The Day My Earth Stood Still

"Darkness and death are weighty, and our emotions, our actions, even our beliefs may bend at pressure. But our God does not."
She Reads Truth

It was a bleak, cold day in the city. The wind whipped around my body and chilled me from the tip of my nose to the end of my big toe.

"Where's your hat?" My husband asked.

Being the bright one that I am, I refused to wear my hat because I didn't want to mess up my hair.

Minutes later we were standing in front of the Holy Name Cathedral. We walked up to the building and let ourselves in. Within a matter of seconds our bodies went from numbing cold to being full with toasty warmth.

Being a Protestant, we don't put much stock in church buildings (at least that's what we tell ourselves) because the people are the church, not the church building. But there is something about walking into a Catholic church with it's high ceilings and stained glass. The rows of pews with their kneeling benches. That any given time you can walk in and see people praying. Praying for dying relatives, praying for a job, praying for mercy and forgiveness. Praying for hope for the New Year. There is a quiet hush that lingers in a dimly lit church that is incomparable to anything else.

The quiet hush was what I needed that day.

It had been almost three years, to the day, since I lost my second child, Ezraela Eaven. December 31, 2013 in the ultrasound room at the doctor's office was the day that everything changed. Once you lose a child, once you go through the agony of a miscarriage, once you deliver your dead baby, there is no going back. That day is a time marker. It is a way you remember things. The way you piece your little history together. It is the heaviness that creeps into your thoughts.

It was on that day my Earth stood still.

And every year since, that day looms in front of me, tempting to take away my holiday cheer.

This year was no different.

Ezraela was heavy on my heart that morning at the hotel as the last picture of me being pregnant with her showed up on my news feed. Looking back, at 18 weeks pregnant, there is no way I was carrying a baby that was that big, but I was oblivious, just thinking I was extremely fit. The truth is I was carrying a dead baby.

My last picture with Ezraela

As I sat in the pew at the church I felt the the weight of 2013's New Year's Eve weigh down on me. I starred at the larger than life crucifix that hung by heavy wire, appearing to hover, at the front of the church. Protestants also do not believe in crucifixes. They say that Jesus rose from the grave on the third day and that we do not believe in transubstantiation, so our crosses should be empty. But that day the crucifix was a comfort to me. As I gazed at it, I remembered that I was the reason for Christ's death on the cross. I remembered the agony that he went through. The pain and suffering. I remember when dealing with Ezraela's death I realized that God had lost a son and that he understood exactly how I felt in the grief of losing a daughter. As I sat in the church pew I looked and saw Mary's statue in the corner. I thought about what it must have been like to watch her son go through an unjust trial and have him murdered right in front of her eyes. I imagined it was much like being in labor for hours and being rewarded with a small baby that had no breath, which you could cradle in the palm of your hand. I knew my pain was nothing like what she went through, but Mary fully understood my sadness. Because to her Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God, but he was also her son. She carried him in her belly for 40 weeks and watched him take his first steps. She was there when he said his first word and watched him sleep late at night.

In the silence I felt tears begin to fall. And I could feel Mary crying with me. And all of the mothers who had ever lost a child.

But anyone who has lost a child understands that you never get over the loss.

Three years later, one would think that I would not be as affected by Ezraela's death as I am. That I would be writing about something else by now. But anyone who has lost a child understands that you never get over the loss. I can still remember vividly certain parts of Ezraela's delivery, just like I can still remember Alexandria and Leo's. However, in Ezraela's case there was a different outcome.

I re-watched the seven seasons of Gilmore Girl's recently. There is an episode during the Luke years when he and Lorelai were dating that he disappears for a day. The entire episode Lorelai was trying to figure out where Luke went on his dark day. I hadn't watched the show in years, but I knew it had something to do with his deceased father. It turns out in the end it was the day his father died. Watching it post Ezraela I could understand wanting to be alone and hide every New Year's Eve so I could quietly mourn her death. But New Year's Eve is a night to celebrate life and a new year. To be excited about the what is to come and to be grateful of the things you get to leave behind in the previous year.

I choose to celebrate life, no matter how fleeting.

I know I will never leave behind the grief of losing my precious girl and I know that I have not done all that I am intended to do as a result of her death.

One thing I do choose. I choose to celebrate life, no matter how fleeting. I choose to cherish the life that I do have. The life of my two living children. The life of my husband. The life of my dear family and sweet friends. And pray that in the end this journey will only make me stronger and fuller. That is my prayer and wish for 2017.

"Sometimes life will test you but remember this: When you walk up a mountain, your legs get stronger." Unknown

My world

Not too long after we were in the Cathedral my husband let me take this selfie of us

Me and my Rainbow Boo. 


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