We are doing well. Matt and I are cherishing long evenings with the girls, playing in the yard and garden. We are aware that the space Ava left is large, and we are cautious about filling it up too quickly. We are appreciating peaceful, quiet moments, and slowly reconnecting with friends. We're watching lots of Food Network & HGTV and learning how to use our new iPhones (ok...I'm learning how to use the darn thing) Our brains are still pretty slow, (at least mine is...Matt's probably still able to decode the human genome with his eyes closed) so we're focusing on being with our family and doing things we enjoy.
The girls are doing very well. We talk about Ava all the time. Our favorite activity is sharing what we think Ava is doing in heaven right now. Usually it involves playing with Grandpa, listening to him talk like a duck, and snuggling with Jesus. We still go into Ava's room for diapers and occasionally to look at her pictures. I'm not sure when I'll be ready to begin putting things away, but not yet. It's nice to sit in her glider and think about her, smell her blankets and remember the weight of her in my arms.
The girls are very matter-of-fact in their processing, and that sometimes makes for awkward interactions with perfect strangers. I'm still not entirely comfortable with the question, "How many kids do you have?" or even comments like "Wow! You've got a lot of girls!" Sometimes I include Ava, and a few times when I've left her out Elizabeth or Ruby has jumped in with, "We have a sister Ava and she died." They're not the least bit concerned about how others might react, so I'm trying to just go with the flow for their sake. They've worked with an expressive therapist through Ava's hospice program and may continue to if it's necessary.
Life moves forward slowly, and we do what's in front of us. Elizabeth has an endoscopy this Thursday to do a routine check-up on the varicose veins in her esophagus. She's had a dozen of these, but they all require blood draws and general anesthesia, so we covet your prayers for a smooth procedure, and peace for her heart and mind. Hannah Mae is figuring out how to do life with a cast on. Today she climbed out of her crib with her cast, and her sleep sack on...she's not slowing down!
The habit we've formed of looking for and seeing all the ways God is sustaining us through the myriad crises in the last six years is continuing to bless us. We see His faithfulness everywhere. He continues to provide emotional and practical support for us...timely conversations, encouragement from His word, meals from friends, thoughtful cards, gifts and hugs which bless us every day.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.