Friday, July 29, 2011

gentle reminders

A few weeks back… Steve and the kids were at our town pool.

On this particular day we were given a gentle reminder... about loss.

As Grace was happily holding Steve’s hand as they walked along the pool they passed two women speaking Mandarin.

Grace abruptly stopped. And stared.

Steve gently nudged her forward to continue on their way.

Grace wouldn’t move.

In fact, as Steve pulled her little hand and tried moving her forward...she cried and tried to pull him back.

Five months.

And the sound of two women speaking Mandarin made her stop in her tracks. I can't help but wonder what went through her head. Did she think she should go to them... did the sound of Mandarin being spoken bring her comfort... or concern...

I cried when Steve told me the story.

It was such a reminder of the loss that she has endured. I HATE IT! I WISH such loss did not need to have to occur in her life. It's breaks my heart to think of it.

Of course, there was a part of me that wondered… would she have just gone to them… and never looked back?


She is happy… for sure.

She smiles. Laughs. Plays. Hugs. Kisses.

But, that doesn’t mean her loss is not real. Pain and confusion still exists. Attachment... still a work in progress. Healing doesn’t occur over night or in five months. There are very real issues that we are dealing with that are a product of her loss and 17 months of institutional life.

Can a person who hurts still smile. Yes.

But that doesn’t mean they still don’t hurt. And their hearts still don't need healing.

With four young children and a very busy household. We can easily get wrapped up in day-to-day life and forget where she is, where she was and all that her little heart and mind are dealing with... and how much she needs us.

I am grateful that God provides small reminders... like two women speaking Mandarin at the town pool... to focus us, give us perspective and not let us forget.


  1. Thank you for providing to me this "gentle reminder".

    Yes, the loss is great. It is truly heartbreaking. *deep sigh*

    It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff, isn't it?

    Love how God always shows up!!!! :)

  2. Deb - can we use this at WAGI? So poignant and moving...our Lydia STILL does a jolt when she hears mandarin.