Today the family made the drive out to the Bay to meet up with our old home church. They were hosting a conferece and *B* and I both felt the need to be washed in the Word again in the way that only Pastor Joe can. Words don't adequately describe the feeling of being back with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those that were there in the early years, and even later, throughout our ordeal with Charlotte.
The people of Christ Bible Church are like family to us. For a period of time, before we had any of our blood family living near us, our church family was our all in all. It really felt like aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters would gather every Sunday, and even mid-week for Bibile studies, to study, and pray and worship the living God. And on the holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter, it felt weird to not be with them for our holiday meals. We've really missed them since moving from that church to our new home church. But we still keep in touch via a webserver and emails and even phone calls >>gasp!<<. These people will always hold a special place in our hearts.
They all marveled at how much the boys have grown and were introduced to Lucas for the first time. *B* and I were both so proud to show him off. But once the semon was starting, I retreated into the nursery with the baby. In ther was a small framed woman I had never met. I wasn't sure who she was or who she may have been with, but she had the cutest, chubbiest baby girl on her lap. Come to find out, the baby was her neice and only 10 months old. The woman herself had big puffy, puckered lips. The kind that hide a mouth with no teeth. She was pretty quiet, except for when she would lay a big kiss ontop of the baby's head, or on her pudgy cheeks.
I later realized who this woman was. The wife of a very kindhearted man, whom we as a church had prayed for years for. If I recall correctly, this woman had issues with drugs and alcohol and sexual promiscuity and had been estranged from her husband and children for a very long time. But her husband was faithful, and fervently had been praying for her to return to him and God. I was pretty excited to see her sitting there at church after all these years, but I didn't dare tell her that I already knew her. She made it clear to me that she wasn't a member of the church and only there visiting with her husband. But hey! She was there... WITH her HUSBAND!!!
Anyway, throughout the sermon, she would touch the baby and speak to her in a non-motherly way. Kind of abrupt, not mean, but just not tenderly. "Don't touch this, put that down, go to sleep..." But every so often, I would see her, out of the corner of my eye, bend close to the baby and kiss her on top of her head. She never said "I love you" or "Pretty girl" or any of the things you say to an adorable baby. Rather, she would just give a quick smooch to her without any emotion. It was kind of odd, and she did it a lot. I was almost like her lips were magnets and she couldn't help but be drawn to the infant.
I spent most of the hour in the room with her, and while she sat rocking the little girl, I sat rocking my little boy. At one point, I caught myself gazing at Lucas and wondering if Charlotte would have looked much the same as him. They had similar hair and his nose looked a little like hers. I hardly ever do that... compare the two. But Pastor Joe had said something and I was caught in a reflection of the time "back then".
My thought were suspended by a "smack" sound of yet another kiss from the woman to the baby. And in that moment I realized that we ARE drawn to kiss babies, and that I was just as drawn to kiss Charlotte even though she was dead. I was able to kiss that sweet little girl on the face and the top of her head and I couldn't help myself. She was still warm after she was delivered, almost like a living child, and I touched my face to hers.
I now regret not staying in that moment in letting my lips linger on her, but honestly, she scared me. Afterall, she was gone and her condition wasn't the best. But today I started to feel so bad that *B* never kissed his daughter. Hello or goodbye. He really missed something.So that memory came up out of nowhere, but it was a good one. I could almost feel her again. And it was all prompted by little kisses.
Posted by Take heart...