Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of Pain and Hope.


Her name is never far from our lips around here.

We still hold her in our hearts.

Sometimes, when we are all together and everyone has been accounted for, we will look at each other and say....

"Are we missing someone?"

Yes, we are.  Deeply.

Last night I had a mini-meltdown of sorts.  I just have been feeling so sad lately.  Such a deep, weighty, fathomless heartache has come over me, and it feels like it is here to stay some days.  My stomach aches deep down.  I miss feeling joy in the deep breaths I used to be able to take! Lately, it's as though tears are never far off, and I could burst out in sobbing at any moment...

Last night, I finally did.  I allowed the storm of weeping that has been locked in my heart to come out.


God says in His word that He bottles up our tears.....

There are more tears in that bottle today.

I have questions, even after 5 years.  I want to know......

Janie, how can someone who never drew breath outside of the Secret Place and who was here such a short time still affect me so deeply, after all these years?

How come the pain comes, and it hurts like it was yesterday that you flew?

Why do my arms ache to hold you still, when I've held your sisters after you?

Why did God choose me to be your mom? I'm not so strong, not so special, to be able to bear up under this incredible ache which feels ceaseless at times.....

I wonder why I didn't hold her longer.  How my arms ache to feel the slight weight of her.  How my lips long to kiss her just one more time.  How I long to absorb her sweet, newborn smell again! How I long to go back and do it all right this time!

 I wish we had taken more pictures.  I wish we had known about the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation, where professional photographers donate their services on behalf of families who've received a fatal prenatal diagnosis, to come and take pregnancy photographs, and to take photos after the baby is born......I wish I had a beautiful picture to frame, of her precious feet and her perfect hands!

I've always said that this pain is a part of me.  Oh, it doesn't hurt like this all the time.  Still, there are times when it catches me so by surprise that I could still mourn for her like this, after so long......


And then.......

I see Lucie.

I think, in a sort of odd way, that Lucie has been my salvation in it all.  Did God know I would need her this year, this 5th anniversary year?

There she is, and she needs me.


When that terrible, intense ache comes, when that yawning, dark chasm opens up again...

Lucie's there. 

I hold her.  I kiss her face and lay my cheek against her downy, soft head.  I breathe in her essence.....

And pain is eased.  The ache leaves.  It's an extraordinary cycle of pain and hope.

Pain and hope.  Intertwined.

Thank You God, for both the pain of Janie and the hope of Lucie.



Kathryn said...

I think my theory is right...after I posted earlier, I prayed for you. Specifically that God would ease any pain you had in your heart today where Janie was concerned. He is good...

Even after 13 years I have days where it feels like Madison died yesterday. This has been a particularly hard year for me in the grief department. I would have a teenager...we'd be going into such a precious time as mother/daughter. But I still think of her as a baby, so seeing babies, and pregnant women, hearing newborn all still effects me.

You feel the way you do after 5 years because you are her mother. You love her desperately, and one of your little ones is not here. It is normal for that to still wrench at your still does mine.

You were the perfect one to be her mother, and God knew exactly what you could handle, and how you would handle it. He will never leave you alone in this...if He called you to it, He'll equip you to deal with it. Some days it doesn't feel like we're handling it well, but God knows our hearts, and that they hurt.

I think having experienced what you have with Janie, makes you love the ones you have that are living, better. I think we know the alternative, so we love them FIERCELY, and we care for them as if we may not have them tomorrow. The frowning providence God has called us to, gives us a different perspective than other mothers....not that they mother any worse than we's just different. We have lived a mother's worst nightmare, and we SURVIVED. Some days it feels like we are "white knuckling it", or barely hanging on, but we do. God gives us what we need when we need it, to get through.

My sweet sister in suffering, how I pray for you tonight. How I cry with you for the ache in your heart, and how I rejoice that God has given you sweet Lucie to help heal that broken place in your heart. He truly is good, and she is darling...

Thinking about you tonight, and praying for you...

Love, Kathryn

david said...

I love you, babes. I miss Janie, too.

Renata said...

((Hugs)) sweet friend,
I can feel your pain as I read - I wish I could ease some, but please know I will pray for you. Praise God for the special blessing of Lucie at this time.
Your friend

Kathryn said...

I was going to tell you that I too wish "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" had been around when I lost Madison. My family took a lot of pictures for me, but many of them were too painful for me to look at. A couple years ago my friend Ellen gave a couple of my pictures to her son. He's a professional photographer. He zoomed in and cropped them, and I got the lovliest black/white photos of Andy and I each holding her precious hand. In his picture you can see her little foot peeking out.

After I got interested in photography, I scanned all my pictures and put them through photo editing sites. I turned them all black and white, and was able to retouch most of them. They are about as close to what they could do at NILMDTS, as I could get them, and now I love them. I made a video of them on my blog for her birthday in August, and now I'm comfortable sharing most of them. I plan to make a photo book with them soon. One I can display at home.

If you have a couple pictures of Janie, try running them through Picasa (it's free), and see what you can do with them. It was a labor of love for me, and made me feel like I was still mothering Madison in some way. If I could help you in any way, I'd love to.

just wanted to share what I did with my pictures...

Love, Kathryn

Katie said...

I am familiar with that intense constant cycle of pain and hope. Thank you for sharing this and for reaching out to me right now. I am very sorry for your pain, Leanne. I'm glad you let it all out.

You have blessed me more than you know, and I believe GOD placed you in my life for me to see hope and beauty out of life!

Teena said...

Praying for you.

Found your blog from Joel's Journey.

May God give you comfort..


Christine said...

Praying for you sister.

If you have any pictures that you want me to try to do something with I would be MORE than happy to.

Love you!

The Morris Family said...

Its good to let the sorrow release, no matter how long its been. How could we ever get "over" it? They are our children, we love them still... May His peace surround your heart today.


EEEEMommy said...

I wish I could give you a hug! My prayers are with you.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

When you love deeply, you hurt deeply. But you are right. God chose YOU to be Janie's mommy and for Janie to be your daughter! Forever.

Love you. Much!

Devin said...


I understand so many of the things your wrote about...I'm sure a bit differently, but I know what you are saying.

I wish that Mommies didn't have to hurt in this way. :(

Praying for you, my friend.

Rebeca said...

I was going to say just what another person said... it still hurts because you are still her mama. Always, even though she isn't with you in the way your others are. It makes heaven a little closer, to have her there, and to know the pain of earth. Love and peace to you, dear one.

Penny Lane said...

Why do my arms ache to hold you still, when I've held your sisters after you?

Amen. We've had two more boys since our son Lyric passed away over five years ago and I still have aching arms.