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February 22, 2011

The heart of it all...


Well, it finally came, another first I would have to get through without my sweet Maddie Grace. This time is was my first holiday without her.

If you know me, you know how big holiday's are to me. I've always loved going all out for our boys, and making many special memories for them.
My Mom always had a way of doing this for my brother and I, and it has carried on as one of my traditions. I love the detail of the "little things" in life and I enjoy doing them.

I'm the Mom who buys the "first" everything from the onsie's, to the bibs, and even the socks. =) I take pictures like it's going out of style and I cherish every minute. I love all the milestones in my sweet babies lives. I wish so much I could go through each and every one of these milestones with Maddie.

Today was Valentines Day.

It is a holiday that I love and look so forward to. What's not to love? Lots of red and pink, hearts and love, yummy treats and kisses. I have always loved this sweet day and I was really excited about it being Maddie Grace's "first" holiday with us.

So, as the day came and she wasn't here, I felt a little down inside. I woke up trying to put on my brave face and smile. Never letting on to anyone that my heart was completely broken and I was falling apart inside.

I took Noah to school and dropped off cupcakes and cookies. I spent the day there watching him smile and laugh with all his classmates. All the kids were full of sugar, and loving every minute of their Valentine Party.

Noah was thrilled that his valentine box won first place. Elijah was just excited to see Noah and his classmates, as I snapped pictures for the yearbook.

I couldn't help but finding myself feeling sad, even though on the outside I was smiling for my boys.

I sat and listened as the high school class presented poems and I snapped more pictures. One of the poems talked of a "sparrow" and of course I was tearing up. I was really missing my little birdie girl.

After I left the party, I ran to get the boys a special Valentine balloon. I always give them special treats each year, and having had a busy weekend, I hadn't had time to pick up any. So, I ran to get them one to have for after school.

I stood in the store with two balloons in my hand, everything in me was trying not to break down. I had a moment of "it's not fair" as I stood there with only 2. I wanted to buy one for Maddie. I wanted her to be a part of this holiday that I had looked so forward to having with her.

I wanted to put her in the Valentine tutu and "Daddy's little Valentine" onesie that was in her drawer waiting for her. I wanted to put a big bow on her head and snap a million pictures for her scrapbook. I wanted to see my boys kissing her all day long. I wanted to kiss her too.

I was so broken on the inside. This is not how it was "supposed" to be... I was having a hard time.

I grabbed another balloon and made my way to the checkout with tears in my eyes. The cashier caught eyes with me and made small talk. I held back my emotions and pretended to be a happy girl with not a care in the world. Inside I was aching.

I left the store and headed to the cemetery with my little red heart balloon. This was my second visit.

I know it seems silly, and Maddie is in Heaven having no thought of my Valentine's day breakdown, but for some reason it helped. I walked over to her little grave and stuck the little red balloon in the ground. She had her balloon too.

I cried for a little while and sat there missing her. My arms are still aching so much to hold her everyday. Oh what I would give to kiss her sweet cheeks and snuggle her again on my chest. Oh what I would do to have her back in my arms and in my life forever. I know this can't be, so in the meantime I will just miss her.

I tell my husband numerous times everday "I just miss her."

Im not mad or angry. I just miss her, everyday, so much. For there is no cure for a broken heart, only prayer and time.

Everyday, I pray for God's strength and healing, and He does provide. I ask for His grace and He gives me much but in my heart I still hurt. In my heart, I still ache. In my heart, I still weep because I miss my little girl.

I made my way back home feeling a little better. I grabbed the mail on my way inside and saw a box laying by my front door. I noticed the name on the box. Julie, a sweet friend from college had sent me a package. I opened the box and found this adorable little bear. How fitting and perfect for me that day. What a sweet reminder of my sweet girl.

God knew I need a little pick me up. A little reminder that my sweet girl would always be in my heart no matter how many days passed without her.

Once again, God found a way to cheer me up and send another little (hug) my way. My litte girl was remembered by not just me on this sweet day, but many others too, including Julie. I read in the card that she had debated sending this to me. I'm sure glad she did. This thrilled my heart and I was able to smile.

A little while later, I presented my little boys with their balloons and treats and they were completely thrilled. Oh the simple things in childhood, only if everyday we could find the joy in such sweet simple things. I spent the rest of my day with my little loves cherishing them and loving on them, still thinking of my little girl.

As my husband came home that night, he knew. He could tell this was one of my "hard" days. He let me cry, he listened to me talk about her, and he reminded me how much he missed her too. He helped to make my holiday without her a little easier. Oh I am so thankful for him and his love.

I am thankful for my little boys who love me like there is no tomorrow.
If I could remember to do the same, all day, everyday.

