I remember the day a few weeks after Dasah had died when I was running my hand over the back of my hair. It felt more coarse than usual… and bumpy.
“That’s strange” I thought.
I quickly took a hand mirror to look behind me in our bathroom mirror only to discover a small section of curls forming in the top middle section of my hair. Tears filled my eyes. The hormones of pregnancy can often change the texture of your hair, and while a small bit of wave had formed in my hair after my pregnancy with Sophie, this curl was different.
It struck me as the sweetest gift… Dasah had given me curls.
As time went on and my hair grew out the curls grew with it… But only in the back middle section of my hair.
I used to pride myself on the fact that I could blow dry my hair and it would look like I’d used a straighter, my hair was so stick straight. Now I didn’t know what to do with this unruly set of curls slowly growing and taking up the back of my head. It would take forever to straighten and truthfully, I liked that they were there. A sweet gift from Dasah, a reminder of the unruliness of grief, the appearance of normalcy on the front only to be met with what looked like someone elses hair mixed in with mine in the back.
It felt as if my hair displayed what my heart felt. An unruly, beautiful mess in some places and almost just as they used to be in other places.
It’s fitting that Dasah would be the one to leave me with such an odd set of curls, she was our little ham. I could tell in the womb that she was different then Sophie. Dasah was our comedian, our talker, our dramatic one. From birth she made faces at the camera, cooed and talked up until she went to be with Jesus, using every last bit of breath she had to make her mark on this earth and our lives.
I didn’t know if I could love a 2nd child as much as Sophie, I wondered what that love would feel like and it took me off guard to see new places of my heart I didn’t even know existed explode with love for her when I met her. I loved her just the same, and I miss her just as much as her big sister Sophie.
I miss carrying her, holding her, watching her lift her head, blow bubbles, talk and coo. But most of all I miss knowing her. I miss what I don’t even know I would miss now. 3 years old, what would she be like?
God has given me sweet glimpses of 3 year olds with my sister having a little boy, Jude just a few months before Dasah and my best friend having a little girl, Norah just a month after Dasah. Of course it can be hard but I have been surprised by the sweetness of getting glimpses into a 3 year olds world. Each unique and different but both Norah and Jude are the hams in their family and I have no doubt that Dasah would have just made the party more entertaining with each of them. I wish I could see those friendships growing.
This past week as I anticipated Dasah’s 3rd birthday I wasn’t sure what to feel or how to process, I just was missing her. The ache a growing heaviness in my chest, the longing for heaven on the forefront of my mind more consistently.
Jaden has said “Dasah’s” name more consistently and clearly than Sophie’s over the past month and it is a sweet and sorrowful sound to my ears. I wish he could know them both in real life. I wish I could see them all play together. I wish for so many things that are not reality.
We often wish for things to be more “normal” than they are, more consistent, less crazy and unruly. It’s strange how daily as I run my hands along the back of my head I am reminded of the sweet gift of these curls from my little girl and I’m reminded of the unruliness of life, the messiness of grief and the beauty that has been found in the mess. It’s why I rarely straighten my hair, and you’ll often see straight hair in the front and a mess of curls in the back, I like the world to see a bit unruliness on the outside, a reminder of the imperfections of this life, of the beauty that’s found in the mess.
It’s a beauty I see written on the wrinkles on my face, the tiredness in my eyes, the greys in my hair. Life has taken a toll on my body, but it’s not just the toll of sorrow and loss that is reflected in my body, but the toll of loving deeply, laughing hard and fighting for joy in the midst of pain. These imperfections in my hair, on my face, in the grey reveal not just loss but also beauty. The wrinkles on my face not just marks of weariness but lines where my face has smiled more often then cried, laughed more often than wept. The grey’s in my hair not just a mark of stress and age, but of wisdom and life that has come out of walking through chapters of great loss. It’s the imperfections of a full and beautiful life. The sweet curls in my hair just a small reminder to me of all that my girls have given me in the joy and the pain.
Maybe if you didn’t know the story of these curls you’d want to help me tame them, and I’d politely say “no thank you”. And when you asked me “Why?” I’d smile with delight as I got to tell you that these imperfections bring me joy because–
she gave me curls.
Happy 3rd Heavenly Birthday sweet little girl, you gave me so much more than curls for which I will be forever grateful but I love the unruly mess you left on the back of my head. You make me laugh daily as I try to figure out what to do with those curls. I love and miss you always.