Pennie touching Olivia's name on the headstone at Janie's Place
even though a part of me
Take this heart
and bring it back
I fall into Your arms
when the hurt and the Healer
Most of you who've read my blog for any length of time know my story.
I've been sitting here, staring at the computer screen, watching the cursor blink, blink, blink…..
And I'm trying to sort out the feelings that are just now cascading out of my heart and soul.
Sometimes I feel like a mess. Sometimes I'm sure my heart can't hurt or bleed or die any more than it already has.
There are times when it is all I can do just to take the next breath.
I never know when the scars are going to throb again. I'm taken by surprise when the pain surges in waves over my heart. I struggle on some days to keep my eyes tear-free.
May 13th was Janie's 10th birthday.
I should be over the worst of the pain, right? I should have a firm grip on my heart and my emotions, right? I ought to have moved on by now, right?
Well, I haven't.
This new heart, this battered, bruised, gashed, shattered, put-back-together heart, it's who I am now.
Because, since Janie was born without life or breath, she has been joined in Heaven by 5 more siblings.
Olivia, Pennie's identical twin, joined Janie in Heaven on October 19, 2010.
So sometimes, my heart really hurts!
Pennie knows about her sister in Heaven. We call Olivia "Livie Bird". I bought two wind chimes in the shape of birds, and Pennie says the pink one is hers and the blue one is "Livie's".
You know, I've learned something in the past 10 years. I've learned that time indeed does not heal grief and sorrow. I've learned that sorrow and anguish stay around, but they usually become less sore over a long period of days and weeks and months and yes, years.
Pennie has a blanket that came with her crib bedding. The bedding is pink and has quilt blocks picturing different birds and flowers. We got rid of the bedding when she moved out of the crib, but she didn't want to give up her "Livie Blankie". So, we kept it. She sleeps with it, covering herself carefully with it every single night and every single nap time. The blanket has to be just right. She won't part with it. She has two other blankets that are pretty and cute and warm and cozy, but she doesn't want to have anything to do with them.
I'm okay with that.
She and I talk about Olivia a lot. I want her to know that the other half of her heart is in Heaven, living and breathing and full of life. I tell her that she'll get to hug her twin sister and kiss her and run with her someday in that perfect time and place.
She's getting it.
Janie and Olivia are laid to rest in the very same spot, back to back. Their names are engraved on the same stone, on either side of it. We call the memorial park "Janie's Place", but now it's Olivia's place too…but we know it as "Janie's Place".
Sometimes I feel
it's all that I can do…
Pain so deep that
I can hardly move.
Just keep my eyes
Lord, take hold
and pull me through."
I know that I have reason to blow kisses at the sky. I pray and ask the Lord to kiss them and hold them and tell them I love them, sometimes. I smile at the clouds and I thank the Lord all of the time for letting me hold those babies in the secret place for as long as He did. I do things like that, but still….
On beautiful days like today, watching my girls fellowship together and share with each other and laugh and sing silly songs and hold hands….
….it just makes the scars and scrapes and pain and old and new anguish of my journey of grief hurt a bit more than usual.
I know that my weeping won't last forever.
I'm aware that my deep wounds will one day be gone….
But until then, my soul is now a perfect mixture of pain and perfection, of laughter and tears, of mourning and missing them and smiling at the present….
And I'm incredibly glad for my Saviour's arms of love!
In memory of
Janie Rose Gilchrist
Olivia Caroline Gilchrist,
who are running and laughing and singing
I'll see you both someday!