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Friday, December 11, 2009

A Day of Love for Mariah

(For many of us, our blogs have become like a family journal. I actually have my blog printed and bound in a book at the end of each year. This entry is especially personal, and of that nature, as those of you who know and love us dearly understand the deep sorrow and heartbreak we are experiencing. I record these feelings and events as part of our family journal.)

The book of Isaiah has a scripture about how the Lord can make beauty from ashes. He did that for us yesterday. Amidst the many tears of sorrow and pain, He imprinted on our souls the power of His love, the joy of His hope, and the promise of eternity. It was beauty from ashes.

And it was full of love. So much love we still can't quite understand it. So much love flowing from the very moment our hearts began to break on Monday morning, through our birth experience on Tuesday, comforting us through preparations on Wednesday, and sustaining us through the final goodbye on Thursday. We never imagined how many would be praying for us, crying with us, mourning beside us, and leading us forward. We are filled with awe and gratitude and humility and thanks beyond expression. God is so good. So very very good.

These are Mariah's resurrection clothes. The funeral home called them burial clothes, but they are not. She is dressed in the purest white awaiting the day she is called up to be placed back into my arms, spirit and body reunited for eternity. Fit for a handmaiden of the Lord, these angel clothes were a gift of love from dear family, handpicked and sent across the country within hours to ready my baby for eternity. Such love.

Wrapped in white, Nana filled each stitch and loop of Mariah's blanket with love and hope in yet another manner of hours and sent it across the country to swaddle my baby until my arms can hold her again. This is one of my heart's tenderest pictures. I think my darling daughter looks like a heavenly child, and I can picture her amongst the angels. Auntie Amber dressed her with kisses and lullabies in my place, knowing my Momma heart would fail at the task. Such love.

Arriving at the memorial garden for her service, our eyes were opened in amazement at just how many had been praying and supporting us with their faith throughout the previous days. We turned into the entrance of the lane approaching her gravesite and found it lined on both sides from beginning to end with those who love us and came to support and offer strength. We just had no idea. No idea at all. Such love.

Throughout her service, though the tears fell, the peace of the Lord and the truths of eternity soothed our broken hearts. Christian and Jonah each shared a scripture of the Lord's goodness even in sorrow, my dear friend spoke from her mother heart to mine, and the Bishop offered powerful words of truth and comfort. We sang "How Great Thou Art", and marveled that truly our Saviour gladly bore our burdens, even the loss of our precious daughter. Such love.

Darling Rebekah had asked if she could get a white flower to give to Mariah. We got one for each of our baby's brothers and sisters, and they placed them where her tiny body lay on the table before us. Dear Pop had brought white roses for all the family members to place with her, and one by one each said a final goodbye to our sweet little one. Such love.

And then Brian and I were left alone for a few precious moments. Beauty from ashes. Such love.

The service was over, only to be encircled with more comforting words, arms, and faith for hours while we were strengthened by the many who came to a lovely luncheon prepared on our behalf. Such love. Over and over again. Wherever we looked. Pages and pages of names of those who came to share love. A constant reminder that the Lord will take care of us, and He is putting people in our path to strengthen and uplift, nourish and bless us.

It is hard. I've never imagined such pain. Some moments I am sure I will not be able to bear it. And I know it isn't going to end anytime soon. But I will remember how the Lord took this day and made beauty from ashes. And I know He will do it again.

We love and miss you, sweet darling baby Mariah.


Will said...

Oh, my dear daughter. As tears run down my face looking and reading this blog, I am so greatful for your testimony and strength, no surprise since you had them from the minute of your birth. That love that fills you now filled that cold delivery room with so much warmth from that second and continues to this moment. Your gifts of love and faith have sustained many and given meaning to lives you will never even know. How much I love you and wish I could have the words to share that with you. Be strong, my sweet, sweet girl.xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo (I don't know why I'm on Dad's blog page!!)Mom

Rae said...

There are times this just doesn't seem real. And then I remember that it is, and my heart breaks too. Teers stream down my face, both from the grief, and the gratitude. Grief for not being able to hold her...gratitude to know our family now has our own perfect Little Angel. Thank you so much for sharing your perfect baby with us...for letting us get her resurrection clothes. It was truly a privilege.

All my love goes out to you Washburn all of you. We bare it one day at a time...until we can wrap you in our arms again. Love you.

Jeanne Lawyer said...

Through your experience I have come to find a new sense of understanding to the words... Mourn with those that mourn. My heart is full of sorrow for your loss but it is also full of joy for your understanding of the gospel. Your testimony stregthens mine and I love you.

The Pierce Family said...

You know that our hearts and prayers are with you and your family. Don't forget that we are all here to help carry you when the need I know it will. We will be here for you in the days, weeks, months ahead.

Dawn said...

She is so precious.

mom2beachbums said...

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those that love the Lord will be added unto them in his own way. While it may not come at a time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." -Joseph B. Wirthlin

This is our prayer Washburn family. Mariah is stunningly beautiful, just like her momma. We love you! ~The Valencia's

Cothran Family said...

I am strengthened from the testimonies of you, Brian and your faithful children. All of them. She will never be forgetten and will hold a special place in my heart for eternity. I love her so. From one mamma to another, I love you so. This life is so short, yet so long. I can't wait to see you holding that sweet angel again.

The Starkers said...

You don't know me, but I somehow came across your blog. I will pray for you and for Mariah's bothers and sisters and Daddy. I especially pray for comfort for you and your family. What a horrible time, the pain too much to bear, even though you know how happy and perfect she is with her Heavenly Father. God bless you and send you all comfort and watch over your family and extended families as well.

Lizz said...

Hi Washburn Family. You do not know me. I am a long time friend of Rachael's. I have been thinking about your family and praying for Baby Mariah and for all of you since I heard the news. I am so saddened by your loss but as with everyone else I am so uplifted by your faith! Our faith is sometimes ALL we have in this world. Without it we would be wrapped in darkness and cold. I know your world has been completely turned upside down and you are hurting more than you ever thought possible. Please know that you have so many out there that you don't even know who are lifting you up in prayer and asking Jesus to wrap you all in His arms and hold you.
With Much Love and Many Prayers,

Chuckleheads said...

Dearest Washburns...

Its with tears in my eyes that I send virtual hugs your direction. I was so touched by your sweet words that create a vivid memory of your beautiful daughter. I am praying for you family...please know how much your love for you baby girl has touched my heart.

Anna Larson (Eliza Cothran's sister)