Friday, April 24, 2009

she's here!

Grace Philomena arrived at 4:33 pm after over four hours of pushing! She was 7lb 8oz and 19 inches long.

We're in love.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

baby day?!?

This could be the day!

Rachel is at the hospital! For those of you who want the "gory" details (and of course I know you do) she is 3cm and 80% effaced - they are keeping her in triage for an hour or so to see how she progresses.

I don't think I've ever been so excited!

Lauren and I are getting ready to head over to the hospital. Along with Rachel's husband, we are the lucky support people who get to witness the birth. I've done this seven times myself - but I've never watched someone else give birth. This is so awe-inspiring.

And it's my girl, my girl who was born just an instant ago! Could it really have been almost 23 years ago???

Thanks for your prayers. I'll keep you posted!

Don't you love this picture? Not like that anymore, is it?

Monday, April 20, 2009

one more soul

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had had one more child?

My first grandchild, my granddaughter Grace, will be here within the next few weeks. By summer's end, my grandson will be here as well. I know that they will enrich our lives beyond belief. I will cherish them as my own babies. But they won't be my babies, they will be my grandchildren, and that is not quite the same, is it?

My daughter Celeste, who died when she was four months old, would have been four now. My youngest at home just turned seven. This is the longest I've gone with empty arms, an empty womb.

When Celeste was in the hospital, I remember telling my husband that I wanted to have another baby, whatever happened to our baby girl. I wanted to "normalize" the experience of having a baby again. I was so traumatized by what we went through with her that I was certain the only healing I'd come to would come with the arrival of another - healthy - child.

After she died, I needed time to recover. And soon the months and years flew by, and I was suddenly who I am now - an "old" woman of 44, a grandma-to-be, a mother of "only" seven children, with six here who still need her, one in heaven praying for her.

Should I have had another baby? Have I been too selfish, too concerned with money, or time, or health, or freedom?

Did I deny my husband, my children, the world, another person who should've been here?

My grandbaby will be here soon, and I can't stop thinking that I'm not sure how this works. I've been a mother - just a mother, only a mother, always a mother - for 23 years. I know what it is to hold a newborn in my arms and love it completely, because it is my baby. I'm so anxious to meet my grandchildren, but I think perhaps I am mourning the end of an era.

And I'm haunted by the thought.

Should I have had another baby?

Have you ever wondered the same?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

mercy me

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated....

No, I'm not dead. At least not literally. It seems that when life, real life, gets busy and overwhelming, the first thing I let go is my writing. Isn't that unfortunate, for the both of us?

The boys will be returning to school tomorrow (I honestly can't believe I ever managed to home school!) Then perhaps I'll make, or take if I must, the time to write again!

For now, a brief thought about the feast we celebrate today: Divine Mercy.

Aren't you supremely thankful that God FORGETS all our transgressions?

Aren't you amazed that he shows us MERCY when we least deserve it?

Aren't you blown away with the thought that Jesus is waiting, eagerly, to BLESS us when we run to Him?

There's one catch.

He asks us to show mercy to our neighbor. You know the one, the guy who's harmed you, the one you can't forgive.

A thought: pray for that person today, the one you simply can't forgive. Forgive him with your will. Show him the mercy he doesn't deserve.

And bask in the mercy that is yours for the taking.

Learn more about the Divine Mercy Devotion here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In His Shadow, again

Easter morning, 2008

A "reprint" from last year. Alleluia! Enjoy your Easter.

I had walked within your shadow
On the road in Galilee
I watched in awe your hands work miracles
Lame men walk now; blind men see.

I felt your shadow fall upon me
When the widow touched the hem
Of your cloak as you passed by her
With your crowd of holy men.

I was jealous of her boldness
As she put out an eager hand
Afraid to walk too near you
I just followed in the sand.

I was in the crowd that greeted you
As you entered like a King
Your shadow cast a regal sphere
As our bold hosannas rang.

You walked that path again so soon
Your blood fell upon the stone
I hid in a darkened doorway.
I let you walk alone.

Was there a shadow cast on Calvary?
Or was the darkness vast and deep?
I do not know.
I did not go.
Alone, I cried myself to sleep.

Yesterday there was no shadow
No place left for me to hide
No one there to heal this cripple
Maimed by selfishness and pride.

This morning Mary ran to greet me
Though I can scarcely take it in
She says the tomb is empty
She says you live again.

Is it true? Am I still dreaming?
Have I been given one more chance?
Might I be able to follow you again?
In your shadow, now to dance?

Mary smiles and says, "Just trust Him.
'Do not be afraid,' He said."
I go with her to see the shadow
Of the stone that guards no dead.

You are alive and I am weeping
Standing in a bold new place
Soon I'll glory in the shadow
Of your brilliant, Holy Face.

I used to fear the darkness
Like a child in bed at night
But I no longer fear the shadow
For in it I am close to Light.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Good Friday is so raw, so full of vivid suffering. But Holy Saturday is the tomb, the waiting. We sit in the stillness and wring our hands. We know in our hearts that Sunday morning will dawn before we know it, but the hours pass by so slowly.

Holy Saturday is an empty church. I can barely stand to visit there on this day, when Jesus is gone. The tabernacle candle is extinguished; the altar bare. I know He is coming back, but the golden promise of Easter is just that, a promise. For today I sit in the shadow of the sun, hoping and longing. The cross is ever-present, too fresh to be forgotten. My eyes are dry now, but remain swollen and red. I am too tired for more tears, too frightened to stand by the grave, too weak to stand at all. So I sit in the darkness, waiting, knowing He did not lie to me. But I am sad, and scared, and weary.

Of course, I am not alone.

We all wait together, anxious and trusting, looking at each other with both anguish and hope in our eyes. If we can just hold on for one more day. Yes, we can, certainly we can. We will hold tight to one another, dry one another's tears, and wait. He did not lie to us.

Soon Easter will come, and the sun will be so glorious and bright that we will forget our sorrow. The stone will be rolled away, the tomb will be empty, and we will run to one another with only tears of joy upon our cheeks.

But for now, we wait.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

baby love

I never get tired of looking at ultrasound pictures.

I'm fascinated by the technology, even though the pics sometimes look to me like maps of the moon.

But when the ultrasounds are of my GRANDCHILDREN? Then I'm really in love.

The above photo is my darling grandbaby that is due in September, cousin to little Gracie who will be here in a month or so. Lauren and Giovanni were so excited to find out the gender. A boy? A girl? Either would be lovely, but they had their fingers crossed for a son.

They got their wish!

My little grandson will be here before we know it. I just can't wait to see if he has Giovanni's curls or Lauren's blue green eyes. I can't wait to kiss his chubby little cheeks and smell his sweet baby smell.

I love babies. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my grandbabies!

I'm one lucky lady.