Friday, September 10, 2010

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words . . . Part 4

I've been so busy that I haven't found the time for a fun decorating project.  I changed this:
to this:
Left to right:  Lily, Tucker, Mom, Hyrum, Ella, Dad, Heidi, Ben, Micah, Eve.

Most of you haven't been reading my blog long enough to know the story of our fifth child. You can read a little more about it here. Eight years ago today, September 10, we lost our third daughter.  It was the most excruciating, soul-searching time of my life, and, although I wish the results had been different, I wouldn't trade the lessons I learned for anything. I still don't know how to answer the "How many kids do you have?" question.  But this much I do know.

That loss has given me empathy and compassion.
That loss has given me perspective.
That loss has given me invaluable experience.

And that loss gave me my three little ones--Micah, Hyrum, and Eve.  And somehow, the birth of our last child--our precious surprise/miracle, our light and joy, a final little girl--has partially soothed the wound in my heart.

In September of 2002, I searched everywhere for a picture of an angel, one to watch over our family. This is what I found:

It hangs in my bedroom, reminding me of heavenly influences and eternal promises.  But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that God would give us this:
Our own blond, blue-eyed sister, just like the painting.

Happy Birthday, Sis.  Miss you always.  Thanks for sending your baby sister.
Love,
Mom

26 comments:

  1. I am thankful you have those three extra little ones to lighten your life, as they do mine. You have been truly blessed. Sometimes it is so hard to learn the lessons that are necessary for our progression, but even with all the pain that you experienced eight years ago, I see that you have found some solace. As for the count, we always say we have twenty grandchildren. Now that we have Sam, we have twenty-one, the bigger the number, the better. LOVE

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  2. Thanks for sharing Jenny...been sitting here at my computer crying for the last 10 minutes. You are an incredibly strong woman. The picture that Carly did for you is beautiful.

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  3. Hugs to you!
    Love that little decoration project!
    Have a great weekend!

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  4. Thank you for sharing. Literally LAST NIGHT I was reading your blog and wondering about that very thing as a new friend of mine recently lost her baby boy. You are generous to share.

    Also, on a completely witless note: for the last 4 days when I see your blog post title I IMMEDIATELY get Bread in my head (the band, not the food). I cannot stop singing "If" for hours each day. Thanks a lot. ;)

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  5. Well thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning. Seriously.

    Beautifully written.

    Oh, and I'm totally in LOVE with your little people project above the chalkboard.....SO ADORABLE!!

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  6. Words fail me. But I loved this.

    =)

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  7. I can only sit here and sigh, and admire you and cry for you and remember a similar but different kind of loss that made me grow...and know that for whatever reason we are challenged in these ways through life, we can have the strength to pull through, if we choose to. You demonstrate that every day. Saying a prayer for you.

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  8. ok jen,
    i can't help but share this with you. while reading this post, the song "echoes" by mercy river kept playing over & over in my mind.
    it's beautiful.
    punctuates your thoughts & that picture so well...

    "Long ago and faraway
    You were held in another place
    And you were whispered sweet words of peace
    And you were wrapped in the Arms of Mercy
    Soon you won’t remember those days
    Soon you won’t recall His voice or His face
    But baby, sometimes if you’re still…

    You will hear echoes
    Heavenly echoes
    Reminding you of another time and place
    Like waking from an old familiar dream
    You will hear echoes

    You may have feelings hard to understand
    Like you’re a stranger in a foreign land
    When your homesick spirit feels alone
    Remember, remember this was not your first home

    You will hear echoes
    Heavenly echoes
    Reminding you of another time and place
    Like waking from an old familiar dream
    You will hear echoes

    There may be times it seems
    Heaven never happened
    But baby, there will be angels
    Waiting to send you

    You will hear echoes
    Heavenly echoes
    Reminding you of another time and place
    Like waking from an old familiar dream
    You will hear echoes."


    ...what a fabulous way the Lord has blessed your family & your hearts. =)

    ::big hugs today!::

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  9. That made me cry ... I remember the day well. If I didn't know better I'd swear you were holding Marianne in that picture!

