There’s a necklace that lays in my closet, silver with a single deep red stone. I assign so much meaning to jewelry; each piece has more than I’m willing to admit until my eyes well up as they land on the chain, coiled in a drawer. I was given this piece so that I would remember, so that she would be remembered.
We tried to make a baby for three years. We were tested and poked and patient. When the plus sign appeared on the plastic strip, I hit my knees. An answered prayer, a miracle baby, a new life for all of us. We waited 8 weeks, then told the world with joy.
When the bleeding started 3 weeks later, there was a pile of tiny sweaters, bitty shirts, and onesies in the rocking chair. After the darkest day was over, I left that pile there for days, unable to move it or look at it or take my eyes off of it. But we were moving and had to pack our life, so we wept as we lovingly folded each item, down to the tiniest socks, and placed the clothes into my cedar hope chest. When we drove away the next week and left for a new state and job and life, I didn’t cry. I bucked up. I shut down. I still longed, but no longer allowed myself to feel the pain or the hope.
Who shuts down hope?
The grieving one. The longing one. The one who has been taunted by almost.
On this day, over two years later, I light a candle. I kiss my son - the one we prayed for, worked for, longed for, dared hope for - and I lay him in his crib. He is here. He is mine.
Tonight I remember that July day of awful, and I think about putting that necklace on and I cry a little and I light a candle for that baby I never got to meet and I give thanks and I have hope. Not because I have a son, and not because I do or don’t cry, and not because I allow it, but because the miracle still lies in the One who gives life in so many ways. He is still good, always good, even when I’m angry with Him and wondering at Him and in awe and a little scared of how He works and even when things aren’t good, He is.
He is good. And there is hope in that.