Most nights, my husband gets our 15-month-old changed into jammies and ready for bed, and I rock him to sleep. Tonight though, after returning home from our Life Group, I offered to get E ready for bed. I savored every second of his routine, from brushing his teeth and trying to teach him how to spit, to the kisses he kept blowing me, to chasing him around his room while he was wearing only jeans to corral him into his nighttime cloth diaper. I reflected on the little moments today – a new friend noticing how long his strawberry-blonde eyelashes are, our twin babysitters commenting on how “good” he was upstairs while our group met downstairs, his expressive delight in their tiny puppy. Rocking him to sleep just now, I memorized the delicate pillows of his cheeks while he gently snoozed against my chest after nursing.
He is such a precious gift for me and my husband.
It is with a mix of emotions, then, when October 15 rolls around each year, and I reflect on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day, because we lost our first pregnancy before we were blessed with another. I think about our loss every day, especially when people ask, “Is he your only child?” or “Is he your first?” I still find myself at a loss to answer these innocent inquiries of strangers, not wanting to burden them with my honest answer, but not shortchanging the life we lost.
On October 15 and throughout the year, I pray for other couples who have endured this incomprehensible pain. I am blessed with a wonderful local support group who hosts a remembrance walk each year in addition to monthly meetings. This is the first year in three that we were unable to go, but I opted to use the time to go for a drizzly run in the rain, which proved just as restorative. (All week, people have been complaining about our unseasonable rain spell, but I just smile, reflecting on the glittery droplets of water and saturated autumn tones that colored my run.)
I happened upon Psalm 126:5 during a women’s Bible study on the book of Ruth, which must have been God’s way of strengthening my heart during that season in my life. And then running became His gift of restoring me physically at that time, as I became determined to quietly train for a local 5k that benefitted the families of children in our area battling cancer. The organization was inspired by one amazing young woman who lost her life to cancer – how fitting then, that at church this Sunday, this girl’s mother shared part of her story.
Peace to you today.