With the reports of devastation across our state after tornadoes caused wide-spread destruction of life and property yesterday, I am so down. I think about all of the people who are mourning the loss of a loved one today. I imagine what they are feeling and try to think of needs I can pray for, and it brings back memories of how we felt that first week after our loss. Numb, disbelieving, agony. The feeling that you were outside your life, looking in. That she couldn't be gone. And these thoughts inevitably lead me to her-the precious, smiley, turquoise-eyed angel that she is-and all of the things I miss about her on a daily basis.
1. Those twirling toes. Her cute little, chunky feet were home to the most active toes I have ever witnessed on a baby and she had the uncanny ability to bend her big toe at the joint. I am so thankful for the pictures I have of her twirling toes, but so wish I had gotten some close-ups!
See how her right big toe is bending and her left is crossing? If she was awake, she was doing her twinkle toe moves.
2. Rocking her. I rocked her a minimum of 2 hours daily....yes, daily. It was my favorite activity. There was a brief month where she cooed loudly to my lullaby and humming when she first fell asleep. I'd laugh so hard I would have to stop myself from jiggling her too hard with my fits of giggles. I even called Cannon up to witness this phenonmenon. I kept saying we needed to get it on video, but like so many details in this busy life, that one fell between the cracks.
3. Her fascination with the bath tub faucet. I would put her bath sling close to it so she could reach out and touch the water filling the tub. Every time it would cause the water to splash in her face and she would look stunned and then crack up with a big toothless grin. Thankfully, this I do have on dvd. Last week I got so paranoid that something would happen to the videos of her that I took them to Wolf to be copied. Now I can rest easier at night. I store them in our fire safe but they are officially jam packed with memories and will barely close so I'm trying to figure out a better system. Any suggestions for how you store your irreplaceable photos, videos, important docs, etc?? I am going to try to import this video. I have it burned to a dvd but haven't quite figured out how to get it on my computer's hard drive to upload. Hmmm. If anyone knows how...please help!
4. The way she looked when she woke up. Those rosey cheeks flushed from sleep, hair matted, big grin, sleep sack on, fisher-price aquarium playing moments. I sometimes find myself face down on her mattress inhaling that sleepy scent. I hope it never goes away.
5. Her GiGi Technique. GiGi was a giraffe with a paci attached. She had two and I still have one. She never sucked on a pacifier the way most babies do and would look so disgusted when I put one in her mouth, but she did hold the giraffe part and gum the paci while she rubbed GiGi's ears over her eyelids. I have to have my fingers moving as I fall asleep (those of you who know me well know Bubbie) so I think she got that from me.
6. Watching her watch her brother. She was fascinated by his every move. I have one picture of her smiling up at him at Halloween that captures it all. I miss hearing him proudly tell his friends about, "his baby" and the way he was always looking out for her.
7. The sound of her feet bumping against the crib rails at night. Sometime around 10 every night she would wake up and just play in her crib for awhile, babbling and kicking. We'd hear the tell-tale "thump" of her playtime in the living room while we were watching tv and we'd watch her on the video monitor laughing until she put herself back to sleep. She was such a GREAT sleeper and self-soother.
8. Her proudest trick-waving "Bye-Bye." I think she started doing this in response to my trying to teach her to say "all done" with sign language, but it was a happy accident. She loved to wave to any and every person we came in contact with. I have this on video as well and will watch it over and over.
9. Hearing her say, "a-da,da,da,da" to her daddy and watching him gloat with satisfaction over the fact that she wasn't saying mama yet.
10. Watching her curiosity. She was fascinated with grass. We would sit on our front lawn on top of a quilt and she would work tirelessly to drag the quilt close enough to her so she could expose the coveted grass blades and try to eat them. When I would playfully get onto her she would squeal with her mouth wide open and laugh. She had figured out a way to get my goat and loved every second of it!
So it's with these memories running through my mind that I lift up the people across Alabama who are suffering and mourning today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives, and ask you to do the same. These people now have their own memory lists and their lives will never be the same, but I take heart in the words of Helen Keller: "The world is full of suffering. It is also full of the overcoming of it." Amen to that. And to this:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (The Message)
And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence - we have the Master's word on it - that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise-they'll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
A friend sent me this verse in a letter the other day and I hope it encourages you as much as it did me.
And I hope this little guy-the one with the mohawk, on a rubbermaid step stool, perched in my bath tub, with a washcloth and trash bag tied around his cast-brings you a much-needed laugh.
Leave it to our "Peesh" to lighten things up!