightning cannot strike twice, right? But will something else go wrong? Will we have a biological family? Should we pursue adoption? What does that look like? What impact has your loss had on my level of fear? Will I continue to have nightmares two/three/four months/years/decades from now? Am I even mentally ready to ponder all of these questions?
I should not be pondering all of these questions. But this untethered mind of mine wanders far and wide, searching in vein for answers that no one by my Maker knows. It is exhausting, at times enveloping all thought and eclipsing all creativity; evidenced by the blank pages appearing in this journal of late. Sweet Flicker, thank God I do not have to question you. Your life here remains only in my past, and your future There is fully known. Painful. Beautiful. All at once.
I recently entered a new year in my life, a birthday spent managing the gap between my expectation (just a few weeks until you are here!) and my reality (just a few weeks after you have come and gone). As with countless other times in this journey with you, I experienced this general melancholy alongside a tinge of hope. A hope that this new year of my life may bring with it great things. Of course there is the other scenario of more darkness, but I cannot go to that place. I am grateful to be blessed with an optimists’ disposition. My dear friend, your dear friend, shared a wish that this be my year of the phoenix – new life and utter beauty rising from the ashes. All to be revealed in due time, sweet Flicker, but for now I challenge myself not to question. Trust. Live. Welcome the new with hands wide open, one moment at a time.