Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For that mama in the doctor's office...


To that mama I saw Saturday. Cautiously, awkwardly pushing that double stroller through the doctor's office...

I remember. How scared I was when my babes got sick--how worried I was.
How my heart froze a little a lot inside my chest and I couldn't draw deep.
How taking two wee babes to the doctor was not twice as hard as taking one--it was four times as hard as taking one. Because you only have two hands and when they're that small, and your mama heart is tired and worn and they are sick, two hands is not enough. 

It was Saturday and so I know it's not a check up that brought you to this second floor. And so it's more. And I just wanted to hug you tight and tell you it would be alright because while you smiled quick and bright when I asked you how old your sweet boys were--and you answered--your eyes were anxious and swift and careful to not catch mine. And I remember doing that too. 

Because I remember thinking what if I saw kindness in some stranger's gentle gaze. What if I saw deep compassion and empathy when I was trying to hold it all together? What if someone who KNEW because she'd been there, was there, saw too much--too deep--and offered me a moment of grace and truth and beauty in just a look? I would've cried. Right there in the second floor doctor's office. Dissolved straight into a puddle of beautiful mess.
And I would've sobbed all my angst right onto that poor stranger's shoulder.
And in hindsight, besides being maybe just a wee bit awkward,
would that have been such a bad thing?

And so this sweet, worn mama has haunted me all weekend.
This brave mama whose boys are sick.

As she rolled that double stroller filled with all her love by me,
I asked her how old they were--her boys.
3 months, she answered. Just teeny tiny people.

I asked her if she's getting any sleep.
She laughed--and not a funny laugh, but that laugh that says she really wants to cry and really wants to sleep and this is her lot and she's in it for the long haul and so yeah, all she's got is a laugh--
and said not really.
And she was almost gone by then, rolling her babes, rolling her very heart, down the hall,
but I called after her gently, "It gets better. It gets easier."

And I saw relief as she answered, "I hope so."

It does. Get easier. And harder.
They grow so quickly. Your babes. They grow and get bigger so when they get sick it doesn't make your heart clench as quickly or your mind spin into what ifs. They learn to sleep through the night and so do you. They learn to feed themselves and you suddenly regain the use of both your hands. They learn to use their words and you suddenly find your sanity returning. They learn to walk and hold your hands and sit in chairs. Going to the doctor with twins becomes less a monumental feat of epic proportions that should win all sorts of awards and more of a nuisance.

Time is a swiftly running river that we are swept away on. 
Sometimes we find ourselves hanging on for dear life as we toss and turn our way through rapids
and other times we find ourselves floating through gently swirling eddies.
There are both quiet lagoons and raging waterfalls.
And both have beauty all their own.
And all of it flows by so quickly. so. quickly.
We can spend our moments wishing for the next, easier moment, that next quiet lagoon, 
but then we miss the truth, the beauty, of this moment. 
And even when this moment is ugly and hard because our babes are sick 
or we are sick or sad or grieving and we think we just won't, just can't
make it to the next moment, there's beauty there. Right there. 
 Because sometimes the hardest part of living, of loving, 
is just to be in the hard moment.

This kind of beauty is hard fought and harder won. 
It's the kind that rides out the rapids or the waterfalls. 
It's the kind that springs and blossoms from somewhere way deep inside and 
is rooted fast in the Creator. It's the kind of beauty that weathers 
the scariest storms and age and wrinkles and scars just make it even more beautiful.

But we have to be brave mamas, brave women, to ride that river. 
And we have to weather it together.

To that mama I saw on Saturday--I know. I know. Remember this too shall pass. Hold on tight because they won't always be this small and it won't always be this hard.
But soak in all the beauty of this moment. Because it's right here. And it might be hard.
But it's so worth it. And you won't get this moment again.

And I'm praying for you and your boys.

And one day down the road, you'll be standing with your boys, older now, and you'll see a sweet, brave, river-worn mama awkwardly maneuvering her double stroller through a doorway and your heart will clutch tight for her. And maybe you'll rush to help her through the door because you remember. 
You remember.

And maybe you'll ask how old her babes are and maybe you'll offer her a moment of hope, a bit of grace, a glimpse of beauty.

Because sometimes we just need to know we aren't alone in this river.

And you aren't. 
Alone.

Grace Always Rises,
Jamie

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