Yesterday, February 20th, 2014 at 5:35pm we welcomed little miss Nola into the world and I officially became “Aunt Britani.” I can’t say I didn’t know that I would fall completely and totally in love this little lady the moment I saw her because I have known that would be the case all along. From the moment I learned that my sister was expecting, I knew that I would love this baby like she was my own. Maybe that is because I don’t have any children of my own and for the moment it seems that being a mom may not pan out for me the way I thought it might or maybe that is just how all aunts feel, I don’t know but it is definitely a special kind of love that I hadn’t felt before.
Nola was due to arrive February 13th. We were so anxious to have her here and so worried that she would come while we were in Orlando, that I hadn’t put much thought into the timing of her birth. It was after she had passed her due date and then passed Valentine’s Day that I realized that she would come right smack in the middle of what three years ago was “the week that the craziness began.” There are some dates that you never forget because they are happy days that you don’t ever want to forget! Birthdays of those you love, anniversaries, specials occasions. Days you just “remember” without any effort. There are other dates that stick in your brain that you wish you would just forget. Dates that when they are coming up on the calendar you hope that maybe this year you’ve forgotten. For me one of those dates is February 19th. It was on February 19th that I stood in my living room in complete shock as my then husband and his family loaded up all of his belongings onto a trailer as he was “moving out.” There are details about that day that I remember so clearly. I am quite certain that I spent the night of February 19th curled up on the floor with my heart literally broken, thinking that the pain of that moment would surely kill me. February 20th wasn’t much better and from there my life entered a tailspin that I would have never imagined.
On the other side of that date, for the past two years, I have so dreaded February. As if Valentine’s Day post divorce is not hard enough add in the move out date and you could potentially have a very depressing couple of weeks!!! This year though was different. And I think that it is no coincidence that Nola was conceived at such a time that 9 months later she would enter the world and change February forever for an aunt who would be crazy about her. This year I was able to approach February not with dread but with excitement! And I think the preparations for February 20th will trump the memories of February 19th for years to come. I plan to make sure my little lady has the BEST birthday every year and we may even celebrate a day early just because we can!
I’m not sure if this verse is the perfect fit but it is has been running through my mind alongside my February 19th/February 20th thoughts. Sometime during my crazy time, someone printed out part of Joel 2:25 for me. It says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” and I think that is exactly what God has done for me with the month of February. He’s given it back to me in a whole new light. When I asked my sister if she had realized that Nola would be coming right in the middle of “when the craziness began” she said that maybe God was redeeming that time for me. I think she was right and I am so grateful and in awe of a God who cares enough about me to fix my February blues. What special special way to show just how much He loves me.
Welcome to the world baby Nola… we’ve got lots of snuggling (and shopping) to do! 🙂