I must first begin by saying thank you again for all of your prayers during this past week’s time of trial. We are a Pro-Life people, at least in this corner of the blogosphere, and God is glorified in that.
We decided right away to name our baby Thomas. Of course we can’t know if this little one was a boy or not, and in fact we joke that one day—please, God—when we are all reunited in Heaven, there will be a cadre of children there to greet us.
An outgoing little boy will be the first to speak up. “Hello!” he’ll say. “I am ‘Baby Rose!’”
He is holding hands with a beaming, brown-eyed little girl. “And I am ‘Baby Francis!’”
Next in the line-up is a shy little boy. “I am ‘Baby Lucy,’ he smiles. “Hello, everybody!”
By this time I’m beet-red, of course. “I’m so sorry,” I stammer. “I didn’t know!”
“That’s okay!” the children chorus. “No hard feelings in Heaven!”
Joking keeps us grounded, as you may have guessed by now. Joking helps us cope.
On Monday, after we received the bad news via ultrasound, my husband left work early. He picked up an ice cream cake and we celebrated this little life—longed for, prayed for, and cut short by a plan we do not yet understand. Four miscarriages in a row? This does not make sense to us, but we know better than to second-guess the wisdom of our God. (But just between you and me, sometimes…late at night…I do question Him. Like a child, I ask Him “Why?” I haven’t gotten my answer yet, but I know—one day—I will.)
Our faith is put to the greatest of tests when suffering is involved. The temptation is to think that God mustn’t love us to have sent us this or that burden: a child’s death, a mother’s cancer, an accident that seemed that so senseless.
We try to have the faith of Abraham, or (as hard as this would be) of Mother Mary at the cross.
We try, and more often than not, we fail. That’s okay. God understands our failings.
Now then. I hope that you don’t mind if I extend my gratitude to a few, sweet souls by name:
First, to Padre Steve of Da Mihi Animas, who offered a Mass for our family though we have never even met. That is so cool! Thank you for your kindness, Father. Please be assured that you are in our prayers.
Second, to Monica, who sent me a series of helpful links and who herself has lost four babies. Thanks be to God—she has four beautiful girls at home and is expecting number five! Please keep them in your prayers.
Here are some of the links that Monica shared:
- Monica told me about The Church of the Holy Innocents in New York. They will record your baby’s name in their book of life and pray for your baby. They will also email you a Certificate of Life.
- Monica also sent me a link to The Elizabeth Ministry. I have written about them before. This group is a wonderful resource for a family who has lost a child. Their website offers many items that make one’s miscarriage more bearable, including the tiniest of caskets and accompanying prayers at this time of grief.
- The last link that Monica sent me was to the memorial website of a dear friend of hers, a woman who has lost two children to miscarriage. Sherry makes Certificates of Life for families after a loss. “We put the parents’ first & last names, baby’s first & last name & a month & year for the loss (or a specific date if known),” Sherry told me. “I would love to send you these for all four of your babies in Heaven, only if you would like me to.” What a beautiful apostolate! Thank you, Sherry!
Sweet Jane of Building the Ark wrote to tell me that her parish is having its annual Memorial Mass of Angels. I sent her the names of our children, (see above), and they will now be remembered in this very special Mass.
Finally, I would like to thank in a special way (and pray that I don’t embarrass them) my friends-of-the-heart, Jamie and Karen. Jamie recently sent me a box of Caribou coffee (How did she know? Who am I kidding?) with the beautiful inscription: “This won’t take away the pain, but please know you are thought of daily! May God pour His graces upon you!”
She is wrong in a way. Her gesture does take away part of the pain, because it is in reaching out to our friends who are struggling that we become their Simon. We walk alongside them when their path has gotten rocky; we are with them to the end.
Karen’s family sent us roses—“a lasting keepsake,” Karen wrote, “of this short but eternally precious life.” Karen has such a beautiful way with words, as I’m sure many of you know. She, too, has carried the cross of miscarriage, four times over like myself, and she understands this struggle.
Again, thank you, you two, for these boxes on my stoop. They made my day and bolstered my heart, and I thank God for your kindness.
I do hope that none of the above people mind being thanked by name. There are many, many more of you who have written and/or phoned to say that you’re praying, and I am certain that these prayers are seeing us through. Thank you…thank you…thank you.
May we continue to be each other’s Simon…in times of need, and in times of pain.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,