Bethie’s life, and our life with Bethie, was a series of events clearly written by God. It is the only way to understand who she was and who she helped us become. She gave us eyes with which we see God in the every day and ears with which we hear his words as we make decisions. She taught me how to pray beyond just asking God for his will to be done. I still believe this is the ultimate prayer, but she taught me it is ok to ask for more than this. I am allowed to ask for miracles. He knows that my heart will survive if the miracles do not come, if my requests are not answered in the way I desire; I believe he knows that in the end I am happiest when his will is done. But I will never stop asking for miracles, thanks to my daughter. She changed my heart forever.
She changed everything. Just as we started anew when we had Freddie, we started anew again when we had her. This is parenting; this is motherhood.
When we brought Freddie home, I was slightly overwhelmed. I had loved being pregnant, but I went from having all the time in the world for myself and what I needed to having almost no time for myself. What I would later come to realize is, for me that is exactly the purpose of being a parent. Giving up myself for someone else. I understand everyone might not feel this way, but I truly believe that is why God gave our two children to us. And also why he chose Brian and me for each other. I learned to be the mother Freddie needed, and being the mother he needed prepared me to be the mother Bethie would need.
I’ve written about her birth before – it was beautiful. After she was born, I cried for three days in the hospital with her, and all I remember thinking was, “I wish she could stay” (I believe in fact it was the only thought I had for three days). I just could not stop crying. She was so tired, and we thought it meant the end was very near. The doctors gently told us that it while they weren’t sure, it could just have been a newborn’s tiredness. We certainly hadn’t experienced that with Freddie, though, and no one really knew because no one completely understood what her heart and body were capable of.
It turned out that her doctors’ guess was right – she was a tired newborn, and we all went home.
And so her life continued. A series of perfect days lived to the fullest and full of love, always with the knowledge that she could and likely would leave us tomorrow. I read this description of our life and I can see it from the outside – it was not perfect. On the inside, though, there was nothing wanting. Bethie was who God wanted her to be and so our life where we knew she would be taken from us was perfect.