Thursday, September 30, 2010

a change

Back in August,
you might recall a post detailing the story behind
Noah's "ahhfly for sisa."

I am excited to share that
the butterfly we took to Amelia's grave
a few weeks back is still there
in the same spot,
but with one small change.

The rain & elements have begun to wash away its color.
It is a changed butterfly.
No longer a bright blue,
it is now almost white.

I had planned on waiting for it to be completely transformed
before I shared our new "white" ahhfly with you
but I just couldn't wait to show you
what God is doing.

In my prayers I had, selfishly & foolishly,
asked God to keep sending us butterflies (even in the winter)
He is still sending me butterflies.
And as if that isn't enough,
God is clothing Amelia's little butterfly;
in his color of choice,
It's no miracle by any stretch,
or then again maybe it is,
but it means so much to me.

It's a reminder of the miracle God has already given us
in his son, Jesus.
He has washed away our blues.
He has clothed us in white;
a gown & soul bought and paid for
white as snow.

"For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"
Galatians 3:27

“Come now, let’s settle this,”says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

The Resurrection
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Matthew 28

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9 Weeks

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Do not stand by my grave and weep
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am diamonds that glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of butterflies in joyous flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

I Am Not There - Unknown

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Months today

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet

There's a place of quiet stillness
between the light and shadows reach
Where the hurting and the hopeless seek everlasting peace
Words of men and songs of angels whisper comfort bittersweet
Mending grief and life eternal where joy and sorrow meet

There is a place where hope remains
In crowns of thorns and crimson stains
And tears that fall on Jesus' feet
Where joy and sorrow meet

There's a place the lost surrender and the weary will retreat
Full of grace and mercy tender in times of unbelief
For the wounded there is healing, strength is given to the weak
Broken hearts find love redeeming where joy and sorrow meet

There's a place of thirst and hunger
where the roots of faith grow deep
And there is rain and rolling thunder
when the road is rough and steep
There is hope in desperation there is victory in defeat
At the cross of restoration where joy and sorrow meet

Monday, September 27, 2010

a little prayer

If you have a moment today I would ask you to please say a little prayer for me...

today is my first day back at work.

I'm not going to try and explain
all the emotions I am am feeling today
but I know so many of you
that read Amelia's blog have already braved
your first day back at work.
You know exactly where I am at,
you've been there before.

So please, if you would,
say a little prayer for me today.

 "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
Isaiah 49:15-16 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

8 Weeks

Butterflies have taken on a new
and special place in my heart since Amelia's death.
They are often considered a spiritual symbol for life after death
because of their metamorphosis
from a caterpillar that crawls on the ground
to a beautiful, ethereal creature
that flies in the sky.

So many times since her death
I have been comforted by a little butterfly.
They have appeared at just the right times
and just the right places.
Baseball games, family outings without her,
on the day of Tim's Aunt's funeral.
They have comforted us so often in fact,
that the other day I turned to Tim and with complete sincerity
asked him,
"Do you think God will still send butterflies to us in the winter?"

The symbolic similarities between butterflies
and our little Amelia's passing are numerous.
Some obvious,
others I am just learning of.

The other day at the zoo
Noah and I, along with Lydia & Angee,
visited the butterfly pavilion.
I discovered something I hadn't known about butterflies that day.
I noticed a sign as we made our way through the exhibit.
The sign detailed how a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.
I was so tickled to read that after emerging from the chrysalis
a butterfly then rest for 2-8 hours
allowing its wings to harden before it can fly.

I instantly thought of our little Amelia
who spent just 2 precious hours on this earth.
How lovely to think of her as a butterfly
that rested in our arms
just long enough for her wings to harden
before she spread her wings and
flew to the heavens.

I love butterflies
and Mommy loves you, Amelia Grace.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Sleeping Angels

This photo was taken by my uncle Allen
when we arrived at the cemetery
following Amelia's service.
Rather than ride in a hearse
we wanted Amelia to ride
for the last time,
the only time,
to the cemetery with us
as a family.

The ride to the cemetery was a long
and slow paced precession.
I was so grateful for that time,
and our car ride together
as a family.
I remember looking back to discover
that Noah had fallen fast asleep.
It struck me in that moment
that both my children
were safely sleeping
in our Pilot.

