Mama, didn’t you lose a baby once?
The question caught me off guard. Somehow, it sounded funny dropping there into summer air from my eleven year old’s lips. “Losing” a baby. It feels like an accurate description, if losing means being so close to what you wanted, holding a child gently inside of you until he slips away while you lie under coarse emergency room blankets and cold fluorescent lights. If it means your idea of the person he would become, running through your fingers like sand. One minute a possibility, the next a sad impracticality.
I answered her with a smile. I turned to look at her and her little brother and little sister.
Yes, I have three babies who live in Heaven. That means one day, when you get there, you’ll have three more brothers and sisters to meet!
They were fascinated by the idea. What will they look like? Are they boys or girls? What will their names be?
All questions that I don’t have answers to.
I don’t think about them every day. I don’t even think about them every week. It feels sad to me sometimes, the fact that I have moved on with Adelade, Sawyer, and Emerald, busy life, wonderful life, and I don’t stop to think about the babies that disappeared almost before they had even started. I don’t keep track of the dates when I knew they were gone. I don’t try to imagine how they would be at this age or that age. They almost feel like a short, sweet dream.
A few weeks ago, I sat in a large room filled with women, and Mandisa was on stage, being honest about struggles that she has had. She turned to one of her singers and asked her to talk about her miscarriage. As she told a little bit of her story, I could almost feel the collective empathy and understanding radiating from the women in the room. Then she sang a prayer to the One who gives and takes away: Lord, you know a mama’s pain…
And, all around the room, it was like a dam had broken, and so much sadness and grief and heartache poured out. But, something else, too. Acceptance. Faith. Hope.
In this room filled with God’s own daughters, the Holy Spirit was everywhere, bringing comfort. Gifting faith. Granting reassurance and peace.
I sat there with tears streaming down, a hand on the weeping friends that sat on either side of me, and I thanked God for the hope that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hope of eternal life. The hope of better things to come. The hope of a future where death doesn’t exist anymore.
I thought of my three absent babies. And, I was overwhelmed by the goodness of a God who made a way for me to meet them one day. The gospel is extra sweet for grieving mothers. Heaven holds our Savior and our babies, and many a great mystery will be revealed on that beautiful day.
I wonder what God named my kids?
One day I’ll know. Three babies slipped through my fingers here on earth, but they aren’t lost. Not even close.
Every once in awhile, Adelade, Sawyer, or Emerald will talk about my babies in Heaven. They watch my face, wondering, maybe, how I feel about it all. I shed many tears in past days. I grieved. I moved into a wild and busy life with my kids. And now when I’m reminded of those three little souls that touched this earth only by making an imprint on my mama’s heart, it gives me an even greater hope in the future that God promised. He gives, and He takes away, and He gives and He gives and He gives. Forever. What a Savior.