Saturday, May 30, 2009

paul benjamin, not forgotten

thirty seven years ago, or so, i had a miscarriage. such a cold, clinical term for a huge event.

i lost my baby. i had felt that little one swimming around inside me for several precious weeks, then i got very sick. i was put on strong antibiotics by my doctor, and ... my baby died.

the doctor told me right up front, emotionlessly, that it was probably the antibiotics. i had kidney issues and couldn't risk having infection again. but it cost us the life of our baby.

recently this has surfaced in my mind, i'm not sure why. about 25 years ago, i was doing a lot of counseling with women who had aborted their babies, and i actually grieved with them and got some healing. because my baby died so early, the doctor said they couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl. so i prayed, waited, and allowed my heart to be open to whatever felt right, and asked God to show me. I felt that His answer was that it was a little boy. So i named him "paul benjamin" after my brother. i told only my husband about it, and he just was very quiet.


little benjamin. who are you today? what do you look like? how old are you now in heaven? are you still a baby, or have you grown into the man i envision...the man with a combination of your brother and your sister who still live here on earth? do you have red or blond hair? blue or hazel eyes? do you have responsibilities there? or are you just part of the vast worshipping throng before our God...

i wish i knew. i wish that back then the hospital had given me your tiny body to tenderly hold and preserve so that we would have something, anything, to remember you by. i don't even know what they did with you.

i wish i hadn't almost died having you. i wish i had told more people about you, i wish i had made you more a part of our family.

i wish, i wish, i wish.

i just want you to know, dear little son, that you are not forgotten. you are worth remembering. i treasure the memory of the few short months i carried you. i still feel the "tickles" in my tummy that i felt when you somersaulted within me. you are as real to me as my other children, just tucked away safely in a secret place of my heart that nobody ever sees.

you were not a "miscarriage". you were a child who flew away to Jesus before i got to hold you. and now, you are...not an angel, but a living soul who has grown up in the presence of the King. how much you will have to teach me when i get there...and i know i will recognize you, somehow.

dear sweet son. my tears, shed late in life, are just as hot and salty as they were decades ago. my tears honor your memory. i did not grieve you at first- i was young, i was foolish, i was in a hurry to get on with life and get past it all.

now i want to remember... to go back and pay tribute to the few short months i had with you, to the brief experience of being your earthly mother. and i want to express the joy i feel looking forward to the wonderful moment when i will see you face to face. you are not invisible. you are not a fragment of my imagination. you are real, paul benjamin, you are my son, and you are loved.

wait for me!

you'll recognize me too. i'll be the one running toward you with arms open wide.

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