Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Maternal Reflections

It is the throes of remembrance. Sunday was Mothers’ Day, perhaps that’s the reason. The young woman, girl actually, holding her newborn daughter, unwrapping the blanket to count fingers and toes, to hold this newly birthed child to her breast, to smell the newness of life. To be so filled with love that she thinks her heart will explode from the sheer magnitude of it.

I held this child, this baby girl to my breast and my breasts began to weep. My breasts wept the love of sustenance. I could not hear her crying or cooing without my breasts weeping, weeping for the closeness of contact, skin to skin. It was a bonding ritual of continuing life, of sacrificial giving.

This happens again and again and again and as many times as we give birth or welcome a child into our hearts and home through adoption. Can you cut a heartstring the way you can sever an umbilical cord?

Heart strings are forged through love, through pain, through sacrifice. Like the strings of a violin, they play a familial melody, often in the haunting strain of a minor chord that pierces our heart and even our soul.

There is nothing like a newborn child to impress upon your mind, your heart how very insignificant you are. How you will stop at nothing, absolutely nothing to ensure this child’s well being, even unto the point of death.

The sheer act of mothering can teach us much about the Father’s sacrificial gift of love. Which of us has not seen our child hurt or ill and wished we could take away all the hurt, the pain and the heartache? To bare it ourselves, even gladly so this child, our child would remain unscathed. So they might live a full and productive life.

The truth is… the truth is there is much pain that goes into parenting. As a parent we do the best that we can with the resources we have at hand. Some days it is two steps forward and three steps back.

Sometimes a family unit is fractured, broken beyond repair and husband and wife go their separate ways leaving a child or children in the wake of irreconcilable differences. I can attest to being a single parent and raising a child alone. I know the fear, the insecurity, the loss of financial security and the fear of second guessing of each and every decision. I have felt the fear of living from paycheck to paycheck, the fear of job loss or serious illness. Yes, I know the fear, the fears that surround single parenting.

I know the love and the pride that comes from seeing your child succeed. And then I know the opportunities to learn from failure. Yes, the child’s failures and more so the parent’s failures and the myriad of learning opportunities.

I have two children. The firstborn – my daughter (from my first marriage) and almost ten years later our son. It was like having two separate families. After we were married, my husband asked my daughter if she wanted to have the same last name as we had and be adopted. She agreed.

Families are a combination of pain and joy. With my current medical status, I am grateful to have my family to share this with. We can cry together, we can rejoice together and we can encourage one another.

Thirteen lymph nodes were removed and examined. All thirteen were free and clear of any sign of cancer cells. For that I am grateful. Still, it was recommended that I see an oncologist who specializes in lung cancer.

I met with her on May 6th. We discussed the options. Due to the size of the tumor (approximately 1 inch) I will be having four rounds of preventative chemotherapy. Once every three weeks. All this has been set up and will begin on May 26th.

In the meantime, I had two emergency department visits on the 7th and the 8th. I knew the backache. I knew it well. It is another kidney stone. The pain was unbearable. I had to return the second time for more (stronger) pain relief. I had only two hours of sleep from the evening of the 6th, through the early morning hours of the 8th. I will be seeing the urologist on the 21st. There is a very real chance I can “pass” the kidney stone. That is what I am praying for, as I don’t wish for anything to interfere with the chemotherapy.

James 5:14 The Voice
Are any sick? They should call the elders of your church and ask them to pray. They will gather around and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.