Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not polarized

My absolute favorite doctor in the whole world had a baby in February (well, his wife had the baby, but he contributed his part).

A boy.

A son.

Last Sunday, on Father's Day, I met him.

After church (have I mentioned we attend the same church?), I made a quick escape to the bathroom to, well, escape, but instead I ran into Dr. Wonderful in the lobby. When he spotted me, he started to run towards me. I am not kidding when I tell you that the man picked me up and gave the biggest bear hug I've possibly ever gotten from someone besides my dear husband.
I still think he may have mistaken me for someone else. ;)
Anyways, he asked me what was new and we chatted for a bit. Then I spot his wife behind him, who is standing beside a tiny car seat.
Hmm....the wheels are turning and suddenly it clicks into place.

I must meet his son.

I walked over to the car seat and peeked inside. I got as close as I dared (a safe three feet away) and took in the sweet perfection of his chubby face. He was awake and kicking his little legs with fierce determination. His mommy was talking to a friend and when he heard her voice, he squeaked with as much force as he could and stared intently in her direction. He knew her. He loved her.
My heart melted and broke at the same time. How is this possible?

I long for Owen. I long for the pain of our separation to be over. I long for life with my son in Heaven. I know I can't have Owen back here with me, but my heart still hopes and wishes, and breaks.

In the same breath, my heart hopes and wishes, and aches for more children. Children to raise and watch grow up; to show them God's great love and forgiveness as they learn to trust our Lord and grow in him. I know I can't replace Owen. I wouldn't dare try. Owen is his own person and will hold a place in our family forever.

My meeting, albeit short, with sweet little baby J. has healed the divide between desire for Owen and desire for more children. It is not polarized. It never was. They are connected.
In the same way a woman with two living children longs for a third, I long for a fourth and fifth and sixth. The woman with living children doesn't feel her love divide when the third enters. She is not patching a hole that was left unfilled by the other two. Her heart grows with each child conceived.

Owen's death did not increase or decrease my desire for children. On the contrary, his life increased my desire for children exponentially. My heart grew with him.

I can embrace both desires. Both good. Both right. And both point to a Savior who brings life.

*edited to add*
Thirty minutes after I wrote this post, I am running, running,
RUNNING away as fast as I can from a baby and his happy mom. I have no shame in this. I do what I can. And today, right now, I can't be near such a spectacle.


Chris said...

It does melt, break, and has grown all at the same time...
I love you my Precious, and am so excited to have countless little brothers and sisters for our present children running around and terrorizing our house. I can't wait for the further extension of our dear family! I am so honored to be the father of your children and experience all with you!

Rebecca said...

Oh, Ebe. I pray your desires for having {living} children are fulfilled soon. I can understand how more children isn't filling a hole that could only be filled by Owen. I feel the same way. I would also add that thankfulness for my living children does not patch the hole that only Olivia could fill, i.e. "Well, at least you *already* have three healthy children!" I think for me, Olivia has almost made the desire for more children stronger, as now I have a greater appreciation for life & and am constantly reminded of all she is missing....

All that to say, YEP. I gotcha. Right on.

Rachel said...

Oh, Ebe! My heart is breaking with yours as tears stream down my face. So beautifully written!

paige said...

This is so beautifully expressed...

Sara said...

My heart just breaks with you... I miss your sweet boy and I never even knew you while he was on this earth, but I know how your heart longs for him. I will be praying that the Lord blesses you with more children... little brothers or sisters to your other 3:) I will pray for trust and perseverance each day... Thinking of you today Ebe... you share so honestly, beautifully, and right from the heart.

Anonymous said...

Totally understand the FLIGHT reaction... I've been there countless times.

Oh friend, I want to give you a hug and plead with the Lord together to give us the faith we need in our similar struggles. I know they're not the same, but I struggle so deeply with believing that God will ever give me a daughter. It's the worst fear I have.

Oh how I need an outpouring of his Spirit to change my heart and life, make me a woman of *faith*, not fear.

Aching with you today.

Anonymous said...

last time i checked, a baby and his happy mom are not "such a spectacle"

Bethany from Texas said...

I have been following your blog since Molly Piper mentioned it on hers. I find so much comfort in reading what you write. I sometimes say after reading your blog..."I wish so and so could read that and then they would know how bad it hurts..." You say it so well...We lost our baby boy Elijah at birth Feb. 2008 and haven't been able to get pregnant since. My fears have intensified in every aspect of life. And now 3 of my 4 childhood friends are's hard!Thanks for being so honest!

Starsnrose said...

I'm so sorry for the comment that anonymous left for you. I lost my son to type 1 diabetes on July 13th six years ago. He was 33, but age has nothing to do with grief for a lost child. I still miss my boy and am remembering a day in Target when I saw a young family who had a blond haired blue eyed boy that reminded me so much of my son. I fell to my knees and had to be helped up by my husband. I understand your heart. It is quite okay to protect your heart honey.

Ebe said...

Thanks, everyone. I just love you all. Group hug!

Bethany, I am with you. It seems like every time I turn around, someone else is pregnant. It is really difficult.

Thanks, Starsnrose, I appreciate that. I can understand coming on my blog and not agreeing with some of the things I say, but of all the things to be offended by, it's kinda crazy that this comment would make the anon commenter lash out. Interesting...
I also think they should look up the definition of spectacle. They might be surprised.
I appreciate the support.
I am so so sorry for the loss of your precious son. Weeping with you, today.