Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Worth the Wait

Some losses are assuaged the moment they are filled. Some voids do not last. All the painful waiting, the hearing no, the unsolved questions. Obliterated in one blinding second of blood and water. A birth.


It was a long wait for my sister. In the four years I brought five children into the world, she frequented the same kind of offices and went through the same procedures. Her Lizzie and my Eliza were only a few months apart.

Then suddenly, I was tossed into a fast-moving river while she wandered the desert. She celebrated with me - her laughter genuine, for she understood. But the parch of emptiness, the sting of broken dreams must have left her wilted and wondering. Quietly, she tucked promises into her back pocket and moved through life. She longed for more babies, but none came.

I understand what it is to wait and surrender - but not like her. We've surrendered in very different ways. Me to more. Her to less.

Even the most good, the most selfless, the most committed are challenged. And that is Deb. She is most selfless, most good. She works behind the scenes, diverts compliments, glides beyond attention. Her compassionate hand is always extended. Her creativity and talents are unusual, unequaled. Bent over her machine, she sews for family, friends, the children. I see her bright patterns dancing through our home, legs whirring, daily. The totes, the lambies, the purses - strewn in corners, dangling through crib slats, hanging on hooks, stuffed with favorite ponies, books, and trinkets.

All Deb.


The heavens have rained their numbers, drawn our lots. And as I hold him for the first time, his slender fingers wound round mine, I hear the soft suckling of lip and tongue on bottle, I brush my dry hands across his satin skin and wonder, is she comforted at last? Is he enough?

Then someone asks her, so is this it? And she says yes, as a matter of acceptance. She is mourning a new plan. We all do at some point. And it hurts when our lives are yanked out of our hands, crushed into something we didn't ask for, didn't want, didn't expect.

But for now, I love seeing her heft a baby seat, leave our matronly circle to nurse, cradle him length-wise on her lap, cherishing his little hands clutched tightly inside hers.

He was worth the wait.

Every long minute.

And in the end, the very eternal-after-this-veiled journey-end, all losses are restored. Every hurt is mended. And all things are made perfect.


Just like him.

Welcome Michael.

Michael William
6 lbs. 2 oz.
17 inches

Black and white photos by Ali B.


  1. dear Cath:

    i love this post sooo much.

    deb is a treasure. there never was a girl to equal her motherly skills. you described her perfectly.

    and, you wrote from the heart and every word was put in perfect order...because your heart is so good.

    thank you dear girl. i love you both. xox

  2. So sweet. So true. Love you both.

  3. What a sweet post. Deb is amazing, as are you!

  4. Love the post, Cath. You have an amazing way with words. I love you and Deb and all of your siblings and parents dearly!! So glad to know you and to not only be family but to be friends! Congrats to Deb.

  5. Love these words. I confess I love the image of that sleepy little guy. And I'm so glad you love your sister like you do. As my grandma just said "there's not enough time in this life to NOT love your family."

    Oh, the ache of having to accept a new path. I cling to any and all promises I've been given. Like this one in the thirteenth verse from Jeremiah 31: "for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow."

    Seriously, thanks for blogging, Cath. It's a treat to hear your voice again.

  6. Cristie - "never was a girl equal to her motherly skills" - it's so true.

    Shelli - thanks for all your wonderful comments here and @ Segullah. You are a treasured voice of encouragement to me. "So glad to not only be family but friends" - we feel the same way about you! Love you.

    Liz - I love Jeremiah. Thank you for that beautiful and very appropriate verse. It sums up this post most perfectly. You are a true light to those around you!

  7. That was very touching Cath, you and your sister have gone through a whole lot. Wow. And he is absolutely perfect.

  8. i cried through this post. so beautifully, perfectly put. what a sweet tribute to your amazing sister and my dear friend. i feel so blessed to have such wonderful examples and friendships in my life.

    love you both.

  9. Okay, that was sweet. I do love Deb.

  10. Like Allison, I cried through your post as well. I love Deb so much and understand her trials very well. We really don't know what this world is going to give us do we? I love you both and am so glad that we have sisters to share in this journey of motherhood!

  11. Alright Cath....that was a really nice post. You are sweet and you know exactly what it feels like to be me. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me! Love you!!

  12. Shells - I'm glad she and I have shared the journey together.

    Ali - the photos you took are gorgeous. As always, you do such wonderful work.

    Meesh - I could hear your voice in your comment. I love her too.

    Anne - I was thinking of you also as I wrote this post. Mourning the plan... so hard. I love you sister!

    Deb - Aren't these wonderful people that love you? Very sweet comments. You are a gift to me - and so many others.

  13. Congratulations to your sister. What a wonderful blessing! He is beautiful.

  14. Your sister sounds so lovely. What a precious gift to have another baby at last! You conveyed the elation of another child with the bittersweet of accepting that "this was it" so poignantly. Best of luck to her and her family. It sounds like no matter how many children she gives birth to, she will always be mothering many more!

  15. What a beautiful description of Deb and life and motherhood. As I wrestle to keep Gus off the desk and playing with the computer while I read this, I'm less frustrated then I usually am. So much to be grateful for. You write so well.

  16. That sweet babe is pure joy. I got to sit and hold him and smell him and cuddle him and share in that sweet little miracle. What a little bundle of blessings :)

  17. thank you, Catherine. I'm so blessed to know Deb too. Love that little boy.


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