Have a dressed up day!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And Why Are There Days Like This?

It was ten o'clock on the night before the cake was due. Six hours had passed. Only another half hour to go. Finishing touches and placing the dump truck on top.

This story has to be told. Not for what happened, but for how it ended. Love unfolding as sweetness baked.

He only wanted to watch. Some kids, most probably, would have to stay away. They might put their fingers in the mix, or the icing. But he doesn't really like cake. And he is a good boy.

So he's standing up on a chair by the cake.

She only turned away for a second.

But in that second he could only just look at the button no longer. He had to know what that pretty purple button did.

I heard the fall and the scream at the same instant.

I turned from where I sat, less than an arms length from where the cake had been.

I moved to the floor beside her, taking her bone tired body, working since 6:00 that morning to come home and bake again, in my arms and said words that comfort failed.

That face I love. The one with eyebrows and eyelashes like mine. The narrow one with the high cheekbones and small mouth. I take that face into my hands and promised words I can't even remember.

It wasn't just any cake. It was to celebrate a year that eleven months ago we weren't sure baby nephew would ever see.

When the fear was that this day, which should bring first birthday joy, would only open wound that never heals. A fear now only a memory.

And here it was, one year later, joy undescribable. Thankfulness unending.

Happy birthday, sweet Crosby.

The list was made and her daddy was on his way to the store before I went into the back room.

Where I took his whole little boy body of my son into my arms. This little body choking out I so so sorry in sobs. This little body I womb grew and protected and cried forth.

I held on and fought the tears that I couldn't let come.

This is when a mama has to shine. When a mama must be unconditional.

When hand needs to be gentle and pain already felt in little heart is all the pain body needs. When gentleness must be chosen over harshness.

When she must be comfort and lighthouse and haven. When she must, without fail, show son more important than cake.

When she must fulfill a promise made when only hand touched and rested through flutters and then kicks and stomach large and whispered the first I love you.

All while my other love was trying to push back pain and hurt and do what adults with responsibilities do. What cousins who love great and celebrate life do.

Keep going. Start over. Forgive.

Why are there days like this?

She only cried when she went to the front porch and called that young man she loves. The one with the red hair and gentle blue eyes and slight Cajun accent. The one Katrina brought us. The one who doesn't eat cake but loves a girl who lives cakes.

The one who has taken our place in so many ways. The way it should be.

The one who rushes over and whose presence brings comfort and laughter. The only one who could have done that on that night.

So all who love her start over with her while this little one . . .

heart broken moments before when sister went to him and held him and loved him and promised him all was forgiven and good, finally slept in what was comfort love peace - and safety.

And when all was quiet and the clock showed 3:00 am and light shown on just the two of us . . .

Mama, go to bed. I've got it. I won't be long.

I'll go to bed when you go to bed.

When you can do nothing but love - isn't love what you do?

Love and watch and stand guard over heart that once beat in rhythm with yours - and always will.

This is why there are days like this. So love can show off.


Greg and Donna said...

Maybe its to make us appreciate the dull, boring, everyday ~ days! This cake is so cute and Crosby is adorable!

Penny said...

I love your family and am proud to call them my family as well. Gideon walked by while I was reading this and saw Max's first picture. He said, "What's wrong with Max?" (Of course, I didn't tell him right then because it was like the 5th or 6th time this morning I had told him as well as the other 3 to start school and stop focusing on everything else going on around them). He'll find out later. Sometimes Mamas have to be tough too. Hate that part.

Penny said...

By the way, tell Max that I think that is a stupid purple button and Aunt Penny does not think it should be there!

Craig said...

so full of love, this post,Rie – SO full of love – and a look into life – created – broken – forgiven – remade. Thank you for this. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Rie.

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12