It's funny the things I cling to
in these dark days.
I can assure you,
we will never sell the Honda.
It held,
and still holds,
far too much to let go of.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

7 weeks

Wednesdays belong to Amelia.

As we have traveled this road with our little Amelia
Wednesdays have become set apart
from the rest of the week.
Amelia was born on a Wednesday,
baptized on a Wednesday,
died on a Wednesday,
buried on a Wednesday,
each "would be" milestone
falls on Wednesday.

Amelia will forever be our precious daughter,
will always hold a place in our family
and our hearts.
And now I have decided,
she will be my Wednesday.
I will blog on Wednesdays
(maybe a few other days to!)
I will light her candle each Wednesday
and I will set Wednesday aside,
for her.

Wednesdays belong to Amelia.

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child must work for a living,
But the child that's born on the Sabbath day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.
Author Unknown

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

6 weeks

Last week we purchased the first of several highchairs to be donated to Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Amelia's name.

Sweet Amelia,
Not a day goes by that I don't think of you,
say your name,
or praise God for giving us you.
We miss you.
Mommy misses you.
Until we meet again...

All my love,

Monday, September 06, 2010

Prayer Request

I have a special request today.
I am writing to ask for your prayers for Tim's Mom.
She continues to recover (very, very slowly)
from the bacteria in her lungs
for which she was hospitalized
the week of Amelia's birth and death.

Illness aside, yesterday was a very difficult day for her.
Yesterday Karen lost her sister Marceil
who recently suffered a stroke.
She was a very special lady full of life & laughter.
She will be missed dearly by anyone who knew her.
Yesterday was also the anniversary
her daughter Rachel's birth.
Rachel is Tim's older sister who died as an infant.
I know many of you who have followed our journey
share with us in the loss of a child,
and know just how difficult these "milestone" days can be
even years after the fact.
The loss is immeasurable.

I am hoping she will not mind
that I have shared her loss here.
As we all know, prayer is a very powerful thing,
and I feel compelled to ask of you
to lift her up in prayer as I have been.

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:3-4

"I Knew You" by artist Shannon Wirrenga

Sunday, September 05, 2010

In this very room...

Today would have been Amelia's baptism day.

One of the most difficult parts of losing Amelia
are the "if she was here now" moments.
These moments often catch me off guard.
Today was no different.

Almost as if I were marking the day
I wore the dress
I bought for her funeral to church today.
Maybe I'd have purchased the same dress for her baptism day
had things ended up differently.

It is probably no surprise to those who know me well,
that I had already begun a spreadsheet
and several documents detailing plans for Amelia's baptism
in the weeks before her diagnosis.
Sponsors had been chosen, though not formally asked.
Tim and I had already begun discussing what meat to serve.
I had a vision for the cake.
I had chosen her gown...

As it was,
Amelia Grace Lorang
was baptized on on Wednesday morning
at Bergan Mercy Hospital
in an OR suite.

It was not the day I thought it would be.
But it was the day God had in mind,
and his plans are perfect.
Sometimes pain filled, but always perfect.

the day,
the daughter,
the reunion,
all perfect.

Jesus said,
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19:14

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Friday, September 03, 2010

saying goodbye

Last night was the last baseball game
to be played at Rosenblatt Stadium.
I had hesitated to go back
to any of the last games played
at the Blatt following Amelia's death.
I wanted my last game there to be with her.

We have been to two Royals games
since that final College World Series game with her.

At the first game after she left us
I found myself just outside the gates
feeling as if I was betraying her by coming.
And then I saw it,
a butterfly
winding it way trough the gates
and into the netting of the "try your speed" batting cage.
A gentle reminder that though we had to go on apart
Amelia is still
and always will be
with us.

Last night, at the final game
I again felt the sting of her absence.
I wished so badly
that we could have shared this last game with her,
along with a lifetime of memories as a family.
As we made our way back to the car
a deep sadness came over me.
She should have been here with us!

Waiting in our car was a gift from our friends Joe & Mary.
Joe had told me to wait to open it
until we got home from the game.
He had meant to give it to me before Amelia was born.
As I pushed aside the tissue paper
a smile made its way across my face,
it was a pink baseball bat and ball, engraved with her name.
Yet another perfectly timed,
sweet reminder that our baby girl,
is with us still.

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