Friday, July 6, 2012

The Wedding.

We went to a wedding today. A fun, sweet wedding. The groom`s name was Samuel.

I sat in the church pew watching as vows were said and rings exchanged...while my mind and heart spun dizzily in gazillions of directions.

My mind spun forward in time and I saw my own Samuel up there...exchanging rings with his future bride. My mind spun backwards too as I remembered the vows Mike and I exchanged and had no idea how hard the worse of `for better or for worse`would be. But my heart and mind also spun sideways into the alternate universe where I could imagine Eva as a beautiful bride too.  My heart galloped away with me, and, as today's bride and her mother teared up, and the bride and groom promised to be faithful in the best times and in the worst times I thought about how when we start down this path of marriage we really have no idea how good the best times will be nor how bad the worst times will be.  It is true faith to promise yourself for the best and for the worst. My own tears joined theirs in crying again for my little girl that will never get married and never have children. Never have a `for better or for worse`. Never have a best friend toast her at her wedding. Eva lives only in our hearts here on earth. It's so hard to twist my mind around my knowledge that in Heaven she is more alive than the bride was today.

And later...

Outside there was one of the cutest girls I've seen in a long time running around in her wedding attire. I asked her mom how old she was. Almost 21 months. Oh so she's an October baby? Yes, on the 11th. 4 days older than our Eva. It's so hard to imagine my little princess that big. Running around in a sundress. It's pointless to draw comparisons, I know, but sometimes it's hard to ignore them as they run around you in a sundress.

After a few minutes I asked the mom if I could torture myself hold her daughter for a minute. She said yes and I picked her up and the little girl squirmed away from me, wanting her mommy. Of course she wanted her mommy. Who was this stranger anyway who was holding her with tears leaking out of her eyes. I didn't resent her for wanting her mommy but I remembered how much Eva loved her mommy. How much she wanted to be with me all the time...she would have squirmed away from a stranger too and wanted to be with me. The mom was strangely compassionate when I told her our daughter would have been the same age. She asked me how long we had with her. She asked me her name. She didn't cry or looked shocked or back away from me as if I had some contagious disease. She told me they had lost a baby at 13 weeks pregnancy, before this little girl. 

It's amazing how there is this strange sub-culture of bereaved parents walking around with invisible holes in their hearts. Invisible children clinging to their skirts and their hearts. Invisible children in family portraits. Invisible children playing in the grass and running around in sundresses. Invisible children to everyone else but taking up so much space in our hearts.

I love you and miss you here sweet Eva but I anticipate the day I see you again.

And on a different note...

In between the wedding and the reception we came home and I cleaned up the books that were spread around the living room by my own ardent readers. I picked up Dear Mili which is a fairy tale by Grimm that was found over 100 years after his death and published with artwork by Maurice Sendak. I remembered buying it at the library book sale several years ago and wondering why this hardcover picture book in perfect condition was in the sale. Until I read it. Of course no one would want to read that story of death to their young children...but today I picked it up and read it again, with new eyes.

The young girl and her mother live together in a cottage. There is a war and the mother sends the girl away into the forest for three days and then she should return to her mother. The child lives for three joyful days with an old man in the forest and after that time returns to her mother only to find that her mother is a very old woman. The young girl`s life had been but a joyful moment while her mother aged 30 years on earth and endured the hardships of war.  As the old mother embraces her daughter she exclaims that this has been her wish to see her daughter again in the same way as she was when she last laid eyes on her...and here she has come back and is even wearing the same dress. They lay down together and go to sleep. In the morning they are both dead.

This story has certainly changed for me. I once shunned that book as being too morbid but now I cherish it. I think of how time is different in Heaven than it is here, and how for God a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years...maybe when I die my little princess will come to me looking the same as she did when I last held her in my arms. What a glorious day that will be.


  1. So very true, how we had no idea how utterly terrible the worse in the "for better or for worse" would actually be.

    I picture what might have been with Molly, too, and it breaks my heart she didn't get a chance to experience any of it. Which seems so much more terrible than any "worse" could possibly be.

    I haven't read that story, but I'll have to look it up.

    Such a good point about the subculture of grieving parents, too, and how our grief is often invisible to those around us. What a strange world we live in.

    I'm so sorry your sweet Eva isn't here with you today like she should be. I hope we can be reunited with our babies again, too, somehow. I really do. xo

  2. I find weddings very emotional since Georgina died. For all of the reasons that you have described so perfectly. She is never far from my mind, the times she will never have (sometimes when I dwell too much on all those nevers it is enough to drive me mad) and the impact that her short little life has had on my marriage.

    My heart ached for you, to see that little girl, so close in age to your Eva, running around. I'm glad you found understanding in her mother although I wish that neither of you had reason to understand such things.

    I don't know that fairy tale but it is a strange thing I've noticed with folk tales and such, that often (upon first reading) I'll think they are quite strange or odd. But, later, when I come back to them. I understand them. I think it would have been so with Dear Mili.

  3. wow...what a loaded post. Must have been hard to see the little girl running around so close in age to your little Eva. I can totally imagine how beautiful Eva would have been in a little sundress. She had such gorgeous eyes and an addicting/contagious smile. I am glad that the mom of that little girl was understanding towards you...
    praying for you:)