from an article originally posted September 21, 2014…
My dear Thea and John bought us a hammock. She had mentioned the idea of this treat to me, and she told me what time in the hammock meant to her, but I had no idea what a treasure it would be to my heart. I can sit and watch my children wonder and play in the back yard.
And today, this beautiful day I took my book, pillow, and sweet new afghan made with love and prayers by our Hannah, and headed out back. Soon I was met by my littlest love. She came and hunkered close and rested next to me. She always comments on my warmth. She says her favorite place is beside my warmth. When we both woke from our brief rest we started to talk about heaven. I’m not exactly sure where the conversation started, but we started to imagine the place of no more tears. I told her I was going there. She told me she would meet me there. I told her that time would feel long, but that it really wasn’t. It was a tender moment. A quiet moment. One I will not forget. The hammock became this sweet cocoon of tenderness and wonder. When the conversation ended I prayed it would always stay with Story. I prayed she would always remember dreaming of our next home together. So I write these words, I share this picture in the hopes that one day she will return here and the memory will come to life for the health and love of her heart. Lately I have been ending these precious moments with my children with one simple phrase: Do you know you are a child cherished? Do you know I treasure you, and God delights in you? And some smile a knowing smile, some answer, but they always listen to these words. Because I will say them to my dying day, we can never hear enough about love. Never. Oh, what a beautiful and high calling we have as parents to treasure the hearts of our children.
This week to come isn’t going to be an easy one. More treatment, more hard, but I feel hopeful. You see, I feel pain growing in new corners. So I don’t go into treatment wearied. I go into treatment knowing this is what I need to fight this battle. I need these medicines, I need this hard, I need to meet my bottom so I can fight this cancer. And when the day comes that the options for treatment run out, then I get to snuggle my loves and wonder over the next place. There is a growing peace in me enjoying the long goodbye. Embracing the little moments for the huge moments they are. Snapping a quick picture in hopes that something is captured that will help sustain my loves through hard days.
The hardest peace is to walk through and not around what is hard. But peace is present. It is so painfully present; I am able to imagine heaven with my baby with wonder and not bitterness. It’s beautiful really. I go to sleep thankful.