It was my intention when I left TN to do a lot of blogging on Maui. After all, I’d be on a family vacation with tons of time on my hands and well rested, right??? Well, we have had time but I haven’t been well rested. Turns out a 5 hr. time change throws kids systems for a loop. It has been a wonderful trip though and we have gotten to do a lot of really amazing things and create great family memories. Scratch that: It’s likely our kids will forget most of this trip, Caleb certainly will and Noelle may only remember bits and pieces. That’s Ok. I took lots of pictures and Steve has a memory like a steel trap. We’ll be able to remind them what a great time we all had for years to come.
This place is truly beautiful. So beautiful it keeps taking my breath away.
I’ll be posting more pictures from our trip in coming days.
It’s late. As usual. Seems to be the only time I actually make time for blogging. Late at night when I’m really too tired. Tomorrow we leave to go camping ‘inland’ for a couple of days into the more jungle like areas of Maui. I expect we’ll have a whole ‘nother pile of images and adventures by the time we get back.
This past week we went to one of the coolest little towns in Maui. Paia had this really earthy, hippy, naturalesque vibe to it that made this crunchy Mama happy. I could have gotten lost in it’s eccentric health food store named Mana Foods with the tiny aisles and incredible selections crammed in every square inch of the place. And really, who couldn’t love a store with an entire WALL dedicated to chocolate?? With what the locals refer to as ‘righteous’ prices Mana gives the other Health Food Stores on Maui a healthy dose of competitive price points.
We struck out on foot with Caleb in the Ergo and just ambled here and there all over town. In one of the art galleries I found myself unexpectedly blinking back tears. Sometimes it hits me when I least expect it, in the most unlikely of places. Just these reminders of our lost babies and at the same time it reminds me of my friends who are still hoping and trying.
In this art gallery were a series of three sculptures all featuring children with butterflies. The first was a baby with a butterfly on his shoulder. Something about him made me think of our oh so tiny Kaitlyn Anne we lost after Noelle was born and before Caleb.
Then there were the baby-hands reaching up to catch a butterfly. The first babies we lost, the ones we never named, the ones that happened so early it seemed like they were barely there before they were gone…somehow this sculpture made me think of them.
And then, just as we were leaving Doodles pointed out the third sculpture I had somehow missed on our way in and asked me to take her picture with it. With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes I agreed. Yes, here was the reminder of the twins. The twins that would have been Noelle’s older siblings. Putting on her fake camera smile face she came up beside the statue and put her hand in his for the picture. A tear spilled over and down down my cheek as I snapped it and said “Perfect Doodles! That was a sweet picture. Thanks for thinking of it” Thank goodness for auto-focus or that one would have been a blurry mess.
What touched me about these images in a very visceral and powerful way was even though each one of them reminded me of a loss they were each so entwined with hope at the same time. The last one especially. In motion. Moving forward. Reaching for the butterfly. Gentle in the motion so as not to scare it away. Amazement as the fingertips brush the delicate and beautiful creature.
The struggle with infertility and miscarriages can kill Hope. It can squish the desire to live life right out of a person. It can fuel envy, deep desire and yes, actual lusts for a child. Sometimes Hope is the last thing one feels walking that path. And just when it seems Hope is there it seems to flit away again. The faster we lunge for it, the tighter we cling when we have it, the faster it seems to disappear. I would encourage any of my friends reading this who are heart-sore and journey weary to just stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and let it all go. Stop the brain from churning, from planning, from anxious circles. Allow yourself to just rest for a moment of stillness and in that moment gently reach out and see if you can brush fingers with Hope again. Hope is a lot like those butterflies. It comes to us when we are in moments of stillness and quiet and flits just out of reach when we chase it.
My fleeting moments of hope were realized in two of the cutest children a woman could ever long for. Two children that I can hold and kiss and not just blow kisses into the wind to. My prayer is that the hopes of my friends are satisfied and fulfilled as only God can. Love and hugs from me. And if you can’t hope, if you are too exhausted, too tired, too fragile, too hurt… I’ll Hope and pray for you. Message me or comment and I’ll add you to the list of women I pray for daily.
Steph, thank you. I am glad that you have the opportunity to hold some of your children in your arms. I know what a miracle that is! Praise the Lord! I try to hope. But it’s hard. Love you, Elizabeth
Thank you for sharing your heart. It nearly brought tears to my eyes reading your story. God has given us 3 healthy, busy, boys (7, 6 & 4). We long for a little girl to complete our family. Waiting…is so difficult. It’s so hard to “let go” as you said —but holding on to it doesn’t help either. Thank you for the encouragement.
That was beautifully written…..rejoicing with you for your blessings, both here and in heaven!
We just lost our only baby boy, after having five lovely, lively, and wonderful girls. It would have been three months Tuesday. I needed so much to hear your encouragement and read your article. I hadn’t let go, but have just begun to realize so. A month after we lost Bronc Leslie, we also lost my dad to cancer. I am just coming out and letting HOPE take hold again. Letting God take my hand and lead me out of the dark. Thank you so much for your words.