Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for them that love him.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cloudy with a chance of rain

I see that I have done it again.

I have avoided writing for almost a year.

In many ways, not much has happened...which for us means no one died and we didn't have a baby. 

For me, though, it was a year of shadows, little wisps of thoughts and memories drawing me inward.

First, and most obviously, this was Joshua's third year.  He sometimes looks so much like Gabriel and he is the same size.  There are times when I hold him close, close my eyes, and try to remember holding Gabriel.  I rub his back, run my fingers through his hair, and kiss the soft neck.  Then I tell him what a lucky mommy I am to have such a sweet boy as him.  Sometimes I take his hand and place it over my heart and tell him slowly that mommy loves her Joshua.  I am so grateful for him and for all the children. 

This year we celebrated Nathaniel's Confirmation and Cecilia's First Communion.  I was ever aware of the fact that because Gabriel was between them, he had missed both sacraments.  It is, of course, true that he has risen above both and is in heaven.  That knowledge only softens the glaring truth of his absence. 

The First Communion was particularly difficult.  Gabriel was older than Cecilia.  This was the first event of Cecilia's that we had missed for Gabriel.  As choir members, Brianna, Nathan, and I were at both services.  For this I was thankful.  It gave me a chance at the first one to shake off some of the poignant thoughts that had been haunting me so I could better enjoy Cecilia's. 

It was beautiful.

She was beautiful. 

The absence of Gabriel and my parents (her Godparents) made the day bittersweet.  At her brothers' and sister's First Communion, Nana had really enjoyed helping them get ready.  She had made a slip to go under the dress and add volume.  She gave me my veil so my daughters could wear it.  Brianna's curls in her picture?  Yep.  That was Nana.  I could always count on her to help me make it just right.

I really missed having her here.  We had a little sewing emergency that she could have taken care of very easily.  Fortunately, a homeschool friend is very good and was able to help us.  Thank you, Carrie.

It is so easy to get swept away by thoughts of what it would be like if they were still with us and to get bogged down by the shadows of what might have been.  It has become second nature to mask the sadness that bubbles perpetually beneath the surface. 

Our lives have moved on from all the tragedy and trauma.  Still, in the midst of sunshine, it always seems cloudy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mommy, I want a horse cake

Nevermind that we have a puppy cake pan, a heart cake pan, a castle cake pan, a bunny cake pan....

I had a request for a horse cake from my dear little Cecilia for her seventh birthday (which she would share with her little brother since his is 2 days earlier).

A quick google search for ideas included many odd looking horse heads, some cakes made with specially molded horse pans, and some rectangle cakes featuring a horse in a field of some sort.

I decided to ask which she preferred.  She looked at the various pictures and declared that she wanted a horse in a field...with a LAKE.

So I thought and brainstormed...and brainstormed some more.

I know!  She'd be getting a cowboy and his cow-family and a bunch of horses for her doll-city.  I could figure out a way to put one or more on the cake!

I made a large, but thin cake.  You cake people know what this is called--quarter sheet?  I also made the heart cake...which I cut up for hills.

We frosted and sprinkled and sprinkled and sprinkled.

Then we set up the table and began placement of gifts.  Cecilia was whisked away for this part.

Success is a HAPPY birthday girl!!

They had a great time doing this.  Maybe other moms whose dear daughters ask for a horse cake can benefit from our brainicanes.

Happy birthdays to all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Like Sheep Led to the Slaughter

"Products of conception"

That is the phrase used by some literature to de-humanize a new unborn human.  For the record, you and I are both products of conception as well.

These are products of conception.  They are quite obviously human.  The first picture is toward the end of the first trimester--probably 10-12 weeks.  The abortion procedures literally TEAR these babies apart.  They do not magically die at the start of the abortion so that all the "dr" has to do is remove them.  In the "suction" procedure used in the first four months, the baby is suctioned (like a vacuum) out.  Since the baby is usually larger than the instrument-at four months he is about the size of an avocado-- he is necessarily ripped apart.  The abortion shown on ultrasound in "The Silent Scream" was a suction abortion.  The baby clearly thrashes about trying, unsuccessfully, to escape the instrument.  To suggest that he does not feel his slaughter is insanity.

