Everything worked out and today we buried our little one's remains in one of our favorite spots on earth. When Hal and I were first married, we expected him to be sent to an active duty station as soon as he was commissioned. We had no idea a budget crunch would derail our plans, but I'm so glad they did. He was notified that he would not be called up and sent to training until over three months after his commissioning. Where would we go? What would we do? Thankfully, Hal's mother offered to let us come stay at their family's lake house. Now that sounds pretty grand, and it is, in my opinion, but probably not in most folks! It's an ancient single wide trailer with a big room that is all windows added on the front facing the lake. Very basic accomodations, until you look up. The view is incredible - As you look out the window, you see copses of sweet gum trees down on the edge of the water, the dear hammock just feet from the lapping waters on the left, a comfortable swing aged to that lovely old wood color in the center, and a dock with a single simple bench on the right. You can hear wild turkeys, see a hummingbird zip by, watch the egrets and herons daintily fishing, and see the comical little ducks following their parents in search of bugs and fish. The glassy water just calms your soul, as you look up at the beautiful green forests and islands and just wonderful peace and God's creation.
Now don't be mistaken, from the spot where we laid the twins, to the left you see our decrepit old trailer, nearly hauled away as scrap many times in the past few years. To the right you see the old brush pile, with a little trash mixed in for good measure - like a twenty year old rubber raft rotting under the branches. But look straight ahead and see soul-refreshing peace. I think this time in our lives is a lot like that: looking straight ahead, we see our dear understanding Lord and the hope of heaven, but when our minds are distracted from Him, we see all the ugliness of living in this fallen world - the days and years without our dear ones, the pain, the hurt from others, the whole crashing burden. Let us seek Him who says, "Come unto me and I will give you rest." Let us keep our eyes on Him!
Today, with a lot of tears and trust, we laid what our twins left behind in the earth, reminding each other again and again that one day we will all meet again. Hal gathered the children around and read the story of David's hope when his baby son died and then the hope of all believers in the return of the Lord and the resurrection of our bodies. This was so hard for my dear husband - he had a difficult time talking through his tears. We prayed and rested in the assurance of the reunion to come. Thank you, heavenly Father, that this life is not the end, but only the beginning and that the sorrows of this present age are not worthy to be compared to the joy to come.
We placed a stone over the spot that Hal's mother gave us. Many, many years ago, at the old church that both our families historically were involved with in the mountains, the graves were marked with uncut stones - perhaps there was no stone mason in the community. A few years ago, the church decided to replace these with marked stones so those graves could never be lost to memory. Hal's mom brought several of the old unmarked stones back home and she gave us one to mark the spot. I was so grateful!
Later in the day, I went into town and bought some lovely flowers to plant there until we could get back to plant the trees. I didn't want to plant the trees in such a dry summer for fear they wouldn't make it. We'll come back later in the year to do that. I'll try to post a picture when we get home so you can see what we did. I'll also plan to post more practical details for those of you dear ladies who are facing this, too.
Love you all!