“There is no such thing as a long time. Only memories worth remembering and memories that aren’t.” (Sylvester Stallone This Is Us Season 2 Ep 3)….I felt such relief after hearing these words! A counselor once told me “Sophie’s been gone 2 yrs. It’s time to move on.” Excuse me??? As if 720 Days WITHOUT my daughter would lessen my pain. The first year you’re numb and in utter shock!!!
The truth is it doesn’t matter the amount of time Sophie’s been gone because the moment I think of her or something reminds me of her, the pain of her loss, the joy she brought to our daily lives, the void that remains is very real, and it takes my breath away. Each. And. Every. Time. As. It. Should. She’s my Beloved Daughter whom I cherish. I miss her. Always! And this time of year brings about sudden memories of her glorious life and tragic death. Time doesn’t change that.
Today is the Anniversary. 8 years ago this photo was taken, 9 days before Sophie’s open heart surgery was scheduled. She was 2 yrs 7 mths old. To me this feels like yesterday. But….8 years???!!? Time is such a strange entity.
What happened? Sophie needed open heart surgery. A surgery that has a 97% success rate, that was supposed to extend her life not take it but, after she arrested in the wee hours of the first morning post-op I knew her time on the Earth would be cut short. The prayers for success and healing quickly shifted to grace and peace. This gruesome vision of Sophie on ECMO/life support haunts me and you better believe when the thunder comes rolling in, this memory comes to strike.
After the Drs took her off life support, they cut and capped ALL the tubes and wires. They placed her in our arms one last time, with her pink paci, pink bow and her fuzzy friends “dog and cat” and her blanket, to say good-bye. She was gone.
We knew where she went. Heaven! And she will be there until….we get there. I don’t grieve without hope. Sophie IS alive! But once this kind of grief enters in, life is more messy, triggers are unpredictable and the pain…for all of us is ever changing.
How would we live on Earth for one second with her? How would I tell my oldest daughter Abby, then 5 yrs old, that Abby’s BFF, Sophie wasn’t coming home from the Hospital? How would The Lord redeem this? Heal our broken hearts? Bring joy back into our lives? So many questions.
Time…..again enters the picture…one minute at a time….breathe. As time marches on, minutes turned into hours, hours, days, weeks, and years. The lens we view life through is shattered, the shock and numbness have worn off….and we continue to find our new normal.
Abby started praying for another baby sister. When I passed 40 and 2 miscarriages later, Doctors and Fertility Specialists told me I was no longer able to concieve a child BUT, GOD. At the age of 42, I found myself experiencing morning sickness????….really Lord? A modern day Sarah, except I was the one laughing this time, with fear and trembling I received the Miracle HE was doing. Lord, I am undone, humbled and thankful. I believe!!!!!…..even when my faith is weak.
A glorious rainbow filled our dark skies, the storm clouds cleared, showering radiant beautiful color and light into our darkened hearts, giving us tangible hope and new purpose. We found out our rainbow baby would arrive in October.
And on October 16, 2014, Lillirose Hope was born! Two days before the anniversary of the loss our Beloved Sophie. Our Joy and Our Sorrow are forever intertwined with one another and that’s ok.
I want to say there is no formula to grief. You have to take it as it comes. There’s no such thing as a long time, just memories. They are beautiful mix of colors and depth of feelings. The birth of Lillirose doesn’t replace the loss of Sophie. I hold on to hope in the midst of this tragedy. Sophie’s time on the Earth has changed me. She changed the way I experience life. I appreciate life and don’t take it for granted. I believe all things are possible in a new way. We love hard, snuggle longer and believe more.We just celebrated Lillirose’s 3rd birthday! Sophie never made it to 3, the bitter and the sweet, joy and pain do co-exist in the very same moment. It’s beauty-full and hard. In every way Lillirose’s Birthday is SO special to our family. She is Our Rainbow Baby. Lillirose has brought light into our darkness. She IS here. She IS 3! And WE celebrated BIGTIME! Redemption, restoration, LIFE, on Earth as it is in Heaven, for now…..until the time when we are all reunited forever!