Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas Letter To My Daughters

My darling Livia and Lucy,

Yesterday we visited your grave. It was a visit containing three "firsts". Though this is your second Christmas season in Heaven, it is the first Christmas we could visit your grave. It was the first time your daddy got to see your headstone in person. And it's the first time we brought your little brother to visit.

Sean was fussing as I got him out of the car seat, but as he settled into my arms and we came to stand under your tree in front of your headstone, he calmed down. He watched quietly as your father laid the two roses in front of your headstone– one dark pink, one creamy white. Then I brought him nearer and we crouched down so that his little baby hand could touch the rose granite of your stone. His little fingers, so eager to explore all different kinds of textures, gently caressed your stone. And I wept.

There has been an ache in my heart this whole season of Christmas, the ache of missing you, the ache of incompleteness, the ache of your absence. You both should be here– we ought to be a family of five all together for the holidays.

I watch your little brother and I wonder about both of you. He is so strong-willed, so stubborn; he can be so utterly charming one minute and then flat out screaming the next. He gazes at me with smoky dark eyes filled with delight as I tickle his tummy while I change his diaper, and his infectious giggles kiss my ears. I wonder if those giggles contain the echoes of your laughter. I wonder what you look like, growing up in Heaven, and if your eyes are smoky dark grey like Sean's, or brown like your daddy's, or greeny-blue like mine. I wonder what things make you laugh. I wonder who takes care of you and loves on you and sweeps you up for kisses and hugs and cuddles. And I ache for it to be me who does all of that.

A few times in the past month I have been asked how I am enjoying motherhood since Sean's arrival. I answer politely, because I know that the speakers mean well, but I declare here and for everyone that my motherhood did not begin with Sean's arrival. It began nearly two years ago, with your conception, with your tiny lives growing within me, that changed my identity forever. And though I love your brother fiercely and delight in his life, you are no less real than he is
. You are just as much our daughters as he is our son, and he will grow up always knowing your names and knowing you are his big sisters.

My Lucy, my Livia. I miss you so much. And I know that Christmas in Heaven, whatever it is like in the particulars, is full of more joy than I can possibly imagine and that you, having seen our reigning Savior Jesus face-to-face, live that joy in a way that I can only experience the echoes of here on this broken earth. And that brokenness is evident in our separation from you, and it means that all Christmases in our family, no matter how joyous, will always have a bittersweet taste for missing you.

I love you, my beautiful, precious girls. And I rejoice in how alive you are in Heaven and I wait in eager anticipation of the day I will get to see you once again.

Always your Mama.

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