A Mother’s Day reflection: Life is a beautiful gift at any stage
It is at once beautiful and heartbreaking. It clearly conveys life, but at the same time it starkly and poignantly depicts its loss.
Images of miscarried children, especially in their mother’s arms, when they can be captured, are important for their ability to demonstrate that unborn life is in fact human life. This is especially true in a culture where there are those who deny that fact, and also those who don’t bother to deny it but simply don’t care.
Lexi, the young mother, was roughly halfway along in her pregnancy when she went into labor too soon with Walter. She walked readers through the loss and bravely shared the accompanying pain.
We often see the terms “perfectly formed” or “fully formed” to underscore that a child who may not have yet been viable outside the womb was well on the way to being so.
These terms are necessary because of that persistent denial of the humanity of unborn life, even though science is continually better able to confirm it.
But what constitutes “perfectly formed”?
Many women know the reality of Jeremiah 1:5 within their heart and soul: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”
Still, not everyone will get the chance to hold their children before they must let them go.
Like Lexi, I have miscarried twice, though earlier in pregnancy than her.
Depending on how you look at things, one might say I was fortunate to not have been as far along as women who deliver a fully formed child.
At times, on some level I might be inclined to agree. But because I wasn’t as far into pregnancy, even though I experienced labor, I didn’t get to hold either child. They were simply gone.
It makes me wonder about other mothers who have lost children and never got to hold them, especially mothers who have lost them to abortion. Were any of them able to hold them before letting them go?
As Lexi shared in her account, I don’t know why it happened to me. I don’t why it had to happen that I would lose them, and I’ll likely not ever know on this side of eternity.
But I do know that no matter how young they were, even though I never held them, they were alive, they were real, and they were — they are — my children, perfectly formed by God.
I know this because I knew both times in my heart when they were gone, even before it was confirmed medically.
And I also know that they were a gift from God, even without having had the chance to hold them in my arms. It’s often through pain that our faith is strengthened.
We, those of us who have conceived — because that’s when it happens, when God puts that soul in that tiny little body and creates a life — get to share very directly in the same miracle Our Blessed Mother did when she carried Our Lord. And just as she experienced, it entails some pain.
But what a gift that is, under any circumstances.
We just celebrated Mother’s Day. Every day that we carry our mother’s DNA forth in life is Mother’s Day. It’s not always greeting card-perfect, but it’s still a beautiful thing.
A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, those who are still with us and those who have died. And also to those moms who gave their children life in difficult circumstances and chose the life-affirming option of adoption. Happy Mother’s Day to moms who have adopted children.
Happy Mother’s Day to women who haven’t conceived children but who still “mother” others.
And Happy Mother’s Day to moms who have children they will never get to hold in this life, for whatever reason. You can bet those babies are in God’s arms.