We've just returned home from our journey to visit my brother, sister-in-law, nephew (23 mos) and my brand new niece (3 weeks old!). As many of you know, I approached this visit with trepidation. I have managed not to meet a single infant since I met Ezra. I have systematically avoided meeting infants, let alone brand new newborns. And ever since I received the call that my niece was born screaming into the world, I have had this sinking feeling...knowing that I wanted desparately to meet her, but doubting sincerely I could handle it. In the weeks since her birth I have studied her photo, tried to imagine myself holding her, and always, the lump in my throat grew and the tears welled in my eyes. Each time I tried to envision myself holding this little girl, all I could think of was holding Ezra, and how he's no longer here. I expected to melt into a puddle on the floor.
And then we went to visit. She's the pinkest, sweetest, roundest little girl I've ever seen. She nestled in my arms, peaceful, serene. It's no wonder her name is Dalia, which means 'gentle' in Hebrew. She is such a gentle presence and she did my heart and soul a world of good. I didn't cry once while holding her, just felt her snuggle against me and felt the deepest loving peace imaginable. Not only did I hold her, I couldn't put her down! Except for when she was feeding or when it was night time and I was sleeping, I pretty much held her every second I could of the three days we were there.
It wasn't obvious that this was how the visit would go. As recently as the day before we left, I was coming out of the coffee shop near my work, and ran into a law school classmate with a tiny newborn strapped to her chest -- her third child since we graduated 6 years ago. It was a particularly bad morning for me anyway - sleep deprived from insomnia, PMS, and running completely late - but the conversation went like this: Hi Sarah, how ARE you? Sarah: Hi SuzyQ. And I kept walking out that door. Took one look at that baby and ran away. Out on the street, tears in my eyes, I began to wonder how in the world I expected myself to handle sleeping under the same roof as a newborn when I can't even see one on the street!
But Dalia is different. Yes she's family, and I knew about her and looked forward to her arrival long before I lost Ezra. But that doesn't explain it all. I haven't met any of the new babies born to friends or family since Ezra died, I still don't want to. Dalia might just be a little bit magic. Little does she know that her tiny soul restored some of my faith in myself, my confidence. She brought me such peace.
David was certainly relieved that I didn't melt into a pool of tears, and he was pleasantly surprised that he too was at peace around Dalia. The first night we were there, as we were going to bed, David said to me that perhaps I needed to meet Dalia to open myself up enough to allow the spirit of our next little one to join us. I think he's absolutely right.
My nephew Evan also brought a lot of joy and fun to our visit. He is talking lots now and was thrilled to see that we arrived in a "blue car"...his "blue car" being one of his favorite toys these days.
Here's some photos from our visit.
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