Before my son was born, I had heard about this thing called the love a mom has for a son. I knew by then how intensely I loved my daughter. How would it be possible to love another child in the same way, especially a boy? I discovered that my love for my son was not the same as my love for my daughter, but it was just as intense. Like my love for her, it has grown, from my first positive pregnancy test to his cry of life in the delivery room to his current toddler self. I can't imagine loving anyone more.
Between the births of my daughter and my son, I learned about a different kind of mother's love. It is the love a mother has for a child who has not taken a breath, or will not take another, on this Earth. A love for a child taken to Heaven from either the womb or from the cradle of infancy. It is a love that has begun to blossom, only to be paused mid-growth. It is a love that will never kiss away a skinned knee, or chase nightmares back into the closet, or read a favorite bedtime story for the hundredth time. It is a love on hold this side of Heaven.
It is a love I learned from my in-between children. My Naomi, my Kyria, and my Jordan. Three babes I carried in my womb for a too-brief time before they were ushered into Heaven. My love for them is no less intense than for the children I am allowed to mother everyday, but it is a love that has no obvious outlet, no natural opportunity for expression. Instead, it is a love that finds its manifestation in our ministry to other bereaved parents, in the memorial items our support group makes for local hospitals, in the comments left on forums for other moms new to this journey. The love I would have poured out on my children, God has allowed me to pour out on others, fellow sojourners in the world of Loss. And as I have, I have experienced the intense fulfillment of a mother's love for her children, as well as the amazing satisfaction of a daughter carried by the love of her Heavenly Father.
Before my children were born, I had heard about this thing called love.
I'm linking up with Kirsten Oliphant and others this week on the theme of “an unexpected love story.”
Also linking up with Angie Ryg on Inspire Me Monday