Remembrance of Hope

tess birthTwenty-eight years ago the flutters began to herald a new emergence into the world. My youngest daughter would be born around noon on Victoria Day, May 19. The next months of her life would be months of joy and fear as health concerns threatened, taking us in and out of the hospital, and leaving us vacillating between hope and despair as with love we did what we could to keep her with us.

Her older brother and sister, 5 and 3, felt the tension and concern in the home. Since our son had battled his own health problems at birth we shared that with him. We tried to word it in language for a five year old but the gist of it was this: He had had episodes of turning blue from struggling to breath and he had had the yellow hue of jaundice. Now he was a healthy young boy. He was okay so we would trust that she would be okay too.

We had a chance to find out his understanding when somewhere in those first few months a young girl was visiting our house. Our son was in the room talking to her as she listened to all his stories. His preschool sister played on the floor nearby.

“I was a rainbow baby,” I heard him say. “I was blue and yellow.” I choked back laughter at the innocent understanding of children.

Our little girl came running out of the room. “Mommy,” she asked, her eyes begging for the right answer, “Was I a rainbow baby too?”

Yes, I assured her. She was pink and yellow. Satisfied she went back to play.

The next months would be months when courage felt lacking and sometimes it was sheer perseverance that helped me revive my daughter one more time or sit with her in emergency or watch her fly off in the helicopter ambulance. Thankfully, there were people who surrounded P1060939our other children during the weeks when I was over 2 hours away with our youngest in the children’s hospital.

Today, we celebrated her 28th birthday. Surrounding her were family and friends, her husband and their two little ones. She is healthy and seems to have made a life that brings her joy. Yet she had the compassion to understand when I needed to leave the party early.

Tonight after the church service I attend, we prayed for one of my friends who will need strength and courage in the months ahead. On this day I remember the birth and first year of my child, I also lift my prayer for my friend and his family in the weeks and months ahead. I am thankful to have been invited to share as one of his community in the gathering around him.

In the laments within the book of Psalms there is a cry to God, a request, and the remembrance that allows us to trust and come to a place of believing praise will come. My mindful gift today is the life of my daughter, a reminder that there is hope as we celebrate the joy she is in our lives.

finding home

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6 thoughts on “Remembrance of Hope

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Yes, I have never been able to stop looking at my “babies” as rainbows each with their own colours. My little 5 year old gave me a gift of perspective that day.

      Reply
  1. simplyilka

    Thanks for sharing! What a touching story with a Happy End!
    Happy Birthday to your daughter!

    I can so relate! My daughter was born with a heart problem and I do understand the mix of hope and being sick worrying. My girl had a surgery when she was 6 months old and she will celebrate her 11th Birthday in August. I will join in with a prayer for your friend 😉

    Reply
    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Thank you for the added prayer. When we have to pray our children through with our actions as well as our words, it is hard to describe the thankfulness inside.

      Reply
  2. annepeterson

    The thankfulness wells up in us and takes over everything else. Jessica was born at 3 1/2 pounds. I nearly died having her. She is also 28 and healthy in every way. She has brought so much joy to our lives and is truly a gift. A couple of months prior to her birth my friend lost her baby. She was about the same weight as Jessie, she had the same hospital, same doctor, and even the same room. I struggled thinking Jessie would have the same fate as Erin Lynn. But God had other plans for Jess. Plans to be part of our family. My friend’s baby lived for 8 months, endured 5 major surgeries and died of crib death. Death is a mystery that we will not understand with these finite minds. But even with our limited understanding, we can be grateful. Loved your post.

    Reply

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