One of those days was in September of 2008. I had an appointment to get a haircut that day, and I almost canceled it, knowing that I was pretty emotionally shaky. But I decided to go ahead and go, because I wasn't sure when I would have another chance to get my hair cut. It had been seven months since Hannah's surgery, and she had had several clear MRIs at that point. But she had begun having some symptoms that were very alarming, and an MRI was scheduled for the next day. I knew, deep down inside, that the cancer was back, and I was already beginning to see signs that Hannah was leaving us bit by bit. I walked into the beauty shop that day and the first thing my hairdresser asked was how Hannah was doing. I immediately started crying and never stopped the whole time I was there. And I got highlights and a haircut that day, so I was there for a long time. It wasn't a sobbing, noisy kind of crying...just a steady flow of tears that I could not stop. And since I am incapable of talking while I'm crying, I couldn't even tell my hairdresser about the MRI scheduled for the next day. Thankfully, she understood, and pretty much kept up a one-sided conversation the whole time, without requiring anything from me. I can't imagine what the other customers thought about me. I was just glad to get out of there that day! Of course, there have been plenty of other tear-filled days over the past two years, but this one just really stands out in my memory because it was so unlike me.
Today was another one of those days. For some reason, church seems to be one of the most emotionally difficult places for me to be. The music and worship time always seems to bring out the emotion in me...especially songs about Heaven. And with this weekend being the anniversary of Hannah's entrance into Heaven...well, this morning was especially tough. Usually I can pull it together during the sermon, but not today. The tears just kept coming. It felt like February of 2008 and February of 2009 were both crashing in on me at once. And I think Brad and Bethany both felt the same way. We are so grateful for our church family...they have really been there to support us throughout our journey...and they were there for us again this morning. We've actually been amazed at how many cards, notes, emails, hugs, etc., we've gotten all week long...not just from our church family, but from so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you.
Anyway, I'm glad to have this February in our rear view mirror. There are a couple more milestones in March...the first marks a year since Hannah's celebration service, and the second marks a year since we buried her physical body...but those memories don't seem to be as difficult. Maybe because I honestly don't remember them very well! A year ago tonight was the visitation...and although I clearly remember the length of the line of people, there's not much more I remember about that evening. The funeral and burial are also mostly a blur. I really think God gives us a period of numbness to help us survive those early days of grief. What I do remember about the funeral is that the gospel was clearly presented, and that there were people saved. For that I am thankful...and I'm sure Hannah was pleased.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4