We had a big snowfall here in Abilene on Thanksgiving day. That night Lia passed away. As I drove to the hospital Friday morning to confirm what I already knew to be true, I took solice in the beauty of the snow covered city. Abilene in the winter is usually brown, dry, and desolate. But that early Friday morning was one of the most beautiful mornings I have seen here. As I laid in the hospital bed, the heart monitor silent, I stared out the window at a large pine tree covered in snow. I thanked God for the beauty of the morning. Little did I know that the peaceful shroud of snow would follow us in our grief throughout this season.
On Sunday, my first day home without Lia, we again were blessed with snow. Big beautiful thick snowflakes - the kind I remember from years ago in Nebraska. Once again, my grief was peacefully shrouded in snow.
Lia was buried the following Saturday in Mark's hometown. And - guess what - snow! Well, actually, a lot of ice and snow, so much that the roads were empty and the town quiet. It wasn't harsh enough to do damage, just enough to bring the world to a pause for a while.
We traveled to Mark's hometown for Christmas. A white Christmas isn't common in Southern Nebraska - you might have some remnant piles from previous storms, now brown with dirt, but fresh snow is rare. There had been an abundant amount of snow since Thanksgiving, and the cemetery was covered in white. The flowers and red pointsettia we set for her were stunning against the brightness of the snow.
And Christmas night, those big beautiful snowflakes began to fall again. The town was silent and peaceful.
Our winter wonderland continued for another week as we enjoyed mornings of frozen fog causing the trees to shimmer in the early sunlight. All the winter joys of my youth - frozen shimmering trees, big snowflakes, fields so white with fresh snow that the sunlight hurts your eyes - all of them surrounded me for our entire time. While my family there was growing weary of the long winter, my heart was encouraged, thinking of Lia and the first snow in Abilene.
A SnowBaby - how appropriate! I love how her face is hidden, snuggled into her blanket. Lia's baby blanket is the same shade of pink, and Lia's face is hidden from us now, her joy and smile known only to the Lord.
It is almost 70 degrees in Abilene today, and no snow of course. But my heart still feels the peace and calm of a quiet night of snowfall as I remember my precious snowbaby.