For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
As a mother of three, I loved to do whatever I could to stay organized. One of my favorite organizational tools in my home was my calendar. Mine is on a white board. So at the end of each month, I can just erase it and start anew. I loved my calendar because it signified my life. All of my children’s activities, family events, special occasions, and appointments were on there. I could look at it hanging there and be able to see what I had accomplished, and also what I still had to look forward to.
This month was different. I didn’t run to change the dates. I didn’t get excited to erase it and start new. Doing so meant I was no longer living in the same month that Audrey lived in. Doing so meant I was entering August of Two-Thousand fourteen……a month that Audrey would never get to see.
As I stood there, with half of the month already passed…..feeling like I may be ready to finally change the date, I put the eraser back down. I stared at the calendar, trying to remember back to when I had last changed it over to July. I did remember being so excited to write in my husband and I’s first year wedding anniversary. I remembered being so happy. I had no idea how life changing that date would really be. That instead of eating left over wedding cake, and celebrating over dinner…..we would instead, wake up that morning to our daughter not breathing.
I continued to scan the dates. I remembered July first. Canada Day was a family tradition. Every year I would dress up the girls in Canada gear, and head down to the waterfront for music, and fireworks. Again, shock struck me as I realized that when I had wrote in yet another date I had looked forward to, I had no idea that would be the only one she would ever celebrate with our family.
That same day had also been the last one of Abi’s soccer games that Audrey would ever sit with me on the bleachers for. The last time we would all celebrate her teams win afterwards with ice cream together.
( July 1, 2014 – Audreys First & Last Canada Day )
I scanned over to the next day. July second would be Audreys final Doctors appointment. An appointment that I has constantly played over in my mind since her death. She had been so happy that day, smiling at everyone who fussed over her in the office. It is so hard to come to terms with the fact, that someone who had been deemed perfectly healthy on a Wednesday….could be gone by Sunday.
( July 2, 2014 – Audreys Final Doctors Appointment )
July was the last month my baby girl had ever been on this earth. I didn’t want to stop living in it. I didn’t want to erase the note I had written at the bottom of my calendar, reminding me to make another appointment for her in a month. Although my mind knew that she would no longer need it…my heart fought otherwise.
As I stood there, contemplating my next move. I realized that as desperate as I am to keep time still, I really have no control. The days, weeks, months, and years are going to continue to pass by whether my little calendar says so or not.
I picked the eraser back up off of the counter. Feeling completely broken that I was just about to erase away the last time I would ever see Audreys name on there. As I was about to erase my first wedding anniversary that would never be celebrated….and the next appointment that would never be needed.
God’s presence came over me that day. It really was if he had placed his hand over mine and moved it for me. As if he knew I didn’t have the strength to do it myself. As the eraser moved over the board, mixing the marker with my fallen tears. It started to become one big black and wet mess. It resembled my life perfectly. My once organized and happy life was now just that….a complete mess.
The truth is, by removing her name from the calendar… another piece of evidence that she had indeed, lived in our home, I realized that it did not mean I was erasing her from my life. That there is no possible way that she can ever be erased or replaced because she continues to live on inside of me….inside of us.
When I looked at my calendar this morning, I still wanted so desperately to see her name on there. To see proof that she is still here to be taken care of. What I do not see however…is just a way to stay organized, or a place were there is a bunch of “chores” written down for me to accomplish. I now see it as a pile of published memories. Memories that have passed…and memories yet to come.
I have no idea what the next months, or even years will bring me. I take comfort in the fact that God does. I do know that he has promised me a future…and that he has given me hope. On days that I become anxious of all the uncertainty in my life…I think about the fact that he has been there to help me through whatever obstacle I have had to face. Whether it has been big, or something as small as erasing a calendar. As long as I can continue to keep my eyes on him…I know that I can once again…… begin to look forward to the days ahead.