I was walking through the hospital parking lot on my way to work yesterday afternoon and noticed a lot of white petals on the ground. We’ve had some windy days this week and a blossoming tree near one of the doors is already losing its fresh spring buds.

The other day, I was sitting at the spotlight by Target and noticed the mass of tulips pictured here. I love the vibrant colors and clean shape of tulips; I dislike their short lives.

My friend around the corner has perennials in front of her house that bloom a buttery yellow every spring. When I pass them, I always smile and feel grateful they are still there. This year, they survived several frosty nights and maybe even snow, but now they are gone and it’s barely May.

Kaity recently stopped smelling like a baby. It’s a gradual process. With her and with Miranda, I tried to prolong it with their shampoos and lotions, but alas… the removal of formula and the addition if teeth make the loss of the smell inevitable. Couple that with the fact that she is walking and repeating everything Miranda says (from ‘I dunno’ to ‘I love you!’), she may still be MY baby, but she is not A baby.

Blossoms just don’t last that long. I know that means they turn into something else, and hence we have the circle of life, but their loss is sad nonetheless. I am still daily reflecting and praying for those around me who have lost to such an unfathomable depth what was beautiful in their lives. I trust that there will be new beauty for them, but I also know that once petals fall, they can’t be ‘replaced.’

This morning we had our last Moms & More meeting of the year. It isn’t over. In fact, in three weeks I will got to my first leadership meeting as the Publicity Chair. I am so excited about serving with this amazing group of women. I need to write solely about what this group has meant to me, of how it has helped me to grow, of how I wish every new mom or lonely mom or future mom could have such support and encouragement in her spiritual and life walk. (So I will.. but not today, because we have to bake a cake for Papa and then Rod & I have date night!)

One of the most profound things I have learned through my time thus far in this group is that we must enjoy the moment – smell the blossom – kiss the dirty face. Another thing I have learned – and am trying to apply – is that those moments of bloom are the most important ones. I need to get better about dropping what I am doing to dance with Miranda, to hold Kaity while she eats, because all too soon they will be doing what Josh is about to do – graduate high school and leave a little of us behind – and when that happens, the laundry and email will still be waiting, and what isn’t probably wasn’t that important anyway.

One last thought: when I looked at those white-petaled trees yesterday, I wondered if one day, perhaps in Heaven, the trees will look that beautiful all the time. I hope so. I heard on a radio show yesterday about the purpose of pain in our lives. The seasons are similar. The trees need to die before they can live again. We need some brown and bareness and cold in order to have life again… but thank God for the promise of eternal life.