When we took our trip to Pennsylvania several weeks ago, we drove instead of flying. This choice netted me lots of spare time in the car.  I don’t know why, but at some point I picked up Tahd’s phone and flipped through his collection of photos.  I tend to take photos only with my big camera.  If I don’t have the camera, I don’t have any photos.  Tahd’s better about remembering to pull out his cell phone and snap a little something to remember the moment.

I wasn’t expecting it, but I found these photos.  From May 8-10, when Mara died.  It took me a while to come to terms with them.  I feel really raw when I look at them.  Tahd apologized to me for taking them, but that wasn’t it.  I am glad to have them.  It’s just that seeing pictures of the events of those days makes them seem much more tangible once again.

In the emergency room.  Apparently Gabe had a black eye that night.  You’ll have to forgive me.  That’s one detail I don’t really remember.  Check out how tired he is!

The sweater became a blanket, then the blanket that healed me – at least a bit…

My day surgery room for the D&C…

My bed…

Me in my bed after surgery.  I love that sweater.  It’s so comfy. I wore it excessively when I had nose surgery, too.  I wore this exact outfit for two solid days after the D&C.  I refused to take it off, stretchy granny surgery underpants and all.  I know this means I’m publicly admitting that I wore the same pair of underwear multiple days in a row, but it’s true.  I was too overwhelmed and wasn’t ready to let go.

“Checking out.”  Whew, was that hard.  I wanted to scurry back to the room, wind the clock back, and get a second chance.  My sweet mother and sister stayed with us until the very end.

My father is the senior pastor of a local nondenominational church.  We called his home that Mother’s Day Sunday morning heavy-hearted about many things, one of them being the fact that we were telling him horrid news just before he had to go preach in front of hundreds of people.  He considered calling someone from his preaching team to take his place, but he felt that in the long run it would be most helpful to handle this situation himself.  So he went to church, preached his sermon, and concluded each service with a beautiful statement about what had happened.

Some people wonder if that’s weird for me – to have had my father “announce” in front of hundreds of people that I had lost my baby.  It’s not.  It’s not because I’m used to being the “pastor’s daughter,” and it’s not because I felt like Mara was the “church’s” baby.  They had faithfully prayed her into existence during the years we had been dealing with infertility, and those who knew of her existence had been regularly praying for her health and my health.  She was a part of that church family in the same way I am a part of that church family, and telling the congregation of her loss was in some senses an act of appreciation for what they had already invested in her life.

He starts out with a greeting for all the mothers present in the service, moves on to affirm the women who have been unable to have children, and then tells the story.  It’s a 7-minute clip.  I agree with every word he said.  They don’t always feel like easy words to agree with them, but they are within me and are part of  me – not because of anything I’ve done but because I believe God spoke healing into my heart.  You can listen to my dad’s statement here.  It still makes me cry.

(For those of you who are nonreligious, this clip is definitely religious in nature.  Just a heads-up.)

Dad’s Clip

Finally, a video of the song he referenced.  I’m putting it as the first song on my playlist, also, but I won’t keep my playlist like that for long so I wanted to embed it in the post, too.  This isn’t the version of the song Dad would have heard when he was young, but it happens to be my favorite version of the song, so that’s why I’m posting it here.  Be sure to pause the music in the sidebar first.

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  1. All of this post breaks my heart for you all over again. The loss of Mara is right there, to be touched, tasted, and felt all over again.

    Your father is an incredibly strong man to be able to stand and say those beautiful words so eloquently, and such a time. Even with heartbreak in his voice.

    He loves you and his family so much. Clearly.

    Thank you for sharing, Heidi.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Rewards =-.

  2. Thank you for sharing that.

    It’s beautiful, it’s heart wrenching… it’s beautiful.

    Cherish the pictures. It may not have been the happiest of times, but it’s something to hold on to when your arms ache to hold Mara.

    I am so incredibly sorry that you had to go through this.. and my heart breaks for you all over again.
    .-= Rumour Miller´s last blog ..Thank You =-.

  3. Reliving that painful loss with you … and sobbing with a broken heart for you and all of us again!! It is never far from my heart and mind!! Thank you for the post and Tahd’s pictures!! I always love you!!

  4. Laura (lkpenney) says:

    Oh Heidi! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! What a special way for your Father to share his grief and heartache. My continued prayers go out to you, Tahd, and sweet Gabe that you will one day hold another precious babe of your own in your arms.

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