During the short message, the pastor mentioned that he often sees an epitaph on a headstone which makes him wonder about what type of person they were. These sayings are engraved right below their date of birth and date of passing with a small dash in between. How can this small little dash sum up a person's life? It cannot come close! He continued talking and went in a different direction with his observations, but I couldn't keep my mind from wondering to my Natalie and how thankful I was for her punctuation. After we discovered her disabilities at her 20 week ultrasound, my OB told us that her skull deformity was so severe that if she was born alive that we would have 20 minutes at most with her and that she wouldn't be able to see, hear or feel anything. As we anticipated her birthday, one of the things that often bothered me was the fact that there would probably only be one date on her urn...no dash. We prayed for her complete healing, but if that wasn't in the Lord's plan for her, extra time and hair to cut and save. While her healing was not in His plan for her life, the Lord blessed us with a dash...she lived 2 minutes shy of 40 hours which took place over three different days. (She was also a very hairy baby...she had so much of the silkiest black hair all over her tiny body!!) I sometimes feel a bit guilty when I compare our experience with Natalie to my fellow baby loss mommas. Some families don't get a dash unless you count hours or minutes and others don't even get a single moment to look into their child's eyes or hear a sweet coo. I can only imagine the heartache that brings. Even so, when we received the urn we ordered for her, I couldn't help but run my finger over her name and those two sweet dates and silently offer a prayer of gratitude for those three days when time stopped, Heaven came down, and the world was perfect.
Thank you for her dash, Lord. Thank you.