Tonight Noble fell and bumped his head on the tile. It wasn't a very bad bonk. He kept his head up enough to cushion the blow. But it scared him and he wanted his mom to hold him afterward. So I picked him up and after his initial cries he settled down. But he still just wanted me to hold him. I was ever so happy to oblige.
I sat on our green rocking chair. Someone had taken Noble's clothes off after dinner so he was only wearing a diaper. I sat rocking on the chair with him sitting in my lap facing me. He laid his head down on my chest and I sat with my arms around him rocking his little body.
He is so white. His skin is like my husbands. There is no "olive undertone" there. It is just as fair as can be. I laid my cheek down on his soft hair. He was totally still except I could feel him breathing.
And I was taken back to holding her, that last time, when she stopped breathing in my arms. She was the same size and felt the same weight. Her skin was so white and soft against mine. And she was totally still. And I felt the last breaths go out of her.
Noble has been so healing for me in so many ways. But there are moments like this when he takes me back to another time and another child and my heart lives again some other life that was. Perhaps there is healing in the reliving as well. Perhaps we must learn to sip from the cup of our bitter memories to truly say we have become accustomed to their taste in our mouth. Or perhaps it is tasting them again that helps us see how far we have come.
I looked at the pictures my sister-in-law Elizabeth took in that moment when I last held her. It was so like my moment today only so filled with pain and sorrow instead of the sweetness and joy of today. I marveled as I looked at myself in that image. How did I do that? How am I still here? How did I ever let anyone take her out of my arms? How did I get up and use my legs again?
People talk about miracles where loved ones are healed and the sick are made well. Looking at that picture tonight I could see that there was a miracle happening in that room and in that very frame. I had prayed so hard for a miracle for her but the Lord intended to show His miracle by helping me. How else could I have kept breathing when she stopped? And how else could I be where I am today - feeling whole and peaceful and hopeful and joyful despite my bitter cup. Yes there was a miracle happening. But it has taken time to see and realize that all the while He has been holding Me.