Babies have a way of making everything softer…
Voice’s edges round out. Gentler.
Hands loosen to hold and nurture. Warmer.
Eyes tenderize in grace. Kinder.
Babies have a way of slowing everything down…
Feet’s steps steady. Quieter.
Breath goes in deep. Fuller.
Schedules put on hold. Calmer.
With unrelenting hope we softened and slowed. Hope that told us it was okay to love without abandon. Hope that told us we would heal.
So, we softened our hands and held that baby boy as if birthed from our love. We held him close.
Our lips warmed as they touched his skin and soothed his soul. The breath in our bodies and beat of our hearts found his rhythm.
And we danced with him.
We plugged in the nightlight. Receiving new light in dark places. Places awakened by new life. Glorious awakening.
Tender little breaths. Chest rising and falling. Yes, we were alive too.
By day and by night we gave it all away. We withheld nothing…
Because of hope. Because of love. Because of healing. Because life is a gift. Because he is a gift.
And when it came time to loosen our softened hands from this gift, we stood in the doorway cradling him in our arms.
Door wide open.
We stood in the place once more where we belonged together.
Where bottles still remained half full and blankets tumbled in the dryer.
We stood in the place once more where our hearts had danced a new dance.
Where nightlights still illuminated. Even the darkest places now brighter.
We stood on the safe side of our hope, of our love, of our healing, of our gift. And we wondered how we would ever cross the threshold.
Into a world where the bottles were washed and put away. The blankets dried and folded. The nightlight unplugged.
We wondered how we would ever do it.
But, we did.
Crossing that threshold, precious baby releasing from our hearts and hands. Final kisses. Smelling him once more. Breathing that last and final breath.
And now we stand…
On the other side of the threshold.
We loosen our knees and lay down in the boat of grief and grace.
The boat sways. Back and forth.
Grief. Grace. Grief. Grace.
And in our deep loss… Where it seems so empty… So alone… We see this subtle flicker of redemption that will grow with time. We see a gift of life that will never fade.
Softened. Slowed down. Dark places made brighter. Fully alive…
Indeed, the joy is worth the pain.