Three weeks ago, a friend of ours was at a park with her two children. Her three year old got away from her and fell into a pond. After a tense weekend at the Children's Hospital, little Gemma passed away.
What a shock it has been to our little Catholic mama community. The desire to keep our own children close, to cling to them in sadness and thanksgiving for their presence was overwhelming. The inability to sleep as we grieved with this family. The awe at the beauty and blessing of faith and the way we came together to help out when one of us was in need. To see such compassion, such suffering-with, can restore your hope in humanity on a dark day.
It seems strange, but the word I was struck with was 'privilege.' It has been a privilege to suffer with this family in a time of such heartbreaking grief. A privilege to wash their laundry, carefully separating out, through tears, pink pajama bottoms and denim skorts that won't be needed any longer. A privilege to put together meals and scrapbook pages. A privilege to mourn with this family.
I have realized that these children are little gifts. They do not belong to us; they are not possessions to which we are entitled. I have done nothing to merit or deserve their health and vitality. I thought I knew these things, but recent events have brought them to stark reality. This realization filled me with great fear, especially as we draw closer to a surgery date for Pia. When I took this fear to the Confessional, the priest reminded me; God wants what is best for my family and His ways are not our ways. The way to peace is to entrust my children to God. Quite an item for my to-do list.
We had a lovely Easter, we are looking forward to warmer days and growing things in the fresh spring air. Our butterball of a PiaBaby is f-i-i-i-i-inally sitting up unassisted, which is a big weight off my worrying shoulders. We are giving thanks for the life of Gemma as we find a renewed appreciation for our own. We ask her to intercede for her family and all of us as they grieve.
|ready for some warmer days|