I hear him talking to Sister S* on the phone. He’s making small talk (quite a feat!) before inviting her to speak about charity on Sunday. He’s happy, she must have accepted. They continue to talk but their conversation fades as I look at the disastrous kitchen. Because of a full working day and Christmas shopping (NO I’M NOT DONE YET), this room has been sorely neglected.
The breakfast dishes are scattered on both counters, so are lunch and snack dishes. The table holds the remnants of the dinner meal (held at 8 pm) and on the stove is the mess that I made while cooking. By mid-cleaning, I’m tired and ready for bed. And then I see it. The wax that covers the circular cheese that the kids ate for a snack has been squished into the grout on the floor. It is mocking my ability to clean, making its bid for permanent residency. I swear. Loudly. And then I hear hubby’s voice again, he’s laughing at me, at us. Inviting people to speak about charity one minute, swearing the next.
They did an amniocentesis and discovered that my friend’s baby had a serious genetic disorder in her 5th month of pregnancy. They told her that he could die at any time. The ward fasted for a miracle. My hubby gave the young wife a blessing. We held a baby shower, she was brilliant in her mother-ness, her hope. The miracle of healing didn’t happen but a beautiful baby boy was born and loved and cared for. 7 weeks after his birth and after a few wonderful days of progress and nurturing, he slipped away to return to heaven.
McDonald’s isn’t the most inspiring place to talk but while my two kids are shoving fries into their mouths (the first time in hours that they’ve stopped complaining), it gives us a few minutes without being interrupted. We talk about her friends who are pregnant, ready to give birth any day. We talk about how she wants to raise the now-gone baby in heaven, how she wants to live well so that she can be with him again. She talks about his progress, the small miracles that let them have him for as long as they did. She has good days and bad. She says that everything is different and yet everything is the same, strangely like before she had him.
When my hubby got called I didn’t realize how much I could love people that I didn’t know, that I didn’t share a language or country with. But I’ve also been surprised at my capacity for frustration and the ease of giving in to judgment and anger.
When everyone was praying for a miracle, for the baby to be healed, I was praying that this wish would not destroy us. But we did see miracles. The ward pulled together in thought and mind for a sweet if short period. There was love and caring and openness that had previously been unprecedented. The young couple looked and acted like they were being carried by angel’s wings. Their smiles and love for this imperfect and beautiful child showed us all that love is not for those that are perfect anyway.
After hubby and I are both in bed and asleep, our littlest one falls off his bed onto the wood-covered-concrete floor. We run to his side, both desiring to sweep him into our arms and quiet his cries (while checking for broken bones, of course). Hubby wins, he gets there first. And I’m left as spectator to a father nurturing his child. The night is dark, it seems starless, but I know it’s not. Sometimes, it’s just the cloud cover that blocks my ability to see the small twinkles of light that dot the night sky.