Before we lost our twin daughters after birth two years ago - suddenly, tragically, publicly - there was another loss. Smaller. Earlier. Quieter. Five years ago we lost a baby to miscarriage. I wrote about this loss here and in my book Everyday Sacrament. Miscarriage was devastating. It upheaved what we knew about parenting. How we expected things would (naturally) go according to (our) plans. How much more we've learned since then. Today is the due date of the baby we never got to hold. April 7th comes and goes silently each year, a ghost of an anniversary. But this year we get to fill today with hope. An announcement of new life all its own. At the end of 2016, Our Sunday Visitor approached me and my husband about writing a book on miscarriage. After all that I'd written about grief, would we consider writing a book on loss for couples - as a couple? Few Catholic resources exist on miscarriage, and the literature on loss is almost all written for women. … [Read more...] about Grieving Together: a book on miscarriage for couples
Here is today's first reading. The promise of the new Jerusalem, part of the prophecy of Isaiah. Here is today's Gospel. The healing of the royal official's son, the second sign in the Gospel of John. And here is my whole heart, caught between the two. The same Scripture passage from Isaiah was read at our daughters' funeral. (Among the handful of sentences in the English language that I wish I never had to write, that might top the list. That possessive pronoun and plural apostrophe still wreck me.) And yet, they were the best words for the worst day. The promise that one day there will be no more weeping, no more crying, no more babies who live but a few days. Sign me up. Let me hope. Pull me out of the pit. Lift me toward the light with the hope that one day no more parents will have their dreams crushed to dust. But wait: there is more. There is always the rub. Today's Gospel, too. Two sides of hope held in tension: the promise and the fulfillment. That … [Read more...] about I wanted the miracle. We got the revelation.
Last week we watched Irma, that swirling monster of a storm, with twisted stomachs and sick hearts. Friends we love live in Florida. We wanted them to be safe, their homes to stay dry, their schools and workplaces untouched. We read their anxious updates, prayed for protection, watched the weather forecast. It looked like the worst was coming. And then the storm turned. Everyone we know is ok. I am deeply grateful for this fact. And I am secretly jealous. Because this is the path I thought our story would take. It looks bad, it’s looking worse, dear God it looks absolutely horri – oh wait! Everything is fine. He came through surgery. Her chemo shrunk the tumor. They were able to have a baby. He didn’t end up on that plane. No one was home when the tree fell. The doctor was wrong. She beat the odds. Rehab worked. His job was safe. The driver swerved. Their twins survived. Instead, our hurricane gained strength. It swirled and churned and everyone prayed and prayed … [Read more...] about when the hurricane hits
Here's the big announcement I've been saving. In case you missed it in the brand-new Mothering Spirit newsletter, I have two new e-books available for you and yours: Prayers for Pregnancy was born from the prayers that bring so many to Mothering Spirit. I never expected how the prayers I wrote (when I couldn't find pregnancy prayers that I loved) would resonate with readers, but it has been such a humbling gift to journey with expectant parents through their hopes and fears of welcoming a child. I've always dreamed of writing a bigger book of prayers for pregnancy and birth, but I decided it was time to create something that could be shared right now with those of you who have asked for more resources for pregnancy. Now you can get all the prayers together - plus lots of brand-new additions - in one e-book! This new collection of Prayers for Pregnancy includes: prayers for each month of pregnancy blessings for first-time moms, moms of many kids, and mothers of multiples … [Read more...] about announcing…