Thursday, December 23, 2004

Blue Christmas

It's that time of year when you are supposed to be cheerily shopping and eating and singing songs about the Babe born so many years ago. Hallelujah, hallelujah! The shepherds of long ago worshipped in awe, the kings brought gifts to the newborn King the angels sang.

And we pause to remember. The children don halos and angel wings and shepherd's garb and three bigger boys dress like kings. A real baby plays Baby Jesus, though the baby is a girl and she has red hair, when she is swaddled, all you see is her baby lips and closed eyes and fingers at rest, sticking up from the blankets. We sing familiar songs and light candles and feel warm indoors though it's cold outside.

But my heart is heavy tonight, despite the holly-jolly season. A Christmas newsletter came today from my midwife, the one who attended my birth with Babygirl over two years ago. I was so excited to open it--last year at this time, her Christmas newsletter showed pictures of her, pregnant pictures! She has four girls, the youngest who is about 9, and this pregnancy was a surprise to me. I'm not sure if it was a surprise to her, too, but she is my age and her oldest girl is 17.

Her due date was in February and I waited and wondered. Did she have a boy? A girl? So, I happily opened the envelope to discover the news. The first thing I saw was the family picture of her, her husband and her four girls. No baby. Puzzled, I turned to the letter. Her baby, a girl, died prenatally two weeks before her due date, probably from complications of Down's Syndrome.


And an email came today, an update to a prayer request from yesterday. The subject of the prayer request, a two year old girl who'd had a transplant, had died.

Tonight, the church pianist mentioned that her mother is doing very poorly. She's probably in her last days.

Monday, my husband performed a funeral.

Tuesday, someone else from church died.

I truly believe that life doesn't end on this planet. I believe Baby Jesus came so that we would live happily ever after, not necessarily here in this lifetime, but ever after. But for now, hearts break and sorrow falls like snow.


Blogger Marykay said...

My heart is heavy today too. I learned last night that my uncle's home burned to the ground yesterday -- this is the center of my mom's side of the family, the place we've all gone to over and over again through 40 years. It's the center of my memories of every childhood family gathering. Everyone is safe, thank God, but all his belongings, gone. I couldn't stop thinking about him and that beautiful home....

6:31 AM  
Blogger Diddy-Win said...

..I quote, "Tuesday, someone else died from church." you think we should do something about church...maybe it is unsafe...tee hee. Just some comic relief.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Diddy-Win . . . you are so right! I will correct that unfortunate grammatical slip as soon as possible! As far as I know, the deceased person did not die as a direct result of "church."

10:42 PM  

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