It is a strange feeling to feel joy and sorrow simultaneously. Its difficult to process and it usually leads to tears for me.
Today at work we had our bi-weekly sales meeting. I had forgotten to turn my volume down on my phone and mid-meeting I received a loud text message. I quickly grabbed it and in order to turn off the sound I opened the message I had been sent.
I immediately learned that my brother, Jason, had just become the proud father of a beautiful little girl.
6 pounds, 6 ounces and a head full of hair.
My heart leapt with joy, but on the way down it ripped in half. I felt heavy and no longer cared about the meeting. I just wanted to hold my babies.
A few months ago we learned that their baby had a heart condition and there was a chance she would need heart surgery at birth. Our family fasted and prayed for her and her heart fixed itself despite the odds. She is healthy and gorgeous. She is the first granddaughter of my parents since Molly. She's a miracle.
It only took a second of looking at her picture and I started to cry. I had conflicting emotions. I was SO happy she was okay and here safely and that my brother and his wife had a beautiful daughter to add to their family. (She is Hank's sister). At the same time I was overcome with a heart that suddenly remembered how empty it feels. I missed my babies so much in that moment.
I hadn't expected to react this way. When Mara was born I was ready for it. Maybe its because this time this is my own brother's baby? I'm not sure. Maybe its because she's the first girl on my side of the family and it feels a bit like she is replacing Molly as the oldest granddaughter of my parents. I'm not sure why, but I had a hard time. However, because I was about to present numbers in the meeting, I tried to wipe away my tears and tough it out until the meeting ended. I had to actively try to think of other things and if I thought for a second about my brothers sweet little girl I would immediately tear up. I forced thoughts away and made it through the meeting. I dont think anyone could tell how shaken up I was when I got up to present numbers. As soon as the meeting ended I quickly walked upstairs to my office. I closed the door sat down at my desk. I knew there was no stopping it and I buried my head and let myself cry.
I cried because I felt guilty for feeling any sadness when this was such a happy moment. I wanted to feel only happiness. I didn't want them to lose their baby- I knew that. I wanted them to have her and I wanted her to be okay. I was thrilled that she was fine. (For the record, I would not wish losing a baby on my worst enemy.)
I hated making this about me, when this was such an important event for THEM. And I really was happy for them. I imagined them holding her and looking into her face and feeling the overwhelming love that comes when you see your baby for the first time. The image gave me joy and jealousy and sadness. I felt broken and happy.
I couldn't handle my mixed emotions.
I felt selfish for feeling so jealous of them.
Mostly, I think I cried because their daughter got the miracle we prayed for and Molly and Kellen didn't.
If miracles can happen, why didn't they for us? Why did we lose both of them? It felt unfair, really.
Once I started I could not stop. I cried for a good hour until my manager came in to see if I was okay and to tell me he was sorry. Then I pulled myself together and went about my work with red eyes and a swollen face.
I kept on trying my hardest to shut out my feelings about me and focus on the happy side of my emotions. It worked for the most part. I was able to remember that my children were given a blessing and will be raised one day when the world is a better place.
I waited until I could congratulate my brother with only feelings of happiness and I sent them a text of congrats and told them to give my love to their new baby. My sister-in-law text me back and then I got a text from my brother. They always seem to be aware of how others feel. They are pretty in-tune.
Jason, my brother, sent me this :"I love you, Amber. As I have been sitting here thinking about you guys today a scripture came to mind: Alma 36:18-21. The circumstances are different, but I was filled with excitement for the day that this scripture is fulfilled for you guys."
I immediately looked it up and read through tears.
"18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, ahave mercy on me, who am bin the cgall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting dchains of edeath.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my apains bno more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what ajoy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
It was so comforting. I know our joy will come. We will have our family one day when the time is right. I called Jason today and we talked about how we were feeling. He was feeling similar feelings of joy and sadness today when thinking about Lucas and I. Hes a great brother.
So, I had a moment, but I'm better now. I'm so happy that my little niece is here.
Welcome to the family, Nora! I Love you already.