Tuesday, April 27, 2010


One day Jason came home from work and said he had an idea for a name. His first thought was Taylor (for those that know him, that would be the guitar he plays), I'm pretty sure I remember giving that one a thumbs down. The name he thought of was Madison Rose. Now Madison is Sharon's (Jason's mom) pick for a name. Four granddaughters and she was holding out for a Madison. Jason got the idea from a song that had Addison Rose in it. So he thought of Madison. I really don't remember how we decided to go with Madelynn. Jason thinks it may be because in the song it sounds like Mandolin Rose. Well, I wasn't going to name my daughter after a stringed instrument. I think this how Madison became Madalynn. Both kids seemed to like this name. Now for the middle name I wanted to pick a name from my dad's side of the family. Before we knew we were having a girl we had decided our boy's name would be Benjamin David, Baker, or Allen. We hadn't settled on that middle name, we just knew it would be one of those. Well, the ultrasound showed girl parts. The name options now became Ethel or Lorene. I know your saying it in your head now: Madelynn Ethel or Madelynn Lorene. Okay, Ethel is a little outdated so Madelynn Lorene it was. Now our little girl had a name. From the end of November on she was Madelynn Lorene.
Many of you reading this may remember by Grandma Wheeler. To the kids she was Grandma Ethel. I had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with her as she got older and she was spending much of her time living with my dad and mom. After Jason and I got married we moved to a duplex that had many rose bushes. Grandma's favorite flower was the rose. I would take her roses often and she would talk about how beautiful they were. After Janell was born we moved to a house across the street from my parents. Wouldn't you know it, there were three rose bushes right in front. I continued to clip roses for grandma. You can see where this is going. Every house had rose bushes. Little did I know that the rose would become so special to me.
Madelynn was born into Jesus' arms on a Thursday evening. We chose to not have the kids with us during this time. On Friday we were given special permission to have the kids come to the hospital. This was going to be the hardest thing Jason and I would ever have to do. They came in all excited assuming we had a baby. I remember Nathaniel asking, "where's Madelynn?" Through tears Jason and I began to tell them that Madelynn was sick and that she was going to be living with Jesus now. A lot of what happened that afternoon is a blur. I remember thinking the best way I knew to help them understand was to talk about Grandma Ethel. I talked about how Grandma Ethel went to live with Jesus and now Madelynn was with her. They were probably playing together right now or she was being held by Grandma Ethel. Grandma passed away two years before this. I knew Janell would remember her and the time we spent hanging out with her. I had hoped this would help. That night as I lay in the hospital bed I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. On the wall next to my bed was a big picture. Not a picture of a mother with her baby or nursery type pictures, but a picture of roses. Wow, thank you God for that blessing. Seeing those roses brought a sense of peace in that storm.
Here it is in a nutshell:
*first name picked Madison ROSE
*new first name: Madelynn
*new middle name: LORENE (Grandma Ethel's middle name)
*Grandma's favorite flower: ROSES
*Sharing with kids that Madelynn was playing with Grandma Ethel in Heaven
*Picture next to my hospital bed: ROSES
After coming home from the hospital things had to be taken care of for the burial. Many thanks to my mom and dad for taking on that burden for us and being the go between for us. At one point we had to okay the proof for the "In Memory" folder that would be given out at the burial. The first copy had a cloud with an angel. My parents came to the house and we talked about it. I remember the floodgates opening as I started to tell them about how roses were in everything, God was in everything. I wanted to have a rose on the cover. Smith Family Chapel found a beautiful rose picture for the front. Another thing we needed to have were some flowers at the burial site. Again, I wanted roses. Also during that first week home Mike the Gardener had come to do our lawns. That evening we noticed that a rose plant had been left at the front door for us. Mike would plant it where we would like it. I assumed that maybe dad had shared with him about the rose. He says he didn't say anything about it. Mike had gifted us a rose. In the few weeks after we buried Madelynn we needed to pick out what we wanted on her grave marker. That's something we shouldn't have to do. We had picked out one that had roses on the corners. On Easter we went to the cemetery for the first time. We knew her marker had been set. Her grave marker had a cross wrapped in roses. A perfect symbol of God's love and how he was showing himself to me through this. He was carrying us.
The rose became a symbol to me of how God had his hands carrying us during this. It became a visible sign that he was there. A blessing during the storm.
One last thing: Monday, April 19th was my first day back to work. On Wednesday I got a call from the office that something was up front for me to pick up. I was actually anxious about what might be there. I knew it was probably flowers. I didn't want to go in there and have a break down. I've been trying so hard to stay strong at work. Turns out one of my students and his family had gotten me a vase of beautiful ROSES!! Thanks God!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Madelynn Lorene

This is the PhotoStory I put together for the worship service we had in honor of Madelynn. Jason put together an amazing worship experience that was held April 10th. There was no other way to honor her than to worship our Lord. I'll tell you more about that later. This photostory came from the deep regret I had that I didn't have pictures of us holding her in the hospital and I felt like I didn't have a way to share her with others. I had found the song "I Will Carry You" by the group Selah on the blog of singer Todd Smith's wife, Angie (http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/). They had experienced the loss of their daughter, Audrey, two hours after birth. They wrote this song for her. I had been reading about her experience and found comfort in hearing the words of someone who had been where I was at now. The song was perfect for what we were going through. Every word spoke directly to what I was feeling. God had chosen us to carry Madelynn all our lives just as he carries us. So, I decided I was going to get pictures of us holding Madelynn, the picture of her. I had found pictures and created pictures to fit the words. This had become a blessing, a memory that we will have of our angel baby. I was at peace, the regret was gone. We will carry her, forever.

Maybe your reading this and wondering what happened. I want to share that with you and how God has been there and carried us through this. That story will come.

Seeing Where this Takes Me

I am sitting on the couch with my laptop and trying to convince myself to go for it. Figure out how to blog, see how it works. Maybe this is what I need to do to start sharing what is going on in my life. This could be a way to start sharing with others how through the loss of a baby I am learning to find the blessings in life, not just in those joyous times but also in the deepest valleys. I'm searching for what God would have me learn and share through this rain in my life. I want others to see how God was at work in my life when I didn't even realize it, how I can look back and see his hands were carrying Madelynn and carrying me. More will come as I try to organize these thoughts. I want to make sure that this experience is pleasing to God and honors the memory of Madelynn Lorene. So, I'm off to figure this out and am anxious to share with you the blessings!