Saturday, December 29, 2018

Both Now and Forevermore

I was sitting on the sofa, empty house, new cookbook in hand, reading about anchovy bread when it came on. The jazz piano song, In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington and Coltrane. And suddenly I was back, almost a year ago, in this same room holding you. My head back on the sofa to try and rest while you did, your 8 pound body curled up in a onesie, whole self fitting snugly against my chest. I remember looking in wonder at your smooshed face, the little forehead wrinkles and crinkly eyes. The creamy caramel skin, the black black hair all over your head. I couldn't see myself in you but I just knew that we were meant to be together.

For six weeks of maternity leave we were together, every morning and every night. We sat on the sofa when it rained and listened to it beat against the windows, a sweet lullaby just for us. We went for walks, all bundled up, and you watched the world go by for the very first time. I got up and fed you when you cried at night, rocking you in the chair in the nursery as you gently fell back asleep each time.

I held you in the hospital at just 5 weeks old, when tubes were coming from your nose and you weren't allowed to eat, and I would dip your pacy in the sweetie sugar water mixture and give it to you, temporary comfort. And when you were too uncomfortable to sleep, I moved the machines closer to the little couch and you slept on my chest, cords running this way and that way, and I rubbed your little back.

And every morning of the six weeks of leave with you, I would play rainy day jazz station and the first song was always in a Sentimental Mood. The melody is rhythmic at first...slow to pick up speed, as though the piano is lingering, then picking up with the horn's long, stronger melody. And thats how it was with us, slowly but surely I fell in love with you. At first I couldn't see myself in you and then that's all I could see, my heart wrapped up all around you walking around outside my body. And they told us your case won't last a year, that they hoped you would be with us for a long time and I walked out of the hospital the day we picked you up with that thought ringing in my ears.

And yet, it's not been the case so far. We don't know how much longer we'll have you. The people who do see themselves in you, want you, as they should. And I dropped you off today, all 11 months old and 25 pounds of you, with your black curly hair and your caramel skin and your three little teeth and you looked back at me from his arms, as though to say, Where are you going? And I left you.

And so I'm sitting here, listening to our song, and trying not to think about what you might be doing right now, knowing in several hours, I'll drive back to the meeting place and pick you back up. But what haunts me is wondering if there will ever be a day that I drop you off and don't go back and get you.

Will there be a day that you watch me leave and never see me again? And it makes tears stream down my face and the air catch with a gasp in my throat, and no no no. It can't happen.

But it might.

And a well-meaning friend once said to me, but even if so, He is still good. And it rankles my soul because I'm fighting to believe that, to speak it over us, to feel it and put it right there, on top of everything else I'm feeling. Because I have to hold you loosely in my fingers, even though I know, I know, I know that God will surely have to pry you from my grasp.

You fulfilled dreams I'd dreamed most of my adult life. The way you love me and run to me and want me over anyone else, at not even a year old, simply because to you I'm Mom, it just screams of the unconditional love of Christ. And watching you grow and laugh and fill our home with so much delight - its more than I dreamed of when I dreamed of having a baby.

Oh the dreams i have for you. The future I see for you. The love I want you to feel. Everything I want to protect you from. You just have no idea. And the dreams we all pray for you, the way I don't want Breanna to lose you, when she's lost so much already.

Sometimes speaking our fears takes away some of their power. So I'll leave my fears here on this page and go back to hoping. Because that's all there is, really. The hope that God will intervene, show His power and His might and turn this case around. That what we think is best for you will also be what He thinks is best. And we will continue to pray that He watches over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.

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