Before I say anything, I must say thank you.
Overwhelmed is not an adequate word to describe how I have felt at the outpouring and love I have received from all of you when we announced our news yesterday- from friends, former students, old acquaintances, and even people I have never met "in real life".. I won't be able to respond to every comment, but I read them all and I know who you are who sent such kind wishes, and I thank you. You have been so generous with your congratulations, so sweet, so happy for this crazy and terrifying adventure Greg and I are embarking upon. I have been moved to tears several times over the course of yesterday and today because of things you have said. I woke up at 4 am last night and glanced at my phone to check the time. There they were in the middle of the night, countless blog comments and facebook messages sending me your love. I went to the bathroom then crawled back into bed and cried at the sheer kindness.
My classes clapped and cheered today when I told them. I cried again. I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but there is something so beautiful and natural about the way people have come together to celebrate the announcement of new life. In a world that doesn't seem to value family, commitments, or children it was absolutely inspiring for me to read the congratulations of people from all walks of life. Thank you for celebrating our good news with us. Thank you thank you thank you.
Before I start the nitty gritty descriptions of morning sickness woes, food aversions and doctor's appointments I want to take just one more post to focus on the sublime. There was one thing I didn't tell you last night.
Two months ago I wrote this post. It was the night before the anniversary of my dad's death. I always write a blog post on the anniversary of his death, but this year I struggled greatly knowing what to say. I felt like I had been over it all- it was sad, it was unexpected, I grieved, I continue to grieve. I wanted to show love and respect to my dad by somehow honoring the passing of the day, but I didn't want my blog to be too heavy or sad. I didn't want people to leave depressed or feeling sorry for me.
What I wanted my blog post to say was that I miss my dad a lot and losing him has been the single most difficult experience of my life. BUT. God has helped me. There have been tender mercies, or "beauties" as I referred to them in the post. I wrote out a list of ways I had felt my dad close to me the day of his death and the days immediately thereafter. I wanted to identify clearly that my dad's presence and influence had remained with me and still does.
I wrote the post on a Monday night. Greg was at rehearsal, Maverick was sleeping at my feet. The post took hours, as do my most difficult posts. I cried through much of it. I felt the spirit as I wrote it- I felt peace, I felt happiness. I felt close to God and close to my dad. By the time I was done I had written out seven ways that God had shown me He still loved me, that everything would be okay. Seven ways I felt my dad with me during those most difficult of days.
Turns out I missed one. There were eight.
The night I wrote that post, I was already pregnant. Inside of me was a growing embryo, a developing placenta, a uterus ready to go into overdrive. I had no idea. The next day, in the middle of marking the anniversary of my dad's death there was one positive pregnancy test.
Tears sprung to my eyes the moment I saw that second line come in on the test. The truth is Greg and I had been trying to conceive for months. To finally receive the happy news on the anniversary of my dad's death was a tender mercy beyond words. It was God telling me all the things I had needed to hear from Him- that He still loved me, that everything would be okay, that He would take care of me. It was my dad saying hi.
For the past four years November 19 has been the hardest day of the year for me. I dread it- in fact, I dread the whole month. It's almost like I try to take a deep breath going into the day and only when I'm out safe and sound and in my bed at night can I slowly begin to let the air out. November 19 is a remembrance of pain, suffering, sorrow, and grief.
But not anymore. A day that once meant death now means life. It means hope and resurrection and family.
My Heavenly Father has given me so many blessings that I may spend the rest of my life desperately trying to thank Him for it all. He has been so good to me. He showered me with tender mercies and with kindness, even in the midst of the great tragedy of my life. I am no stranger to His goodness, but this one takes the cake. The most "beautiful beauty" of all turns out to not be what I thought it was. Instead, it is in the subtle morphing of the meaning of a day. From here on out November 19 means the continuation of life, not the end of it. It means the promise of a growing family, not a shrinking one. It means love that grows and grows, love without end.