Yesterday was a very good day to open my mail box.
Mixed in with ads, bills and insurance letters claiming to save me $100 a month on my coverage, I found 3 very sweet pieces of mail.
The first was a thank-you letter for attending a friend’s baby shower. It was my first shower after my loss. And it didn’t go without a complete breakdown from me, followed by my inability to read a blesssing to the baby, and tears for the rest of the day.
However, I love my friend and her sweet baby-on-the-way. And I’m glad I went. The act of going was more of a gift than the onesies and baby wash. I guess, in my own way, my presence (albeit, broken and teary-eyed) was the best gift I could give.
My second piece of mail was from my best friend, Robin. There was no letter, no note. Nothing but a ring.
She didn’t need to have words. The ring was enough. The pearls stand for Maddy and Olivia. The diamonds are for Ryan and I, hemming in our precious little ones.
She doesn’t know this, but my promise ring my grandparents gave me when I was 16 was a white gold ring, with a pearl and 2 diamonds on the side, just a little askew like this one. I love that my first ring symbolized my commitment to my husband. And this one symbolizes our love and commitment to our girls.
I have the best, best friend ever.
My third piece of mail is from my second mom in Jr. High — Robin’s mom, Judy. She wrote me the sweetest letter, and since there is no way to sum up her words, I’m just going to let you read her words yourself . . .
Mar. 24, 2012
As you know, our beloved Robin can be sort of urgent, at times. “MOM!” she says. “You have to read Rachel’s blog so we can PRAY!!” Rachel has a blog? I didn’t know that . . .
So now I am reading your blog. And Rachel, it is amazing. You are so coherently and beautfiully expressing your season of grief. I am drawn into it because I know and love you, but that is not the only reason. Your writing is powerful. Someday, when it all doesn’t hurt quite so badly, you could publish it.
So my mind and heart have been occupied this week with the “story” Rachel and Olivia. It so happens that Bob and I attend the annual Gideons Banquet. It comes to me that I could donate Bibles in Olivia’s name. Anyway, that someone could find Jesus through her seems so fitting to me. I love imagining a scene in heaven when you and me and Olivia and some Gideon who handed out Bibles in India are gathered around a woman with an amazing testimony of coming to faith through a Gideon Bible. This whole scenario delights and comforts me and I offer it to you in the hope that you will find comfort in it, too!
One last thing. When Bob is talking to someone who has just lost a loved one, he tells them, “Expect that people will say the wrong thing. Your friends and family do not intend to hurt you, but they will. This also is part of the grief process.” Being in the ministry for so long, Bob and I have developed sort of a macabre sense of humor about the well-intentioned-but-awful things people can say sometimes!! Laugh them off whenever you can!
We love you, Rachel. Carry on. There’s light up ahead!
I love that while I’m struggling with my faith, others who are stronger are carrying that faith for me, and are creating a spiritual legacy for my daughter.
Needless to say, I cried a lot yesterday. It was a really hard day full of anxiety and fear. I think God knew I needed these precious gifts of support yesterday to help carry me through.
To those of you who are supporting someone through a loss, please don’t EVER question the impact you can have on a grieving mom! Your gifts and letters might seem like so little to you in light of the loss — but trust me when I say they can make a difference between an impossible day, and a day where a little light and hope burst forth.
To everyone of you who has ever given a note of encouragement, a gift of rememberance, a thoughtful word, prayer or a hug to a woman with empty arms . . .