Last night I was browsing through pictures on the computer. I do this every once in awhile to keep her memories in the front of my mind. This one would stop me in my tracks.
February 14, 2010 - 6:23pm
That evening, April had prepared the most amazing Valentine's Day dinner for Peter and me. She even brought out the fine china. Because she and her sister have a cooking blog, she had been taking lots of pictures of the meals she had been preparing lately, so the camera was always on the kitchen counter, ready to catch whatever was her latest creation.
We've browsed our pictures a hundred times since we lost Elyse, but hadn't discovered her in the background of this one. This is the last recorded memory we have of her... maybe 8-9 hours before she went to be with our Lord.
I'm holding her in the way that I most often did, sitting on my arm, upright, looking around and taking everything in. She always wanted to be apart of what was going on around her. This picture is even more special because many times I'd bring Elyse down from upstairs and we'd walk around that corner and see Peter and Mommy. She'd usually get a huge smile on her face when she saw them. In this case, we were just waiting for dinner: a couple minutes away from sitting down and sharing a normal evening together at home.
Oh how the next several hours would change our lives forever.
In my heart, I still hold my little girl like this. I always will. Tomorrow is 8 weeks. For some reason, the time just continues to pass. I've been finding, in this past week, some of the deepest pain I've felt since her Memorial Service. I suppose that God's answering my prayer and keeping her close to my heart. Perhaps I'm starting to process more and more of the whole thing. I just know that it continues to be a deep hurt. A day doesn't go by without some moment of intense grief.
So I continue to cling to our Lord, proclaim those things I know to be true about His love, sovereignty and faithfulness; and I move forward, knowing that I have a son who needs a Dad and a wife who needs a husband. Elyse is safely in her heavenly Father's arms, taking in everything in her new home. She has no pain. She has no hurts. She has no worries.
I sure can't wait to see that girl again.