Facebook is filled with first day of school pictures yesterday and today. While my oldest just graduated from high school, after so many years of waiting and grieving through infertility, I'm still stunned I have been given God's gracious gift of having pictures of my own to post over the years, or more specifically, that I was ever given the children who make this possible!
As I was scrolling through my news feed today, one picture brought me to a standstill, totally undid my heart! The little first grader in pink, proudly sporting her new backpack, was born about 2 weeks (maybe 10 days?) before my strokes. I held her as a TINY newborn. Drove to their apartment to see her for myself and hug on her Mama who I had been discipling for some time. I remember I left my sunglasses behind. Had to pull the car back around to a parking spot and run back up the stairs to the second floor to collect my missing possession. How I took such simple ability for granted!
She was the last baby I held prior to strokes, the last baby I held without assistance until just a few weeks ago (and that wasn't physically "easy" a few weeks ago, nor was I relaxed, just was the first time it had even been possible in nearly 6 years).
That day I held this baby was one of the last days I ever drove a car. I never particularly enjoyed driving when I could. Now I really miss it. Well, not exactly driving itself, the responsibility and all. It's the freedom I miss. The spontaneity. The ability to come up with a last-minute thought and jump in the car without having to plan or coordinate with anyone else. The fun of being a mom when I want to do something unscheduled with a child that would take us away from home. The ability to simply "be," like to forget an item and have it be non-eventful, not the least of an inconvenience to ANYONE that I misplaced an item or was a bit careless.
My emotions are all over the board with this picture! Joy that this little girl is alive. Thankfulness that so am I. Overwhelming love for her Mommy who hold a special pre-stroke spot in my heart... Pride at how far this "marker baby" and I have both progressed in both physical and mental skills since that day. Grief over the ugliness of this world (on so very many levels). So much many more emotions I haven't even sorted out yet.
I have an emotion-driven single tear (my more stroked eye, the one that used to leak non-stop, then could NOT cry for years, and now seems weepy again over the past week, but this is only the third time the flow has been specifically tied to any emotions) persistently rolling down my cheek and I can't even put into words exactly why.