I had, without a doubt, one of the greatest mornings of my life today.
I went to "Muffins with Mom" at Ann Catherine's daycare.
It was so fun! We started, of course, with blueberry muffins. Then after we ate, all of the children gave their mommies Mother's Day gifts.
Ann Catherine made a sweet card for me. But the next gift I opened brought tears to my eyes.
It was a framed black and white picture of her and Lily holding hands. Ann Catherine's teacher, Kris, took it. It is the sweetest picture I've ever seen.
I couldn't help but cry when I saw it. It's hard to put the emotions into words. Mother's Day is a wonderful day for me, but understandably, it's still hard. I am the mother of a child who isn't with me. I can never explain how hard that is.
Yet, I am also the mother of two beautiful little girls who ARE here. They love each other so much. Ann Catherine needed Lily Baker in a way I can never explain.
And so did I. I didn't realize just how much until Lily was born. And as I've watched her and Ann Catherine grow up together, and grow to love each other, I'm struck by just how badly we ALL needed Lily.
Almost three years later, I still miss Melissa with every fiber of my being. I will never, ever stop missing that sweet little girl.
But as this Mother's Day approaches, I'm reminded of just how blessed I am. God didn't have to allow Ann Catherine to live. And he didn't have to give us Lily. But he did - and I am eternally grateful.
That picture of Ann Catherine and Lily sits on my desk at work now, so I can look at those sweet angel faces when I'm away from them. And I can be reminded of just how much those little girls truly love each other.
Ann Catherine's twin may not be here. But her little sister is. A powerful example that God gives us what we need, when we need it.