Aug 7, 2008

Tightly, I Hold Her.


The setting isn't really anything spectacular, but I'll set it up for you anyway.



Remi has just woken up from her nap and has decided there is nowhere else in the entire house that she would rather sit than with me. And not just in my lap, mind you, but in my ARMS. Snuggled up next to me, with both of my arms draped tightly around her. Her head leaning back against my chest.

I sit here trying to paint this picture for you by typing it with one hand. It isn't easy. She mainly pretends not to notice, though every once in a while she will grunt out of frustration and reach over and grab my hand, pull it once again perfectly, around her. And I think to myself, "well, who can argue with that?"

And so, tightly, I hold her.

Harder and harder she presses her tiny head into my chest; by doing this she is wanting both to...
a.) make sure I know she's there...
b.) and to lay claim to Momma as her territory. No daddy had better try to approach and ruin this moment.

And I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.

And I watch her big, blue eyes. Those eyes that I prayed would stay blue even though everyone told me, "they'll change. They always do." But I prayed they would stay the color of her daddies, because if she couldn't have his DNA I wanted her to at least be fortunate enough to have his eyes, both their depth and their color. Their transparency and their mystery. And so blue - they stayed. Amen.

And now they blink in tempo with a big, blue bear named Balloo. And she watches intently this dancing bear. But never long enough to forget I'm there. To sneak a peak out of the corner of her eye to make sure I'm still staring at her.

She needn't worry.

And I lean my face down to smell her hair. To kiss her. And she doesn't budge. Nor complain. Nor move. In fact, unless I'm imagining it, she leans in to it.

And I think back to the first time we bathed her. And how our house was so cold and quiet as we worked feverishly at this new task. Freezing cold, in fact. Because that's how it had been for so many years. We didn't know to make it warm for her, and pretty soon she began to shiver. And so we pulled her out of her bath and wrapped her up tightly, and pulled a brand new nightgown, all pink and precious, over her head. And then fought over who got to hold her.

I won.

But as her daddy leaned in to her, smelt her head and kissed her, he said so perfectly, "She smells like a blessing."

And she did.

And she does.

Oh, it's a different blessing now. It doesn't smell so much like baby as it does trouble. It smells less like lavender and more like mischief. Less like tender more like tough. Less like kid gloves and more like, what is that, ketchup?

But a blessing nonetheless. Not one little bit less.

I retreat to this memory because retreat is what I do best. For I know in a few short hours I will be laying, once again, on that cold metal table. Hearing words that still fall like lead teardrops. Beside a man who hurts just as much as I do. Although he's a man, and apparently people don't think they do, but I know different. They do. At least, he does.

And so I prepare myself during precious moment I am in, for that very un-precious moment a few hours from now. On that cold metal table. And I prepare myself to pull him down close to me, lean up off the table and whisper in his ear, "She smells like a blessing."

And he will know exactly what I'm talking about. What I'm referring to.

And with that he will go, as I did, back to that moment in time when God proved more than faithful. When His gift far outweighed any service or sacrifice that we had ever made to Him. When He restored to our home "what the locusts had eaten." (Joel 2:25)

Which can be quite nice when you think how lonely you can feel in a room full of strangers. Who are now staring at your heartbreak on a screen. And searching your face for your feelings. And handing you Kleenex when they find them. And scheduling on their books when they can remove your hope. Ah, yes. Quite lonely.

But I am not there yet. No. I am in this moment...and in this moment she leans in closer. Harder now. And I wonder if it is really her at all. Or the God I love, in her. Using her. To love on me. To rescue me. To remind me.

And I thank Him, just the same, for her. For Him. For all of this.

56 comments:

Kendrawolf said...

Oh Melissa. You always make me cry. Your post is beautiful and I love how you always see God's blessing first. You have been in my prayers and I will be praying especially hard a few hours from now, that He will give you strength.

Givinya De Elba said...

I second that. All of it.

Jenn said...

I'll be praying for you today!

Bella's momma said...

What a beautiful moment. Precious memories to carry with you. And a treasured gift to come home to. But also He gave you the promise that He would be right there with you ~

Hold on to all of these truths as you go to your appointment. And hold on to the fact that you have a bunch of friends holding you up in prayer~ I am honored to be on of them!

Hugs,

Krista

Karol said...

You write so beautifully. Remi is extremely blessed with two wonderful parents. I will be praying for you.

