See that little girl up there in Jesus’ arms? That’s my baby sister, Celeste. We’re coming up on her 5th birthday, March 14th. It’s been 5 years, 5 long years.
Today I did something brave. At first, I didn’t think much of it. And then I realized it was pretty significant.
I drove to Children’s Hospital.
Children’s is the hospital that Celeste was transfered to the night she was born. She spent all four months of her life there in the NICU and the PICU. Once I was home for the summer that year, most of our days were spent figuring out how Mom would get to the hospital, who was watching the boys and on some days, who was going with Mom.
Lauren needed a ride to work (she works at Children’s now). So, since I was babysitting Zeke I was the obvious choice. I haven’t been down there since the day Celeste died, July 23 2005 (which happened to be the day after my 19th birthday).
Guess what? I didn’t cry. I had to pause for a minute to collect myself at one point. But I didn’t cry. It was weird seeing the hospital again. I hadn’t really remembered how to get there or what it looked like. I didn’t want to remember. I have blocked out most of that year and part of the next because my grief was too great.
Sometimes I think it is still too great. But I also remind myself that I have Christ. That he’s not only holding Celeste, but he’s holding me too. I haven’t done a lot in my griveing process. I’ve been stuck in depression and denial for the last 5 years.
Today, I think it’s time to start moving towards acceptance. This Lenten season will be a time to grieve. A time to really let myself remember, let myself experience the pain that I’ve been burying deep inside. I’m going to find a copy of my Mom’s book, Broken and Blessed. I’m going to let my heart break over the next 40 days. I’m going to read and look at pictures and tell my Grace about her Auntie Cece.
And then, come Easter, I will be blessed.