About a week ago Joel and I both felt this wave of sadness coming over us again. It never fully goes away, but the intensity definitely comes in waves. Usually it comes at different times for each of us. But this time we are both feeling it. As we began talking we realized that these feelings were probably because Levi is getting closer and closer to the stage we remember Cora at. All the new things he is learning and doing, those are the last memories we have with Cora. And while those memories are so precious and we are experiencing so much joy now watching Levi go through those same stages, it is hard. It makes us miss our little girl. It is all those little daily reminders...
One night we were sitting at the table eating dinner and Joel was holding Levi in his lap. Levi started sucking on the edge of the table. We laughed as we remembered Cora doing the exact same thing. We remembered when her bottom teeth came in she even started gnawing on the table. I had forgotten all about that. I reached down and felt the edge of the table where she always sat in her sassy seat. They were still there. The whole edge of the table was covered in her teeth marks. A reminder.
We are reading lots of books with Levi now. Cora always LOVED to read and I think Levi is finally starting to like it too. It took him a little longer. :o) He likes one of Cora's favorite books, Moo, Baa, La La La! The last page says, "It's quiet now. What do you say?" Joel always changed the words to "It's quiet now. What does Cora say?". Now every time I read it to Levi I hear Joel saying Cora's name in my head before I say, "It's quite now. What does Levi say?". A reminder.
I hear the walker rolling through the house and I can't help but remember looking down and seeing Cora at my heels. Except this time there is no mistaking between the two of them. Cora just slowly tip-toed around in her walker. She moved a little at a time. Levi runs in his walker. He is fast and he is everywhere! A reminder.
Levi has been chowing down on his baby food lately. He loves it. I gave him squash today and as I gave him a spoonful he flashed me this adorable smile that reminded me so much of a picture we have of his sister with squash all over her face. A reminder.
And when Levi starts to get a cold or is not feeling the best. When we start to worry that maybe something is wrong. When we debate about whether we are paranoid parents or if we should be taking him in to see the doctor. When I wait in the pediatricians office, I can't help but have my mind wander back to the day when we thought Cora just had a bad ear infection and found out she actually had cancer. A reminder.
And then I began thinking.
I began thinking of all the reminders of God's great love for me.
The reminders that are right in front of me but I am often too busy to notice. As I began thinking through the past week there were so many things that came to my mind. So many reminders of God's love for me...
A card that came in the mail this week. Just a note to let me know that this friend was still praying for me. I so needed that encouragement. She assured me that my sorrow is not forgotten. A reminder.
Joel was at a meeting a few days ago. They were talking about some things related to what we had been through with Cora. He was having a hard time with it and a buddy noticed and came and put his arm around him. I loved hearing him share that with me. I loved that a tough guy was willing to show my husband love and support. A reminder.
As I walked out of church on Sunday in the middle of the service to feed Levi we were singing Amazing Love. The words kept running through my head all day.
How can it be
That you, my king, would die for me?
I love those words. God's love for me is amazing. So amazing, that He has already met my greatest need. A reminder.
I have had the opportunity to share my story with several people lately. I love that Cora is part of that story. I love that the Lord is still using her short life to reach people. A reminder.
And of course Levi. The sweet little boy I get to spend my days with. I am so blessed to be his mama. Although everyone says that he looks just like his daddy (and he does), I love that I can see a little of his sister in him too. Levi's life is a gift. And a huge blessing from the Lord to our family. A reminder.
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with life or with our circumstances. We get overwhelmed with the things that are pressing on our emotions and the things that are just plain hard. We forget to look for the Lord's provision that is all around us. We even forget to remember how the Lord has provided and been so faithful to us in the past.
Today will you look around for those reminders?
Will you look for the Lord's love and provision that is all around you?
(I remember Joel posting these verses on one of our very hard days in the hospital with Cora. It seemed like every time we turned around we were plowed over with more bad news. But today, just like that day in the hospital, I am reminded that the God we serve is faithful no matter what we are going through.)