Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.
Welcome to the Unbearable Story Hour. This week, I’m going to tell a little story of something that happened to me last Friday. I’m going to present it with almost zero comment, because I have zero idea of how to put my feelings about this into words.
Last Friday, my family and I sat with my grandmother as she succumbed to a pneumonia and passed away under a fog of morphine. She had been sick for a while, and we all knew that her time had come, that she was ready to rejoin my grandfather in Heaven whom she lost 15 years ago. It was a sad and emotional day, sitting around the hospital bed that had been brought into her home months before.
Shortly after my grandmother passed away, as my mom, aunt and I sat coping with our emotions and taking our last few minutes to say goodbye before the funeral home came to remove the body, the Hospice nurse told us a story. I’d like to share it with everyone, because that’s the kind of mood I’m in.
Brenda’s adult daughter has suffered from a seizure disorder her entire life. While this woman has kids of her own now, she still often looks to her mother for help, especially given her medical difficulties. A few years ago, Brenda’s daughter had a grand mal seizure and then stopped breathing for almost a full five minutes. Obviously, this type of medical emergency can do lasting damage to a person’s brain and body. Brenda’s daughter was lucky to wake up for this episode.
She told her mother that during the time she had lost consciousness, she saw and spoke to her grandmother who had passed away years ago. She looked up and saw that familiar face, and rushed to give her hugs and kisses. Brenda’s daughter said that she started to tell her grandmother about her son, wanting to share the join she had in being a mother. As the woman started to describe her little boy, the grandmother stopped her.
She explained, “I already know all about Braxton. I helped pick him out for you.”
Once the nurse got done sharing the story, my mother wrapped her arms around me. She whispered softly in my ear, “You know she’s up there, finding the perfect baby for you. Just you wait.”
I’ve never set much stock by near-death tales of seeing God or lost loved ones. I’ve always felt like these stories were powerful only because they give us such comfort in times of stress. For just a little while, I’m going to ignore that cynicism. I’m going to be comforted and hopeful, thinking that my grandmother is up there somewhere, picking out the perfect child for our family.