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Of Gratitude & Grief

Yay! Honeybee just celebrated her first Thanksgiving!  It was great!  Thirty people graced our home for tables upon tables of food and desserts, beverages, conversation, and fellowship.  Everyone wanted to hold her, smile with her, dance with her.  It was amazing.  She missed two naps just playing and meeting everyone.  Plus, she one of her bottom teeth started peeking through.  It was a great holiday.  Because of what happened with her recent allergy flare up, we were very careful with what we allowed her to eat. We kept her to the things we’d tried before.  Sweet potatoes, collard greens, and dressing are still her favorites.  Anything sweet (sweet potato casserole) is also a friend.  She still managed to have one flare up the first night of everyone visiting, but it was minor and only cause an hour’s slip in nap time. 

As I watched her interact with the family, I was struck with how happy and grateful I was that she was here.  Here was a child who was loved so much it made my heart swell.  She went from arm to arm and smiles and played the entire time.  

And in the clamor and din that was making our festivities memorable, I suddenly felt an intense way of grief.  It was palpable.  It was there for only an instant, but I recognized it immediately.
 It was the grief of loss.  In that moment, I thought of my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and all of my relatives who’d gone to Glory, who had not had the opportunity to hold Honeybee.  I thought of the mothers who recently lost their sons and would not be able to sit around a table and enjoy hearing their voices again.  I thought about Honeybee’s birth mother.  I wondered if she was thinking about her, if her heart still aches for her, if her arms felt the same emptiness.  I felt such gratitude for this woman and such grief for her loss.  I can’t imagine what it is like for her, but I fear the possibility of knowing.  After loving Honeybee for so many months, we are rapidly approaching the date that will decide her fate as our child.  I have cast my cares on the Lord and have allowed Him to sustain me (Psalm 55:2).  I know that His will shall be done regardless of my desire.  Nevertheless, I chose to recognize that grief and store it within me, so that I didn’t forget the mother who was aching for her baby.  I never will.
Afterwards, the family disintegrated into a loving bunch of story tellers, memory revealers, and culinary geniuses.  Honeybee and Suberbug enjoyed every moment of it.  Best of all, the house was full of children from womb to 16 to play with and 17-70 to converse with.  It was a really great time with the family and we were pleased everyone enjoyed themselves.
We hope your Thanksgiving was equally as, if not more, blessed!


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  1. Thanks, Shawnell!

  2. Aww beautiful post!! Very genuine and from the heart.

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