So my girls. Are so often so perfectly precious.
And they love babies. If you have a baby, and they touch it, I’m sorry. Sorta. I’ll stop them if they’re sick. But thankfully they are also so often perfectly well. So I don’t stop them. They know the “only touch the baby’s head or toes” rule, but sometimes they forget. Thankfully, most mamas, especially here in the city, are pretty open to such affection. They ooooo! and aaaaaahhh! with the most girlified voices you’ve ever heard. And usually one of them will say something like,
“We had a baby brother, but he’s in Heaven now. You’re baby is so cute though.”
I always cringe. Over to the side like I usually am. I leave all the touching to the girls. I cringe – not because they’re talking about Kyle, but because I feel bad for the poor mama who was just told that as nonchalantly as they might have been told “your baby has ten toes!”.
Almost always, the mama stares in unbelief. Sometimes she’ll say something to the girls – understandably stuttering to find the right words. Every reaction like that I appreciate and hold dear. Those mamas let themselves into the hurt for such a brief moment and imagine what they’re holding suddenly not being there.
This is when, if the mama hasn’t walked away yet, I jump in with an age guess. And somehow I have this keen awareness of a child’s age – I haven’t been wrong on a single guess since Kyle. Down to the months. I could probably make a pile of cash if there were such “guess-your-age” booths for children at a carnival. It’s because I’m always, whether I realize it or not, guessing children’s ages. Lining them up to where Kyle would be…desperately trying to picture him now and what he looks like in Heaven.
But that’s just normal I think for a mama with a baby there and not here.
I was asked to attend and play the piano for a funeral – by a friend who knew a friend who knew an elderly marathon runner man who died a week ago. I was happy to do it. Funerals are oddly comforting to me – all that talk about Heaven.
After the funeral, a lady came into a little side room to feed her baby. My girls had their normal gushy reaction. I asked, “So, is he two months old?”
She answered, “Yes! He just turned 2 months last week.”
One of the girls said, “We have a baby brother too. He almost lived but now he’s in Heaven.”
Then, without skipping a beat, the woman said, “Yeah. That happens.”
There are so many things that have been said to me regarding our little Kyle’s birth, my choice to make it such a public story, my choices in his birth plan….most of them I don’t mind really. People don’t understand such things unless they’ve been there. I know I certainly didn’t. I’ve said enough stupid things in my lifetime – I can’t hold such words against anyone else, truly. Life is too short.
But you know, this comment just really rubbed me the wrong way.
No. It doesn’t *just happen*. I thought, screaming in my own head.
And the anger and hurt and longing for what we’ve lost felt so real all over again like it did almost two years ago.
I felt like I was sinking again.
The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. And the Lord said, ‘I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky, I am sorry I ever made them.’ But Noah found favor with the Lord.
~ Genesis 6:5-8
His heart was broken.
God’s heart breaks. Breaks in two – to let us into the ark of His love.” ~Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
When I remember that hurt – that God hurts with me. Every time I hurt. Just like my heart hurts when my girls’ heart do, I know I’m not alone. And another day can happen. Being blessed by God doesn’t mean that hurt and pain and loss disappears. It means that you aren’t going through that flood alone. And that there is Someone beside you each step you have to take.