Those are the words that I listened to between April 22 and April 27. Over and over, just under 100 times, and yet it wasn’t until yesterday, three months later, that these words would be completely understood by me.
Sometime during the week of December 6, 2010, a blastocyst split. One became two. In this case, Emerson became Emerson & Lennon. During the process only one placenta would form, one that the girls would share. Lennon had 95% and Emerson had 5%. We would not learn about that or what that would mean until months later (for the complete story read the blog starting in March).
Up until that moment, all we knew was that, along with Baby “A”, “B” shared her life-making material. What was produced from that share would be an exact duplicate of “B”. We called her “C”.
On March 18, “B” who we now knew as Emerson, would start to manifest her purpose and plan in this life. At the time, it was unfathomable to think that we would not enjoy her outside of her womb-home. We didn’t have a clear picture of her purpose. Yet.For the next 30 days or so, we would walk through a raging ocean of emotion. The winds of life so strong, at times, it would take your breath away. A chasm that seemed impossible to cross. Yet, we would survive and we would cross that chasm.
On April 22, we get news that things seem to be going downhill for Emerson. What seemed like a punch in the gut turns out to be Emerson’s shining moment. We were being introduced to her purpose. What we didn’t fully understand then, we now know. It was for this moment that Emerson was created.
The specialist was confident that without the surgery to separate their shared vessels in the placenta that Lennon would suffer a stroke and likely cerebral palsy as a best-case scenario. Her death would be the worst-case scenario. We had hope that Emerson would start to thrive after the surgery. However, it wasn’t until the surgery that we found out that she had such a small amount of the life-source, placenta. That small amount of placenta would not support further growth.
On April 26, Emerson would literally live John 15:13 by laying her life down, giving all she had so that her sister could live the abundant life. Her identical twin, her womb-mate and her friend - she laid her life down for life. She fulfilled her commitment in the Earth.
Emerson’s name means “home strength, bravery, vigor, power, work of God”. How appropriate for the one who would never leave her home. That is where she was strong, where she was brave and would accomplish the work of God.
It seems like every day that something else, many might call coincidence or chance, happens. Just today my son told me they wanted to add my grandmother’s middle name to one of the girls’ names. It didn’t sound right with Emerson but sounded good with Lennon. And so today, when they were filling out the birth certificate worksheet it became official - Lennon got another name. This name is something Chris has talked about for years. I’m not sure if he has even thought about this. My grandmother’s middle name was the letter B. Not Bea, not Beatrice, just B. Emerson, who was originally known as Baby B, will forever live in Lennon’s name.
Yesterday I said goodbye to Emerson. I got to see her delicate features -her perfect fingers, her perfect toes,and her tiny frame. She was perfect but now she is perfected. We will miss her desperately but we have been given another gift of remembrance of Emerson. It is because she was an identical twin that we will never have to wonder what she would have looked like. We will see her every day in Lennon.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One dearest to you.
You're blessed when you've lost it all. God's kingdom is there for the finding.
You're blessed when you're ravenously hungry. Then you're ready for the meal.
You're blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.
(The picture at the top is the sunset on July 28, 2011. Taken in the mountains of Tennessee by Gigi. The other two pictures are of Emerson's hands and feet.)