On Saturday the party that Matt took Lauren to was a memorial party of the anniversary of the death of daughter of a friend. Last year, after Lauren went through the first surgery, Matt's friend and his wife came over to visit us and Lauren when she first came home. Matt had seen them since their daughter had passed away in a car crash but I hadn't. I remember sitting on the floor with Lauren, weeping because the reality of losing a daughter hit too close to home in that moment. I was still so shaken up that it was more than I could handle. I remember that they had such an overwhelming sense of peace about them even in the wake of such a tragedy. I was the complete opposite, feeling frantic and scared and overwhelmed all at once. I didn't understand how they could be in such a place. They spoke to us about how they believe that the Lord was working even in the midst of such a tragedy and that they had been connected with other parents who also lost a daughter.

The next day, Lauren was back in the ICU and her heart stopped during her CT scan. I remember sitting in the doorway with my head resting against the cold metal of the door frame, watching in horror as people ran in and out of the room and machines were rushed in, all while the siren on the heart monitor screeched its soul piercing scream. It seemed to last forever. And then within minutes of getting her back, it happened again. The surgeon told us to say goodbye to her as she was being rushed in to surgery to try to fix her artery and I kissed her praying that it wouldn't be that final goodbye that I felt that I was flailing against. At that moment, I thought that maybe Matt's friends had been connected with us to help us through the loss of our own beautiful daughter. In his heart, Matt also wondered this, but neither of us dared to speak our deepest fears until months later when the risk of her death became much less imminent.

On Saturday, Matt brought our daughter, who has made it through remarkable odds, to a party to remember a deeply loved daughter who did not make it. The grace and peace that Matt's friends have shown through their suffering is amazing. It is an inspiration to me. They remember their daughter with the song, "You Are My Sunshine" and Matt asked me to make a print for him to give to them at the party. I printed one for them and one for us because, in my mind, they are a part of Lauren's story. They have shown me how to appreciate everything, good and bad, and not try to focus on the bad, which can so easily wrap you in its grip. I want to follow their lead and spend every moment that I have loving Lauren and enjoying her. My little girl is my sunshine and even on grey and rainy days, she brings more brightness than I have ever known.

1 comment:

  1. A couple weeks ago, you asked for people to tell you who they are and why they read your blog. This post is one of the many reasons I do. Not because I have lost a child, but because I have children, and my daugher is pretty much exactly lauren's age (17th feb.) and I guess it's easy to relate, and to uncontrollably bawl like a baby anytime you mention that you were scared or crying or talk about lauren dying.
    My name is Naomi, my mom told me about your blog in the fall I think (too late for me to actually pray with you in the midst of the really scary stuff, but I still pray anyway. ) I started reading because I vaguely remembered you - well more elysha and cameron - from far off sunday school days, and because our daughters are the same age and I wanted to pray.. and I wanted to witness miracles :)
    I keep reading because your writing has encouraged my faith so much, made me think, made me cry and laugh, helped me to pray harder for many things, to pray in faith believing that our God will and does do miracles. Your honesty is a blessing, that it's not just 'God did this great thing, hooray' but that there were hard things every day in the middle of the great thing He did and it's real and human to cry and be frustrated and have a hard night with a wide awake baby who is a living miracle. I appreciate your vulnerability. I appreciate your faith as well, and hearing about how you and Matt clung to the Lord in those really hard days, is to me such a witness of His faithfulness. I also just like watching you do life because I'm a stalker like that, to see your baby do so many things my baby is also doing, and I am encouraged to know mine is not the only child with the ability to completely destroy a perfectly clean house in 30 minutes!
    Also I really like your bows, and how you organize the three types into colours so we can get one of each in our favorite colour! I would have been at those shows if I had not unfortunately forgotten to check the blog in 5 months. I go on blog binges. This week is your turn.
    So thanks!
    Naomi Hunt


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