27.2.12

To be Alive

It's almost 9am and I am struggling to give a squirmy toddler turned little boy a haircut as he sits in the bathtub. The cinnamon buns rise in the the pan in the kitchen and the husband newly returned from another business trip let's me know the the oven dinged it's readiness and I ask him to put the pan in for me.

photo by Zie

My sister gave birth to a baby girl 2 weeks ago. She's beautiful and perfect.

On Saturday I went to the funeral of a 26 year old mother of 4 who died suddenly of a heart attack. One minute she was there, celebrating a milestone, and the next she was gone. I find myself seized with thankfulness for the chance to tuck my children into bed another night, run my hands over their hair, and kiss their flushed cheeks.

photo by Zie


A friend gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday, 3 weeks early. He had a congenital defect that they knew about. His lungs and his kidneys would never work right. He died 4 hours later, having spent those hours cradled in his parent's arms. His name was Jacob.

I run my fingers through Bam Bam's hair, marveling that he is 18 months already, that he is healthy and whole and still with me. How did I get to be so lucky?

Another friend gave birth to her baby, also early, on Thursday morning. She took him home 3 days later and is figuring out new motherhood. I try to imagine what it was like for her when Jacob's parents came to see her and meet her baby less than 48 hours after their baby son passed away. I try to imagine what it was like for them. I cry whenever I think about it.



We sit at the table, the 6 of us, eating fresh warm cinnamon buns altogether and I look at them, the children I'm raising, the husband I love, and I marvel that we are here, together, like this, as though it were completely normal to have this much abundance, as though we are unaware of the miracle that each of these moments is.

More ordinary miracles

photo by Zie
Rain coming down sideways and making a racket.

Baby soft hair

Bam Bam hugging people by wrapping his arms around their legs and laying his head there.

The Boy making tea.



lemons

generous friends

the kindness of strangers

snow capped mountains looming over desert heat

Scrub hills looking like the backbone of some giant lizard.

The way Bam Bam waves good bye, urgently, and then slams the door.

The gift of knowing that many things I used to think important really don't matter anymore.

Wild lilacs

Sheepskin boots

A boy asleep in my lap.

A phone call with my dad.

A new niece, tiny and perfect.

Dinner with a friend and gallivanting navy officer returned for a moment after 2 years away.

This song by my SIL.
ComScore

10 comments:

  1. Sonja European5:50 PM

    It's good to be reminded of how miraculous those ordinary, small things are.
    (Friends of mine just had a healthy, full-term baby girl after four heartbreaking losses.)

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  2. Brenda Ponnay6:55 PM

    Amen.  :)

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  3. It must take so much courage to keep trying and risking heartache that many times. What joy they must be feeling now. :)

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  4. I have friends whose first child died at 7 months in utero completely unexpectedly. Their second child, seven years later after a lot of grieving and healing and problems conceiving and then the mom having pre-eclampsia and the baby being delivered weeks early, was a beautiful baby girl. She contracted meningitis before she was two months old and died on her four-month birthday.

    I can still barely even think about all of that without crying. They have incredible faith and have been such a blessing to so many because of it. But oh, the heartbreak. The mom just wrote a post today, almost eight months after she buried her daughter, about how listening to a sermon preached by her husband (he's a pastor, she's the daughter and SIL and wife of pastors) on Abraham and Isaac turned her into a crying, snotty mess in church.

    Sometimes when I am getting frustrated with Elliora and impatient for her to get past some phase, I look at her and think, "Samantha was only three months younger than you are. I bet her parents would give almost anything to have her with them, not sleeping in the middle of the night and shredding tissue all over the living room."

    I feel so guilty for my moments of petty anger and annoyance sometimes. How can we ever be anything but utterly grateful for all that we have? Yet still, I whine and complain. Sigh.

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  5. Thank you for reminding to stop for a moment today and rejoice in all the goodness in my life rather than focusing on the tiny little things that annoy me and I allow to grow mountain-size in my heart.

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  6. Laura Kooistra2:59 PM

    Visiting from Ann's.  Oh yes, learning again and again the things that we think are important aren't.  Blessed words and important insight.
    Nice to meet you :-)

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  7. Nice to meet you too. :) Thanks for the visit.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this; you ended up inspiring an entire post over at my place!

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  9. You are welcome friend. You make me smile everyday. I"m thankful for you. :)

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  10.  I still wonder sometimes if the fact that we can take these things for granted isn't in itself a gift at times, and indicates the presence of peace.

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