Monday, May 16, 2011

Drawing Anna.

My God, the Creator of the Universe, speaks to me.  Through His Word, every time I read it or hear it, He speaks.  I have had very few instances where I believe he has spoken to me that were anything else. 

One of those times was in December of 2006.  It was the day our daughter was due... the daughter we'd miscarried that summer.  I was so broken inside, longing so much for her... I prayed fervently, "Lord, give me peace.  I trust You.  I love You.  And right now, I desperately need You to do something inside me... something to make me okay again."

And then I went back to bed, since I really prefer NOT getting up that early.  And I had the most vivid, beautiful dream.  I saw my baby girl... she was laying in my lap, wrapped in a very pale purplish-pink blanket.  She was brand-new... still red and puffy eyed.  But she was so beautiful.  Smooth, soft skin.  Gently rounded cheeks.  A perfect little mouth that turned up at the corners like her daddy's.  A cute little chin that reminds me very much of her aunt Cari.  A nose that clearly came from daddy (or daddy's mom, however you want to look at it), but was still exquisitely formed.  Her eyes were shut, and she had one hand up by her face.  I picked her up carefully, and she settled against my chest.  I could feel her breath on my skin, smell her new-baby smell, I could feel her heart beating against me and the rise and fall of her chest.  I could feel her warmth and her weight, and in the dream, I thought to myself, "This is heaven."

I woke with a start... and could still feel her, almost.  It took a long time to fade, and I expected that eventually the dream would fade all together.  But then I noticed something... I didn't have the heaviness.  I didn't hurt quite so much.  I missed her just as strongly, but I knew she was okay.  

I believe without any hesitation, that dream was a gift from God.

I kept it to myself for a while - weeks, if I remember correctly.  Then I shared it with my husband.  And he wanted to know what she looked like.  All I could say was beautiful.  I tried to describe that mouth, her nose... the shape of her brows being the same as the shape of my Gramma's... her tiny hand that looked just like mine, her chin like Cari's... her complexion dark, like Daddy, with just a tiny bit of soft brown hair.  But words don't work for things like that.

So over the next few months, I drew her.  I drew her so many times... and each time, I ached to hold her, to have her, and I felt so much peace about where she was.  And then I'd finish the drawing, and I'd look at her, my daughter, and I couldn't stand it.  The picture would get tucked away into a box... a box I no longer know if we even have.

One year later, we mourned together the fact that our daughter was not turning one.  And that night, I saw her.  Wobbly, chunky baby legs.  Sparkling brown eyes, that mouth that turned up just a little at the corners, soft, dark hair that was almost black.  That perfectly adorable little chin.  In the dream, she was standing across the room, and I called out her name... "Anna, come to mommy" and she did.  She ran to me, and I felt her slam against me and wrap her pudgy arms around my neck and it was so beautiful.

2008, I dreamt of her again.  She was obviously two.  She told me "I can do it" when I offered to help her get up into a rocking chair.  I asked if I could sit with her... she said "Yes mama.  I like snuggles."  She looked even more like her daddy, and seemed even more beautiful.  I held her, and rocked with her in that chair, and it was glorious.  I woke aching for her, but filled with joy.  I thanked my God.

2009, she would have been three.  This last year, she would have been four.

I keep dreaming of her... on her due date.  On Mother's day the last couple of years.  They are the most vivid dreams I have ever had, and they leave me with so much peace.  I miss her, I long to be with her, I long to just... stay with her, always.  But I have a life to live here and now, and I have to focus on that. 

And I keep drawing Anna.  I keep drawing and it feels so good to get it down on paper, and then I look at her face, and it's a reminder of what is not here, of what is missing... and I can't keep the drawing.

But this year, I want to share her with Derek.  I want to show him.  I want to draw Anna for my husband, and I need God's help and strength to do it.

I know this may not make sense, but... it is where I am at today.

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