Over the weekend I waited for the right moment to open it. To tell you the truth, I was scared. I know these Flowers for Eleni are full of So Much Love, but they also bring me back to the initial, staggering loss. I was afraid that having the quilt here would somehow hurt more.
On Sunday I went to church without Brandon and Eleni. We've decided to start taking turns going to church with our big kids, because when we all go we find ourselves sitting in the back with the other parents with young babies. It is too heartbreaking to see these other healthy babies the same age as Eleni right now. And then Eleni misses her nap, and we're both distracted anyways.
Anyways, I bring up the service because I learned something yesterday. I am called not just to hope for Eleni's healing, but also to have faith that we can be happy even if she remains low functioning/severely affected.
I really, really, really don't like that option, and I don't see how it's possible for me to be happy that way (let alone for her to be happy, for Brandon to be happy, for Aria and Liam to be happy...), but that's not the point. It's like when Jesus called Peter out on the water, out of the boat in the midst of the storm. Peter didn't know how to walk on water. The boat was his only safety. In the same way, I'm called to accept and hope for happiness even if my baby's not healed, even though I can't fathom how. Although I can work like the dickens for her healing, if I'm to have freedom in my heart I need to be able to step out of the "boat" of her being well someday and start walking on water.
At church I was inspired and yielding to that idea. Then I came home and saw her again and felt so much resistance - I so desperately want her to be well! I know it's OK to want her to be well. It's opening my heart to being OK if she isn't, that's so much harder.
On Sunday afternoon I gathered myself and slowly opened the quilt. And I think it was just the right moment. I realized that your quilt reminds me of how I must accept this painful part of my life. I must look for the beauty in it, for the flowers, for the love that comes round the world and ultimately from the Father.
It's beautifully done, front and back. I am just starting to discover the special bits of quilting too. My gratitude to each of you who sent flowers to Jodi in Australia. I hear there is another flowers quilt - even bigger! - that might grace Eleni's bed someday. One day, when she's older and I tell her from which these flowers grew, she'll understand why I sang this hymn to her so often in the NICU:
For the Beauty of the earth,
For the Glory of the skies,
For the Love that From Our Birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of Grateful Praise.