Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Meaning of Grace

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I finally got my act together today and took some pictures of sweet Gracie today.  She is approaching on six weeks old, but what the heck!  I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought, so so cute!  I am going to attempt to do one a month and then put them together in her room somehow.  They change so fast!!

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I have wanted to sit down and finally put some thoughts together on having Grace and what this whole experience has meant to me.  For a good part of my twenties I was looking for forgiveness.  After being in a horrible car accident my life was changed forever.  Part of my healing was helped by meeting Chris.  He was my little knight that scooped me up when the world was falling apart around me.  The amount of tears that he wiped from my eyes it too great to even count.  When most guys would have run in the other direction, he met me where I was and held my hand while I grieved the most tragic experience of my life.  I will never forget the love and compassion he showed me in those dark moments and months of 2002 and 2003, and the many years following. 

After years of reflection I feel that I emerged from the accident a better person.  I am much more aware of the fragility of life and the impact I would like to leave on the people around me.  I used to tell Chris that I always wanted a sign that I was forgiven.  I could rationalize in my head that what had happened was an accident, but in my heart I carried a heavy burden.  So dark and deep that I could only share it on my saddest moments.  Although I had already had two other children, this third pregnancy was that sign for me.  We had spent so many months and tears praying for Ellie, and she was such a special gift.  With Grace I walked around for weeks not knowing that a beautiful life was growing inside me.  I had always had a little place in my heart and mind that wanted three children, but I didn’t want to let myself dream too big. 

After my accident I spent so many nights wondering why I was left here to endure such pain.  I felt so confused about why something so tragic would happen to me and to another family.  Next year I will have my ten year anniversary of my accident.  I often wondered in the beginning if I would ever be able to think or talk about it without breaking down into a sobbing mess.  I wondered what lay ahead for me, when the pain would ever ease up, and I could get through  one day without thinking about it and his family.  I remember going to the beach with my Dad the summer after it happened.  We were sitting at a diner eating pancakes and he asked me how often I thought about the accident.  I told him probably over 100 times a day.  I remember the shock on his face.  It was consuming me, eating away at me, and I was afraid the pain was going to gobble every good part of me up.  Only leaving a shell of myself left to go on living.

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Getting that positive pregnancy test was a moment of unexpected joy.  It was such an amazing feeling, almost as if God had given me a little gift.  If you look up the meaning of the name Grace, it means Grace of God, forgiveness.  To me that is what she is.  Just a little slice of heaven that I get to call my daughter.  I feel honored and humbled to have three healthy and beautiful babies sleeping in our house.  I hope I can be the best mom there is for them.   

Now ten years later I know why I am still here.  I am here for Chris and for my family.  I am here to raise these beautiful babies.  I am here to learn about the amazing power of forgiveness, and the power of love.  Chris and these three babies have filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t think would ever heal.  And Grace was that last little piece of forgiveness.  That “sign” I had been looking for all those years ago.  I know this process will never fully end.  But I have reached the best place I have ever been in.  Even up to my eyeballs in baby poop and newborn diapers.  I am right where I should be, and I finally know that now.  I love you my sweet Gracie.  Thank you for choosing me.      

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7 comments:

laura said...

i don't even know what to say. there are tears streaming down my face. this is yet another time i wish i lived in your most amazing town, just so i could give you a hug in person!

xo!

Colleen said...

I'm with Laura. I read this last night on my phone and didn't comment but saved it so I could come back. You are incredibly strong Clare. You describe your feelings like it was yesterday so I am sure that it still hurts you to no end. Thinking of you sweet friend!

Jenny said...

Clare...you are so strong and such a wonderful mother. A gift to your family. ((hugs))
I just might have to do that picture above...pinterest has the best ideas!
Grace is beautiful.

amanda said...

i can't even imagine...hugs to you friend!!

such a lucky mama :)

Lindsay said...

I'm a hot mess over here after reading this! What a sweet gift little Grace is! You are forgiven and I am so glad you have something tangible to remind you of this! I love you big sis and I couldn't ask for a better one! Love you and your beautiful family!

amy said...

I am SO very happy for you Clare! You a are blessed.

3 Peanuts said...

Clare,

I am so thrilled to read this post. You and I had many talks about your guilt over the accident and the pain it still brought you. I always felt bad that you carried that with you day after day. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am that you feel forgiven. God always forgave you but I am happy you feel it. Love the name Grace. so perfect. This post warms my heart.

Love,
kim