There is a storm outside, and as we weather it inside our comfy homes, my sister’s best friend is weathering an even uglier storm, one that’s eternal. Her baby died. She buried her little Belle on a day when this weather was at its worst, a day when the city even shut down, when people hid in their homes. But as a mommy, she braved even the scariest of temperatures to help send her baby off.
This mommy went to her doctor appointment the day before her scheduled C-section. Her Belle was fine. The next morning she reported for her surgery and had a fetal monitor put on. In a moment that should bring bursts of joy, instead, her worst nightmare appeared. Silence. There was no beautiful whoosh whoosh of a baby heartbeat. Her baby was already gone. Impossible. She was just alive only hours before. Outrage. She was supposed to be in her momma’s arms for their first special meeting in the next forty five minutes!
When I heard the news, even though I was seemingly twice removed, or a third party, since it’s my sister’s friend, this mommy is in our extended family of mommyhood. We are all connected through every facet of being a momma. We are a sisterhood and as a member of this sisterhood, we feel the stabbing pain of that ugly dark feeling in the back of our mind that we try to and evade. How could we survive such a tragedy, such a trauma? We can’t even think it, or say the words. I can’t even write them, but I know you understand what I mean.
Because of this sisterhood, every piece of my heart belonged to this mourning mother. I dropped to my knees. I thanked God for everything he has blessed me with. I prayed for peace for that mommy, a peace that I wasn’t really sure could come, even if welcomed.
My spirit mourned for this mother who would now have to teach her three young children about death. I mourned for a mother who now has six weeks of recovery from a C-section, but with no little baby as gratification of her suffering. Her milk will soon come in, with no little baby to receive sustenance from it. Belle’s baby clothes, picked especially with her in mind, will never get worn. Her crib will never be used. She will never blow out the candle on her first birthday cake. She will never utter the incredible word mommy. She will never meet the eager siblings who couldn’t even sleep the night before because they were so excited to meet her.
I prayed for this momma and her children, and the daddy, all the while suppressing the words “Why, God? Why?” My friend Hitomi, who also lost her baby, but at six months, always tells me: His ways are higher than ours.” She knows what this mother feels. And just as Hitomi is a strong woman who has experienced the sacred being torn from her life (As Natalie Grants sings), so, now, is this mother who will now be a strong woman, one who will inspire others by a faith that never wavered, one who has felt the pain like no other and yet still gets out of bed each day, sustaining her three small children, and now, even though there is an emptiness in her loss, the loss is the heaviest burden she carries.
God, you have given mothers this incredible passion and love for their children that sometimes even weakens us. Sometimes it keeps us living in fear and worry, and even so, it is the most incredible and all at once overwhelming feeling we could ever process. We can feel agony even in an imagined moment of what our lives would have been like without our children, and we can feel like our heart will burst with pride when we even just look at our children. Because of this passion, all I can do is surrender my children to you. I can’t live in fear the way my instincts push me to. It’s exhausting. But then again, exhausting is part of our mommy job description. I guess unhealthy is a better word. But I do surrender them to you. But during my time on this earth, I will defend them with my life, I will be their biggest cheerleader, and I will be their defender, their ambassador, and they will be the love of my life. I will do my best to care for them as you would have me, and love them where they are in life, as they need me to love them, hold back when they don’t want, and give freely when they are ready to receive. Please keep them safe. Please let them grow old, with the trail of a fulfilled life behind them. Let them always be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto you, and let them have passion for everything they do. And most of all, Lord, THANK YOU. And please help my friend, and all others who have had loss. Give them peace and hope, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.
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