Forty-one years ago today I was enjoying the comfy nursery at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, celebrating my first 24 hours on earth. It was a Wednesday. Somewhere down the hall, my Mom was in her room ecstatic about her new baby daughter. As a 37-year-old first time Mom, I'm sure she was anxious about all that came with the name "Mother" but had waited a long time to be called by that name.
Mom had married my Dad at the tender age of 19 after four years of dating. They met through the mail - not e-mail like romances of today, but the postal mail. A friend of a friend had twin brothers in the Navy and asked my Mom and her best friend if they wanted to write to them. My Mom's best friend jumped on it and chose her man first...my Mom providentially got "stuck" writing my Dad. And the rest is history.
Like all newly-married, young couples, they wanted a family. But over the course of 18 years of marriage, it just wasn't in God's Plan. Mom suffered many miscarriages and exactly a year and a month before I was born, gave birth to a premature son that lived only 5 hours. She had the name "Mother" briefly, but thought, after that, she'd never hear the words come from the mouth of a child. Her doctor, a strong, forthright soul, encouraged her to keep trying. Thank goodness he did. God had the plan for a child at just the right time.
Six years ago today, my Mom was in another hospital. This extended visit wasn't for anything joyous, but it was a time when her life was slowing passing away. She had battled an illness for quite some time and the year prior had been filled with hospital stays, ER runs, and realizations that a life was coming to an end. Six years ago yesterday, I spent my birthday in a hospital, but not sleeping away the day in the comfy nursery but at the beside of the one who birthed me into the world as I watched her take each breath, fearing the next one was her last. Six years ago today, it was a Friday, just like today. And at just before 6am, my Mom passed from this life to her glorious home in Heaven.
Who would have thought those dates in time would collide bearing the giving of life and the passing of a life? As my Mom slipped into eternity after a week-long coma, I just felt somehow that God graced her an extra six hours so her passing wouldn't be on the day when she once gave life. I'm thankful God allowed her to be the bearer of my life. A life she shaped and continues to shape even after 41 years.