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  10. November 25, May 8, November 11, and my only girl February 15. You never forget.

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  11. Hello Jen,

    Your post touched me on many levels. One, it was a wonderful acknowledgement of your daughter and because my first child passed away 24 years ago this past June. I know your dilemma regarding how to answer the question about how many children you have. It has always bothered me when I answer two because I had three and I feel like I am not acknowledging him. But on the other hand, it bothers people a lot more for me to say I three when they only see two and then ask where my third one is and then I have to tell them he died. From my experience, I too developed empathy and compassion and have been able to use it to help others in a similar situation. My son David and his wife could not have surprised me more or brought more joy to me than when they chose to name their son after my firstborn. Yes, time heals, but I have not forgotten nor will I ever forget him.

    God bless you Jen, you are a wonderful inspiration to those whose lives you enter no matter what form it may take.

    Warmest regards,
    Tracy

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  12. Beautiful post. I didn't know. I will go back to read. Love the little hanging family. A tutorial is coming?
    Have a great weekend,
    and yes I am almost at the cutting stage. With school starting and several photo shoots for friends I just haven't had the time yet... and OK I'm stalling : )
    Dana

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  13. Thank you for sharing and writing about your loss so beautifully.
    I lost 4 babies myself, and even though they were early on, I still wonder and dream about what it would have been like to hold them. But I know that I would not be blessed with the three little miracles I have if it were not for them. I have always prayed for 4 children...and am still praying for miracle number 4!
    Hugs to you!

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  14. Your words convey the meaning I wish I could express. We lost our seventh little boy at the end of September four years ago. He was due on Feb.9. I feel sweet sorrow when I see young mothers whose little ones are the same age he would be now. His name too is sacred to me, funny how we had never named a child til after they were born until this little guy. I know he is part of the "brotherhood" our boys share, they don't remember him but he is one of them. My youngest still questions whether I did everything I could to give him that little brother. I know now that I was able to give him what he needed and take comfort in knowing his mission was elsewhere. Thank you for expressing the feelings of so many.

    Thank you especially for sharing your wonderful Heidi with us!

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  15. Consider yourself hugged! Can't imagine life without Evie!

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  16. 8 years already? I remember. And I know they DO send each other :)

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  17. That was lovely Jen. Won't that be a happy day when you're all reunited! Love is a powerful, powerful thing. On behalf of my one and only daughter, I thank you for your kindess to her today. She emailed me and I could feel the happy glow even here at work. She mentioned how helpful you were and how much she appreciated you sharing your valuable time with her. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  18. I love your little people above the chalkboard- and that all of your family is represented. Aren't we lucky to know that families are forever?

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  19. Jen, it was so nice meeting you today! Thank you so much again for all you did for me. I had no idea you lost a daughter on September 10...so sorry for your loss, but so happy you got Eve. She's a cutie!

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  20. Sweet feelings shared - thank you. The only positive thing about loss is that it can bring a sense of gratitude in a way nothing else can.

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  21. Wow. I was recounting this post to my husband and totally unexpectedly broke down in sobs. Thank you for sharing your heart and for sharing about Ella and your angel. You are such a beautiful mother, inside and out, and I pray you are well and blessed as your blog blesses us, your readers, so very much.

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  22. This is wonderful. What a beauty little Eve is.

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  23. Eve is so precious, such a joyful little girl. I'm so grateful you share the story of Ella. It it tender and holy and reminds the rest of us just how precious our kids really are.

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  24. So beautiful. And your words ring true. A few weeks ago a friend emailed me, just 6 simple words. "You have the gift of empathy." I sat with tears in my eyes and thanked my Father in Heaven for my sending my daughter, even though it was for such a brief time, and allowing her to teach me and share gifts with me.

    Your Evie is an angel on earth. She is a beauty and I just smile when I look at pictures of her. Feeling gratitude for soothed wounds and healing. Love you!!

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