Once the baby is too large for the "suction" abortion, a "dilation and evacuation" is done.  In this procedure, "contents of the uterus are scraped and suctioned out and larger pieces are removed with forceps."  What this means is that the baby (yes, the baby is the "larger pieces") is tugged apart with forceps---limb from limb.  That the yanking apart of a baby is considered good health care is one of the most sickening things I know.  God help us.  God have mercy on us. I think Sodom has nothing on us.

If the baby is approaching the third trimester or in the third trimester (viable by the way), he is too large to be pulled apart and removed piece-meal.  At this point, the cervix must be dilated.  The "dr" uses forceps to grasp the legs of the baby to deliver him most of the way.  Then, with his body born but his head in the birth canal, the "dr" makes an incision at the base of the skull and inserts an instrument to suction out his brain, collapsing the skull and making his head easier to remove.

Yes, the baby, is literally inches from BIRTH, at which point he would have graduated from legally killable blob to legally protected patient/person.

All of this, unbelievably, is completely legal.

So, what did Kermit Gosnell do wrong if this is legal?  How is what he did to babies who had successfully emerged alive any different from doing it while their heads are still in the birth canal????  Is the argument really that he is guilty of being a really inept abortionist so he had to kill them after delivery??  Those few inches mean the difference between "woman's body" and baby's murder???

Gosnell's staff are now on record describing how the babies would often be delivered alive and then killed.  I will not here write about his crimes.  You can begin learning about them here: http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/12/all-american-horror-story-top-10-kermit-gosnell-trial-revelations/

These procedures are, to any honest person, nothing short of murderous slaughter of innocents.

This is too important to shrug and re-plant our heads in the sand.  Millions have been brutally slaughtered.

This final photo is a baby who is also undergoing a procedure.  Because his mother wants him, the procedure is to help, not murder, him.

If you are pro-choice, please at least know what it is you champion.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Silence of the Lambs

I remember the physical pain of my first miscarriage. 

I had never been pregnant before and we did not even know I was pregnant.  We were flying up to Michigan and the pain, particularly in flight, was nearly unbearable.  A doctor in Michigan ordered the tests and confirmed both the pregnancy and the miscarriage at the same time.  I was probably only six weeks along (four gestational weeks). 

I can remember feeling emotionally numb about it.  I didn't feel pregnant.  I didn't feel like a mom.  Those thoughts didn't even occur to me.  I only felt a lot of pain.

I had three children before I had another miscarriage.  This time, I was an experienced mom.  As soon as we had a positive test, we were excited.  The hcg tests were good.  It was at the early ultrasound to determine gestational age that we found out we actually had a blighted ovum.  I was so saddened by the news.  Four months later, we were pregnant with Gabriel.

The friends I have who have miscarried all felt a great loss.  It was not a tumor or blob whose heart had stopped.  They had lost their children.  The loss of pre-born children is barely recognized in our society.  It is a mostly silent loss, leaving the parents feeling lonely and helpless.  They suffer the agony of unrealized hopes and dreams.

My heart breaks for all the young mothers out there who have been sold an evil, terrible, devious lie.  They have been told that the precious life growing inside their wombs is little more than an inconvenient tumor.  They are presented with a relatively easy "solution" for their unfortunate condition.  The truth is deliberately withheld.  Abortion proponents have resisted legislation which would require waiting periods, informed consent, parental consent, ultrasounds, etc.  It is well known that the majority of women planning abortion change their minds after seeing the "blob" (baby) on an ultrasound.

Safe?  Legal?  Rare?  That they don't want women to know the truth of abortion says otherwise.

