Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A First Lost, A First Gained

Today, there is one extra pink backpack hanging on a store wall. One additional pretty dress still hanging on the rack. One more pair of sparkly shoes still sitting on the store shelf.

I should’ve been sending her off to Kindergarten today. I should be wiping tears of separation anxiety off my cheeks this morning, not stifling gut wrenching sobs of grief these past few days in the lead up to this should’ve-been milestone. Time has eased the pain but on these days, there is no way to escape the gaping hole in my life and heart she left behind. 

Today, in a change of fate, I will be sending her baby brother off to his first day of preschool. This afternoon at recess time, there will be a missing Kindergartner and an empty swing on that playground, and instead this morning, there will now be a little preschooler to fill it.

His life is a precious gift that came out of the brokenness her death left us with. So although five years ago I envisioned this day in a very different light, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for his presence in our family and for the opportunity to watch him grow and experience this life, this world, with fresh eyes and excitement.

Our family's story did not end with our daughter's death, it continued on with the blessing of a sweet little boy who we could not imagine our lives without. He and his big brother fill our lives with joy and love, but their sister's life and our grief will always be a part of us.

Our lives have become a balance between the life we lost and the joyful life we have. And though our joys allow us to love our lives again, they do not negate our pain. And today, my heart is cracked back open.

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