Yesterday we had a gathering of family in honor of Russell's 13th birthday.
I call it a "gathering of family" because our dear friends were there, and in our sphere, our dearest friends are like family to us.
We had my chili with all the fixins and hot fudge cake and ice cream to top it all off.
It was a good afternoon spent in the fellowship of believers, ones who have loved with us and laughed with us, and yes, sobbed with us too over the years.
My friend Stephanie was here with her husband and their four children. Stephanie was with me when Miss Sofia was born two years ago, and what a calming influence she was! She's someone I'm very comfortable with, having known her for many years now.
She has prayed with me and given me words of wisdom and let me cry with her. She is someone who just feels my heart.
We were talking about babies, of course. She was remembering some of her pregnancies and births and she got to talking about her littlest man, who will be 7 soon. He had the hiccups and he was not happy about it, for, in his life, hiccups are just one more thing conspiring to slow him down! She remembered that in the womb he had been her baby that always had the hiccups and he wasn't very happy about it then either!
Then, as natural as you please, I said, "Janie was my one who had the hiccups allll the time."
It was so easy, so normal, like I was talking about one of my living children.
Before then, I had hesitated to talk about her. It's an issue of not wanting to make others uncomfortable, of not really knowing how others would handle her life and her death. I mean, she wasn't born alive and didn't live with us, so she never really was, was she? Her life is over, right? Not for me. Her influence and her ministry is very much alive in me. She started my becoming!
I have not really talked about her much at all these past four years.
But yesterday I did. And it so surprised me....
I feel free today.