Last night, I waded into the deep.
Away from the lights. Away from the chocolate cake smeared on the floor. Away from the incandescent sounds of life and laughter coming from downstairs.
Stepping out into the darkness.
Looking up at the swirling clouds above me. Feeling the wind whip through my tired bones. Leaning into the raindrops that began to fall so gently down upon my face.
I had meant to stay inside, you see.
To stay steady in all the utter hilarity that life brings from April into May. To grow out of staring wistfully up at the sky and thinking of you. But then again…
I didn’t expect her.
Taking down my name last Thursday. Checking off all the drugs your mama takes. Updating my chart with all the preciousness of last year.
I didn’t expect that I would laugh when your daddy dropped me off at the ER like I was going to pick up milk.
Giving each other an air high-five because we really are just that ridiculous.
I didn’t expect that choosing to go there instead of KU Med for pain medicine after a 7-night no-sleep-marathon would make me catch my breath.
Bending my heart toward a place I did not intend to go.
And I didn’t expect to hear the question that even now makes me cringe because I know what comes after, “I see here you have gone into respiratory arrest. Is that part of the interstitial lung condition?”
But it came and so I answered, “No. I came to the ER in shock from sepsis.”
“And what caused that?”
As it so happens, this question always makes me stare at my feet but that night, my toenails were in such a serious need of a pedicure that somewhere in the distraction of it I mustered up a mercifully quick answer…
“Miscarriage. I had an incomplete miscarriage.”
Now of all the things I didn’t expect, what happened next stole my heart.
Because when I looked up, I saw tears streaming down her face.
“Oh, Sara. I thought it was you.”
“I was there that day. I was there. I was so scared. We didn’t think…”
And with tears now streaming down mine I said, “I know, sister. I. Know.”
So she continued, “There are only a handful of people who I carry with me and will never forget. You are one…”
And with that we cried together all over again.
In the next ten minutes a million more tears came. I told her all about your sister and showed her pictures of the day she was born. I hugged her close and left her with my grateful heart saying quietly as she wheeled me into the waiting room, “Thank you for not giving up on me. The life you gave back to me is such a beautiful one.”
It is why last night I had to walk into the deep once more.
To stand in the bigness of God and see you for everything you are.
My sweet little ebenezar, my almost April baby who went home in September.
It is also why you and I will always meet here.
Standing under the gray in a place where His redemption comes in even the deepest of hurt, a place where He holds and He carries and gives life upon life, a place so sacred that only we can go.
You are my quiet mercy, my love.
The one who reminds me that even when all that is precious is lost and life hangs in the balance, when you wake fighting for breath and fear grips your soul, when you are left barren and bruised and ripped apart…
He. Is. Good.
So here we will always meet.
Year upon year. Storm upon storm. Raindrop upon raindrop.
Every April, if only to say a sacred thanks for all that He has done.
To bend my head upward and whisper quietly into the deep…
“Oh, Jesus, this life you give is such a beautiful one.”