The Gift (Day 1 from untitaled collection)
"Children are a heritage from the Lord . . . "
I WAS JUST INFORMED my granddaughter was on her way to the hospital to give birth to her first child, a girl; my first great-grandchild would be making her debut prematurely. My heart skipped a beat knowing what day it was, October 24th, the day my little girl would have been born; this should have been her 42nd birthday; I’m supposed to be excited, but like all the past years I’m torn. You would think I would be pasted this by now, but I have a reminder that always puts it in the forefront; today is our oldest sons’ birthday. He is my step-son, but I have never seen him as such, over the years his mother has been gracious enough to share him with me; even at his Junior High graduation ceremony I had been presented a rose just like his mom. No one has ever known how hard this day has been for me, I’ve managed to keep it to myself. I have had to bury the grief deeper each year as we celebrated his birthday, no one notices, and I wonder if anyone but me remembers. Oh Lord, not today, please not today.
“For you formed her inward parts; you covered her in my womb. I will praise you, for she was fearfully and wonderfully made. Her frame was not hidden from you, your eyes saw her substance being yet unformed. In your book they all were written; the days fashioned for her when as yet there were none of them.” (Modified from Psalms 139:13, 14, 15, 16 NKJV). My doctor told me the baby feels everything I feel, every motion, and even knew when I smiled. She felt every touch. She knew could feel the love between he dad and me. I lost her at 22 weeks and by then she would have been learning voices and known if they brought me peace. But, for me, it was knowing she could feel my touch when I placed my hand on my across my stomach as if I was holding her and she knew her mother loved her. She must have known when I was thinking about her too. The Word said her days were fashioned then yet there were none of them, how often I have thought of that phrase and wondered what her days might have been---if only she would have lived.
I remember when I was out shopping with my mother and out of nowhere I totally lost it when I saw a little red Christmas dress with white lace and ran out of the store crying uncontrollably. One time when I was babysitting for my new niece I was getting too attached, dangerously attached, so I had to ask her mother not to bring her back. I tried to explain, but I not sure she understood, she was just dating my brother-in-law when I had the miscarriage. These moments would come unexpectedly, always catching me off guard; it happens less often now that time has passed, but they're hardly a day that goes by that don’t think of her, of what might have been. The baby wasn’t due until November, Oh Lord, please help me to be able to get through two birthdays on this day.
I had lost two other babies within the first and second trimesters, but I barely had time to process the pregnancy before I was told I had miscarried. My little girl was different, the doctor knew about the problems I had had and was taking every precaution; I was seeing him twice a month, had been in the hospital once, and confined to bed rest. I remember how excited I was the first I felt her move, but that feeling soon faded into concern when over the next few days there was nothing. My doctor told me she had died in the womb; after surgery, I was told the baby was a girl, but at that time mothers never got to see their babies or bury them after a miscarriage; later I was told she was taken out as hospital waste. I was just pregnant one day then I wasn’t. Oh Lord, what am I going to do the first time I get to hold her in my arms, please Lord don’t let me fall apart.
After I came to the Lord he helped me through His word to accept her loss, after Bathsheba miscarriage with King David’s son, he accepted the loss saying, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23 NKJV) So that’s what I did, I accepted her loss, but I never stopped grieving; I just buried it deeper and deeper. One day I took a pink rose and went to a nearby stream and placed the rose in the water and as it floated away I told the Lord, “I am sending my little girl to you. Receive her, for she is my own heart.” (Modified from Philemon 1:12 NKJV). When Cleansing Thoughts was published the cover design was taken from one of the stories titled The Rose; it’s a story about how God spoke to my heart as I was working in my rose garden. Each rose reminded me of someone I loved that had passed away; the pink rose was for my little girl. When the book came the cover design captured the day I said goodbye to her; holding the book in my hands felt like it was the memorial that I was never able to give her. Lord, help me face this day with joy in my heart and take this torment from me.