Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ghost Child

Mel posted one of the most darkly beautiful entries I have ever read on Tuesday evening. While the entire post deserves a read, and I hope that you take the time go over, the penultimate paragraph continues to stay with me:
When we crossed to the other side, I let her go.  I left her on the bridge.  My own child.  I told her to stay put, and I took a few running steps to catch up with the rest of the family.  I’m sorry, but she couldn’t do this, couldn’t follow after us this whole trip.  I would pick her up again — I always pick her up again — at another time.
I'm not ready to have a ghost child of my own. I’m afraid that I’m not strong enough to carry her with me, to be constantly setting her down only to pick her up a few weeks, months, or years later. I don’t want to carry this with me forever.
My heart already breaks every time I try to walk away from her, try to set her down.
She’s already here; I see her everywhere I go. Running errands. Heading to Hillridge to visit the pumpkin patch or the Christmas lights. Loading Little K into the CRV for gymnastics or Bible study. Worshiping at church. She’s everywhere.
I put her down the first time and walked away for two years. R had his vasectomy and I tried to move on. But she waited. And when the time was right, she came back and hasn't left my side since. I try to set her down. A day, a week, an hour... It never lasts for long. She comes back over and over again.
Eighteen months she's been with me.
I’m not ready for her to stay a ghost child. I’m not ready to give up on making her tangible, real, full of smiles and cries and memories and sleepless nights.
I can’t imagine Little K growing up without her. Even though she’s already a big girl and reading and writing, I want Little K to have a sibling here with us. Even though their age gap will drive Little K nuts and cause R and I to question our sanity at bringing another child into our lives this far in the game. I’m not ready to give up on her.
In one of my first posts, the post that was the reason I started this blog – because I wanted to send those words into the world – I talked about the waiting. That it's always there, slipping in and out of the spotlight, waiting for a chance to shine.
I’m not ready to carrying the longing with me forever.
I’m scared of what the ghost child will do to my heart. If I’ll become resentful that she isn’t here. If I’ll spend my life wishing that I had held out longer, that R would have come around and we would be complete. Regret and worry and wishing and pain.
I know the Lord is stronger than this. I know that He can take it away. All I need to do is lay it at His feet, leave it in His hands, and walk away. I can actively turn from it: mind, body, spirit. I know that our lives are blessed and will continue to be blessed without more children.
But I don’t know if I’m ready. I don’t want to lay it down yet. I don’t want to give up. What if she’s right around the corner? What if I walk away from her, leaving her on the bridge just a moment too soon. What if, what if, what if…

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