Sunday, July 15, 2018

Traveling Through Time in a Day

 For time is told also by life. As some depart, others come. The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome.  And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present. Time then is told by love's losses, and by the coming of love, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost. The great question . . . is not if we have loved enough, but if (we) have been grateful for love received and given. 
                                                    --Wendell Berry 

Thinking of Matthias today....

Today was one of those days when the past, present, and future run together like a flowing river. I had an infant son die who would have been 15 today. I imagine him as a blonde-haired sweaty soccer player who is tender and streaked with independence--a boy who now would be trying to navigate his life. Although I held him for a short time in his brief life as I stroked his golden hair, he has had a significant impact on our family. Life became more precious because we learned that breath is taken away when we cannot predict it will stay with us. A brush of passing time can change us forever.

People speak of angels holding them in trials. The Celtics believed there are "thin places."A blog on: "Thin Places --meaning a small, almost imperceivable space between heaven and earth. Thin places can be in hospital rooms, a sacred space, anywhere. The angels came for me on that day. That is all I can say. The sun continued to shine. I remember my sister saying to me, "How can you be so happy after Matthias died?" For some reason, I was given joy and I took it--with surprising gratitude.

A life that did not breathe long gave blessings, wishes, intentions. His handprints are still there to remind us that others too have invisible losses and perhaps even wounds. Since my husband is a perinatologist (taking care of high-risk births), he has been able to console others in a hospital room when their gift unexpectedly did not stay. He can speak with authentic reality for he has known their pain. I have had hallowed conversations with both strangers and friends. Matthias' life has given us an opportunity to hopefully bless and bond with others--all because he lived. Who would suspect a small interlude of life could offer so many new understandings?

I do not seek hard times and I cringe and wince when others have to face their own. Yet, I know that I (we) are stronger when we allow the blows to cause us to move farther down the river. If, instead, we choose not to get stuck, but to keep going, moving. The answer is to not be engulfed in the flurries and eddies that would push us down but to hope. 

Today I am grateful for a little babe whose influence I feel often. Although he lingered for a few hours, he has been a gift that has kept giving to many people. Someday when I meet him again I hope he will be pleased: that I not only loved him but I was tremendously grateful he ever came. Every speck of time encountered with another life is infinitely beautiful. Ultimately, the thing that really matters is what we became with the gift that was so freely offered. 

A picture a friend gave me. It has reminded me that trials make us grow. And that is the big purpose anyways.