I've been struggling getting on here the past couple of days with something to say. I have a lot on my heart and mind but I can't seem to put it into words. Or at least words that will make sense to read.
You see, this time last year, I was busy planning for Madeline's arrival. I knew she was a girl. I was planning her nursery, buying her a pink wardrobe and doing everything girlie that I ever dreamed of.
Rick was so happy, the boys were thrilled to be getting a sister, and I, well I felt like my life and world couldn't be more perfect.
Now, a year later. Life is pretty similar. We are planning for a baby, decorating a nursery and we can't wait until this little one arrives, except; this time we are doing it with a broken heart.
Broken hearts. Broken plans. Broken dreams.
We are back to blue. Back to a boy. Back to what we never thought would be in our lives again.
Blessed still? Absolutely.
Little Jonah Asher is giving me hope again. He is giving me something to look so forward to when my days seem so dark. He is my little light at the end of the tunnel. Him, and my other three boys.
Some days when I think I won't be able to go forward, I do it for him. I do it for Noah, Elijah, Jonah and Rick.
When my day starts to fall apart and the tears well up in my eyes for my little girl gone too soon, I do it for them. God grants me the strength to go on and I do.
This time of the year is so strangely similar to this time last year. The excitement is still the same. The joy is still present.
But, in my heart, part of me is missing. Maddie Grace is and will always be missing.
As we have gone to birthday parties and festivals the past couple of weeks, I can't help but think how she is not there, celebrating life with us. Every day that passes, moves me farther from her birth and closer to her 1st birthday. We are getting closer and closer to a year without her. And still have a lifetime to go. That overwhelms me.
Rick and I bought her the most precious bench for her grave site and took it over this past weekend. I hadn't planned on going back for a while because I did so bad this past time, but Rick held my hand through the whole thing.
Then bench had these words engraved on it...
A heart of gold stopped beating,
Two shining eyes at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove,
He only takes the best.
I imagine that was a sight. The two of us bent over the grave of the little girl we wanted so much. It's heartbreaking even to imagine. It still doesn't seem real, almost 9 months later. But, the reality is, this is our life. She is gone. She has touched so many lives, and hearts, but she is in Heaven with our Lord.
The rest of that poem goes like this...
God knows you had to leave me,
But you did not go alone.
For part of me went with you
The day He took you home.
We left the cemetery that evening broken hearted but with comfort from the Lord. He is still good. Even when our hearts and minds don't understand. He is still good. And I'm thankful for that.
I have had so many people still messaging me to tell me how much Madeline has touched their lives. I'm thankful for that. Time and life is moving on and I hate that it's without her.
There is nothing more comforting to me than when people mention her name. She was amazing.
So, as I move forward and am in such a familiar place as I was this time last year. I just try to remember.
She made a way.
She made a way for mine and Rick's relationship to grow together with each other, our boys and the Lord.
She made a way for families to pull together in the midst of one of the worst tragedies a family can know.
And... She made a way for her sweet little brother, Jonah Asher to be on his way to helping this family heal.
I know everyday that I look into his sweet eyes, I will see her, and I will remember that she made a way for him to be here with us. Everyday.