I realized today that I don't talk about Janie much on here.
I may not talk about her a lot on my blog, but I think about her a lot. Lately, I've been thinking about her much more.
May 10th marked the 5th anniversary of her flight Home, and May 13th was the 5th anniversary of her being born still, no breath, small, delicate as a breeze, into my heart.
I knew it was coming. I was thinking about it back in January, even as I was about to give birth to Lucie. Janie's just in my heart like that, all the time.
I find myself really thinking about her this year. 5 years is significant in so many ways to me. I think back on how her leaving us just shook me to the very marrow of my bones. I think about how you can never be prepared for the loss of a baby, a child. It sneaks up on you and blindsides you, right in your deepest being.
5 years ago, it hurt to even draw breath. Every day I was sure I was going to shatter into a million pieces. I marveled that the world didn't stop and that all creation didn't mourn with me.
5 years ago I could actually taste the pain. The daily, minutely, incessant heartache was bitter, acidic in my mouth, like the metallic taste of blood when you accidentally bite your tongue. Food did not nourish me, because I knew I was dying too......
5 years ago I didn't know what 5 years down the road would look like. I couldn't imagine living life for any length of time without my Janie. To think of not being able to hold her, nurse her, breathe in her smell, I thought it was more than I could handle.
5 years ago. Such a lifetime ago, it seems.
What is life like now? Well, I can tell you that I do miss her. I do hurt for her at times, and yes, sometimes it will take my breath away for a moment, just a moment. I suddenly feel, when we're all gathered together, that someone is missing........
But I'm still alive. I didn't lay down and die. Gradually the breaths I took got deeper and longer, until the air I breathe is fresh and clear again, and my lungs could handle life again. Yes, I still carry the pain, but it's a softer, more gentle ache now. It doesn't hurt to stand up today. I can know stand and I can think of her, most of the time, without gasping aloud at the sharpness of grief.
I can say that she is the fabric of who I am. I carry her with me like a treasured locket around my neck. Her life inside of me is a part of me, and God chose me to be her mom for the purpose of showing me a knowing, a kinship, if you will, with other moms with whom, before Jane, I never desired to walk.....
But now I'm one of them too. I carry a legacy of deep pain, of scars, of countless tears, but this deep pain, the scars, and all of the tears I've cried in the last 5 years are not unknown. I am not alone. I think the consolation of knowing that there are others out there who are seasoned travelers along this road is strangely comforting.
I take great comfort in the fact that my Janie Rose sits at the feet of Jesus, able to clamber up in His lap, to gaze deeply into His fathomless eyes, to touch His face, to run and jump and breathe the essence of Heaven without this world's pain! Yes, I wish that she was here! But how can I want her back so much when a part of my heart thrills to know where she is?
And I know, in the scarred hand of Jesus, that He holds a bottle. I know, in that bottle, for all eternity, are all of the tears I've cried for my girl. Each tear has a name, and each single, small, salty offering in that bottle, each word written on those rivulets, He knows. I know this with a certainty!
So now, I go forth from this 5 year path stronger, more steady, knowing that grief does not kill, and pain, that pain that I used to think was my worst nightmare, has only been another level to my becoming. I carry that baby in my heart like the Lord carries me in His heart......
And I go on.