Today I had an appointment for Eli. I chatted in the waiting room with other moms and dads talking of typical things like ages, personalities and as always, why my very tall children were with me instead of in school. This particular time, a mom was genuinely interested in the idea of home educating and how one does it. She has 20 month old twin girls and a 3 month old baby boy...rather ambitious enquiry if you ask me.
Our turn came and went. A nurse returned to give me some paperwork and asked a very common question.....Do you have three children all together? I have been confronted with this question many times over the last seven years and each time I make a choice. The choice to smile and say I have three or to go on and explain that I have given birth to four children and been pregnant six times, loosing two of them at twelve weeks. Right after Jonah was born and died I was compelled to always include him in my responses. As time went on it became a choice. Most times I can sense if someone would be interested or not. Sometimes I have judged incorrectly but not today.
I took the chance responding to the nurse and explained that I actually have given birth to four children, one of which died shortly after birth. It is at this point that you get a clear picture of how the conversation will go from here. She moved closer to me and attempted to sit next to me but my bag was in the way, I quickly moved it. She sat next to me and expressed her sympathy and sorrow for me. It was amazing really. The door opened so easily and God was at work through this little boy again. How often I have found a complete different response. Other times the person begins to fidget with their hands.....a sure sign of discomfort, they instinctively move slightly away from me, express their sympathy quickly and excuse themselves. I don't blame them. The death of a baby IS unnatural. I do find that those who have hurt much themselves are the ones who move closer. As a culture and by nature we run from suffering, pain and discomfort. I know I still do on many levels.
She gently asked me how my son died, I explained. She took the time to express her thoughts on how difficult it must have been and how one gets through something like this. I agreed that it was/is difficult to the core and then began to tell her about my Saving Grace, my Hope Within and the One who Sustained me through the darkest struggle of my life. I began to tell her though my son is dead in his body, he is not dead as we think of death but very much alive. That his death and the gift of that suffering has opened my eyes to things I could not see, to comfort I hadn't known and truth I was yet to believe.
Jonah's short life brought much grace into our lives as God worked it all to good for His glory. This little boy we will never see grow up, nor hold or talk to on this earth still leaves his imprint here. He opens doors for me to share about an amazing Savior that would otherwise remain closed. It also blesses me to talk about his life and how he is so much apart of our family, still today. It makes me think of a foot print left on the beach. There was someone there, but you don't know who it was or anything about them.....just the evidence that they truly exsist.
Thank you Jonah for still speaking seven years later into my life and the lives of others. And thank you God for using the short life of a small boy to turn this heart and the heart of others toward you.
This is his legacy.