I'm having a rough morning. When I woke up, I thought, Two weeks ago at this time I was calling my mom and announcing, "You have a granddaughter! She's alive and she's beautiful!" But two short weeks later, here I am with empty arms. It seems like yesterday. It seems like a lifetime ago. People tell me it will get easier with time, and one day she won't be my first thought when I wake up in the morning.
As Maren was dying, I had a memory of a made-for-TV movie I watched when I was a kid. It was called Alex: The Life of a Child and was the true story of a little girl with Cystic Fibrosis. Craig T. Nelson from Coach played her dad, and the scene I remembered showed little Alex requesting root beer as she was dying. Of course there was none in the house, so her dad drove like a maniac to the closest store, then rushed home with it. She took a small sip, said, "Thank you, Daddy," and then died.
I remembered this because at one point I thought sweet Maren felt cold, so I asked Kevin to go and get her little hat. He did, and as he walked back toward us with it, he breathed warm air into it so it would be warm when he put it on her tiny head. For the rest of my life, I will remember that tender gesture. He was such a good daddy to her in the short time we had.
And as I think about those acts of love performed by earthy daddies for their little girls, I can't help but be thankful, because I know the love of earthly fathers is just a shadow of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. I know Maren has been shown even greater love in heaven since leaving us here on earth.
But I also have to remember he's not just Maren's Heavenly Father; he's my Heavenly Father, too. Through all of this, he's been beside me, arms wrapped around me, crying with me.