The doctor’s eyes filled with empathy tears as he handed me the Kleenex box. “You know,” he said, “no one – not even the medical community – knows how to explain miscarriage. No one truly understands what happens to the woman or how she feels.
“For whatever reason, God chooses to take these babies early.”
After my second baby died, they decided to run tests. The results also provided no answers, no reasons why those little babes slithered out of my womb.
Each of them lived only 60 days. 12 weeks – enough time for me to fall in love with them and desperately long to hold them.
Ryan was born and died on November 3, 1981. He was the promised child, after six years of infertility – the baby who would finally fill the nursery with his whimpers and his tiny smile. I have wondered many times what kind of man he would be now, at the age of 32.
Only God knows, and God chooses to keep that secret from me – for now.
My daughter, Rachel, was born and died on January 6, 1983. She was the child who was expected to survive and grow to someday be my friend. She was the daughter of tea parties and coloring outside the lines and making chocolate chip cookies and shopping for just the right shoes. I wanted to help her fasten her wedding gown.
Someday, I will see her in a heavenly gown – both of us in our robes of white.
Every year in October, I celebrate the brief lives of my first two babies. I remember them this month because the chrysanthemums bloom.
Someone gave me a beautiful mum when Ryan died – red mums with orange centers and yellow tips. Someone else gave me a mum when Rachel died – deep, dark purple.
Both of those plants died, just like my children. Living and vibrant one moment. Cold and gone the next.
So every year, I find a beautiful mum and plant it in my yard. In the spring, when the first green leaves appear, I cut it back to protect it during the summer heat and encourage more growth. Then in October, it begins to bloom.
As I water my mums, I think about my children and thank God they are safe in heaven. I will never have to worry about their health or wonder if they are okay. I picture them happy and free – waiting for me to get there so we can finally meet in person.
The season of the mums helps me to find hope within these unraveling memories. It reminds me that no matter what happens to our children, mother love continues.
Even when our children leave us – through death or distance – our hearts are forever connected.
And somehow, whether it’s a journal entry, a faded sonogram photo or a beautiful mum – we keep the memories of our children alive.
We honor them and bow to the omniscience of Almighty God who knows best. He keeps the timelines for each of us and of course – he is the one who offers final hope.
So on this first day of October, I celebrate you, Ryan and Rachel. Your momma misses you, but I know you’re okay.
Someday we’ll meet and wow – won’t that be fine!
©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1
What a testimony, RJ. Such loss could make a woman bitter, but you have chosen to love instead and to spread your faith in God. Thank you.
I appreciate your comment, Kathy. It is only by God’s grace that we can change from bitter to better.
RJ, How well I can relate to your feelings! You expressed your sentiments so well. I think it’s beautiful that you plant those mums. I planted some flowers, too, and guess what? They never bloomed until the anniversary of my baby’s death! A true story! (I also released some doves, but they had their wings clipped as I bought them from the bird seller) and since I had several feral cats in my yard that I fed, I had to scoop them up quickly for their safety, raise them until their wings grew back and finally set them free a month later. Thank you for sharing this story to encourage others.
What a wonderful story, Amy, of how you cared for the doves and then released them. I’m so glad you had that moment of joy!
When we lost Shawn in 1986 a friend gave us a gardenia plant which still lives with us today, 27 years later. Each bloom is a gift of beauty and a bittersweet reminder of our three children living with God. When our infertility book, “Infertility’s Anguish,” was released in 2003 we almost lost this plant due to heat stress from a summer outdoors. But today, it is strong and healthy and blooming regularly. I believe these cherished living remembrances keep us from bitterness as they show us a living God, one who cares and heals.
Thank you for another confirmation, Jan, of how God sends his reminders that we are dearly loved. I’m so glad your gardenia lives on as a cherished reminder.
Rebecca, I did not know that you had struggled with infertility and miscarriage. I have not, and cannot even imagine that sort of loss. It blesses my heart to know that you are at peace, trusting the Lord to care for your children, and looking forward to meeting them in glory.
Thanks, Carie. We have such a hope, don’t we? For victory beyond this life and joy in the eternal future.
You write so beautifully! I want to also report to you that I’ve gotten a job! I am a counselor with Midwest ADP in Raymore Missouri. This ended 28 ,months without full time work! Praise to the Lord I say!!! 😉
Congratulations on your new job, Teresa! How wonderful! And thanks for the encouragement about my writing.
Beautiful post. I look forward to meeting Ryan and Rachel someday. So thankful for the hope of eternity.
Me, too. That hope springs eternal and keeps us going day by day.