Tuesday, August 31, 2010

look closely

In the weeks following Amelia's death
I have found myself,
more often than not,
unable to blog.

Noah and I have kept busy
with doctors appointments
mini adventures,
birthday party planning,
lunch dates with friends,
scrap booking her pictures
laundry and cleaning...
anything really that I can to keep moving.
I force myself to leave the house once a day.
I have to.

And though on the inside I feel
like a hollow shell of the woman I once was,
I hear compliments day in and out
regarding how strong,
brave, etc. I am.

But they don't seem to notice the change in me.
If they did
they would see a slightly different figure.
They would see me as I am;
a broken woman.

I pray they don't look to close
because if they did,

They might see the dark circles under my eyes,
from a sleep cycle that is still confused
not to find a hungry infant at 12 am, 3 am or 6am.

They might notice my worn and chipped toe nail polish,
which I had done with my Mom just before having Amelia,
and might wonder why I don't re-paint them.

They might miss that I am wearing a broken watch
set at 11:06
the hour and minute she left us.

If someone looked too close
they might be left a bit unsettled
by each small, unnoticeable thing...

and still,
they might also catch a smile or tear of joy
or see her name engraved on my necklace
and on my heart
and rejoice that she was here,
as we do.

They might be blessed to see God at work
carefully walking us through the darkness.

They could come to know the comfort we have found.
The peace that settles over me
even at 12am, 3am and 6 am.

If they must,
I pray they look close
and see the one who sees them as they are;

I pray they call out to the God
they had been missing
and find the assurance
He never left them at all.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.
Timothy 4:17

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Friday, August 27, 2010

"ahhfly for Sisa"

Noah and I made a last minute
birthday cake supply run to Hobby Lobby Thursday.
As you might imagine,
Hobby Lobby is not Noah's favorite place to shop.

As we carefully made our way through the isles,
 keeping little hands inside the cart at all times,
something blue caught Noah's attention.

For those of you who know my son well, you might assume
that the "something blue" must be Thomas the Train.
but, Noah exclaimed "Mama, Get ahhfly!" "Sisa fowers."

For those of you who don't speak Whale or Noah,
let me translate.
"I want the butterfly Mom, and flowers for Sister."
I can't believe I didn't break down crying
right there in the middle of the store.

I try not to give in
and buy Noah whatever he wants when we shop,
but not this Thursday.
We got the ahhfly
as well as some little pink flowers Noah chose.

While Noah napped,
I wrapped them together and added a note for Sisa.
I think they turned out OK.

click image to enlarge
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

4 Weeks & Noah's Birthday

If God is here for us and not elsewhere,
then in fact this place is holy and this moment is sacred.
Isabel Anders

Today marks 4 weeks since the birth of Amelia Grace.
It is also our son Noah's 2nd birthday.
We are planning a trip to the zoo with Gramma J.
We went to the zoo every chance we could while we were pregnant with Amelia.
It will always be a special place.
It is the first time I have been there without her
and my heart is breaking
yet, I can't imagine a place I'd rather be
to mark this milestone.

I found myself lying in bed in the early hours this morning
recalling her birth and the moments, hours and days that followed.
Strangely the images of her body after death are more vivid
while my memories of those moments seem more distant
as if I were watching the moments unfold
rather than being a part of them.

My memories of her alive are cloudy and unsequential and yet they are so filled with her spirit and a peace that I cannot put down in words.
It was as close to heaven as I have ever been.

Amelia Grace Lorang was born at 9:02 am
on a Wednesday
at Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.
She was radiant.
To me it was just as it was in Bethlehem
so many years ago.
The world was silent and the only thing that mattered
was one precious little baby,
love's pure light.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Happy Birthday sweet baby girl.
We love you and miss you beyond words.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Sunshine

I am changed in so many ways
because she was here.
I feel at a loss
unable to explain the way I now see things.

the darkness
the light
the beauty
the emptiness
of this world for me

I have tried to blog at least twenty times
but nothing really comes out the way
I want it to.

But I saw this flower a few weeks back
on our first family outing without her.
When I saw it
it just reminded me of her
and of a sweet song
I never got to sing her.
I sang it to Noah
and Amelia today.

I hope she heard.

You are my sunshine
my only sunshine
you make me happy
when skies are gray
You'll never know dear
how much I love you
please don't take
my sunshine away.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3 Weeks

It was just about this time 3 weeks ago that we were welcoming our sweet little Amelia into the world. It was a wonderful day that I will cling to all my life. What a blessing she was and continues to be.

I absolutely love receiving emails from people who have followed Amelia's story and have allowed God to work in their lives through her small but mighty life. It gives me just the smallest peek into the greater plans God intends for her life on earth and in heaven. It brings me so much joy to know you have been touched, as we have, by our Amelia Grace. Thank you for your emails and for sharing your story with us.

My days remain filled with both the joy of being Amelia's mother and the sorrows of being the mother of a baby who went to heaven long before we were ready to say goodbye.

Yesterday as we traveled, the sky was dark as we enjoyed (yet another) rainy day. The rain will forever remind me of our little Amelia, as the months that I carried her were filled with rain, flooding and more rain. In a previous blog entry, I reflected on God's promise "that it will not rain forever." Yesterday, God renewed that promise with our family. As we drove, we were blessed with not one, but two rainbows. I know, I know, a rainbow is common place, and far from a miracle. And still, Tim and I could not recall the last time we had seen one. We marveled over the colors, thought of our little girl, and the promises God has already fulfilled in our lives and the lives of "strangers" through her brief life.

