This week marks the anniversary of our daughter's home going. I wanted to take some time and remember.
I remember the ultrasound telling us we were having a girl and the sign on my hospital room door that read: It's Another Girl!. I remember thinking what it was going to be like for my husband to be in a family of all girls.
(July 1, 1997)
I remember her smile - her blue eyes so full of life. I remember ringlets of curls atop her head - curls with a hint of red that made me wonder if carrot top would ever become her nickname.
I remember doting sisters who tried to share sippy cups and pacifiers with her - an act of true endearment for toddlers and infants! I remember the amazement we felt when I found out that God had blessed us with yet another baby growing within me. I remember holding her - still so small herself, and feeding her - and realizing that another baby was growing inside of me. I remember wondering how I would ever manage four little ones.
(Our family Christmas picture - 1997)I remember the family night God allowed us to have - where we giggled and played together. I remember her laugh as she watched her sisters get horsey rides on Daddy's back. I remember whispering in her ear that when she was bigger Daddy would give her a ride too! I remember how we took the girls' pictures that night by the Christmas tree - to send out with our Christmas letter - never knowing that this picture would accompany her memorial card 4 days later.
(Our Girls - December 12, 1997 - 8:00p.m.)
I remember the next morning when everything changed. I remember finding her - and calling my husband to come in quickly. I remember the 911 call; and the paramedics and police officers that arrived that morning. I remembered hoping that they would get her breathing again - but absolutely sure in my heart that she was "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" even as they worked. I remember hearing the phrase, "I am sorry, we have done everything we could..." and feeling my knees give out from underneath me.
I remember picking out the small box that would be the final bed for her little body and reminding myself that she was no longer there - but safe in the arms of Jesus.
I remember being surrounded by so many friends and love. Coming home without her - and finding our home filled with friends. A kitchen full of food - and house filled with even more care and concern than I thought was possible. Ah, how I remember the memories we shared that afternoon of the child allowed to stay with us for only a little while. I remember how everyone was worried that the baby within me would not make it due to the stress I was under. I remember everyone begging me to eat and to rest - even though I had no appetite and the tears flooded my pillow at night.
I remember her funeral. We were surrounded by friends, family, emergency workers. I remember that one so little had touched so many lives - and somehow death and life seemed easier to understand when looking at it from God's perspective. I remember praying with my husband as we stood alone at the grave site - asking God to give us grace and help us. I remember leaving the box there - and feeling how cold the winter air was - trying to remember that we were not leaving her - only her body - she was safe.
I remember the tears - so many tears. How vividly I remember God comforting me. I remember understanding that the path I had thought I would walk - was not to be. God had another path for me. It became my responsibility to surrender to His will for my life - for His path was best. Oh, how many times my will had to surrender to His!
I remember giving birth to my son - 6 months later - a week before her first birthday. I remember missing her so much and loving this new little one so uniquely - for through the tears that had been and were to come - God would make my heart to smile again.
I remember 7 years later - God allowing us to adopt our youngest son on Ally's birthday - and knowing that God adds and subtracts from our family as He sees fit. I remember the strong assurance I had that God's ways are best - and He truly does heal broken hearts!
On Thursday, it will have been 10 years. I look back and I remember. Those memories have brought back tears - but more than tears - the look back shows God's marvelous grace. I now have journey quite aways down this divinely chosen path - and yes, it was best for me. For I have had God minister to me in a way I would have never known down my chosen path. I have seen Him heal a broken heart - I have learned so much! His way was best for me!
For all of those who walked this path with us - who came and comforted us during this difficult time. SO many sent gifts our way to show their love and concern. Thank You! I went through her box the other day. I was surrounded once again by your love and concern. SO many cards, gifts and memories filled my mind as I looked through her things. The cards that were sent - we have kept each one. We will never forget her - but we will never forget the love from others that helped this path to be easier. Thank you!!
Allyssa Hope Spurgeon
July 1, 1997 - December 13, 1997
July 1, 1997 - December 13, 1997
Waiting in Heaven.