Some of us are just getting over the Christmas rush. I find that there is so much rushing around that we miss what’s going on in the moment. We spend so much of December focusing on the 25th that everything around it becomes a blur. We end up letting our lists control our days and nights.
It reminds me of the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder where Emily, age 12, gets to come back to earth for one day. Nobody can hear or see her but she just watches her family and all her friends rush thru their daily routines. As her day ends she asks one question:
“Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”
What Emily asks really hits me hard.
I think about Ryan and I sometimes hear him asking me the same question, “Do you ever slow down, Mom, enough to see what’s going on?”
We all want to live in the present but nobody really does it. Every month dozens of books about “Living in the Present” fly out of cyberspace and into mailboxes around the world. It’s an every-year resolution for many of us.
We are less than a week away from 2019. Another opportunity to begin again. The slate is not exactly clean because what we went through this past year really happened. But we have the chance to turn the page and begin a new chapter…and right there is the clean slate we’re all looking for!
The New Year is already there in your heart. It is in your hands.
Take a look at these hands. They could be the hands of your mother. Hands that carried you, changed you and nurtured you. These are hands that have been lovingly lived in. If you look carefully at them, they look like a MAP. With veins like highways and age spots like Scars collected along the way. Hands that have been somewhere and I don’t mean on vacation.
Don’t be taken in by that silly commercial.
The one where a mom and daughter are holding out their hands while the “hypster” asks us if we can tell which is the mother and which is the daughter.
And their point is you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
I say that if you’ve completely invested yourself in the life of your family, your hands will tell the truth about you. If you’re a mother, your hands will tell a hundred or more stories.
They get cut and bruised. Scarred. The idea that a mother’s hands should look as young as a daughter’s hands is crazy-sad. In the name of beauty, we try to erase the wear and tear of a person’s body as they grow older. I get that.
But when I look at my hands, I see the evidence of the sacrifices I’ve made, and my Scars are somehow transformed into Badges of Love.
(Four years later) What is staring me in the face is that the ‘live birth rate’ for a 42-year-old is 6.6%. Looks like I’m gonna have to call in some Chips.
My Doc’s goal was to get 3 good eggs from me, to implant them, and if I happen to get pregnant with any of these 3 implanted eggs, my chances of a live-birth are still very slim.
I need a miracle here.
Do you remember Sully who landed the plane safely in the Hudson River? I need that kind of miracle. ”Calling Dr. Sully!”
I shocked myself and the doctor by breaking the record with 32 viable eggs. After the 5-day ‘culturing of the egg,’ we had (drum roll) 15 Class-A eggs! The Doc was conservative and only transferred 4 and ”ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom” . . .
And then, Trenton was born!
Another miracle two years later, when my 4th son, Colton, was born! My Colton survived three other embryos and was born healthy at 9 lbs too. Colton had a 4% chance of being born because I was 45. Obviously, miracles are not about statistics except for us. Bring on the stats!
And so there you have it–our Petri babies, Trenton and Colton, two more miraculous gifts. They owe their lives to Ryan.
When we were ready for another child, at 38, we visited a specialist. This time my clock was ticking really loud so we felt we had little time. So we started an aggressive IVF(InVitro Fertilization) treatment.
This proved to be a crazy adventure: with enough eggs for 3 Easter bunnies, a fearful doctor, and a bank account drying up to the tune of $20,000. When we stopped thinking about getting pregnant, we actually got pregnant.
I didn’t know if I was heading for Labor & Delivery or Geriatrics.
Tyler was a healthy, heavy(10 pounds) baby and was welcomed into our family by his big brother, Ryan. And now, at 39, we had it all.
Then Ryan died and we didn’t “have it all” anymore.
Tyler didn’t have the brother or sister that we wanted for him. So, we “came out of retirement” to give Tyler a sibling.
And though we’d made up our mind so quickly, it was neither quick nor easy. So many emotions, not the least of which was fear. That’s when I remembered that “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”(1 John 4:18)
I’ll go out on a limb here and bring up the subject of infertility. It’s such a private issue for those couples desperate to conceive their own child and it is seldom discussed in public. But it impacts more people than you can count and runs the gamut from A – C:
A- ‘No hope’
B- ‘Slim chance’
It can really mess with your head.
For some couples, it can lead to pain, heartache, and spending more cash than you ever imagined. It breaks individuals, it breaks relationships and it breaks the bank.
Not to mention how unsexy it is?
Those of you who have experienced infertility know exactly what I’m talking about. You learned it the hard way.
So when Ron and I wanted to start a family, it wasn’t quick and easy. When we didn’t conceive after a year of trying, we were baffled.
How could this be? We both worked out daily, we ate healthily and were not overweight, and, unlike some unsuspecting high school girls, we WANTED to get pregnant.
Which is strange in itself because for most of my life, I did not want kids. Maybe my body was getting back at me for saying that.
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me there’s a ‘Reason’ for Ryan dying, I’d be rich. As if it was all part of the Plan.
At first, it brought me comfort, because that meant that nothing was my fault.
It’s all ‘on God.’
But the older I get and the deeper I understand God, I realize that there is not a ‘Reason’ behind everything happening. Some things are just plain wrong and that’s all there is to it. Like the Holocaust. There is no good ‘Reason’ behind it. It’s insane is what it is! It is pure wickedness and you can’t clean it up by coming up with a ‘Reason.’
It’s the same with Ryan.
I’m not denying that good things haven’t come from his dying. His 2 brothers, Trenton and Colton, wouldn’t be here if Ryan had lived.
But that ’s not enough to convince me that Ryan needed to be ‘gotten out of the way’ for our future to continue.
Be careful when you say that ‘God engineers everything that happens.’ Because, if we know anything about God, it’s that “God is Love.”
Ryan would be 24 this year. That’s a lot of candles! Notice Ryan playing with his dinosaurs in the tub? If he were here today, I know his forwarding address would be Jurassic Park.
Have you noticed that the most difficult day of the year is the birthday of someone we loved and lost? Ryan’s birthday is always the worst day of the year for me. And the question that always surfaces on Ryan’s birthday is:
How do we celebrate his life in the middle of such darkness?
What do you do on their special day? We have an icecream cake with candles, pass out presents to his brothers from him, and play videos of Ryan’s Shining.