We know God loves us and will not abandon us.
I know it,
but it sure feels good to be reminded sometimes.
Just in case
we lose sight of His rainbow
through the clouds.

Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the flood waters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”
Genesis 9:12-17

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The day she was born...

I have seen variations of this saying
that say the Angels danced rather than God.
I think it is a lovely thought
and I have no doubt the God and Angels
rejoice at the birth of His precious children.

But since Amelia's death I have wondered
what God and the angels did when she died.
Did they dance?
Did they sing?
Did they cry?
Did they cradle her like a baby?
Or release her like a butterfly?

No doubt she was welcomed home with love.
That is how she was welcomed here.

And still, I wonder.

Did the angels miss her while she was here with us
like we miss her now that
she is home?

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:7-12

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 Weeks - Your Hands

Has is really been 2 weeks since we held you in our arms?
Mommy & Daddy miss you so much.
Noah looks at your picture everyday Sisa.
There were so many things about you
that we marveled over in the short time we had you with us.
Your lips, your feet
your hands...

Your Hands
JJ Heller
Posted by PicasaI have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nurse Angee

I have heard many times
that it is good to have a lawyer & a doctor in the family.
I don't have a lawyer, though I know a few.
I do have some excellent doctors,
but I am not related to any of them.
I do however, have a nurse
and I believe nurse trumps lawyer and doctor.
Think I am wrong?
Clearly you have not met Nurse Angee.

The care we received at Bergan was outstanding.
To be honest, even the food was pretty dang good.
But no one compares to Angee.
She is more than an amazing nurse, she is my best friend.

She was there when I delivered Noah,
and she was there for Amelia.
She helped us bathe her,
heard her sweet voice,
held her, wrapped her and loved her.

I could not have shared these intimate moments with a stranger.

I needed Angee.
Amelia needed Angee.

I wish I had the words.
I'm hoping this picture is worth a thousand
because all I can conjure up is
Thank you.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Thoughts on Amelia's Service

Before it becomes too far removed from my memory
I feel I should mention Amelia's service.
It was lovely.
Not that I ever want to have another one.
But if it had to be done,
I prefer it be as thought out and planned as a birthday party, wedding or anniversary.
It was a special day.

There were things that were important to me,
others that were not.
One of the things that mattered to me was that those that gather
to morn and to celebrate Amelia Grace
heard God's word,
knew where Amelia is now,
and knew that is where they wanted to be too.

I know it is where I want to be
with her
and Him.

My grandmother mailed me a little note
in the days following Amelia's funeral.
In it she expressed a sentiment
that could possibly be misinterpreted by some
but I heard her loud and clear.
She closed her note with the words,
"My hope is that I can join her in the near future."
Amelia's GiGi is 91 years old, I am 29 years old
but we are both homesick,
we both want to hold our loved ones already there.
To hold them and to be in their presence
and His.

We know we are called to continue our work here.
We rejoice in our time here,
but we know what awaits us.
If it is possible for Heaven to sound any more perfect,
the simple fact that little Amelia is there
makes heaven seem that much sweeter.


But, back to the service (sorry, this post is all over the place)
There were several songs & musical selections that touched me in Amelia's service.
As they should, since I chose all but two of them. :)
Interestingly enough,
The two songs I didn't choose
were the one's that I have cherished the most in these 12 days.

Tim wanted to leave the church singing, 'Til We Meet Again
and so we did.
Everyday since, I have thought to myself with longing
the text of this old hymn-
until we meet again sweet baby girl...

The second song was
Rock a Bye Baby
sung by my son Noah.
He only knows a few of the words,
and generally speaking has no real grasp of his "sisa's"
death or life.
But he knows she was here, and that she was his.
He loves sisa.

As we processed on Wednesday,
Tim with Amelia in his arms
and Noah and I just behind him,
Noah recited words that broke my heart to hear,
bye-bye baby, night night baby, bocka bye baby...

I know she heard him singing.
In heaven it must have sounded like
hosts of angels in perfect song.
A humble offering of song,
but oh so sweet of a gift,
from Amelia's big brother.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

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

Friday, August 06, 2010


When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
-Kahlil Gibran

I have returned to this text over and over again. It is one of the few "non biblical" texts that offers truth and hope in the midst of an unbearable amount of sadness.

I hurt because she is gone,
I rejoice because she was here.
which is greater?
which will I allow to overtake me
and leave me breathless?
I choose joy.
I choose Amelia.

It has been difficult to blog over the past 9 days.
I have wanted to
but all I can think to type is
it hurts so much
it hurts so, so, very much.
But there is much more to say
and so much more that I am feeling...

did you see her lips?
I have dreams about them.
They were so luscious
that we even noticed them in the ultrasounds!
Tim and I both have very thin lips.
We have no idea where they came from
but we love/d them.

Oh my, those lips.
I have never loved any lips more in my life. (sorry Tim)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Birthday & Maternity Photos

Don't forget to scroll down and pause the music player at the bottom before you start the video!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Perfect Baby

Words cannot describe how gorgeous she was
and I am certain, how gorgeous she is now
in heaven.

For us time stands still.
We are still there in those
2 precious hours
with our children.

All I can say is
she was perfect.

Too perfect to stay.
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