On Sunday, Stellamaris was baptized into the Catholic Church. It felt good to have this little one be so celebrated in entering the church and being freed of original sin. But something else struck me with this baptism. The people present at it, all of them were with us through the heartache of the loss of our last year with Noel around this same time of year. They showed up, they showed up in ways I didn't know we needed, they brought meals and ice cream, offered child care and cards, sat with us in dark moments and offered hugs and just patiently loved in so many ways.
And then on Sunday, they showed up again, this time in joy for a new baby that came as a surprise out of the heartache and they cerebrated with us. And it was good to have them there.
As I sat out on our patio at the party after the baptism, the same tree and bush were flowering that flowered in the grief of last year, the ones I clipped to make bouquets to put on Noel's grave last year. It had me remembering but at the same time there was joy there, as much as I didn't want to have Noel die in the womb, I wouldn't have had a Stellamaris, or the growth of this past year. I don't understand why it had to happen this way but I am thankful for the grace to be able to embrace it.
So little Stellamaris, we welcome you to the church and once again we are so glad you are here.