Friday, March 11, 2011

Heaven sent hugs

I wrote my post Wednesday soon after I arrived home, as I often do.  Commuting back and forth to work gives me a lot of time to think about things and so inspiration often comes from the road.  I'll try to capture my thoughts as soon as I make it home, hoping to complete it before Noah arrives and the busyness of the evening progresses.

 No sooner than I had finished it, my sister pulled in with her toddlers, my two favorite littles.  As they bounced past the kitchen window, I caught a glimpse of yellow hiding behind Bryanna's back.  Opening the door, I was greeted with Allen's smiling face, who had chosen to climb as far as the top step.  He couldn't figure out how he was going to open the door, while in front of it, which immediately made me chuckle.  Bryanna was behind him, with a mischievous grin, attempting to hide her gift. 

As she stepped into the house, her little hand proudly brought out a sunshiny yellow daffodil and handed it to me.  It was all I could do to choke back the tears that filled my eyes, for fear she'd think I was saddened by her present.  Goosebumps covered my arms and immediately I felt hugged, even though I hadn't yet bent down to accept it.  I can only imagine it was Austin's way of showing me he was thinking of me and yet another "Love you, Mom" that he uses earth's angels to send.

Now each time I look at the small cup on flowers on my window sill, I feel hugged from Austin, and am reminded of Bryanna's joyous grin.  Without even asking, a prayer of mine was answered yesterday because it was on my heart.  ...and because perhaps a prayer was said for me that I didn't even know about.

On the way to work today, I thought a lot about that.  Throughout this journey, I've said more prayers than I could count.  Some days I felt as if I was in constant prayer.  Sometimes my prayers weren't answered, at least not in the way I requested.  What is so easy to forget about, or not always realize, are those prayers said for you, sometimes by people you don't even know.  Unexpected prayers.

So often I will talk to someone I haven't seen in awhile and they will mention, "I still pray for you," and each time I'm overwhelmed by the statement.  In the moment, I'm a mixture of emotions...filled with peace, amazed at their giving spirit, guilty in assessment and wondering if I pray enough for others, gratitude, and then feeling undeserving, compared to the needs of others, to still have prayers said for me.

There is no way of ever knowing how many prayers have been said for my family, certainly no way of ever thanking each person who took (and still take) the time to bow their heads.  It very much speaks to why and how we've survived the past nearly two and half years though.  Those unknown prayers, even when it's said by a stranger truly do make a difference. 

I know each night when I pray for us and for God to continue to hold us, and work in and through us in our loss, I include others who've lost a child. If I pass a vehicle on the road with a memorial sticker, I say a prayer and if it's been a recent loss, add them to my daily prayers for awhile. Sometimes I'll wonder if they help.  Now that I realize I've been on the on the receiving end of them all this time, I know they do.


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