Today is March 4. Lilly would have been 20 months old today if she were still on earth. We know she's having a wonderful day in heaven!
We honored Lilly by putting up decorations for March on her memorial tree. We went with a St. Patrick's day theme since we like that day and it is mine and my husband's wedding anniversary. We like Saint Patrick too! If you want read a really good book about him, that cuts through all the myths, try David Bercot's book Let Me Die in Ireland: The True Story of Patrick.
My daughter, aunt, and I made a lot of shamrock and green butterfly ornaments with cardstock. T.W. sent us two ornaments she made out of pink and green clips that she wound onto shamrock garland. And I also had a dozen plastic shamrock necklaces which I cut and hung like garland. Of course green things don't show up great on a green tree but it's OK.
We learned some very sad news when we arrived at church this morning. A young couple's 7 week old baby boy had died this morning. Completely unexpectedly. We do not know why yet. My heart hurts so bad for this couple. We know what it feels like. And yet they have what is maybe an additional pain. They now know what it is like to lose a child - unexpectedly - that they had no reason to think would die anytime soon.
The night Lilly died was very very surprising to us. We weren't expecting it right then. And yet, there was always that little subconscious part of me that wondered, almost every day, "is this going to be the day?" It was like a shadow that lived with us.
In talking about our "new baby" (I'm 12 weeks pregnant) my 3 year old son will sometimes tell me things like "when the new baby dies, it will get to see Lilly!" I usually smile with him. But I have also tried to tell him that most babies don't die young. Lilly was special. Lilly had Trisomy 18. But death seems so normal to my son, who went to funerals of 3 family members last year within 6 months. He sees death as something joyful. "Mamma - they get to be with Jesus!"
Death was such a normal part of life in the past. But in our modern age we tend to think doctors can fix most everything. And we will live normal lives. And our children will outlive us. Accidents, cancer - they happen to other people, not us. We tend to want to cover up death. We feel uncomfortable around others who have just lost loved ones. We act like death isn't natural.
Really, all that is ridiculous. It is our modern thinking that is "backwards." Not the past way of thinking. Life truly is fragile. We are not invincible. God has a plan for every one of us and we never know when He will call us home.
"Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is." - Psalm 39:4