WyoWomanPhotography.com: Thoughts

1. Miranda

We've all heard a funeral called "a celebration of life." It's hard to see it that way this time. We didn't have Miranda long enough. We hardly had time to celebrate her birth.

We are heartbroken and confused. And yet, as with every passing, we can celebrate knowing that she is in the everlasting arms of God, safe, at peace, and helping her family bear the unbearable.

I didn't get to meet Miranda and yet, I know her, I love her and she will always have a place in my heart. I know her because I know her parents and I couldn't be prouder of them. They are amazing.

Mark and Jenn are devastated by this loss. I have watched them cry and I have seen sorrow etched into their faces and eyes. And yet, I have not heard either of them ask, why me, why us? I have not seen either of them point a finger of blame or rage against the unfairness of losing their child. That may come in time, and who could blame them.

What I have heard and seen is a constant refrain of gratitude, graciousness and generosity. Their love and faith in a higher power, in each other, in their family and friends is breathtaking.

With characteristic unselfishness, Mark and Jenn made sure Miranda's short life would benefit others when they donated her organs for transplant.

I have heard many times how Jenn was so concerned about others during the days in the hospital, both in Douglas and in Denver. How she, in her darkest moments, comforted others.

I have watched Mark lean into his parents, his sister and his brother for their loving support and reassurance. I have seen Jenn, Mark, Tristan and Trey, encircled in the love of parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends, accepting graciously whatever small comfort they had to give.

"This isn't about just us," Jenn said. Pointing to Mark's parents she said, "You've lost a grandchild and you have to watch your own children suffer. It must be twice as hard for you."

A cousin said to Jenn and Mark, "This just sucks...it couldn't be any worse." Jenn said, "yes, it sucks, but it could be worse. We could be alone. We have so many people around who love us and are here for us. We are so lucky. All of you are helping us carry the pain. We could never have carried it alone."

When it might have been easier to shut themselves away in their home to grieve in private, they opened their doors to any and all who wanted to stop by. They believe others needed to see them and offer comfort as much as Mark & Jenn needed comfort others.

When it might have been easier, as we humans are so prone to do, to take their sadness and frustration out of each other, they remain united in this ordeal. I have seen them speak to each other in hushed tones, share a quick touch in passing, and move to be close to the other when support is needed.

When it might have been easier to let others handle Trey and Tristan for a little while, they have never wavered in their attention and affection to their boys. Lots of hugs, patience, gentle correction. Ok, maybe they relaxed the video game restrictions a bit, but who's counting.

During these last few days, I have remembered these words from Psalm 46 (ok, the truth is I didn't remember which Psalm, but the words came to me) “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

A night, God one night? We know, and of course God knows, the weeping, the grief, the pain will last longer than a night, longer than a thousand nights. But in the midst of those nights, maybe when you least expect it, there will be joy.

Moments when Tristan puts his little fingers up to his ear in a mock phone and says "call me." Moments when Trey says the Lord's Prayer in unison with everyone else, even though his words are mumbled and imperfect. Days when the sun is so bright and the air so clean and warm, you can't help but feel God's touch and with it, Miranda's

Someone said she didn't ever really get it before when people say someone is with the angels...now she said it makes perfect sense. What else could our precious Miranda be but God's tiniest, newest angel.

So the next time you see a tiny butterfly, a budding flower, a perfect snowflake, or feel a gentle breeze on your face, a single tear track down your check...know it is Gods newest perfect little angel Miranda Jean. She is with you, blessing you, and reminding you of the incomparable beauty and perfect peace God promises.

And, the next time you are faced with some challenge in your life, when you are feeling overwhelmed or angry or afraid or beaten, think of Jenn and Mark. Remember the grace and strength with which they faced the biggest challenge of their lives. Let them be your strength and take a brief moment to be thankful they are part of your life.

Miranda came to us for just a little while, cradled in God's everlasting arms, and he never set her down. She was delivered in his arms, she was here cradled in his arms, and she was taken still nestled in the embrace of the perfect protector.

Thanks be to God