|The things that love you are right here. And they will hug you back.|
It’s been a heavy weather week – in the stratosphere, in my heart and in the hearts of friends all around. I think I cried every day this week. From what I hear, we all have. Crying like the messy, half a box of tissue kind of breakdown. It didn’t help that the sky was pretty much bumming around, moping, fogging, crying, leaving pools of sad all around to step in.
There’s been more to cry about than usual though. My dear friend lost her mother last Thursday. On Tuesday morning, as family and friends gathered in the Wesley Chapel to hug and say goodbye, I had the privilege of snuggling baby Zoe, rocking, swaying, praying her off to sleep. I listened good to all the stories of courage and fearlessness of this 50-something mom and thought that I really wanted to be that way too.
Today I had a new sadness. Someone with a complicated pregnancy, a baby who would surely die before or shortly after birth. I called her and their abortion was all set up for Thursday. We talked about the grief, the sorrow of carrying a baby whose life would be cut short for certain. But had she considered all her options? We talked about grief, about how many families find it so helpful to see and hold baby to say goodbye. This can’t be done with abortion. She had made up her mind, but I still asked her to pray, since she said she was a Christian and normally against abortion. I told her I would call her today and I did. But I prayed last night and this morning – I just prayed that she would choose to let her baby live and not make the death decision but to let God do it. But I so understand the dilemma, not wanting baby to come into the world to hurt, to suffer, to gasp a few shorts breaths. She was sending her daughter back to God, she felt. I understand why she felt that way, though it breaks my heart. I kept praying today. I don’t know how their story ends yet. I wanted to hope.
I talked tonight with a few of my girlfriends, and we’ve all had a sad week. Teary eyes and empathetic nods came from the round, coffeeshop table. And hopefully the feeling of being understood. It was after 9 when I got home, and John was in bed. My heart was already so heavy from the stacked up sadness. I wanted to see my son, to see his face light up to see me back. I could hear his lullaby music still softly chiming, and Josh said I should go love on him because he was going to go to sleep in the next 30 minutes one way or another.
I padded down the hallway and peeked in. There he was, on his back, feet stashed in the rungs of the crib, paging through a fat, little book. He tossed it down and pushed himself up toward me. I swept him up and curled my head into his neck. He laid his head down on my shoulder and patted my back gently like his daddy taught him. We swayed, and I told him that I loved him, and I cried because I forgot I loved him so much. And I cried because was so happy he was just going to sit still and let me squish him and rock him like this. I cried because I was so tired and heavy with the pain of life, but I still have this hug, this baby, John, who loves me. And I have Josh. And Jesus, with His love so big I can’t see the beginning or the end. I’m so so thankful that Love makes burdens light, lifts them with me so I don’t go alone.
And, right then, this baby that I was carrying, was carrying me.
And now: 16 months of the most important moments.