Spring Clean Up

Two Saturday morning’s ago we loaded up our crew bright and early and headed over to Ava’s cemetery for their annual spring clean-up.   Families typically don’t come along and help with the clean-up, but we had asked last year for them to include us and we are so glad they did.  We feel a little kinship with this sweet country graveyard our baby is buried in – and working there felt like we were doing something for Ava, and as there isn’t anything we can actually do for her now, it felt good.   🙂

As we headed out there it was hard to not get teary.  I hadn’t been to Ava’s grave since her birthday in December… the snow and the cold kept me away,  but I do like going even though it’s not always happy.  The first thing I did when I got there was head over to Ava’s grave and had my little cry.   But after the initial sadness passed,   I could just enjoy the day, helping with Jay and the kids and enjoying being outside.

We raked and raked some more, and picked up sticks and tidied up the place with the rest of the board members and some volunteers and it looked ready for spring by the time everyone had finished.   There was even a group of students from a local high-school there helping and that touched my heart.  One of their high school coaches is the grounds-keeper there and he asked them to come and they came, pretty cool.

Here are my boys working hard.  Believe it or not the girls had already abandoned their rakes by this time and were playing….

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I can’t tell you how good it is for my soul to have Ava’s final resting place in such a beautiful peaceful spot (It will be more beautiful in the coming months… honest).  Perhaps because it is such a contrast to most of her life that was spent in the hospital in the big city.   Most of her life couldn’t really be described as peaceful or beautiful, for her or for us.   So even though it’s just her body and not her soul in this little country cemetery, it makes my heart very happy.

And we still miss her so much!    It till hits us hard sometimes when we think of how she came into our lives and then went so quickly.   But even through the grief,  we can still say that we are convinced that God’s plans are for our best.   Jason and I both never want to go back to being the people that we were before Ava – before we knew just how deeply we could trust God through the very hard times, and how faithful God is even when you feel like your world is falling apart.

And Easter was a great reminder of God’s love and sacrifice for us.  In our Easter service we sang “In Christ Alone.  Once again we sang those words that I had up on Ava’s wall at the hospital for so long…

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me:
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I”ll stand.

So of course I cried and cried and cried, which is just fine as there is no room for pride at church – you need to park that at the door.  But it just stood as another reminder that yes, what we believed then, we believe now.  What we knew then, we know now.   God is faithful & good and no matter how many springs come and go, He will get us through every one of them.

Amen!

 

 

 

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

 

 

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A sunny peaceful place…

Today the girls and I and Grandma went to visit Ava’s grave and put a few flowers on it.  I hope this isn’t super morbid or anything, but I wanted to show you what a sweet peaceful place it is where we laid Ava to rest… just a little country cemetery where the only noise you’ll hear is the birds and the breeze.

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Ava’s resting place is in the top center of the picture… where the grass sitting up higher with the bouquet on top between the two headstones.   It’s certainly not a morbid place for the girls, they seem to enjoy going and today they enjoyed pumping water from the old-fashioned well and watering Ava’s grass – although Sophia kept saying we were ‘watering Ava’.  Oh dear.    Because it’s a small country cemetery you can plant flowers on the graves and Sarah thought that we should water all the flowers on everyone’s graves, but we declined for lack of time.  We watered the flowers in the cemetery’s flowerbeds and called it a day.

And talking of days,  tomorrow the kids start school!   I’m really looking forward to having us all back in routine and I’ve purposely planned for this week to be busy so that time won’t weigh heavy on my hands.   It helps that Jason is still off this week so I won’t be alone.  And we are travelling to Toronto on Tuesday and will be at Sick Kids to pay a visit to Tanya and Alleeda and baby Britton – as well as all of our friends on 4D!!!   I can’t wait… I miss everyone so much and they have been so supportive that we feel very blessed.

It’s hard to believe that this coming Thursday it will be 4 weeks since Ava passed away.   The reality of her being gone is starting to sink in and even last night I was feeling really down until I was encouraged by a friend, and then I thought of a verse that another friend had sent to encourage me,  Romans 8:18 where Paul says…. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us…” and it was such a good reminder to me that yes, there is suffering in this world, but it’s all worth it.  And I can tell you that I miss my baby from the bottom of my heart, sometimes the tears won’t stop and I just wish she was here.   But you know what,   I’ve come to realize that I would do it all over again – every minute with Ava.  I would because of what she taught me and how God changed me, and the people we met and how our family grew together and how we leaned to count our blessings.

So praise God that even now I can even now appreciate a sunny peaceful place, remembering with joy that Ava isn’t really there, she is alive and rejoicing in Heaven and someday I will see her again.

Amen.