It has been four years since Izabelle passed through the veil of death. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet sometimes waves of grief hit as if we lost her yesterday. I thought my heart would be healed at this point…. but this month has taught me that my heart has a hole that I simply must work around. This hole will remain until the day when our Savior places Izabelle in our arms again.
This July many parallels to 2018 have made Izabelle’s absence more poignant. The 13th of July Tony and I went to the temple to do initiatories. When making the appointment back in June I didn’t realize exactly 4 years before was the last time I went to the temple prior to Izabelle’s passing. I reflected heavily upon that temple visit and the experiences I had which helped prepare me for what was coming. It was special to be in the temple that day doing initatories again.
The hardest stretch of the year is July 21st-27th. My amazing mother-in-law’s birthday is July 21st. This year, I made dinner and dessert for her birthday. At her request, I made huckleberry cheesecake and we decided on chicken stir fry for dinner. I planned a trip to the grocery store to buy cream cheese. As life goes it got pushed back to the 21st. Bitter sweet emotions engulfed me as I recalled July 21, 2018, the last time I ran to the store with Izabelle in tow… to purchase cream cheese for cheesecake. The last evening with Izabelle healthy was spent making a birthday dinner for Jayne.
This year I was blessed with a tender mercy. We watched one of the girl’s friends all day. As we walked into the store all holding hands… to buy cream cheese… I looked down and saw a shadow of myself holding hands with 4 children Marshall on the left and 3 girls on the right. (This sweet little friend is shorter than Zaylee.) My heart was touched by that perfect shadow. The world felt right for just a moment.
July 22nd is not an easy day. It is when Izabelle became sick… I had held and rocked her all day. This year I felt heaven supporting me. From cloudbursts throughout the day to the most remarkable light events. Rays of light bursting from behind the clouds, beautiful rainbows, and a breathtaking sunset. The Lord is aware of our hard days. He sends signs of His love as well as angels to lift and comfort us.
Sometimes I sit at the piano with nothing in front of me playing whatever comes to my heart and mind. Music, in this format, is very healing and helps me cope with the difficulties of life.
The sound that kept coming back to me over and over again became the core of this song. Eventually I wrote the song down. We named it ‘An Angel’s Lullaby’ because it reminds us of our baby. (Tony helps name songs… He is good at that.)
At first I envisioned it being a lullaby to play for Izabelle, but now it feels like a lullaby she plays for us. Whichever it may be, this simple song sings peace to our souls. Therefore, An Angel’s Lullaby is our tribute to Izabelle this July 24th.