I've been thinking a lot lately about Melissa.
Don't get me wrong. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her. But, sometimes I feel her presence so deeply. That's how I felt this weekend.
It was for a variety of reasons. First, I had lunch Friday with a friend who went through a situation very similar to ours. She gave birth to twins three months early. One of the twins passed away, the other survived. Then, God blessed her with another child. As we ate, we talked about our experiences. We laughed about our children now and how crazy life is, and we cried over the loss of our precious babies. But, we both agreed that they are both in Heaven, where they no longer hurt and where they are so happy. She thinks they're playing soccer up there, kicking the ball like crazy. I think she's probably right. If Melissa is anything like Ann Catherine, I bet she loves to just run and run. And just think how big her back yard is! I take such comfort in the fact that I know she's happy and healthy. And most importantly, I know I'll see her again one day. What a wonderful blessing!
Saturday night, Chris, the girls and I went to the Havoc game. During the first intermission, Chris and Ann Catherine went on the ice to accept a $1000 check from the Havoc Booster Club, which they raised through their Texas Hold 'Em Tournament. Lily and I stayed in the seats and watched. As they held the checks on the ice, I began to cry. It was a serious of things. First, just seeing Melissa's name on the check made me cry. I realized that before there could be a fund that has raised almost half a million dollars in just two and half years, there had to be a little girl named Melissa. She had to be born premature and we had to lose her. Even though it was God's plan from the beginning, it can be so overwhelming to me at times. Then, seeing Ann Catherine on the ice made me think of what a miracle it is that she's even here. The fact that she is healthy is just the icing on the cake. And then lastly, as I held Lily who was snuggling up to me, I was made aware of this other little miracle in our lives. We didn't realize how much we needed Lily until God gave her to us. As I said a million times, Lily is not a replacement for Melissa, but she completed our family in a way that nothing else could have. And she filled a void in Ann Catherine that was left when Melissa died.
This morning, I said "Girls, let's go get ready for church." Ann Catherine went and took Lily by the hand and said, "Come on, Lily. Come with me," and she led her to her room to help her get dressed. I just stood there with tears in my eyes and thanked God for the blessings he had given us.
It would be so easy after losing Melissa to feel like I had been robbed and cheated. And don't get me wrong. I miss her so much. I would give the world to hold her again and to have her back with us. But, I know that's not possible right now. And even though we had to go through that, God has blessed us beyond our imagination. He has given our family so much, and I am incredibly grateful for that.
We sang a song at church today that I love. The chorus says, "Saviour, he can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save." I cry each time we sing it. My God can move the mountains. He moved them in our life. Some people think being a Christian means nothing bad will ever happen to you. Not so. The Bible clearly says that we will have trials and tribulations. But, we have a God that loves us so much. He never leaves us through the valleys, and if we will let him, he has so much to teach us during the bad times.
And even when those we love have to leave us, he still allows us to feel their presence. That's how I have felt lately. I feel Melissa and I know she is always with us.
That is a gift that is hard to describe. And I am so grateful for it.
In the meantime, kick that soccer ball, my sweet Melissa. And run to your heart's content.
You deserve it. And always know that mommy loves you.