Today when I woke up, I knew I wanted to make this day (Charlotte's due date) a day of celebrating what I have in the here and now and what I have to look forward to in the future, rather than dwelling on 'what could have been'. At times I have been consumed with, 'what could have been' and 'why couldn't she stay', and 'why give me a blessing that I then didn't receive' and 'how come the stranger down the street gets to keep her baby with Down Syndrome and I don't' and 'why did you let me fall in love with her and then take her away' - I did some pretty good whinging!! :)
You see when we first found out about the Down Syndrome, I was devastated. I thought I was in a nightmare. It was just such a shock to find out my baby was THE ONE out of all those 'normal' babies out there, that was 'different'. Many emotions rocked through me those first few weeks, but by the end of that first month, I had come full circle, realising what a privilege it was, and by then it was too late, I had fallen madly in love with this baby, a baby that would grow but that would stay innocent and pure their whole life on this earth and as I started to feel the first flutters of movement from deep within my tummy, I actually began to get a little excited. When at first, I was scared by the whole 'down syndrome look' she would have, I now began to wonder about what colour her almond shaped eyes would be, how cute her folded down ears would be, the wide gaping mouth that I would smother with kisses and the short little body I would cuddle everyday, for as long as I had her. All the selfish thoughts I had about losing 'time for myself' were gone. But then....... she was gone! Just like that!
I have come to realise however, that we can't change things we have no control over and so getting angry or bitter about it does you no good. It's like when Harry Potter is consumed by looking in the mirror and seeing his parents, seeing the thing he wanted the most. Dumbledore told him that many a wise wizard had wasted away staring into that mirror, wishing for something that could not be.
And so when I have questioned Heavenly Father and stated, 'this was not the plan, I don't wish to be here, I want her back', he softly whispers with a smile, 'this IS the plan, this IS what you agreed to do, you ARE living the plan and I'm sure he ruffles my silly little confused head, smiling at my frustrated incomprehension of what I can no longer remember, knowing all the while that one day, whether it be sooner or later, it will all make sense to me.
So today we decided to write some letters to Charlotte and tie them to some helium balloons.
There is something symbolic about watching balloons rise into the sky, until they are just tiny specks, a notion that maybe, they will reach heaven and be grasped by the person we are honouring.
We let the balloons go on our deck where we had planted a rose in a pot. It is actually called a 'Charlotte' rose, We researched it on the internet and then one of the garden centre's ordered it in for us.
We also put out on the deck, a quilt I had made for Charlotte, before I found out she had died and her remembrance box, with her ultrasound photos, gifts and cards from dear friends after she had passed and trinkets, letters and pictures the kids had done for her. Even the funeral home bill is in the box. :)
Finally tonight, we made a cake and celebrated Charlotte's many birthdays that we will one day celebrate with her.
The funny thing was, that Jonty thought the cake was for his birthday and when we sang, 'happy birthday', he grinned like a cheshire cat.
So today I wanted to celebrate the 'here and now' in the privilege I have of raising these four (and a half) beautiful kids with one amazing husband and in celebrating the knowledge that our family can be a family not just in this life, but in the eternities also.
The temple that Simon and I were married in,
Jan 7 2000, Sydney Austalia
This means, that if I do my part and live my life to the best of my ability, I get to live with Simon and Sarra and Hallie and Oliver and Jonty and Charlotte and 'the boy baby' forever and ever.
Now THAT is something worth celebrating.