My angel sent a rainbow

Dear Carter,

When I was a  teenager, my favorite band was the Beatles. My best best friend Stephanie and I would listen to their records nonstop until we had all their songs memorized. I had posters on my ceiling that we would just gaze at while lying in my four-post bed.

I don’t listen to their music quite as much these days, but I still have most of their songs buried in my brain and every once in a while, one pops up to the surface. That’s what happened on Tuesday after the doctor appointment where Daddy and I saw this for the first time:

IMG_0916

You already know who this little blob is, because I know for sure that you chose this soul especially for our family, but for anyone reading that can’t tell exactly what they’re looking at, please allow me to share with joy (and trepidation) that….

WE’RE EXPECTING A RAINBOW!

The song that came to mind on Tuesday was “The Long and Winding Road,” written by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles in 1970 as the band’s last single. Here are the lyrics:

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago

Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I think this song came to mind because the journey we’ve taken in the last 3 years, beginning with my pregnancy with you, to your bold and early entrance into the world, to your 3 weeks in the NICU, to our beautiful 2 months at home, to your shocking and far-too-soon leaving, to our navigation of the aftermath through the dark forest, has truly been a very long and very winding road. I guess all of life really is, right? A journey along this long, winding road that eventually allows us to discover our truths and understand ourselves.

There are steep and rocky places without which we would never be strengthened. There are flat and easy places without which we would never be able to rest. There are potholes and quicksand and majestic views that could never be appreciated without the climb to get to the top of the steep and challenging mountain.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from you is that this long and winding road of life always leads exactly where it’s supposed to go. Most of the time, we can’t see around the curves and don’t know what lies ahead, but no matter if it’s forest, mountain, clear vistas of the unfathomable ocean, or rolling plains, it’s exactly where we’re supposed to be headed. Each hairpin simply means that we need to revisit a place with a different viewpoint so that we may learn and grow. Each long straightaway should be appreciated for its normalcy and routine.

I feel like I’m nearing the far edge of the dark forest on my winding road.  I’m in a place where the underbrush is sparse and the trees are thinning to allow broad glimpses of a crystal blue sky dotted with cotton candy clouds and the most glorious and long-awaited rainbow. I know that there will be a few more difficult days before I make it to the tree line and leave the forest completely — times of anxiety, fear, and doubt — but I’ve come far enough to recognize my strength and my ability to keep moving forward no matter what. Knowing that our rainbow lies ahead gives me the fortitude to continue. Having your dad by my side brings me comfort and solace. The love and support of our family and friends gives me encouragement and hope.

But the most reassuring knowledge of all is that someday, when my life’s beautiful journey along this long and winding road comes to an end,

it will have lead me to your door.

I kiss you.

Love you forever,

Mommy

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