Today I am so very thankful for my sweet husband. I think so often when a couple goes through "trials" and hard times it can become very easy to pull away from each other. One thing that Rick and I are so grateful for is how much closer and even more in love we have become through Madeline's loss.
Some days are his hard days and some are mine. It's like God designs it so on the other's hard day, we can be the encourager. We can hold the other one up and have the strength to say "With God's help, we will get through this." Those are words we have said to each other so many times in the last three weeks. Those are words that we can cling to and know that they will come true if we truly believe them.
On this particular day, It was my down day. I remember being so very ready for Rick to get home from work. I just wanted to hold him. Well, really, I wanted him to hold me. I feel safe in his arms. I feel comforted. He always knows what to say and what to do. He is so amazing.
He could tell the moment he walked in the door that today had been one of my "tough" days. I love how we can just look at each other and know what the other is thinking without saying a word. He truly is my soulmate.
We spent the evening with our boys and tried to enjoy them. It was bath night and Rick offered to give the boys their baths. This of course "thrilled" them because apparently Daddy's baths are more fun than Mommy's. Daddy plays cooler games. =)
As Rick ran the boys bath water I went to get their pajamas. I could smell the baby bath wash as I gathered their clothes. It was my favorite one, the calming lavender bath wash. It smells just like a new baby. Well, at least to me it does because that's what I've used on the boys since they were born.
I had this baby wash in the bathroom for Madeline. I guess when I was putting the other things of hers "away" I missed that. Or maybe I thought I would just use it for the boys, I'm not sure... But as I smelled this very familiar aroma, my mind wandered, to Maddie Grace of course... I remembered how good she smelled after her first bath, especially her hair. I knew that they had let me keep the bottle of shampoo they used and I wanted to find it. It was a little pink bottle and it smelled really good.
I made my way into her room and stood there and cried. It was like for the first time I realized... I would never hear her giggle coming from that same bathtub. I would never get to use that shampoo on all her gorgeous hair. I would never get to snuggle her sweet skin against mine right after she had her bath. I just never would.
I looked around her room and I couldn't believe it. She would never sleep in that crib or have her diaper changed on that changing table. She wouldn't wear one of the outfits hanging in her closet or any of the numerous hats and shoes in the basket on her dresser. She never would.
This killed me...
I wanted all of those things. I wanted her. I sat there and cried...
Then I saw something. A gift bag pushed back in her closet. I remember putting it there as we put all of her "things" that were all over the house back in her room. I just couldn't deal with it. I didn't want to see her swing and bouncy chair sit empty. I couldn't stand seeing the car seat by the front door any longer, never for her to ride in it again. I couldn't stand it. Her room was once perfect and beautiful and ready for my girl. Now it was just full of things that she would never use. Things that she didn't even enjoy.
I grabbed the bag and started to look through it. I wanted to find the shampoo. I found outfits and hats people had given me in the hospital. I found the snack bag my mom had made for Rick. I found stuffed animals and sweet keepsakes from the hospital.
I found the shampoo.
I opened it and took a breath in. It smelled so good. Just like my girl. Just like her hair. I never want to forget that smell. It is something my mind wanders to often. Holding her sweet body up against mine and smelling that precious sweet smell. Oh I missed her.
I sat there for a moment and wept. I found her little newborn outfit and held it up against my chest as if I could feel like I was holding her again.
I prayed out to God to give me sweet peace, for in that moment I just wanted to feel her and I couldn't. God calmed me and helped me. Just breathe, I thought to myself. She is with God and she is safe.
I gathered myself and looked into the bag once more. There was something in the bottom, so I reached down and pulled it out.
I found the snow globe.
You see, I've always loved snow globes. I don't know what it is about them that I love. Maybe that each one can tell a story. Maybe the fact that you can lose yourself in this little bubble of a world for just a little while as you listen to a sweet tune. Maybe it was the way the snow fell around the little scene inside. I love the snow. I don't know exactly why but for years I have collected them and loved them. I have one from each birth of my boys and this one was from Madeline's. I reached in and pulled it out.
My mom had brought this snow globe to me in the hospital, and I vividly remember opening it and loving it. It is a sterling silver snowglobe with a pink ribbon tied around it. There is a little message on the bottom that reads "With every little baby's birth, God sends his love and joy to earth." Aren't those precious words?
I remember sitting in my bed shaking it and thinking how beautiful it was with the snow falling down around it. It had been snowing all day and I thought it couldn't be any more perfect. It had a Mommy holding a baby inside and it made me smile and anticipate meeting my sweet Maddie Grace. I was in labor still at the time and couldn't wait to hold her...
So this time as I lifted it out of the bag, I saw a completelty different scene on the inside. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Still the same. I began sobbing so loudly that Rick couldn't help but run across the hall into the room. He said "What's wrong babe, what's wrong?" I looked up at him tears running down my face. "It's not a mom and a baby." He grabbed the snow globe from me and looked at it. "Awww. It's an angel holding a baby." He replied. I told him to look again, look at the baby. "Oh Nat!" he replied... "The baby has wings too."
We both sat there in silence.
My heart was broken, but at the same time it felt peace.
What a sweet thought that my sweet angel was in the arms of Jesus. And though I miss her dearly and would've given anything to have been bathing her that night, I was glad that God gave me this sweet moment. A moment to remind me that He had never left me. That he was still with me inside my snow globe, in my house and in my heart.
Once again I was reminded, my God who is constantly holding me, is the same God who is holding my sweet girl. Thank you Lord!