The Heart is a Strange ……

…… and wonderous thing.
It can continue to grow and hold more love inside it, even as it constantly works on mending itself. Even after it’s been torn in half.

I’m going to do my very best to not cry while I write this, but it’s doubtful that I’ll succeed, because I’ve been crying at the drop of a hat for the last few days.
You’d think I was the one who gave birth, what with the level of emotions that rise up inside me, threatening to rush out of my eyes and my throat.
I keep swallowing them down, as best I can, but that doesn’t always work …… like today in church, for example.

For those of you who have yet to hear my latest, and by far biggest, news …… Daughter #2 became a foster mom Friday.   She decided a long time ago that she wanted to do this, married or single, and so …… rather than wait around to see if Mr. RIght came along, she decided to do what she wanted to do, now, rather than later.
I wonder where she gets that??

Anyway, I visited her about a month ago to help get her home ready to have children.
We thought it might happen quickly, once she finished all of the paper work, the inspections, the hoop-jumping and the I’s and T’s were all dotted and crossed.
And it did.

Last week I flew to Canada for our first ever international Camp Widow, in Toronto. It was a long day. I flew from NY to Montreal, and then on to Toronto. I got to the hotel, dumped my bag in my room and then went downstairs to start helping out. I had not been at the hotel for even an hour when my phone rang. I picked it up, saw D#2’s name, and said, “Uh oh!” to my friends, M and D and D.  I knew exactly what was about to happen.
Because …… hello?!! I’m in Toronto!

Yes, Daughter #2 had been called. It seemed a mom was being induced that day so would she be willing to take the baby, as long as he/she was healthy? After thinking about it for a bit, she jumped at it. When she called me that’s all she knew. We didn’t know when the baby would be born, or how long after birth it would take for her to get the baby. But we knew it would be before the weekend was out.
Because …… of course.  Camp Widow Canada!!!

I immediately started searching for flights and found a few that I could swing on Saturday. I had three workshops scheduled for Friday, but none to lead on Saturday, so I hoped that Saturday would be the day the baby would be placed with her.
It was placed on Friday.
Of course.
Because nothing in my life seems to go flawlessly, right?!

She called me Thursday night at around 9:00 or so to inform me of the placement. So back to the internet I went, seeing if I could find a flight that would leave late enough for me to get two of my workshops done, and I’d find someone to cover the afternoon event.

Let’s just say that there are not a whole lotta options when trying to fly out of Toronto and into Waco, TX.
By the time I found a flight and finally clicked on “Purchase”, I received a message that someone else had beaten me to it.
So I started over and was finally successful. I found a flight that would depart at 2:15, meaning I could leave the hotel at 12:30, which was the time the second workshop would end.

I re-packed my bag Thursday night and got everything ready to head out the next day.
But by Friday morning I was a nervous wreck. I realized that the 2nd workshop would be very intense and I suddenly couldn’t remember how I was supposed to handle the discussions in there. My mind had gone blank. But I did remember that several people stay after and need more time to share and process, which meant there really was no way in hell that I would get out of that hotel by 12:30.
And then I remembered that I was outside of the U.S. …… which meant…… Customs.
Oh my word, there was a huge panic monster residing in my stomach, threatening to jump up and out of my throat, screaming at the top of its lungs.
Fortunately I ran into M on my way to the first workshop. She informed me that there was no way I could leave at 12:30 if I did the second workshop, AND there was no way I’d be able to concentrate with everything going on in my head/life. I already felt bad that I wasn’t going to be able to lead the afternoon workshop, so I hated to bail on the second one, but she was totally right. She told me that she’d lead it, which truthfully, did a wonderful job of calming down the panic monster. He left my throat and settled into my stomach, where he usually resides during times of stress.
Thank you, M. ❤

So I led the first workshop and then left for the airport, made the flight and even, surprisingly made the next flight out of DFW to Waco. Because DFW is a hella-big airport and I never arrive in the terminal where my connection is. And I had less than 30 minutes by the time I got off of the plane. So I ran through that airport, cursing it along the way. Especially since I hadn’t eaten anything ALL day and didn’t have time now to grab something (as I had hoped).

But I made that flight and it was very short. In fact, the flight attendant came over the speaker and she told everyone they could now bring out their laptops and electronics …… and I kid you not …… the pilot came on less than 60 seconds later and told us that we were starting our descent so we had to pack up our electronics.

A friend of the girls picked me up at the airport (Daughter #2 was still on the road and would not be getting in until 9:00 p.m.). So we went to Target and loaded up on all things baby.
Then went to the house to unpack it all, launder it, clean the house, and get everything ready.

And then they were home.

And my mending heart grew another size.

Now, as I hold him, feed him, change his diaper, I marvel at his perfection.
But also as I hold him, I look into his eyes and I cry.
I cry for the joy of him.
I cry for his mother (who hopes to be reunited with him in a few months).
I cry for joy for Daughter #2.
I cry for the pain and tearing of the heart that she will most likely experience.
I cry for the missing of Jim, and for him …… missing this.
I cry for him not being here to watch the love and joy in Daughter #2’s face and eyes.
I cry for the pain I’ll feel when all I have to do is leave in a few days.
And then I cry for the heart-rending that my all-too-torn-up heart will have to feel again in a few months.
Another loss.
Over someone who has firmly placed his tiny fingers around my finger, and around my heart.

My daughter is the bravest person I know.
I’m so very proud of her.
I love her so fiercely that I can not bear the thought of the pain she will certainly feel when it’s time to let this little angel go.

We want the best for him. We try to focus on the mom, and all she’s missing right now. We try our best to focus on being happy/thrilled for her, knowing Daughter #2 is keeping him safe and loved for her.

But with the passing of each minute with this tiny little being, whom no one knew about 5 days ago, that focus gets fuzzier and fuzzier.

So for now, we focus on now. And only now.
And hope that the peace, comfort and strength of God, will get us through “then”.


8 thoughts on “The Heart is a Strange ……

  1. oakhoopscoach

    Wow. Beautiful post – you had me in tears. The heart is indeed amazing in it’s capacity to grow. In awe over K’s strength to be everything for this little one – knowing he will/may be going back to his mom. Can imagine your pride. As well as all of the emotions – particularly Jim missing out on this experience. As we know too well God has his plan whether we agree with it or like it or not. Prayers for you all that He will provide peace and strength for whatever lies ahead. xoxo

    1. mysecondplana Post author

      Thank you, Beth. I cried through the whole thing, too. I’m just trying to be grateful for the blessing my daughter will receive, and the blessing this wee one will receive as they love each other.

  2. Diane Taylor

    Hi Janine – I have kept reading your new bog after you shut down the old one, but hadn’t commented …. UNTIL NOW. HOLYMOLY I don’t know ANY of you IRL but as I read thru this I had big tears in my eyes. What an amazing daughter you have raised – she is brave and strong and so giving. I can only imagine how full your heart was holding that little babe. WOW. Thank you for sharing this – it makes me feel like there is hope in this sad and crazy world.

  3. glenda1203

    Wow! amazing is your daughter!!! My heart swells up reading this post. I will be a first time GMa in the next 4 weeks. My daughter will be a mommy and the minute she told me and hubby she’s pregnant our hearts did flips and they swelled up with so much love. I can not wait to hold him and love on him. I can only imagine how full your heart is and how much it hurt to leave them in TX and go back to NY.


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