Today I had a bittersweet moment. I reveled in the full glory of a blossoming new life, but stood in the shadow of tragic death. I cradled beauty itself in my arms but I knew something was missing. Today, I held a three month old child in my arms. A beautiful baby boy. During the course of the hour I spent looking after him, he smiled, he laughed, he cried, and then he peacefully drifted off into a light sleep. He then awoke to the voice of his mother and they joyfully reunited.
The love that is shared between a mother and child is one of the most powerful forces in this earthly life. The love that I saw in both the mother’s and child’ eyes was penetrating and impactful. Then, after much thanks for looking after her child and the child and I exchanging some parting laughs and smiles, the mother left with her child. This was a sweet moment.
Despite how sweet that moment was, however, it was a moment that was experienced in the shadow of tragedy. The love and beauty of the newborn child was amazing, but not powerful enough to overcome the overwhelming sense of tragedy that filled my soul. The whole time I held the young child I could not help but think of his older sibling. I am not talking about his three year old brother who was running all about us in a sugar induced frenzy, but his older siblings by just a few short months. The brother or sister that the young child will never be able to know. Just a short window of time before this child was born his older sibling was violently taken away from the world he never was able to experience. His older sibling was the victim of an abortion. This knowledge, that permeated every moment I was having with this precious newborn, was terrible. It made, what should have been a sweet moment, bittersweet.
After the mother left with her two sons, I was left with many questions. I questioned what circumstances would have prompted this mother, who was so loving to her two born sons, to choose death for what would have been her middle child. I questioned why she would choose to keep one child just a few short months after aborting another. Did the child come at an inopportune time? Was the child not the healthy young boy or girl she was expecting? Did the parents merely change their mind about having another child?
As I saw the joyful reunion of mother and child, I could not help from asking myself if the child no longer with us was not deserving of this love. No matter how I answered any of the questions I was asking myself, I could not think of any reason why the first child’s remains lay God knows where, and the newborn was being embraced by his loving mother. I could not explain how one could be loved, and one could not. They were both her children, and she was their mother. As the mother and child left, I am also left with these harrowing questions and ominous sense of loss. It was a bittersweet moment.