"Everyday holds the possibility of a Miracle."

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This time a year later, this waiting time of getting through the period of Ethan's birthday until the anniversary of the day he went from us to heaven is agonizing.  In many ways we are not where I had hoped we would be a year later - a huge part of me hoped that there would be more consistent hope and peace, and a glimmer of joy beyond moments.  I guess I had hoped, like the song, Praise You In The Storm says - that God would have swept in by now and saved the day, and on the days that it gets hard and I find my strength failing me that is my first cry out to God.  I discovered something yesterday that put me in awe of my creator God.  But I must go back to the beginning... Our everlasting symbol, on this Earth, for Ethan's presence in our lives is dragonflies.  When he was born Ethan was placed in a room in the local NICU that was in the wing with the theme Spring; the carpet had dragonflies on it, and there were dragonflies hanging from the ceiling.  My husband and I had a blanket made before Ethan was born and we had put a dragonfly on it.  After Ethan had passed and we were giving him one last bath, the hospital Chaplin came into his room and gave us a copy of "The Dragonfly Story" which he said would help us explain the concept of death to our two young boys.  Ethan's adopted "Auntie" Deb read it at his funeral.  Then last summer, we had the most amazing thing happen around our home.  We love to garden and landscape and really enjoy Japanese Gardens, and the peace and relaxation that they provide to the body and soul.  We can not make a true Japanese Garden where we live because of the really cold winters, but we are trying with what we have.  Last year I had no desire to be outside with my hands in the dirt, lovingly crafting our own peaceful place, until the day my boys came running in declaring that I had to come out and see this.  So naturally, I followed, though the insistent tugging on my arms kind of forced me to.  They pulled me all the way out to our Russian Sage plants, which were blooming in all of their lavender glory and I wondered what was so wonderful, until I really looked, and there golden and glistening in the sun were hundreds of tiny golden dragonflies.  We have never had dragonflies like those around or home before, in past years we had maybe one or two larger dragonflies, and I felt a message from heaven to my heart, that though Ethan is not in my arms now he is alive and whole in Heaven and I will be with him again some day.  Before Ethan was born we struggled with finding the perfect name for him, and finally settled on Ethan after a brother of mine, whom I sure would have been one of his favorite uncles.  While we were in the NICU and facing Ethan's passing from this life, a pastor friend of ours, after meeting Ethan the first time, had gone home and done a thorough study of his name, and returned to tell us that it meant, standing firm - having strength in the storm.  And that was our little guy, a fighter, and we were kept going by his strength.  Now the full circle moment of yesterday - I am gardening again, and was doing some research on Japanese Gardens and was surprised to find a beautifully crafted dragonfly bell; I was instantly attracted to it and intrigued as to why it was used in the Japanese Garden I was studying, and then I felt the hand of God as I read in the description that dragonflies are the symbol of strength and happiness in Japanese culture.  During the journey of this past year, the storm of grief and life has battered and howled around us, and yet we stand often not by our own strength but by the hand of God.  I have drawn from the strength of Ethan's fight during his young life, and now feel peace and the reassurance of God and the strength He gives me to keep standing and yes even praising in this storm each time my eyes find a dragonfly.

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