Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Kiss From Papa
So it turns out that Cora and her Papa will be indelibly linked in this lifetime, even though they never had the chance to meet face to face.
Moments after Cora was born, Jason and I were poring over every inch of her, staring in amazement at this wonder of God that had been placed into our arms, and just drinking in the sheer perfection of her. We both noticed that on the pinkie of her right hand she has a decent size "mark" that wraps around her knuckle. (See picture above)
None of the doctors that we asked about it have been able to come up with a definitive answer as to what it may be. We've heard everything from a sucking blister, to some sort of vascular spot, to runaway iodine, but none of them are sure exactly what they are looking at, and the mark is showing no signs of diminishing or disappearing.
When my Mom saw Cora she took one look at it and said, as matter of fact as if she were the medical expert, that it was "Papa's claim on her", and that "this shows she belongs to Papa".
I think I've mentioned in other posts the fascination that my Dad had with his grandchildren's hands. He loved those hands. We have picture upon picture of him staring at them in awe, holding them delicately in his own, marveling at the smallness and fragility of them compared to the strength and size of his own. It is one of the images I have of him that remains so strong in my mind... him rubbing them, kissing them, holding them...
Right now I'm thinking back to one of the last Sundays we were all in church together. Eliza was making her way past me to her Nana, which meant she had to cross in front of my Dad. It was the middle of the sermon, but the moment she placed her hand on his leg to pass him he instantly and instinctively covered it with his own, stroked her little fingers, grabbed ahold of her tiny palm and escorted her on by with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his lips. Man, he loved those hands.
And so it makes sense that Cora would have a mark on her own hands that cannot be explained away. I had prayed and prayed for God to give me a glimpse of my father in the hospital room that day, asked for knowledge that my father was there, pleaded for the assurance that he could see the both of us, that he would be able to see his newest grandchild. God answered my prayer tenfold by letting him place a kiss on her finger, before we even met her, where I can so easily envision him kissing her for real.
My sister Cyndy said it best when she looked at Cora's birthmark and said, "From Papa's arms to ours".
It's much harder than I thought it would be, having her here without him. Everyday I imagine what it would look like to see him holding her in his arms, wrapping up her little hand in his own, smiling down into her perfect angel face. I grieve deeply in my heart of hearts the love lost that she will never know from him. But I know that God answers prayers. He sees my tears. He loves me, He loves little Cora, and He made sure that we both have a visual reminder that her Papa is part of her, and always will be.
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day overwhelmed by your love for me. You knew how hard Cora's birth in the wake of my father's death was going to be, and you tended to me. What a beautiful way to show that You are always here, always listening, always looking for ways to show Your unending compassion and undying love for us.
Thank You, Lord, for once again not only being right where I needed You to be, but in such a creative way that it leaves no other explanation than that it was only You. Thank You for a tangible display of Your goodness in the midst of sorrow, Your presence in the face of pain.
You are Almighty, Lord, and every time I gaze down at the miracle that is Cora, and look upon the mark on her hand placed with loving care by You, I will not only be reminded of my beloved father and the tenderness in which he showed to his grandchildren, but also Your desire to be in our lives, to show us that You listen and that You care, and that if we are faithful to You, You will be faithful in return.
Thank You for giving me a way to link my father and my daughter together forever. Thank You for giving me a jumping off point to use when I tell Cora about her Papa, his love for You, and Your love for us. I really needed that, and You came through. Just like always.
I love You, Lord.
In Your Name I pray,
Posted by Susan Alberda at 1:52 PM