The Waiting


He'll arrive any day, this baby of ours, my body dropping hints left and right that it's time.  I walk the neighborhood every afternoon, closing the door behind me with hopes for more than just an intermittent tightening and returning home again underwhelmed.  Sometimes I do it twice a day, as though my resolute sneakers could somehow best the will of this child.

My feet clod along the concrete sidewalk and I let my mind wander to the waiting.  I wait for my baby with my whole being, bracing my body to be ripped apart: shivering at the horror and mystified by the thrill, ready to feel his slippery skin on mine and breathe in the scent of creation.  It is a holy work, saying this is my body, broken for you.

I shuffle on and pray without meaning to.  For her and her who also wait, though they wait for babies yet unformed but through hope.  I pray for her and her who wait to see their babies on the beaches of The Next, whole and alive and free.  I pray for her who knows her wait is over, decided not by her desires but by the cruelty of the clock.

Is there a grief on the earth quite like the grief of a mother denied?

I will carry their names with me into labor, these mothers and sisters of mine.  Catholics believe that we can offer our sufferings to God and ask that they be used to alleviate the sufferings of another.  It's not a math equation, it's an economy shrouded in mystery, but it is unsearchably beautiful to me.

The names of these women will accompany me when the moment comes that I dip into despair and my soul threatens to break.  I will offer my pain up for their sakes - for their miracle or for their consolation - and I will never wrap my mind around the effects.  But I know in the depths of my consciousness that I will love them more, and that I will love the world more, and that love always multiplies itself.  And alongside these sisters of mine, with so much we'll never understand, I will trust that Love Wins.

Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)