Saturday, October 4, 2008

Emily Hope

Today has been a day to grieve.

Our local health region hosts an annual memorial service for families who have lost babies during pregnancy, during birth, or shortly after birth. The service was beautiful. There were close to 100 people there... parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends... all grieving in one way or another. There were some comforting words said, some nice music played, and a lot of tears shed.

Today has been a day to celebrate.

My darling one and I made a decision today. We decided that we could no longer refer to our baby as the 'little bean' or just 'she'. She needed a name. I will admit when he first brought it up, my instinct was to say no. How could we name someone who we never met? But during the service today I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and a name floated to the surface of my heart.


We never got to hold her. We never got to find out what color her eyes were, or if she would have her daddy's thick hair. We never got to discover her personality. We never heard her cry or laugh. But that doesn't make her any less of a person. She was real... is real. We had a daughter.

For the happiest 11 weeks of my life, I cherished the knowledge that our little girl was ours. I still cherish that knowledge. I always will.

Emily Hope
Cherished Daughter
Forever With God
September 11, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One Song... Joy

In the last year or so, after dragging my feet and fighting it just a bit, I have bounded forward into the twenty-first century, and have entered the wonderful world of technological gizmos.

I am, most recently, the proud new owner of a beautiful shiny red Blackberry Pearl. It's gorgeous. It's very handy for text-messaging my better half in the middle of the day, and for playing a dangerously addictive game called 'Brick Breaker'. Oh yeah, and it's a cool phone too!

And who knew that I would enjoy a Wii quite so much? It was only supposed to be a birthday gift for my darling one, but I have reaquired an intense interest in those two wacky and zany guys, Mario and Luigi.

But the best little gizmo in my posession is my mp3 player. How does it work? I have no idea. I mean, I know how to load music onto it and I know how to use it to listen to music... but I have no idea how the technology works that allows me to take all my favorite music everywhere with me. I have had other portable music gizmos in the past... my first Walkman (the size of a small European nation) entered my life on my 9th birthday, a double cassette-playing battery operated boom-box when I was 11 (that made it all the way to college with me), my Discman that made many journey's between home and work with me over the years... but none of them have given me as much joy as this little three inch piece of plastic and metal.

So, you're probably wondering why I am rhapsodizing about my mp3 player. Especially in light of recent happenings in my life, it may seem odd to be extolling the virtues of something that is just a chunk of plastic, metal and gigabytes.

Well, maybe you aren't wondering, but you should be.

The reason I'm having a love-fest for my mp3 player is simple.


Music brings joy.

The first smile that I've smiled in weeks... my first real spontaneous smile anyway... was in response to hearing a favorite song. The first surge of truly happy energy I've experienced since the beginning of September came the other day as I was walking home and felt like dancing to the tunes filling my brain.

A favorite song, no matter how frivolous, has the power to change an attitude, alter emotion, and brighten an outlook. I have no illusions... I know that music cannot heal the painful place in my heart. Only God and time can do that. But joy is a powerful gift.

But joy is something that I am not willing to live without, even in the midst of grief.

So here's to the crazy mix that I am loving right now... from Atlantic Canadian Celtic party tunes to Broadway show tunes, from retro 80's pop to twangy country, from contemporary Christian melodies to power ballads sung by bad boy rockers.

All is joy... and my friend, joy is a good thing!