This, too, I will remember

18 04 2011

“When she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him for three months.”

Those were the words I heard, and I wondered if this was how Moses’ mother felt — the sense of awe and purpose. The risks. Ten days after he joined our family, vaguely aware something wasn’t right in my body, gazing into his face and hearing my voice answer an unheard question. “No, Lord. He’s too young. I’m not ready to leave him yet.”

Startled by my own words — words that seemed to speak themselves apart from known realities — then the slowly growing faint, the neighbor called in, middle-of-the-night rush to the ER. Doctors staggering awake, hurry-up surgery, seven units of blood, and waking up once again in the same hospital I’d happily left a week ago. A flood of questions that should unsettle. My four-year-old, almost-two-year-old, and the newborn son — no doubt hungry, and who is holding him, feeding him? No idea, yet all around me the thickest cloud of Presence. And no pain.

“So this is what grace feels like. I need to remember this.”

A couple of years later, walking down the hall carrying a load of clean laundry, an image flashes into my mind — so unexpected, so graphic, so disturbing, I search for him and find him in exactly the danger imagined but not yet fulfilled. All is well. A few minutes later, all would have been undone, but Omnipotence intervened as He has every right to do or not do, according to His plan. The curtain between here and There slips closed again, but I have seen. The awe. The purpose. This, too, I will remember.

This third-born child. The one who could always make me laugh when I least wanted to. The one who spoke as though he knew. The whimsical one in the outfield, spinning in circles with his glove on his head, and me delighted, taking video, because I loved who he was more than what the world might try to make him.

Optimist who believed the best when the Always Good chose not to intervene, and his brother lay in a coma, and hope clung to a thread. Cheerful heart cheering my weary one, first to make that wounded brother laugh again months later.

Brilliant mind but absent minded. Remembers intricate details from books and lectures, mentally cross-references a storehouse of knowledge and articulates well-formed conclusions. Doesn’t know where he left his shoes.

Affectionate. Hugger and leaner and a lap child even still, if you’ll let him.

Writer of poetry and songs. Player of rugby and soccer. Musical pied piper who can make a drum kit dance, a piano sing, a guitar pray.

Beloved son. Grandson. Husband. Father. Friend.

He’s twenty-six years old today.

And still, the sense of awe and purpose. The Always Good goes before, with, and behind. I have seen, and this, too, I will remember.

Happy Birthday, Luke. I love you.

Giving thanks in community for:

#78 the privilege of being a mom
#79 framed photos all around the house, a visual history
#80 assurance that all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well
#81 memories that bring laughter through tears
#82 glimpses into Eternal Purpose
#83 faith to go joyfully forward, even (or especially) when there is no glimpse

To join the chorus of thanksgiving, visit Ann Voskamp’s site


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17 responses

18 04 2011
Diana Trautwein

SO lovely, thanks so much. It is indeed a privilege to mother these children of ours – and to grandmother the next generation as well. My youngest sleeps beside me on the bed as I type these words – 14 months old and like all those before her, a miracle of grace, a picture of God’s goodness. Loved reading this and enjoying your pictures as well.

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Diana. We’ve just begun the grandparenting journey, and oh how wonderful it is! They truly are miracles of grace, aren’t they?

18 04 2011
Daniel Farrow

Oh, Jeanne. Thank you so much for this particular chorus of Thanksgiving. You see, I’m the youngest son in my family, and I sometimes need to remember all the joy God has given me and all the trouble He’s kept me from instead of dwelling on all the problems. I pray Jesus blesses you richly for helping us to remember what we are thankful for.

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Daniel. I’m so glad this story reminded you of God’s gifts to you!

18 04 2011
Barbara Thayer

Isn’t it great to look back on the lives of our children and see what God has done with them in this life. To me, that is the greatest reward! You said it all so well. Blessings and Happy birthday to your son.

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Barbara!

18 04 2011
heartscape

Jeanne, I so loved this post! As a mother trying to hold onto the smallness of her children, I could instantly relate and sense your love. My youngest is 5 now, but in my mind, when he still curls up on my lap and wraps his arms around my neck, he’s forever 3. Forever my baby.

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Jane. I understand your longing. Your precious children are blessed to have a mom who is fully present. Enjoy the journey, even when that “baby” is a hairy grown man still trying to curl up on your lap. 🙂

18 04 2011
mary

Beautiful memories and a beautiful son! All grown up they will always be those little tikes we adored all those years ago and yet again, they will be that man they have grown to be – those boys are such a blessing- I have 2-

bee blessed
mary

Coming by way of A Holy Experience

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Yes, they are a blessing! Thanks so much for your kind words, Mary. I’m delighted you stopped by.

19 04 2011
Lissa

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a lovely rememberence. (Now where are my tissues.) 🙂

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Lissa! I’m honored by your tears.

19 04 2011
Melanie

I am CRYING!!!! So beautiful… from a mother’s heart to my heart. I have 2 boys (one’s middle name is Luke)

I have some free Easter / “He Is Risen” blog buttons if you would like one to display on your blog! They are on my blog and free to anyone who would like one. 🙂

Celebrating His resurrection,
Melanie

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Melanie! Enjoy those sweet sons. And thanks for the offer of the Easter button. I’ll definitely come check that out.

Celebrating His resurrection with you.

19 04 2011
laura

Oh, Jeanne. This one brought tears. Tonight I helped my 14 with a poetry project–he had to write his autobiography in poetry! One of the contributions was something from someone who knows him well–me. As I wrote I pictured that cherubic face in the nursery, I remembered his devilish toddler smile, I went through the stages of his growing up and I missed! Oh, how I missed! But there he was, beside me, writing poetry…

It won’t always be so. Twenty six is so you, but still seems so far away. Happy birthday to your poet. I like his mamma a lot :).

19 04 2011
Jeanne Damoff

Thank you, Laura! What a cool project. I’d love to read the poem you wrote about your son. Your heart is a gift to him, and your words are a gift to many, including me.

I like your son’s mama a lot, too. xo

20 04 2011
deb colarossi

oh, my heart is racing ..
Happy Belated Bday to your son,
and hugs to you .

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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