Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Good Fortune

November 15, 2012                                                                                     9:13 a.m

We have the most amazing daughter. 

She is kind.  She is funny.  She is sweet and thoughtful.  She is wise. 

And she is in heaven.

Brynna Elizabeth Finnegan, our one and only daughter, lived here on Earth for only 6 days, but she continues to send messages of love and encouragement to Steven and myself, and we recognize how blessed we are to have a daughter like her.

I have a story I have been debating on sharing.  I have hesitated because I didn’t know if it was too personal or if, when people outside the grief circle read it, the magnitude with which it moved us would be lost on them…

It is Steven’s story, really.  His version of the “Red, Heart Shaped Balloon” if you will.  But I asked him if it would be okay for me to write about it, and he assured me that yes, he would like others to know how amazingly sweet our daughter is as well.

So here goes….

There was a night a few months ago now, that my mom and dad had the boys at their house overnight. 

It isn’t that often that Steven and I have hours of uninterrupted time to talk about where we are in this grief process.  However, that night, knowing the boys were safe and being cared for, we embarked on an open, honest and very emotional conversation.

We discussed how broken our hearts are, how we continue to question where this life is taking us now, and whether or not we are feeling ready to walk more willingly toward our future…

We talked about missing Brynn, trying to do right by the boys, and whether or not another baby will come into our lives through adoption…

We addressed how painful this turn in our life has been, and how cheated we feel.  Cheated out of raising our beautiful daughter as well as cheated out the possibility of any further biological children…

We talked about the emotional insecurities and irrational fears that come hand in hand with losing a child…

It was a very honest and emotional discussion about so very many things.  We cried.  We wondered “why”? And, at times, we sat in silence, answers nowhere to be found.

All the while, there was an underlying thread to the conversation.  We both acknowledged as we were talking, that although this road is a devastating one to walk, we feel fortunate to have each other to walk it with. 

I “get” him.  He “gets” me.  Thank God.

Thank God I have a partner that understands, more than anyone else, what it feels like to experience such heartbreaking loss.

When we were done (or just too emotionally spent to continue a moment longer), Steven offered to go get us some take out for dinner.  I agreed it was a good plan and admitted I had no energy to come up with something to make.

I told him to surprise me and just bring home whatever he was in the mood for.

He left, and came back with teriyaki chicken and sushi.

We sat and ate, quiet and thoughtful. 

He finished his dinner before me and grabbed one of the fortune cookies that had been included in our take out bag.

He cracked it open, and then just sat staring at the fortune inside.

“Uhhh, Laura, I need you to look at this and tell me if you think it’s strange…”

I looked up from my dinner and saw my husband, appearing very “deer in the headlights” as he stared at the small piece of paper.

I asked him what was wrong and he replied that he just wanted me to look at the fortune and tell him if I had ever gotten one like it. 

Before he showed me the fortune he said, “After we stopped talking and the whole time I was driving around trying to figure out what to bring home for dinner, I was talking to Brynn.  I told her how much I love her and I thanked her for being our daughter.  I told her we miss her, but we’re going to be okay.  And then, on my way home, I talked to her again….”

“Okay, show me,” I said.

And this is what I saw…

“It is most enjoyable to talk with you.”

Could we have a more sweet and thoughtful daughter?

I know the “rational” human brain says, “So? It was just a fortune cookie, what’s the big deal?”

But the grieving daddy’s heart says, “Thank you, my sweet child.  Thank you for giving me strength and encouragement when I needed it most.  I love you.  It is most enjoyable to talk with you too.”


Anonymous said...

What a blessing to get this message from Brynna!! Chinese is one of my favorite foods and I always eat the fortune cookie and never once received this fortune. Thank you for sharing!

Julie said...

I have never seen a fortune like this one either! But then again I wasn't lucky enough to get one that my beautiful niece left for me! It is amazing and wonderful that Brynn knows just when you need a lift and some love. She is a sweet sweet girl!!

Cassie & Conner said...

That is seriously so cool.... it gave me chills in a very comforting way! I love you guys, and I love that you have each other, and your four amazingly sweet and brilliant children, and signs of love and recognition all around you.

Alissa Peppley said...

So thankful you guys have each other. And what a special day/moment for Steven! Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Sissons said...

I have chills from reading this story. It is so lovely and I'm so glad that it was a sign you needed at that moment in time.

lots of love to you both,

Anonymous said...

This story brought tears to my eyes. You guys are incredible people and what an amazing daughter you have. While she isn't with you in body, clearly she is always with you in spirit and she is most certainly letting you know! -Lindsay