Inch by inch, he grew in your womb.
You nested and prepared days, weeks, months ahead.
You knew he was coming. You knew it was time.
Tiny and precious, he rested in your arms.
Your mama heart was overjoyed. This tiny bundle was yours, a gift bestowed upon you by God himself.
Time passed – minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years.
But his time to pass came far too soon.
Your baby boy was sick, his remaining days on earth, few.
Your heart filled with sorrow. The pain was consuming, overwhelming.
You pleaded with God in desperation. Take me, not him.
And why God, why?
In all that fear, in all that pain, a wave of peace miraculously surrounded your heart.
“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”
After all the pain, after all the sorrow, after all the last moments together, your baby went home. Up in the clouds he went, up a little higher.
You sat in the silence.
Your mama heart ached.
Your mama heart wept.
Your baby was gone. Your baby. was gone.
You gathered up all the pieces of your grieving mama heart, brought them to the only One who knows the true meaning of life, and asked…
How can a mama bear bare to live when her baby passed before her? How does a mama move on? Now what, God, now what?
He answers your prayers in the gentlest of ways. Take his life, mama bear, bring forth life from death. Enter in to others’ pain. Enter in to others’ joy. Speak of your son. Speak of his life. Speak. life.
That blanket of grief and pain’s been wrapped tightly around you, but you do what you’re called to do when you want your baby’s life to count for something big. You begin, oh so slowly, unraveling the threads until you find hope, until you find possibility, until you find the place where your son’s life, your son’s light, begins to shine through, again.
Because you’ve learned – that place where hope shines is holy, precious, sacred space.
So you bring forth life from death. You bring forth purpose from pain.
You honor your son’s life by sharing his story.
You honor your son’s life by letting everyone know – hope is within grasp, even in the midst of pain.
You honor the hope that sprung forth from his life by ensuring everyone understands – the purpose of your life will be revealed, even in your last days, even after your days on earth have passed.
You honor the brevity of his life by encouraging everyone to live more fully – as if this minute, this hour, this day is your last.
After a while, truth becomes impossible to deny. Your baby boy made a mark. His life wasn’t for naught. His life was short, but your prayer had been answered. Your baby’s life counted for something, something big.
Perhaps your baby was an angel, sent for such a time as this.
And slowly, little by little, you begin to believe with all your mamma bear heart, that joy comes in the morning, even in the mourning.
*This post was written for mamas whose babies have gone before them, and is in honor of Laura Sobiech, who lost her 18-year-old son, Zach, one year ago in May 2013, after a four-year battle with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. When Zach found out he only had a short time to live, his mom suggested he write letters to loved ones he’d leave behind. But instead, Zach chose to use his love of music to write a farewell song, titled “Clouds.” As a result, Zach’s story spread worldwide. His song went viral, with more than 10 million hits on YouTube. In her memoir, Fly A Little Higher, due to release tomorrow, Zach’s mom, Laura Sobiech, shares her and her family’s journey with Zach, through cancer. Laura’s hope is to build awareness, help fight cancer, and to provide hope for people facing similar battles. The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund has raised $746,917.14 to date, and “supports leading-edge research to find out why children get this rare cancer, and to discover life-saving treatments.” To read more about Zach’s story and purchase Laura’s book, visit the website www.flyalittlehigher.com. It’s a true honor and privilege to be a part of the Fly A Little Higher Blog Tour.
*This post is also part of a month-long series titled Motherhood Unraveled. To read more from this series, click here and read to the bottom where all the posts are listed and linked!