Easter Sunday is my favorite holiday. It is the story of resurrection & salvation that the world needs. It is the story of resurrection & salvation that I & my family need.
Death has been heavy as of late.
Monday, March 14 I was woken up with what turned out to be labor pains. At 9:33am Kaia Gene came into the world at only 23 weeks & 1 day old. I knew on the way to the hospital that it was not my sweet girl's time to show herself just yet. My womb dancer not only came breech naturally, she then succeeded to share life with us for a full 90min. This was just enough time to have her be baptized by myself & Z & leave her little 1lb 3.6oz print on my chest where she rested & on Z's arms. Our hearts had pieces stolen that day, but Kaia Gene deserved all the heart we could give her & more.
Wednesday, March 23 we woke up to a phone call from MN. We knew it was to say Z's dad had joined Kaia & many other saints gone before in heaven. We had been grieving this pending death for the better part of the past month. Cancer had reared its ugly head in February & the prognosis was never favorable. Z's final conversation with his dad was about shamrock shakes on St. Pattys day & dad got so excited about having his own shamrock shake, he hung up on Z! While we knew this phone call was coming, the real truth of his death doesn't quite seem real. It has brought a new quiet to the family.
Thursday, March 24 in conversation with my mom, she says, 'Oh yeah, today's the day for Zoey.' This meant that Zoey, the family dog of 12.5 years & my 'replacement' after leaving for college, was finally being put to rest. This was another expected phone call & awaited death. Zoey lived a good long life for being 50% Rottweiler. She is missed & has left her mark of drool even on Z's & my couch.
So what do you do when life stings at you repeatedly?
While we've had our days of weeping & pajama wearing all day long, we've continuously leaned into scripture, each other, prayer, & those who have been doing what they can to make sure we're eating & showering & other daily ins & outs.
We've found focus in the ways we've been forced to grow. Dad Nelson was 64 years old & his cancer has caused us a health awareness in the foods that we do & do not eat. Zoey was 50% Rottweiler & outlived her life expectancy by roughly 3 years. She was a big ol' loving puppy till her last breath. We all want to love & be loved like that. And baby Kaia, our much anticipated first child, taught us about strength. We never thought pregnancy was possible for us. Then Kaia came so fast, so early that I wasn't given any meds or even an I.V. Giving natural birth to a baby that hasn't even the chance to turn just yet (she was breech) without meds in 2016, is pretty phenomenal in my book.
We are beyond thankful for the prayers & words of support from people in all parts of life. The pieces all come together when you need them the most. We are thankful for the care packages, the engraved jewelry with Kaia's name, the scarf that each material was picked with purpose, and the phone calls. We love our communities & ask that you keep checking in & sending your support.
What we are most thankful for is the resurrection of Jesus that creates all of this life's purpose. It is through the ways that people have cared for us that we see Jesus' resurrected. It is through this resurrection that death is silenced & our family gone, from this world, have eternal life.
The tomb is empty! The dead has been raised! Alleluia! Praise be to God!