On November 11, 2012, my dad was having his first signs of a heart attack. It was also, of course, Veteran’s Day, a touching day for me when we remember those who lived and died defending our freedoms.
It was also the day I lost a baby.
We were (very surprisingly) expecting a new little one, and we were filled with joy. Normally, I would have been freaking out. Our youngest was only 8 months old, and not only have I never been able to get pregnant until my youngest is fully weaned, but my body generally needs a time of recovery (as does my psyche ;)) But for some reason, this time, I was at peace, and strangely glad to feel the familiar nausea, light-headedness, and already protruding belly (my body doesn’t wait to ‘show’ anymore, at this stage in the game!)
The kids were giddy. For some reason, no matter how they have to share their toys and no matter how they can argue with each other and no matter how things can seem squished in our “not 10,000 square foot home”, they always want more… siblings, that is. They even said, “Mom! Since your tummy is already so big, maybe you’re having twins! Yeah!” Clearing my throat, I said, “Ok, ok, mommy’s tummy has no tone. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And besides, we HAVE a baby still!” “But we want another one! Another one!” they all chimed, except for one son who remained quiet behind his book. He’s the logical one.
What always amazes me about our children is that even though they make so many sacrifices to be part of a big family, they still have more love to give. It seems to never run out, but instead, multiplies… endlessly…
On November 10th, something didn’t feel right. I kind of knew, but didn’t want to know. I wanted to go to church by myself that Saturday evening. I felt solitary, quiet, turned inward. I didn’t sleep that night.
The next day, I sat alone while my family was at mass. It began to snow outside. I sat clinging my knees in my easy chair in our room and stared out the window… and I wrote:
On the day I lost you
the snow began to fall.
Mercilessly, it smothered any
remaining signs of life
and yet, its beauty, white
with purity fresh
covered ugliness of death
and barren trees
so that all appeared heavenly.
You were smaller than a snowflake
but your soul endures
resting in the arms of the One
Who made you and smiled.
You rest in my heart
and I smile through tears
although we are apart
because this distance is short
and the time brief
until we meet
and dance in fields of green
where life is eternal
and death’s sting will be no more.
“Lily” by Shalimar Masters Copyright 2012
In the next few days, we will reach the 40th anniversary of the tragic decision of our Supreme Court to legalize the willful ending of a baby’s life in her mother’s womb. Millions… millions… numbers that our brains don’t even register. They are missing. I feel it… I feel the void. My little one flew to her Father’s arms in peace, as her passing was not in violence or by choice. But so many, SO MANY little ones are forced out… forced out of their mothers. Forced off the earth. Forced out of our hearts. Little ones who longed to be loved just like we all do. Little ones who would be big ones one day, with so much to offer, more than we could imagine. Millions of lives changing millions of others… until billions of us would have been affected differently, had we known these missing ones.
The earth quakes at this loss. All of nature cries out. Our souls and hearts cry out, even if we are not aware. We have been in a desert of death. And it is time for the desert to be flooded with living water. It is time for our 40 years of wandering in error to end. It is time for an era of LIFE.
I love you, tiny Lily, and I love you, all you little snowflakes and white daisies flying to meet your Creator…
I miss you.