Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Hope

Today would be Hope Noelle's second birthday... the pages of time seem to turn by so fast. It is so hard to believe that two years have already passed since she quietly entered this world and so quickly left it behind. Two years ago as I sat in a delivery room in Chapel Hill facing my worst fears and watching my dreams shatter, rains poured from the sky while this tiny baby girl entered this world and today, the sun is shining so brightly, the birds are chirping, and a soft breeze is blowing. My, what a difference two years can make.

This year, I have my sweet Chayse with me. This morning as I laid in bed watching her sleep, I found myself drifting back to another place and another time, only this time it was like I was watching the life of someone else. Today, I am so proud to be able to say that I was able to walk away from the depression that engulfed me for months as I dealt with the loss of my father and child three weeks apart. Being able to distance myself from it now and look back, I know now what we missed out on with Hope... the bond that grows every day between a parent and a child. I know that our lives would be so different had she lived... the challenges that you face with a disabled child... for Hope, it would have been the heart surgeries and the need for a transplant, Down's issues, kidney dialysis, renal failure... With all of the things that we did know about her and her health, there are so many things about Hope that we will never know. Was she in any pain during that hour of life? Did she hear us telling her how much we loved her? Could she feel that love? Could she ever fully understand how much it broke our hearts to watch her die and not be in a position to do anything to help her except to hold her? Does she know how much we miss her still? What would her smile have been like? What color were her eyes? What would her laugh have sounded like? There are so many whats... but I have to hold on to the fact that one day, I will know all of the answers to the "what" questions. I know one day I will see that sweet face again, whole and perfect, free from any physical limitations and defects. That is a day that I will always look forward to.

The reality of this day though is this: had Hope lived, I probably would not have Chayse. Harsh huh, but oh so true. Chayse was not a planned child, she was not something we were trying for, she just happened but in the end, she has been such a blessing. I can not imagine our lives without her now. She completes us in a way that I never knew we needed to be completed. God sends us our gifts in his own time and when He sees fit... Chayse was indeed a gift that has not only helped us heal but one that helped us to love again. Through both of our girls, our love has been put to the test as we have faced the unknown, fear, pain, sadness, joy and sheer happiness. God allowed us to grow as people and as a couple. There were days after Hope died that I was not sure Nathan and I would survive and we came close to throwing in the towel but in the end, we came out stronger than before. We are so lucky that we have been blessed with two daughters, wonderfully made, complete in God's eyes.


Sonya said...

Christy and Nathan,

Isn't wonderful to see how God uses such little ones to show to us the things in life that really matter? Those ones who we love, why we love them so, and a little more about how God loves us! Thanks for sharing such depth in the experiences you have shared. There is a quote I recently learned that is appropriate: "Don't regret what might have been. Accept what is and rejoice in what is yet to be."