95: Azalea

95: Azalea

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Azalea

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.

~Author Unknown

When our first son was about sixteen months old, we learned that I was pregnant again. The baby was due September 15. We were thrilled to be expecting another baby, and I was excited to be pregnant again at the same time as my best friend. Our first children were born one month apart, and now the due dates for our second babies were one month apart again.

But just shy of twelve weeks of pregnancy, our baby’s heartbeat could not be found. Within a week, I had a miscarriage. Even now I struggle to find the right words to describe the devastation I felt. Many women in our church and our circle of friends reached out with cards, meals, and kind words, yet I still felt lonely and grief-stricken. I discovered that there is a secret sisterhood of women who have suffered miscarriages, but I would have preferred not to belong.

Names are important to my husband and me, and we wanted to find the right one for this baby we’d lost. There was no way to know the gender, but we felt like she was a girl and named her Azalea, which means “spared by Jehovah.”

Months passed and early in the summer, we received some good news. I was pregnant again. Unfortunately, within a few weeks I had another miscarriage. I was more devastated than ever, afraid we would never have another baby. My best friend had her baby in August, and I was so sad that we would not be having our baby soon. By the time September rolled around, I felt fragile and alone. I dreaded Azalea’s due date, but I couldn’t talk about it with anyone. I just wanted time to pass, the month of September to come and go.

In mid-September I was outside playing with our son, and I noticed a pink bloom on one of our azalea bushes. Azaleas, of course, bloom in the spring, not the autumn, and this was just a lone bloom in the midst of several azalea plants. In that moment, I felt such relief. I didn’t feel alone anymore. I knew God remembered us. That bloom felt like a message from Azalea and from God himself, reassuring us that we indeed had a daughter and she lived in heaven, the safest place of all.

~Nina Taylor

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