July is here. This is the month when I was planning to be fully immersed in the smell of new baby and bliss out nursing and snuggling and counting teeny toes. Instead, I drove my kids up to the cemetary on the hill to see where their baby sister is buried.
We walk slow, across sweet pavers laid in a line by some kind soul. The stones guide through the graves of young children. Reading the names and dates makes my stomach churn. Three months…three years… all these markers tell a story. Some of these stories I know, I remember. Others go back and back before my time or my family’s time in this town. Mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters hearts are wrapped up in this earth. My eight year old begins to read the names, one by one. I feel like I could be sick, but I somehow manage a smile for my other babes, new to this place. I want them to be comfortable here. The walk leads us to a small flowerbead. It is pure grace. It was purchased as a gift to families, to hold small children who never took their first breath.
I can’t walk there without wondering who possessed the thoughtfulness to create this space. It seems inspired to know that mamas holding tight to hope and promise and affection so hard inside their swollen bellies would need a place to grieve when inside of a day their babies are gone from them.
Who tilled this earth and laid the stones here? Did they know it would bring healing like this when they wiped away sweat as they labored? When dirt rubbed into calluses and worked its way deep under fingernails? I hope they know. I hope they know this ground is sacred.
I found myself starring, taking in the feeling of the place. Watching my girls run a circle around the flowerbed, giggling, full of life. One can not help but observe the paradox. As my eyes wander I see it. Right by the purple flowers my baby girl is burried beneath is a giant weed. Tears flood over me, half unexpected, and I stomp over and just yank it…hard! I am practically shaking, as more weeds around the blooms crowd my sight and I start hacking. There is a lump in my throat and all I want is to punch and beat something silly.
My fingers are muddy, I’m just tearing now, faster… I am almost manic and the ruddy roots don’t stand a chance. I’m not afraid to bleed from the prickles and pokes, I just want them gone. I want there to be one less killer of life in this place, one less piece of ugly that takes the sunshine away from the vulnerable. Protecting these flowers, the sentrys of all these departed children, suddenly feels like the most important undertaking I could throw myself into. I want to just scream at the devil,
You will not choke out one more ounce of life today! Not while I am here! Do you hear me?!
The rest of the story today is at Mom Heart Online