I've missed Piper a little extra today.
And by "a little extra" I mean that I am allowing myself to remember things that are both difficult and beautiful. Just like her little life was. And I am allowing myself to cry a little more than I usually do and I'm finding it to be good for me.
I'm often asked how my day is going and it's just not that easy. My days are fine...I'm sober and upright and frankly there are many moments that that even seems like too much. But I am.
It's the moments that catch me.
I'm walking down the stairs and remembering how many millions of times I held Pipers hands and took steps slowly with her and praised her her desire to be such a big girl.
The days and nights are too big to handle in theory and so I continue to just do the moments. Thankfully Pipers life, while difficult no doubt, was filled with beauty. She was a blessing to us in every single little way and her absence is a glaring void in my life.
Imagine losing a child.
Some of you have and my memories and musings scrap off the scabs of your own loss. Most of you haven't and while you fear and possibly fret over the possibility, fact is you will probably walk to Jesus long before your children.
As it should be.
But some of us are left to maneuver the living room when your minds eye remembered your two year old walking towards you with pride in her eyes, you shower quietly and wish you could hear your daughter plead to join you. You have to daily, sometimes hourly, remind yourself to not say "daughters" but instead to put your "daughter" in bed. When someone knocks on the door there is no sharp intake of excited breathe and the swift hustle of a toddler hauling herself to see who is visiting.
Pipers memories are everywhere. And on the brief moments that I relish the breeze and the sound of Linley playing and think to myself how good life is... there is the inevitable sucker punch of reality and the knowledge that Piper is gone. Never to return to my arms or my stairs or my living room or my shower or my bedtime routine.
That's a moment that hurts.
So imagine not having that child next to you. Today when going about your to-do list allow yourself to have no responsibility for one of your children. Make yourself think how horrible it would be to kiss them goodbye and never ever kiss them hello again, this side of eternity.
And when you feel like you cannot breathe for how heavy this feels on your parental soul, I want you to have the moment that relieves this ache because you do still have your beautiful daughter or strong son. I don't have this relief and I do have much sadness.
There is a verse that has soothed me since Pipers death. Each time I feel overwhelmed or hurt or angry, I force myself to refocus my emotions around the pit that is called Despair. If I despair I lose hope and if I lose hope I lose my foundation for survival. I just can't do that and make the struggles of the last two and a half year seem in vain.
So I rail and I cry and I sit quietly in each moment that comes. But I do not despair...eternity is sweeter with Piper leading the way for us all.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.