He loves me, He loves me not…

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (written 5/24/16)
Remember playing the game when you were a child? Reciting the phrase “he loves me, he loves me not” as I plucked the petals from a poor unsuspecting flower. Thinking of some silly little boy who I wanted to return my affections, and hoping, longing with each pluck of a petal that it would end on “he loves me” so that I would certainly be guaranteed that this boy would love me forever (you know, important things in the tween-years). 
Weeks ago I asked my husband to drag the large Rubbermaid tubs of baby boy clothes up to almost finished nursery we are preparing for Koen. Just a few last things to do: pictures on the wall, wash and put away the laundry, hang the mobile.  Almost there. This is happening. We are (hopefully) having a baby. Well, I suppose we are having a baby for certain. We are (hopefully) keeping this one with us.  I add the word “hopefully” to so many things now. It is odd, it doesn’t quite feel right. I should be more trusting. But I can’t help but think – Will this child be ok? Will I be ok? Will be bring home a baby this time? Will we lose him – again?  Thus is the life of a mom carrying a rainbow.  
Today is the day I will be brave enough to sort through the baby boy clothes and tackle the washing, folding, and putting away of everything.  I will put sheets on the crib mattress. I will finish preparing for this child as if I am 100% confident he is coming home to sleep here in this house, in this room.
I sorted through the baby items, one by one removing each onsie or a sleeper or blanket. I intended to examine each item and decide whether or not we could use it for Koen. You know, was it the right size or season? Each time I pulled an item from the blue container I felt a different pluck of the strings in my heart. Once a pluck of joy as I thought about how cute Koen would be in the Ohio State onsie, then a pluck of laughter as I pulled out a Michigan onsie next. What a fun time we will have with our football rivalry when he arrives.  Next I pulled out an outfit with the tags still attached and the chords of my heart plucked a sad song. Someone bought this outfit for John Karl. He never wore it. He will never wear it. I reached for a Kleenex to dab away the tears and I move on to the next piece of clothing from the container.  Back and forth, happy and sad, just like the childhood game – “he loves me, he loves me not”.  One minute joy and excitement, the next minute devastation.  Oh, how I prayed this game would end on “he loves me”. Please, Lord, please let us keep this baby safe and healthy. Let him live in our home. Bless me with the chance to raise this child. I won’t let you down.
It was a hard day.  It certainly won’t be the last hard day we have, but I remember (and remind myself often) that there will be so many days filled joy. Joy that comes from the promise of the Lord. Our rainbow.  
Life is hard. God never promised an easy life, but He did promise one of eternity.  Often people ask how we do this – life after losing a child.  The answer for me is – I have to. I have to know that God is good, even though our circumstance isn’t. The answers and understanding will come, but not on this side of Heaven’s gates.  The good news is I already know how this game ends, He Loves Me.

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