Rae said...

What a way to start the day. What a precious child, so intuitive to what you might need- and she doesn't even know it. Thank God for the grace given even before we need it the most.

Shelley said...

Melissa,

You are truly a blessing to those of us fortunate enough to have crossed your path. I don't believe in accidents. Your posts are the most beautiful expression of your love and faith in our Heavenly Father. And maybe, some of us (namely me) need to be reminded to be thankful even when our circumstances aren't what we want them to be. You are truly a blessing to me. I prayed for you this morning before I even signed on, please know that I will be thinking of you and the AG today and if I could, I'd be there holding your hand.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Wow... that was pure beauty. Just like you, and your precious little girl. Thank you for baring your heart to us in all this. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for reminding us about the good things in life.

I'll be praying for you today!

Trish said...

Your daughter is beautiful! I love how you felt that it was God using her so that you could feel His love! It's making me think outside of the box!

Kori said...

What a lovely post.

Vicki said...

Oh God, comfort Your child this morning as she goes for another heartbreak. Give her and her husband Your strength, Your peace and Your divine guidance as they live through this together. Bless her and her time with Remi. May she find You in every situation, even the small ones, which don't seem very spectacular, but are huge faith lessons. God, You've given this woman a voice. Thank You for allowing her to share it with us. Amen.

Lean into Him as much as Remi (He) is leaning into you.

Rhea said...

That was heart wrenching, Melissa, and beautiful all at the same time. Good luck today and hold onto that wonderful memory and your amazing AG to get through.

Connie said...

Absolutely beautifully written...your words are a gift to those who read them... inspired by God. It never ceases to amaze me how God opens our eyes and gives us such vision through times like these. You have an amazing family who loves you dearly.

Jaci said...

Argh, only your posts can make me cry! Your writing is so beautiful, and sad, and yet hopeful. I don't know how you do it. Yes, I do. You have an amazing faith in God.

Just so you know, I will pray for you today, and I have been trying to pray for others like you advised! It's slow, but I'm trying.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

So amazing and touching.
My prayers are with you today.

Midwest Mommy said...

What a great post.
I'll be thinking of you today.

Heather said...

Oh, Melissa, you have such a gift for writing, pulling me in and making me feel precisely what you are feeling. You are in my prayers, today and always.

Love, Heather

Karen said...

A beautiful post.

Will be thinking of you and praying for you, today.

Kids often sense when their parents are unhappy, even when the parents think it is hidden. Sounds like she was trying to comfort you in her own way. You have a real blessing there, Melissa.

Tracy P. said...

This post is a bundle of gifts tied with a thread of sorrow. Your gift of expression leaves me speechless.

Praying for you in your sorrow.

Apryll said...

I am so glad you had a precious moment with your daughter this morning. Will be praying for you today.

Caution Flag said...

May His grace carry you today.

Jenni said...

As everyone says, and you clearly know, you are blessed to have Remi, but just remember she is ever so blessed to have you.

Lauren W said...

What a precious and beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing it with us. Remi's such a sweet blessing. And Jenni's right, you're an amazing blessing for her as well.
I'll be praying for peace for you today.

Trish said...

In tears........again.

But still praying!

Trish

Ronnica said...

Beautifully written, yet difficult to read. Thanks for letting us share in the good times and the bad.

Anonymous said...

absolutley. positively. BEAUTIFUL.

Kimberly said...

This is so touching. I always feel very uplifted by your thoughts, even when they are trials. Thank oyu for sharing with us! My prayers are with you.

Z's Mom said...

I'm so glad your little Remi Angel knows just when to save you both!

I'll continue praying God gives you all the strength you need to get through this.

Me said...

Beautifully written post. My prayers are with you still.

Laura

Sherri - KaysvilleMomma said...

My thoughts are with you!!!

I love it when my kids want to cuddle!!

Kelly said...

Once again I am crying...you are so insightful...again, I admire your strength and your faith!
Hang in there kiddo...as you've pointed out time and time again, you are in good hands, HIS (or HER :) ) hands.

Merrie said...

I think He knew just what you needed. Thinking of you today.

Melissa said...

Okay, that post was awesome!
We are coming to Murphy, NC in November. I don't have any idea how close you are to there, but I was being totally serious! I'm at my mom's house checking my blog right now. She lives in Boca, but they are moving to Murphy soon. We will be there for Thanksgiving this year. I will email you details later....

