As you celebrate your mothers and your children today, take a second to think of those that will have a difficult day. Those that have lost mothers. Those that have lost children. I wrote this last year for my Thankful in November project. And I wanted to share it with you today. And tell you that it does get easier.
And now, she would be three and a half.
About once a week, my work duties take me to a little town outside of Lexington. I’ve been there weekly for several months, but I noticed something for the first time last week.
On my way home, a church sits at the top of a little hill. I don’t know what kind of church it is because my attention doesn’t go past the little memorial in the grass between the street and the parking lot.
In the front yard of the church sits a little headstone. It is angled a little weird and looks out of place in the front yard of a church, all by itself. It is a typical headstone – short and wide with the inscription in a traditional all-caps font.
Just a headstone in the front yard of a church, where people would park right by it and walk around it to get inside the front doors.
In memory of the child who might have been. Pray for the unborn.
I have yet to stop at this little tombstone. I meant to take a picture today, but I don’t know that I want to stop. I do know that I appreciate the gesture. I appreciate that there is a headstone in memory of my child that might have been.
The immediate aftermath of the miscarriage is days – months if I’m honest – that I don’t want to reflect on. I don’t know that I have the strength today to even go back there. But as time passes, the more my feelings have changed from sorrow to curiosity.
I am convinced that the baby was a she, and I am also completely certain that we would have named her Claire (although I have never spoken that aloud and it wasn’t a name that had even crossed my mind at the time). She would have been three next month. Would she have had red hair? Would she call me Mommy or Mama? What would Nathan’s pet name for her be? Would we have convinced one of our mothers to be called Gangy? What kind of trouble would she get into with our niece? What would her favorite book be? Would she be a picky eater?
The epitaph also reminds me to pray for the unborn.
I remember frantic prayers. Thank you for entrusting me. Please let me keep her. Thank you for giving her to us. Please let me keep her.
And then more frantic prayers.
Thank you for being there to receive her. Please take care of us. Thank you for holding my child now that I am not. Please take care of me.
My baby went straight from the warm, cozy home I was building her into the arms of my Savior and into the company of my grandfathers. Papaw Carr is making her wooden toys and telling her about what I was like as a child. Papaw Brewer is playing the guitar and telling her about me and her dad and how we celebrated and sang to him as he died.
My baby never knew pain. She was never cold. She was never hungry. She was never teased or bullied or felt less than. She was never sad or scared or hurt.
All she has ever known – all she will ever know – is love. She was loved fiercely while I carried her and now she is wrapped in a love that I can’t fully understand.
And there are no words for the peace that brings me.
So, do I pray for her? Yes. Often. But, honestly? It is a prayer of thanksgiving.