So what is the heart of it all? My heart may be broken but I know this...

My God gave me His Son in such love and compassion.

The heart of it all is this...

My Jesus willingly gave His life out of his great love.

For what greater gift of love is there than this?

For my heart may be completely broken and overwhelmed. I may miss my girl so much, but I know she is with God. And because of his love, I will see her again. For there is no love, like the love of God. It is the ultimate love story in this life.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only beggotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

Thank you Lord for your love.

I Samuel 16:7b For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward apearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Thank you Lord for knowing my heart. Thank you Lord for your comfort.


  1. Take joy in the little things. I will remember this, Natalie. I will remember Maddie and take joy in the little things! Thank you so much for this post. :)

  2. If there is one thing that I know about you....well, scratch that, because I know many things about you. But, one thing that sticks out at me when I think about you is how much you love holidays and how you go "all out" for each one! I should have known how much your heart would hurt on Valentine's Day. Especially Valentine's Day. There is no other holiday filled with so much pink, and "girly" things. I can only imagine how you felt that day. I could kick myself for not calling you to see how you were doing.

    I have also brought balloons to the cemetery. It's really not even for them, but more for us mommy's. As a mommy, you want to be there for your child, care for them, love them, teach them, experience things with them, and on and on the list goes. Placing a balloon (or any special thing) on their grave is just a tiny way of showing them that we wanted to take care of them.
    I often find myself cleaning off her gravestone. It hurts me to see dirt, leaves, and dead flowers on her stone. I guess it's kind of my way of making up for not being able to clean and care for her. It is a sacred place. A place where the Lord is going to do a miracle. A place where her body will rise from! I want her "place" to be clean and pretty.
    I'm glad you've made your way to the cemetery a couple times now. It is a place that you'll become more and more familiar with. It's a new special place with special meaning for your family. You'll find yourself getting to know the other sweet names around her grave, and thinking about their families as well. My heart always hurts thinking about those families, and praying that they know the Lord as well.
    I am so thankful that you and Rick have the Lord. Your "story" could have been one of tragedy and heartache. But instead, it is one of grace and faith. I love you dearly!

  3. As I was reading this blog and got to the part where you wish you has 3 balloons, I was so hoping you would go back and get another one for Maddie and send it to her in Hevean.. Then I read you did and I just SMILED!! You could make it a tradition for you and the boys to send her a balloon on every holiday for more sweet memories
    Thanks for Sharing!

  4. Well, I can't say there are many things I know about you=) BUT, I do know the Lord will continue to encourage you everyday of this "new normal." I had a similar incident last spring. I found myself in an exhausting meeting with a friend whose church member had just lost her child to a severe condition. My friend was kindly, yet, pointedly questioning me about health, emotions, ways to encourage her friend... It was a good meeting, but I was so weary after it all transpired. I couldn't hardly see for tears as I drove home. No one knew, no one cared, it seemed, no one ever spoke her precious name...I just cried out to the Lord all the way home. When I reached home, a package was on my porch--pink, puffy, and so adorable. I wondered, "What in the world?" I got out of my car and read the card, "Elaine." I was so confused. In the midst of all that pink fluff was a couture day gown. It was THE most beautiful dress I had ever seen. I knew right then it was from my wonderful neighbor, Suzie. She had begun her dress when she found out my sweet baby Elaine was dying, three years prior to this particular day. She had not been able to finish it for her heavy heart for our family. All I wanted on this day was to hear her name and know she had not been forgotten. The Lord seem to speak so plainly to me, "I have not forgotten; *I* STILL know her name...after all this time." My neighbors happened on to the scene. The girls and I ran to their car and threw our arms around them. I cried, CJ and Suzie cried (The girls just wondered, "What in the world are they doing!!!=) But it was a moment I will never forget. The Lord will drop handfuls on purpose for you--forever, sweet. And those handfuls will cause your face to look up to the God of Heaven and smile in His sunshine and LIVE again. He will continue to encourage you. Praying for you. Praying for you often.

  5. That little dress hangs in my girls room right now. I just love to see it and remember how good God is to think on me.

  6. My cousin Angel sent me your blog and knowing that Angel and I both lost a baby due to miscarriage knew I needed to read this.I still praise God for my salvation during that time and Him revealing Himself to me. I want you to know as your sister in Christ I will lift your sweet family up and pray He continues to place the little things and His people around you so that will remind you of HIS Agape Love for you. How He has not left you to yourself. I know you know this but pray I too can encourage you at such a time in your walk with our Lord and how HE will carry you. Have you been to Angie Smith's blog?
    I want to share one of my favorite scriptures..The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

    God Bless You and your family.
    In His Amazing Love,
    April Lyon