I don’t spend a lot of time pondering the what-ifs. For my own mental health, it doesn’t work. If I spent each day pondering what my life would look like if my children had lived, I’m pretty sure my descent into insanity would be guaranteed.

It’s really only on the major anniversaries, like today, that I think about it. Samantha was born six years ago today. SIX!!! I can’t fathom having a kindergartner.

I do wonder how many things in our lives would look different. Would we be sending her to a Lutheran school? Would I be working? There are a million other questions, but really, none of them matter.

Six years ago, we met our little girl. We didn’t know that she would only be in our lives for four months, but we still cherished every moment. I needed to hold her every day. In fact, the only day of her life that I DIDN’T hold her was the day she was born – after the C-section, I saw her and then she went to the NICU and I went to recover. I got to hold her the first time the day after.

Even when I try, I can’t picture her as older. She will forever be the tiny baby in my arms. And I will always be thankful for the time we had her. No parent should ever have to bury their child, and in this season of Lent I am grateful for the reminder that our Father knows this pain intimately. It is His grace that keeps me moving forward, despite empty arms and a broken heart. His mercies are new every morning, even six years later.