On April 11th, 2003, I woke up and got ready for the day. My co-workers and I had a dental meeting in Kearney. I was not thrilled to go because they are usually not very fun, and I was 7 months pregnant and had a lot of leg pain (which I later found out were blood clots). But, me being me, I put on my happy face and headed to meet my co-workers in a nearby small town so we could travel together. Our road trips are usually pretty entertaining so that makes up for boring meetings!
When we arrived at the hotel where our meeting was held, the speaker was a female. They usually seem to be men, so it was a nice change. I noticed she had a saucer and tea cup sitting on the podium. I thought, she must be English and likes her tea...haha! I don't remember her name, but I remember the words she spoke that day and they stuck with me. I'm sure she spoke about dental terms and such, but that is not what struck me. This lady was very open about her life and the fact her mother had been suffering from Alzheimers. I remember the gal speaking of the fact her mother had this disease and somedays her mother didn't know who she was. I thought to myself, how terrible of a feeling that would be to not have your mom know you. This gal had my attention the entire time. I never felt like I was at a dental meeting, but more of an uplifting service at church. This lady was so positive despite going through a battle with her mother. She talked about her faith in God and also her trust in him. She mentioned her favorite scripture from Isaiah (I can't remember off the top of my head which one) and gave us a little piece of laminated paper with the scripture on it. I stuck it in my wallet and carried it for many years. Then, the non English woman picked up the saucer and tea cup. She read this poem to us.
Drinking From My Saucer
I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now. But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way, I'm reaping better than I sowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed.
I haven't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going's tough. But I've got loved ones around me, and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies He's bestowed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong, My faith wore somewhat thin. But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.
So God, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed. I'm drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough. I'll not ask for other blessings, I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy, to help others bear their loads. Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer, 'Cause my cup has overflowed.
This dental meeting was the best one I have ever been at. I'm sure there will never be one to top it. My co-workers and I made the trip back home discussing the meeting and we all agreed it was very good. When they dropped me off at my car I called my husband. I remember telling my husband what an awesome meeting it was. I explained what a faith based speaker she was and that I left feeling totally blessed. I talked about how you never know when God will use someone to touch your life. I remember going on and on and him being unusually quiet, but figured he was probably tired.
When I was passing through town, it was very obvious my pregnant bladder was not going to last any longer. I decided to stop at my sister in laws house to use the bathroom. I also thought if she was home I could share about the awesome meeting I had that day. I stormed into her house running for the bathroom. My SIL wasn't home, but my brother in law Kyle was. He told me something that didn't register right away. He told me that our niece had passed away. I remember a million things running through my head in a matter of seconds. I remember repeating what he just told to only have him verify it again. The tears started flowing and got in my car and headed home thinking this COULD NOT be real!!!
When I arrived home, my husband greeted me. He expected he would have to tell me the news, but it was quite obvious by looking at me that I had already learned of our nieces death. I can't even begin to describe the feelings and emotions of that day. At one point I was on cloud 9 knowing that the God I serve is awesome and on another point I was mad at him for taking my precious baby niece home. My husband told me he couldn't bear to tell me the news over the phone especially since I was so excited about the great day I had.
As we cried, my husband and I reflected back on our prior week. We had taken the kids and went to visit my BIL, SIL, and our 2 nieces. We had a fabulous time of hanging out, playing cards, and my SIL and I took the girls shopping. My niece Abigail hit 6 months old and we cheered her on as she began sitting up by herself. I remember my brother in law being most excited about his daughters latest accomplishment! My SIL and I discussed how different kids can be as we both had a baby with colic and now Abigail seemed so mellow. I remember we grilled at their house and it was pretty nice out so we ate out on the patio taking in precious family time. The older girls ran around and played in the yard. I took some snapshots of our evening. LIFE was good and we enjoyed our visit! Little did we know, we would be back to visit them so soon.
My husband called his sister to give her our sympathies. We didn't know what to say. He let her know that we were packing our bags and would be headed up to their place as soon as possible. We had over a three our drive to get there which allowed us time to reflect on our precious nieces short life.....which also involved an entire box of kleenex
When we arrived, you could feel the sadness and the lack of presence of Abby. Our entire close knit family was together, but lacking. I remember hugging my sister in law and telling her to remember the precious 6 months and 8 days she got to cherish with her daughter. The next several days we planned her funeral. We had picked up windmills for all the kids to place at her grave. We were in the middle of a huge drought and that night of her funeral it rained!!! I remember all of our family sitting in the kitchen when the raindrops started to fall and a smile came over all of our faces and we talked about how Abby must have some "pull" up there in heaven to send us much needed moisture.
For the next week we remained in Sidney to be with our family. Later in the week we learned that Sudden Infant Death Sydrome is what caused Abby's passing. In the days, weeks, months, and years since Abby went to be with Jesus, we have had to learn to deal with the many stages of grieving. Our family has learned that everyone is in a different stage at a different time. This makes things difficult to understand, but all in all we have remained supportive of one another. We have learned to deal with the emotional roller coaster that LIFE deals us and have stayed a strong close knit family since.
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't remember this precious big blue eyed Angel. To be honest, quite often we say "If Abby were only here...". It is hard!!! It has be 10 years ago and time does help heal, but I will tell you today, it feels like April 11th 2003 as I am flooded with emotions from that very day.
I am so thankful for our families faith in God and that we have each other to lean on in times like this. It makes me aware that "my cup has overflowed".
We all miss you Abigail Marie and love you sooo sooooo much!!! We will see you again one day.