I enjoy contests. Especially when they involve writing. Even if I don't win...or even place, spending time reading the other contestants entries keeps me humble and definitely broadens my horizons. Especially when the topic / contest comes from a site as wonderful as Christian Women Online. Their dedication to supporting Christian women, spreading the Gospel and providing resources to help us in our daily walk is nothing short of amazing. I am so grateful for their work in the blogworld.
Here is Challenge #1
"As we reflect on the resurrection of our Lord, write a post that celebrates life."
When I think about celebrating life, I automatically think of my children.
Actually, one in particular...
My #2 Princess' birth story can be found HERE. I will admit that what I wrote is kind of clinical and step-by-step. So here's "the rest of the story" (to quote fine Mr. Harvey!)...
Princess was named after my grandfather. I respect him so very much. An upstanding man of God, he brought up his family in the way they should go and his life has made an incredible impact on the descending generations of his family.
Besides that, I loved him.
When I was a child, he would ask me what my name was before I was married. We would laugh and squeal "Grampa, I'm only 6! I'm not married yet!!"
We would ask him to spit out his teeth and OUT would come his upper denture plate on his tongue. Fascinating!
He sang us silly songs like "OH the moon shines down on Charlie Chaplin...".
So when I was pregnant with my second child, I knew what the name would be. And the middle name was easy...My parents have the same middle name and it flowed right along.
When Princess was born and taken away to the Neonatal ICU, the nurses sent me Polaroid photos of this grey, misshapen baby with IV tubing taped to her head. She had fluffy blond hair that had been shaved on both sides to find a vein for that IV and, as a result, she had a fluffy blonde Mohawk haircut.
But I didn't care. She was my princess and I loved her.
Upon discharge from the local hospital, I spent three weeks with her in Metropolis at the GIANT Children's Hospital. I would go in every morning at 7 and leave every night at 1am. The nurses fussed over me, telling me to rest after my cesarean, but my baby was more important than my comfort. Even after my incision broke open and had to be cleaned and packed every day (for the next TWELVE WEEKS) I did not leave her side till the nurses forced me to.
The endless parade of doctors bombarded me with new possibilities every day. It could be a virus, then it could be cancer, then her liver was failing and she may need a transplant. Never in my life have I leaned so heavily on my Heavenly Father. He was all I had. My close-knit family was far away. My baby was deathly ill. Of the six hours a night I spent at the Ronald McDonald Home, two hours were spent expressing breastmilk, one hour was spent reading God's Word and praying for her; pleading with Him to take ME if anyone had to die. Exhausted sleep covered the other three hours.
Finally, her problems were regulated with medications and we were deemed healthy enough to go home. She rode snuggled in her carseat, wrapped in a quilt that her namesakes' wife (her precious great-grandmother) sewed for her. It was the last thing she ever sewed.
Because one month after we got home from the hospital, my grandfather was out in the ocean fishing and dropped to his knees. As he breathed his last from a sudden heart attack, I know that angels were there to carry him to heaven.
Though we sorrow here on earth and miss him, we do NOT weep as those who have no hope. For I KNOW I will see him again.
The story doesn't end there. I know this is long and I hope you will bear with me.
Princess' beloved Great-grandmother carried on as best she could without her partner of 50 years. There were several times we thought she would pine away. But she stayed with us, her ministry of cards and letters blessing many hearts.
She always had a special place in her heart for the Princess and told me SO many times how grateful she was that I had chosen that name. I was so proud that I could ease her pain some, knowing that his legacy lived on.
Seven years later, the late night call came. You know, it's never good news when the phone rings after 10 o'clock at night. My beloved Gram had gone to be with the Lord quickly and painlessly. Even though I miss her, I know she wanted to go. I can close my eyes and imagine her walking into her husband's arms; touching his face as the memory of their painful separation disappears from her mind and the joy of the Lord envelopes them both.
Just two weeks after her death, my Princess came to snuggle in bed with me one morning. It was the first day of summer break and I had looked forward to laying in bed a few minutes longer. But as her story unfolded and the horrible heartbreak of her sexual abuse came to light, that was no longer important. In one instant, nothing was as important as my children's safety.
As I think of how my grandmother's heart would have been torn in two over that tragedy, I am so grateful to God that He took her home and spared her that pain.
I have asked myself; would I have thought differently and prayed differently through the trauma of her birth if I had somehow known what my exhusband would do to her? Would I have brought her into this world if I had known the pain she would endure?
And the answer is unequivocally YES! She has brought much joy to the lives of those around her. She helps others heal in her group therapy and even counsels others as a "recess conflict manager" at her school. She brings me joy every day.
And I am sure, after all she has survived in her almost-9 years on this earth, God the Father must have some INCREDIBLE plans for her life! I am so excited to see what He has in store...
**Fine Print - This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Art Bookbindery, "Empowering Writers to Self Publish."