Some things I have a hard time remembering. Things I probably shouldn't forget. I have a hard time remembering dates. I have a hard time remembering the names of people I just met. I have a hard time remembering which kid did what milestone at what month/year. I'm too busy loving on them to write those things down, ya know! But then there are things... I will never forget. I won't forget the first time Whitley winked at me, with those long lashes he would some day bestow on all our babies. I won't forget the day I knew I would marry him. I won't forget the way he looked at me, all dressed up in my wedding dress. I won't forget the beautiful prayer he said when we found out we were expecting our first baby. I won't ever forget the unique stories of the births of our children, even if I can't remember what time each event happened. And I will never, ever forget the sweet one who didn't get a birth-day. I'm remembering "her" today. We named her Joy. She was due at Christmas time. Since my mother was born on Christmas day and her middle name was Joy, that would have been her first name. I am known to have visions in the middle of the night about significant things that are going to happen in the immediate future. (Usually the next day). If you don't believe me, ask me some time about all the crazy things God has revealed to me in the middle of the night. I usually SEE these things happening in my room. It FREAKS me out!! I usually don't understand them fully at first, but then clarity comes as I see the Lord walk it out. The evening I began miscarrying, we weren't quite sure if that was going to be the end story. Whitley was working nights and I was alone. I finally crawled into bed late and had fallen asleep. I woke at 11:30 feeling a certain presence in the room. I was scared. I knew I needed to turn over and see whatever it was that I would see, but I was completely terrified. As soon as I turned over, there was all this white, flowy material in my face. I pushed "it" away, feeling strange because even though I saw it, I knew it wasn't really there. Then I was able to focus on what it was... a baby's white dress. And as soon as I fixed my eyes on it, it darted up quickly... straight upward to heaven. I knew my baby was gone. And somehow, it gave me peace knowing that the Lord was taking a daughter home. I did not understand. I shouted out-loud, "FINE!!! JUST BE THAT WAY! Do what you want! She is YOURS anyway! What do you want her NOW for?!" I don't have that answer exactly, but it does help when I look at my son David. He was conceived two months later. I've said this often to myself, "The loss of my Joy... brought me David." His life would not be possible without the loss of hers. Strange comfort, but comfort nonetheless.
My husband gave me a necklace the following week... on Mother's Day. The charm is a heart with the December birthstone that has "Joy" engraved on it. I wear it every May 5th and at least through Mother's Day and I wear it around the time she was due.
Four years ago today, we lost something precious. I will never forget her. I will never forget the pain. And I will never forget the Joy... of life moving on... of breathing and living and loving and giving life again.