She Is My Lighthouse
I requested some time with Ryan alone before everyone else could see him. Before they took him out of the house, they had asked if I wanted to say good bye. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing him without life. But now, now I had to face what had happened to us.
My body trembled as I approached the casket. I could see him lying there- hands crossed. And I cried. The tears were so sad they seemed to burn my face as they streamed down.
“Hey buddy” I said. “Please come back.” I whispered. “I cant do this without you”
I held his hand…. His hands were the only thing that seemed like him. They still had his amazing summer sun glow. He had the best skin tone. And he had a hang nail. I giggled inside thinking that that would have driven him nuts.
Our unborn baby was madly kicking inside as I spent the next half hour talking to Ryan. Telling him things I should have told him all along in our marriage. How much I loved him. How much he meant to me. How sorry I was forever wasting anytime arguing or fighting with him. I asked him to give the big guy a heads up that I would need some extra miracles in my next few months. Losing my husband with our young children was one thing--- but losing him while being 7 months pregnant was another.
At the funeral, I was the last to walk up to the casket. Ryans sister held my hand and we walked together to the front of the church. I didn’t want to say good-bye. I didn’t want to believe that this truly happened. I didn’t want to sing songs. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to be doing this at all. I kissed his forehead one last time.
As days passed, I anticipated how the birth of our daughter would happen. I would lay in bed at night and just cry. Everyone kept telling me how strong I was but they didn’t see me at night. They didn’t see me throwing up because I was so sad and upset. They didn’t see me laying in the dark scared, frantically praying for God to hold me close.
And then it happened one evening. I called my two older daughters, my sister, and my best friend and told them I was in labor. My family took the other little ones and we were off to the hospital. As labor progressed and contractions started getting stronger, I resisted getting pain relief. The pain of the labor seemed to take away the fear that was overtaking my soul. Breathing through each contraction--- having to focus on getting through this as she made her way into this world.
And she came. Beautiful and perfect. As they laid her on my chest I cried. This was the moment I was so scared of and it was so beautiful and wonderful. My daughter Lily cut her cord. My sister was so excited and in awe of the moment. Everyone was just swept away by this perfect little being. Sweet sweet Ryann Jane.
Her birth gave me hope. That maybe I was strong. Maybe beautiful things happen in a world that seems unfair. And just like a lost ship at sea- I found the lighthouse in the storm and it guided me home. She reminded me of the fight I could fight. She reminds me daily what love is.
This wasn’t the path Ryan and I set on to sail. It was the path that was given to us. And once I got through the storm, the view was breathtaking. I think of how much beauty I have seen since his death maybe beauty I would have taken for granted before.
I hope I never forget that feeling of seeing her for the first time... that feeling of relief, safety, hope. I pray that the beauty and light that surrounds me never fades. And when I question God's perfect timing I don't lose faith... I need to trust in him and if I let him lead he will be faithful in his promises to me. Trust. Faith. Believe that in the storm you will find your lighthouse.