Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Laid to Rest

I got my mother's ring back all fixed.  I wear it now, but I also shake my head at the fact that the mistake was even made.  My daughter, so precious to me... who I long to see one day, not remembered.  But her stone is beautiful - an almost clear stone like a diamond, but with a hint of blue.  It looks misty, like the air on a sunny day, like a clear mountain stream, like the heavens.   Her stone.  Her month.  Her birth.  She existed - in time, at a given point.   And now I forever have her stone on my finger with my other children's birthstones.

Just now, I was sitting in a meeting, and someone mentioned a mother who they know and her grief of not knowing if her daughter was properly laid to rest since because of  a natural disaster, she is unable to go to the graveyard anymore and see.

Laid to rest....

I am the mother of a baby who was never laid to rest.  My baby was thrown in the garbage and incinerated.  So these very words "laid to rest" pull on my heart.  I never got to lay my baby anywhere - not so much as to gently wrap her in a cloth.  No place to remember her.  No knowing where she was sent.  Nothing.
So these words "laid to rest" tug on my heart.  And I think, despite the culture in my family, I think I am going to bury any of us who die.  Even if we cremate us first - I want us laid to rest.  Not this vague not knowing.

That is all.  I am not morbid today, only vaguely sad that I never had the chance to say good bye or to lay my child to rest, that even her memorial stone had to be returned to be fixed.

Yet, I firmly believe that even in all this, God knows and in the middle of men's mistakes, He stepped in to comfort my heart.  The gift of a brief glimpse - the picture of my daughter toddling to Him.  The brief glimpse again during the difficult time we went through this spring.... of my daughter running to meet her daddy...  these are gifts, comfort for my heart.  They may have thrown her body in the trash, but God has kept her in His arms, and I believe when I meet Him, He will have her there, ready to finally meet us, knowing who we are, ready for a reunion.  Even in this, God has comforted my heart.

Yet still, when I hear a phrase, my eyes fill briefly with tears.  "Laid to rest"  She never was....

Yet she lives.  I will see her one day.  Only then will my heart be completely whole.

Someone who I thought should have known better once asked me a question that blew me away.  Totally took me by surprise and I sat blinking that it had even be asked.  I was asked, "After all this time, do you still really miss her?"

umm......   um......

After I swallowed the shock, I answered simply, "yes.  every day".  Now, granted, the pain is different today thirteen years later, than it was that first year, but it is still there.  My mind went back to my patient who at 93 would often tell me the story of her third son who died at eleven months old.  She would end the story sighing and saying, "I miss him.... but I guess I will get to see him soon." She is still here, getting closer to that "soon", but still waiting.  I think when she finally does die, I will smile as I stand by her bed and say, "Sweetie, enjoy your reunion."

Why do people think we will forget?  Does not God even use the memory of a mother as an example of how He will not forget us?  "Can a mother forget her nursing child, even more, I will not forget you." 

No, my heart will never be complete until I hold my daughter in my arms.  If it takes 95 years, I will wait.  And then one day, I will hold her.  Then my heart will be laid to rest.

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