Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holding tight

I am so happy I have my daughter. I am so happy I have my Joey too, but I have always had a desire for a daughter and am so pleased the Lord gave me this crazy, quirky girl named Katie. I love to hold her, and she loves to be held. Since she was just a little thing, she has given me "monkey hugs", where she hugs not just with her arms, but with her legs as well, all curled around me tight.

At night, when I rock her before I lay her down, is my favorite time. Chest to chest we rock together, her head on my shoulder, my hair between her fingers. She is relaxed, and so am I. There are no distractions or annoyances. I just rock, and hold, and enjoy her. Sometimes, in these moments of enjoying my Katie, I miss my Natalie.

My mind has played through all the moments and milestones - first steps, first words, pretty dresses and pigtails - that I will never enjoy with Natalie. After I got pregnant with Joey, I feared it would be difficult to not constantly compare my child in my arms with my child in Heaven. Surprisingly, that has never been my reality. The Lord has blessed me with the ability to enjoy my children, without comparison. I miss Natalie, and I always will, but it never interferes with the pleasure and joy I experience as I see each day unfold for the two I have with me.

Though from time to time, holding my little girl does make me long to hold my Natalie again. Holding Natalie was all I was able to really do in our time together. But I wish I could have held her longer; letting her go was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Some nights I hold Katie and the prayer escapes my heart, Lord, please don't take this one too. But every time I pray that prayer, I hear a gentle whisper telling me she is not my own.

She is yours, Lord.

So I hold my daughter in my arms. I rock her to sleep and love every second of it. I can never hold Natalie again on this earth; I can savor each embrace with Katie. I hold on tight. And I will trust my Lord if I ever have to let go.

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