How many women, believing the lie, have consented to having the "products of pregnancy" removed only to find out weeks or months (years?) later the truth of abortion?  How many women see pro-life or abortion literature and, realizing that the "product" that was so unceremoniously suctioned out was, in fact, a small but fully formed baby complete with fingers and toes, experience profound traumatic shock?

I know many pro-life people who would scoff at that.  They would hasten to condemn the women.  It is true that many women know exactly what they are doing.  Still, there are those who do not.  The scars from such a trauma must be agony.  These are women who not only suffered loss, but are burdened with the guilt of having unwittingly "chosen" the killing of their children.  If grief from miscarriage is silent and lonely, how much more terrible must their grief laden with guilt be?

We must pray for an end to this evil that has penetrated, no, infected our society.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Sweet Boy

For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. Ps 116:8

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Mt 19:14

Our lives are but a single breath,
we flower and we fade,
yet all our days are in your hands,
so we return in love what love has made. 
---"Eye has not seen"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Seven years

Tomorrow is March seventh.  Seven years ago my precious gift went home to his Father.

I'm not sure time heals all wounds.  Sure, time allows for the erecting of a wall to cushion the pain.  What was, at first, agonizing and gut-wrenching turns into chronic burning with occasional stinging before becoming the ever-present dull ache.

One can certainly go about every day life with the dull ache, and we have.  Since Gabriel's death, much has happened.  His sister was born three months later.  Another sister was born almost three years later followed by a brother two years after that. 

We've had several losses as well.  Both of my grandmothers, an aunt, and both of my parents died during those seven years. 

Parenting and teaching the children is a full-time blessing.  Still, from time to time I allow myself to revisit the other side of the wall.  I struggle to picture Gabriel with us at the park, playing and wrestling with his brothers and sisters.  I feel the sting of his absence during the holidays.  At the beginning of Lent, I can picture clearly his last Ash Wednesday Mass during which he played a tiny six inch guitar during all the songs.

I remember. 


He felt so perfect in my arms.  With his head resting on my left shoulder, I'd kiss his soft neck and hold him close.

I don't know when, but I'll hold him again.  Happy re-birth day, sweet son.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So close, and yet so far away...

At Mass last week, I was sitting with Joshua in the chapel which doubles as a cry room.  He had a low fever and was teething.  It had been a long night.  As usual, he nursed to sleep and then turned his sleeping face upward. 

My goodness, he was stunning.  Low grade fevers give little children a soft rosiness to their cheeks.  His lips were rosy as well.  His blonde wispy bangs were feathered across his forehead.  He was a near perfect image of his big brother, Gabriel. 

Gabriel sleeping
I just gazed upon him, drinking in his precious face and remembering holding a similar face so close six years ago.  It took my breath away.   The last time I held Gabriel he was lifeless and pale.  This boy in my arms was warm and full of life.

I wasn't alone in my observation.  A friend and fellow parishioner who has known us long enough to know Gabriel saw me carry Joshua up to receive the Eucharist.  The look on her face as she gestured toward Joshua told me she noticed the resemblance.  That someone else noticed warmed my heart.

Joshua in May
Long after you lose a child and the painful sting of the trauma has subsided, the scarred hole in your life remains.  Worried that they will upset you, family and friends avoid mention of your child. 

Though they mean well, this avoidance only causes further sadness. 

It is a rare and joyful treasure to speak of the child that died or to see that he is remembered.

 We sometimes forget that only the body dies.  The soul lives on.  Gabriel's body died that day.  His soul did not die.  Gabriel lives. 

That Joshua is so like him is, at times, bittersweet, but what a gift.  He is up to all of Gabriel's old tricks like banging away on the computer keyboard, getting into cabinets, and pulling tapes off the shelf.  He even talks like Gabriel.  He is his brother's brother. 

It'll be Gabriel's birthday next week.  He would be a big beautiful blonde nine year old boy. 

Instead, he is a saint.  I am honored to be his mommy.