I know Memorial Day is set aside to honor the veterans who have served our country and rightfully so but that day is now going to have another meaning for Brian and I.
As part of our grieving and healing process, we decided to celebrate the life of Promise. The hospital where I had my procedure sends all the unborn babies’ remains to a cemetery located on a beautiful lake near our house. There is an entire portion of the cemetery dedicated to babies who died too young. It’s called BabyLand.
We drove over to the lake, parked our car, and walked about a quarter mile to the cemetery entrance. I’ve been to other cemeteries before, but this time was different. I wasn’t a child accompanying my parents to a memorial service for someone I never knew, and I wasn’t a college student reading the names from other lifetimes. No, I was a hurting, mourning soul.
Walking to BabyLand, I felt nervous and exposed. I needed to hold my husband’s hand–to feel his presence beside me. We found a memorial dedicated to all children with a passage of Scripture expressing Jesus’ love for children on it. This one was the one to honor Promise. For awhile, we stood in front of it together, reflecting separately; and then we shared some of our thoughts with each other.
Earlier in the afternoon, we had picked up a helium balloon in honor of Promise. There were so many different colors–orange, pink, yellow, blue, black, white. It was a bit overwhelming. Which one represented Promise? It seemed almost at the same time that both our eyes settled on green. Not dark green but a soft green resembling new growth. That was the one. That was Promise.
We carried the balloon with us as we walked from our car and through the cemetery. It had our love written on it in black Sharpie. And when we were ready, we turned to the sky and both let go of the balloon, watching it float away so quickly in the breeze.
It was just a matter of a few seconds before I couldn’t see it anymore. I felt a little anxious because I wanted to watch it longer. The excited anticipation I felt to release the balloon and watch it float away was quickly replaced by frustrated disappointment when its time was shorter than I wanted.
But how so like Promise.