“Lavender and Pine,” I said in a sort of disbelief that the moment was happening.
For so long I had anticipated the moment I would tell our oldest daughter about her heaven-siblings. I looked forward to the day I would share their names with her and talk about their lives. It was impossible to know how the conversation would go—or how it would even start. Would I bring it up? Would she ask on her own? How much do I tell her? What if she has questions that I don’t have the answers to?
But like most conversations with a 4-year-old, we began talking about one thing which rabbit-trailed in a completely different direction. I don’t even remember how the conversation began, but somehow she got to the comment, “And you have three babies, momma. Me…my sister and my brother.”
Without any hesitation, I grabbed the opportunity. “Well, you know what? Mommy actually has 2 more babies…in heaven with Jesus.”
My heart began pounding heavier as I waited for her response. She paused for a few seconds and I could see her trying to process my words.
“In heaven with Jesus?”
“Yes!”, I enthusiastically replied. “Isn’t that so special?”
My daughter grinned and crinkled her little nose, “Yeah.”
“Do you want to know their names? Lavender and Pine.”
“Lavender and Pine?” she squealed, covering her mouth and giggling. I began giggling too—partially because of her sweetness and partially because the moment just felt so right. And for a few seconds we just looked at each other and smiled.
And then her rabbit-trailing, energetic, ready-to-play, 4-year-old self changed the direction of our conversation. “Can I go play outside?”
When she said their names…it felt like two pieces of my heart had finally been fused together. Like heaven and earth touched. The realness of my heaven babies and the lives of my earth babies intertwined. Each of my babies’ lives have been wrapped around my momma-heart from the moment each of them came into existence. But to hear their names from my daughter…it completed something inside of me.
When she said their names, I realized that their stories are a part of hers. Without Lavender, I wouldn’t have my daughter standing right in front of me. They’re connected. Without my daughter, I wouldn’t have Pine. And without Pine, I wouldn’t have my second daughter or my son. The impact of each life trickles down to the next life—all connected.
The older my daughter gets, the more in depth our conversations will be and the more she will understand. Then one day, my other children will also learn about their heaven-siblings. And they too will say their names—Lavender and Pine.
Lavender and Pine.
I so look forward to those special days when I can share the details about how God remained faithful to my heart through my grief. And how He comforted me when I was broken. How He will always comfort them too. How He out-reaches our brokenness…even when we don’t understand. Oh yes, I look forward to the days when we, as a family, celebrate each life that makes up our family. Those days are coming sooner than I know.
But for now, she said their names. And that is enough because they were the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard.