Monday, June 8th, 2015: Hollis' original due date. He is sleeping soundly on my chest as I type. It's hard to believe he would still have been in my belly. To the untrained eye, you'd never know we have been through the fight of our lives. We are finally all healthy and settling in to our new routine as a family of four. David is off from his teaching job for the summer, so we've been given this rare gift of time together, uninterrupted but for feedings, diaper changes, and unforeseen toddler meltdowns. In the midst of the onslaught of chaos, trauma and fear, we longed for the quiet of the mundane, the ordinary, the simple, and our longings have at last been satisfied.
Yesterday I snuck away and slipped into the balcony of a downtown church to catch the music portion of the service. I needed some time alone with my Maker to breathe, sing, meditate, express my gratitude, process. There is more of this to come, to be certain. Mostly I wept in silence as the music washed over me. As of late, I have felt like a kettle at boiling point. I am typically calm during crisis, then fall apart afterwards. I don't yet know how to untie the knots of what I've experienced. I expect it will take time. What I do not question is the overwhelming gratitude I feel. When we needed it most, we were met with kindness, generosity, and goodness in abundance. Love found us at every turn. And yesterday I sang and cried with a heart full of thanks for each of you who extended love towards us.
I can't even begin to enumerate all the ways we saw Love in action, but the first things that come to mind.... from every Facebook "like", comment, to the mind-blowing hundreds and hundreds of prayer request "shares", all the messages, texts, calls, cards, thoughts, hugs, visualizations and prayers. From the meals cooked and delivered, the flower planting, the gifts and showering me and my nurses with snacks. For the gifts for Bea and Hollis, the childcare and playdates, those who came to pray with me and shared the Eucharist at my bedside, and those who knitted a prayer shawl and blankets for Hollis. For our little village who stepped in big time to help David and love Beatrice while I was gone. For every visitor who cheered my spirits and helped pass the time with conversation, laughter, game playing and just by holding space with me. For family who travelled hours just to be with me. For the nurses who became my community on the hospital floor and helped me in my most anxious moments, several of whom I now count among my friends. For the friends who decorated my room with lights and signs and comfy blankets and so many beautiful fresh flowers. This list doesn't even scratch the surface! My nurses commented they have never, ever, ever seen a patient with the amount of support I had. That is all because of you. We are changed by the love you have shown, love with hands and feet. We promise to pay it forward, and we pray Love will return to you and yours a thousand fold. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.