I have several posts swirling about in my head, but can't seem to get them in order. So I thought I'd check my camera which is full of pictures that I haven't uploaded to the computer in awhile, and post a few of those to get me going.
But then I ran across some pictures that merit more than a post-and-run kind of post.
After many, many months of waiting, and many promised deadlines that have come and gone, our baby's marker is finally in place. We ordered it back in October and they told us that it would be in before Christmas. That was fine, we said, as long as it's in by his due date, January 3rd. It wasn't. Each time we'd go inquire about it, we were given a new date it would be in by, and it would come and go with no marker.
But finally, a few weeks ago on my routine drive through the cemetery, I stopped to check and my heart fell to my stomach. It was there. I had left the car running with the girls inside, so I couldn't stay long, but I collapsed to my knees. I wasn't expecting to see it. But there it was... so permanent and so awful. I touched the marker and ran my hand across his name, "Joshua Dale Osborne." For the gazillionth time it hit me that it really happened and I was struck by the unfairness of it all. And for the gazillionth time, the Lord comforted me and reminded me that His ways are not my ways and that He is close to the brokenhearted. Right about then, the baby in my tummy kicked and turned, and I gave thanks to God for His faithfulness. But it still isn't easy.
I cried, but tried to quickly compose myself because of my two little passengers waiting for me. They knew something was different and were very quiet when I got back in the car. I was still crying, although I was trying to conceal it from them as much as I could. Emma asked if I was crying and as I nodded, she said that she is sad about baby Joshua too. And then she said, "But Mommy, you don't need to be sad. You still have us!" To which a little echo came from Addie, "Yeah, you still have us!" How could I not smile?! I carefully explained that of course I still have them and that I love them so, so, so, so much but that it's okay to be sad and miss Joshua. I also explained that God is good and is giving us another baby boy to love!
The girls asked if we could put flowers on his name since it's there now, and so the next day, Gary and I took the girls over to visit Joshua. They wanted to "plant" their flowers, so we kind of stuck them in the dirt and the girls went on their merry way. (We had to explain that no, the markers are NOT meant for playing hopscotch...)
We know he's not there. Before this all happened, we thought the idea of graves and markers was all just kind of silly. But to be able to go and see his name and acknowledge that his little life mattered is suddenly a big deal and not silly at all.
Months ago, we wondered how hard it will be someday if we move away and have to leave his grave behind. I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that the Lord heard our concern and provided a solution.
The cemetery had an extra marker for Joshua that somehow wasn't done quite right for mounting and gave it to us. Gary mounted it onto a stone, which now sits under a tree we planted in remembrance of Joshua last fall. (We actually like it better than the granite in the cemetery!)
So, I guess we finally have some "closure"... if you can even call it that. I'm not sure there is ever closure when you lose someone you love, especially a child. At least, not this side of heaven. I think closure will be when Jesus places him in my arms the day I arrive in heaven.
Until then, with every kick and bump and turn I feel, God reminds me with this new baby that He is merciful and that life goes on. We can't wait to meet him. He doesn't have a name yet, or a room, or many clothes to wear, but he has a place reserved for him in our family and in our hearts. My expectation isn't that he'll replace Josh or take away the ache in my heart, but I've found that God has used time to heal my broken heart. I know he'll continue to do so, and I'm certain that one look at our new baby boy will ease a thousand aches. I can't wait for the love my heart can hold to multiply yet again when he is born!
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When I sat down to pull pictures from my camera this morning, I was anticipating a much lighter post! There are some funny pictures to share, and they are forthcoming... stay tuned!