On the morning I knew, there wasn’t much time to stop and think too hard about what it meant. We were supposed to meet friends bright and early (earlier than any of us liked) earlier than was really reasonable for this mama who loves a slow morning. The whole world was still quiet and dark, hinting at rain, so I let the big girls sleep, and I sat with the thought of you.
Time dripped past too quickly. I’d decided to miss our friends, and go alone to the field instead, just us three. The girls were up and they threw on whatever they could find. Walking towards the door the sky broke loose. We waited another half an hour, talking and eating sourdough bread, prepping the loaves to bake later.
In the car we looked for good music, still waiting on the rain to quit. Mama found a 90’s station, and the girls laughed as I sang my heart out to TLC and “I’ll Be.” The organic blueberry field is six minutes from our house, and it feels like not another soul knows about it. The only company we had were a handful of stray cats which kept my youngest busy while she picked (and then ate) all eight of her berries.
Sadie and I worked hard to fill the freezer for winter, to have lots of extra for making blueberry butter to can with friends later – our very first time canning! It was hot and muggy and misty. We were dressed in boots and long pants and began shedding layers as the sun rose higher. When they whined about the heat or the quiet we sang songs to keep our minds as busy as our hands. I took pictures of the blueberries and the after-storm clouds in the sky, of my growing girls working alongside me, and I thought of you.
You see, I had waited, prayed, hoped, cried out to heaven for you. I’d imagined you. And maybe, here you were? The line was so faint I couldn’t tell if I was imagining it. But the next day it would be crystal clear. You were coming. And baby, we were so ready.
A good friend of mine said that the thing about being pregnant is that every single day is a huge investment. There’s a person on it’s way, and it doesn’t matter that it’s a year from now, because you know that they’re coming. You changed the entire landscape of my days, and it happened fast.
And then there was a morning when I knew that you weren’t. I wasn’t ready for it. How can you be ready for the end of a life that’s just beginning?
A deep quiet pain filled that tiny seed-sized hole. You were so incredibly small. We didn’t even know your name. I never felt you move. So how can it hurt this much to say goodbye? It’s the memories we already had of you – the blueberry fields, telling your big sisters, the icecream and sharing of our joy – there’s that loss. And then there’s the loss of who you could have been to us. Sadie said, “I’ll never know what kind of games we would have played.” How would you have felt about your sisters? What would you have liked to eat? Silly things maybe, but things that make up a life together. I hadn’t known how much life we had to offer you. How beautiful it was to be one of ours. And now I do. Now I know what a gift these sisters are. How clever and kind and honest- an articulate emotional masterpiece your biggest sister is. And that little one is so gentle and motherly, ready to keep you safe and kiss your toes and read you stories. You would have had a great time, Little Pea. You would have really liked it here with us.
I’m still sort of shocked by the depth of this pain, and I want to put it on paper. That’s why I’m here writing it all down where everyone can see it. Because how is it that you can love a speck in your stomach so deeply? And if I loved it so deeply, if my children and husband loved it so deeply, what must the Creator feel for each one of these tiny little lives – the wanted and the unwanted alike?
If we, being good mothers and fathers would wish only good for our children, how magnificently otherwordly His love must be toward each and every one of us. He knows the names we don’t know, the stories that won’t be. He knows the pain I feel, and even knowing it – He handed us His Baby, His Jesus. Who is this One real, living, breathing, speaking God? How does love get that big?
Oh, how it must hurt to love the world.
But He looks down on all of this- the stinking broken mess we’ve made and He says “Worth it.” I want each one. I’ll take the impossible pain to make it possible for them to have life. I said last night that if I knew I would have to walk through this again, I don’t think I would willingly choose to do it. That I would rather not get pregnant at all than lose the baby. But I don’t think I mean it. It’s the potential for relationship that makes it worthwhile to try. And it’s that very potential for relationship that drove the Creator to craft creatures out of nothing, not machines with no options, but real flesh and blood returners-of-love. He made us knowing full well that we’d spit in His face, knowing that He would have to die to make us whole. Love died to get to me. And He would do it again in a heartbeat.
No, love is not a waste of time. It is really the only way to un-waste the time we’ve been given. Love Himself is the gift and the treasure and the point of it all.
You see Him now, Little Pea, but even though I do not see Him, I love Him too. And one day soon our Abba will right every single wrong.
And you and I baby- we will get our together.