Here in Texas the trees have a dusting of pale green and white blooms are beginning to appear like popcorn among the bare branches. That also means we've been dusted with pollen and seasonal allergies are taking their toll ... but it is temporary and I'll take it if it means the wildflowers are beginning to grace the hillsides. It is almost time to torture the children in the bluebonnets (insert cackling and rubbing of the hands in plotting).
March always hits me with a pang of sadness. My life is so full, and yet among the girls voices I will always feel like there is a voice missing. A voice we never got to hear from a brief life that blessed us for such a short time. Well, that's not entirely true. Lil Bit will always feel like a blessing and I'll always think of him or her as my March baby.
My mom always felt like Lil Bit was a boy, but I'm afraid my imagination has now been altered by having two girls. I often find myself thinking of Lil Bit as a girl, but I think it is just because our life and home is just so very feminine these days.
Most often I think of Lil Bit as a missionary. In part because I know without a doubt that conception happened on our mission trip in Nicaragua. When we found out we were pregnant we joked that we had snuck something past customs. The last night of our trip I had gotten pretty ill and part of me wonders if the impressive fever was too much for that fragile time when miracles are blooming.
But I know that God sent Lil Bit to visit us ever so briefly and that He will bless us and others through that sweet little missionary's sojourn. I know, medically and scientifically, that if Lil Bit hadn't left we woudn't have this blur of curls and teasing named Shelby; however, I don't like to think of my spring child who never bloomed beyond the bud and my summer sunshine as being mutually exclusive.
As the spring newness makes my heart sad and glad I want to try to be more aware of the hints of sadness in others. Statistically I think I've heard that half of women have been touched by miscarriage. One in TEN children in the United States is born prematurely. And I'm not even sure what statistics there are for infertility because there are so many causes. But I do know that those who experience it feel it to their core. Even Proverbs acknowledges the hollow it creates:
God has often reached out to these women in the course of His plan: Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, Samson's mother (we don't know her name), Naomi (Ruth's mother-in-law who lost her husband and sons). He knows, dear sisters. He knows. And He knows what it is to loose a child.