Dec 16, 2007

An empty place

It's funny, living in a ward as a married woman. It seems like after marriage, there is so much more that you have in common with the women around you. All the sudden rituals and repercussions that follow a marraige; for instance, writing of thank-you-notes, the stressful business of moving into a new place and setting up housekeeping. There's the newly married stage that all go through, where you might or might not be supporting yourself and a spouse during school. And there's babies: pregnancy, showers, birth, blessings. You're fussy and nervous when your first one comes. You devote all your energy during that first nine months to reading every pregnancy book you can get your hands on. You spend all of your day playing, looking at, and caring for her. And then the next one comes. And the next.

It's a sudden bond between you and other women who've been through the same thing.

There's this woman in my ward. SHe had her first baby about a year ago, a little girl. I, just like every other mother in the ward, commiserated with her once or twice about pregnancy, and admired the cute hair bows and little dresses she put on her baby. Those chubby little cheeks, the little round fuzzy head, I can see it now. The blessing, with the baby swaddled in a trailing white gown.

Her baby died last Thursday.

There's something about that that is incomprehensible to me, and completely, tearingly comprehendable as well. We try not to worry, as mothers. We do our best to do all that we can, and pray that God makes up for the rest; keeps them safe from all that we can't keep them from. The fear of losing a child is a red light at the back of each of our minds, and we pay as little heed to it as possible, because such things can drive you mad, make you into a fearful, controlling person.

But it happens.

I can't imagine not having Loli. Not having Jaws streaking around the living room, holding up her baba and asking for more "nohk." (milk.) Having her get up from her little toddle bed at 6:30 and push my door open and start chattering cheerfully about how she wants to get up, how she slept, how she wants breakfast (I can only understand one or two words of course).

My heart is full today, as I think of the mother who has lost her child. Who will be burying her on Monday. Who will have nothing but pictures left, until in fifty or so years it's her time to join her little child. The baby suffered terribly from an rare intestinal infection that was going around here this summer. They couldn't diagnose it at first. By the time they did, her little body was already dying. She was hospitalized and on various forms of support for a month. She's in a better place now, but there's a gaping, raw wound, there, for the family... an obvious empty place in their home.

Please, say a prayer for this woman and her husband. Keep her in your thoughts today. Pray for any comfort and peace that they might be given. I'll be praying with you.


Sherpa said...

Both of my grandmother's lost their youngest as children so this is near and dear to our family's heart. My heart goes out to this mother.

maren said...

That is so sad. We had a similar tragedy in our ward last week. Only it was sudden and not a drawn out illness. The baby was only 6 weeks weeks old. It was SIDS.

I see that I've been tagged. I'll post that soon, if I can.


MarlaJayne said...

As a mother and grandmother, this story really pierced my heart when I read it. I think it caught me off guard.I was reading along thinking about how most women realize as they "mature" that there are bonds between all of us and that we have much more in common than we know...then suddenly I read that the precious child died.

My daughter had a stillborn baby boy at seven months, and he would have been 6 years old on Dec. 8th. What helps my daughter is the sure knowledge that she will be reunited with him someday and that he is still part of their family.

Lucy Stern said...

Oh, this is really sad....Mothers were not meant to outlive their children, but it does happen. I hope she makes it thru this with knowledge that her Heavenly Father loves her and her baby.

We went to a funeral last week for a young 23 yr old man, whose parents are in our ward. He was a vibrant boy with much to live for but her was manic depressant and would have huge mood swings. The last mood swing he did not come out of and he took his own life up in Provo at school. He was a return missionary, he was an eagle scout, he was the captain of his drum line in his high school band. He was a wiz at math and he had a wonderful spirit. I felt soooo bad for his parents and family. I guess what I am trying to say is that any death is sad, a baby, a teen, a young man or an older person...I'll be praying.