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Life and Death
Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer has a post up called Life and Death about how her grandmother's death happened at the same time as her wedding, and how the intermingling of those two things affected her life. It's really beautiful.

In my life the two have also often come hand in hand.

A few weeks after my son died we threw a party for my mother. It was her tenth anniversary from her cancer surgery, and so I had a "glad you're not dead" party. Many thought it was in poor taste, but I couldn't figure out what they were objecting to. Should we have had a "wish you were dead" party?

It was strange to be celebrating my mother's life just as we were mourning my son's death, but such is the stuff of life. And I was so glad that she was there to help walk me through it.

The real life-death dichotomy came for me, though, because I got pregnant with Katie just 10 weeks after Christopher died. In fact, she was born July 27; his birthday would have been August 6.

We asked to know what sex she was while I was pregnant, because I so desperately wanted a boy. When it was a girl I was disappointed, but not for long. And today I just can't picture anybody but my Katie. I'm so glad God gave me another little girl.

My girls are good friends, probably better than they would have been had she been a boy. And she was never a replacement baby.

It was strange to be nursing one child while crying for the one that is missing, and yet it was wonderful just the same. Katie never replaced Christopher; what she did was give me someone to hug when I was lonely. And Katie came out of the womb an affectionate baby. She always wanted to be hugged, quite the opposite of Rebecca. I felt that she was God's gift to me.

She realized a few years ago the significance of her birthday. She said to me, "Mommy, if Christopher had lived, I wouldn't have been born, would I?". That was a tough one, because the truth is no. But I said to her what I see as the truth: I said, "God gave you to me as my gift, and I am so grateful for you."

She likes coming to the graveyard and putting flowers on the grave of the brother she never knew. I heard her introducing herself to another child last week at the Track and Field meet, and she said, "I have one sister here and one brother in heaven." I didn't know she talked about Christopher like that, but it was nice to hear her say it.

I often think of the song, "Blessed Be Your Name", and the Bridge, "you give and take away". For me it's always been the opposite: you take away and give. God has always taken first.

My fiance broke up with me; then he came back and we married. I miscarried; then I had Rebecca. Christopher died; then I had Katie. But I keep coming back to that: He gives and takes away. And If I can praise Him in both, then I have learned a lot indeed.

I've given conferences talking about what it means when you feel like God has ripped things away. To listen in, go here.

You can also read about Christopher here or in Sheila's book, How Big Is Your Umbrella.

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At 8:23 PM , Blogger Becky said…

That is beautiful!
Today I posted random thoughts on adoption....and knowing that God purposed my infertility so my arms could be filled through the adoptions of the children I have!
He so perfectly gives and takes away!


At 10:51 PM , Blogger Tara said…

I posted on that very song two years ago now.
That's one of my favorites and I hope you don't mind my linking to my own post!


At 10:54 PM , Blogger Tara said…

Oh, and when I was at the ultrasound where I found out Avery Rose was on her way my girlfriend snuck into my house and placed a plaque that's she'd painted with the "Blessed be your name" in my house for me!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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