Anonymous said...

You've got an amazing talent with words. May God be with you this afternoon.

Tracy said...

I dare anyone to read this post and not feel it. I may be entirely too empathetic (seriously, it's been proven) but I feel your emotions through this (good writer! kudos!) and I have tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and goosebumps running the lengths of my arms.

Oh and your Remi makes my heart swell. <3

Sidney said...

I feel so blessed that He uses you and your words to uplift and humor and humble us, even when things aren't what we hoped for.

You continue to amaze and bless me, and continue to be in my prayers. I understand, too well, your pain. Praying His peace and comfort for you and your entire family.

Anonymous said...

Melissa:

Add one more person who is praying for you and David.

I love you all so much and pray for you often. I remind God that He has promised to give us the desires of our heart and He knows what your desire is.

I always enjoy your posts and look forward to reading them.

With much love,

Sharon

Rhonda said...

My Lord girl, you have a way with words. You painted the picture brilliantly.

My little one still does that. Sometimes she gets so close, I swear she's trying to climb right into my skin. I said to her once, do you need to be right on top of me? Yes, she said. And just like that, she did. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

I'm thinking of you today. And pretty much every other day too.

Deanna said...

There should be a sign at the top of your blog that reads, "Do not enter without Kleenex -- either for crying or laughing! Sometimes both in the same blog."

wy-not said...

It's pretty clear, Melissa, that you and your family are being remembered to the Lord by many hands, hearts and voices today. Mine included. I trust you are back at home by the time I am typing this comment, but I wonder if you could feel the power of our prayers and long-distance support as you waited there on that metal table. 'The greatest of these is love,' He said. Did you feel ours? Because it's certainly there for you if you need it. May God bless you all and bring you comfort and peace.

Mommy said...

Hugs.

Robin said...

What a perfect way to describe a newborn baby smell. And our blessings are provided in flashes and memories like that. May God hold your hand while you go through this time and always.

Kathryn said...

I came over from Dysfunctional Mom's and I'm so glad I did.
You are such an amazing writer. Wow. This piece is just so moving and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :)

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

This is beautiful. You are inspiring, even while my heart breaks for you. You are in my prayers...

krissy said...

Dysfunctional sent me as well. She dared me not to cry. Well, I like to be dared and I usually win because there isn't a dare that I don't win.

But I lost today. Because first I went back and read some very personal posts about your loss. And then I read your post today. And then before I knew it I was wiping the tears away.

You are a beautiful writer and I believe that you have a beautiful soul to write such words.

And I don't trust anyone who doesn't like buttercream icing either. There is obviously something wrong with them.

I don't have words of wisdom (mainly because I don't have wisdom) but I will say to continue to have faith and hope. Sometimes we have to climb mountains to see the pastures. But I'm sure you already know that all too well.

Thanks for the cry! Even though I lost a dare! :-)

One- said...

Thanks for sharing!

One- said...

Thanks for sharing!

One- said...

Thanks for sharing!

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

(hi, cyndy/dysfunctional mom told me to come over and read your blog post today.)

wow, that was amazing. beautiful post. and i love how your husband said that, "she smells like a blessing." i just cried like a baby reading your post.

blessings to you and your family.

greetings from kathleen in anchorage alaska

tripmom827 said...

I found you through BlogHer. What a beautiful post. I do think that God often sends me hugs and encouragement through my children. God Bless you and your family!

ann said...

Amen, and Amen. and Amen.

Blissful Nikki said...

Melissa, thank you for sharing this today. Sometimes I cry with you, sometimes I laugh with you, and through this post I fee even closer to you. Since reading your blog I can see more of what my sister goes through from another persons point of view. But today, you made me realize that I can be a better parent than what I am now. Thank you for that! I think I am going to just go watch my daughter sleep now, and smell her, and cherrish her. Bless you and Christ who lives in you to share what you share.

Katy Lin :) said...

wow. this is absolutely beautiful. thank you so much for sharing this with us. you are truly gifted. thank you for glorifying the Lord with your talents!

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Thank you for sharing. Beautifully written. Sometimes it's hard to say "OK, God, thy will be done."

Prayers and blessings.

natalie said...

What a beautiful post. I am completely in tears. Every mother (and father, for that matter)knows that smell. Absolutely beautiful.

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