January 25, 2011

Thanks, Mama...

Jim and Anna, Dec. 19, 1955
Sometimes the full impact of a thing does not hit me right away. I had one of those moments this morning. For some reason, I remembered something that my mother told me years ago during a time of reminiscence, something about a hard decision she had been faced with. And this morning, finally, I think I fully comprehended the effect of that decision on my own life.

Mama and Daddy were married in December, 1955. They were really young, but in love, and were pleased to learn that Mama was expecting not too many months after their first anniversary. As the pregnancy progressed, her doctor discovered that Mama had some sort of heart problem. A serious heart problem, so serious that he was concerned about her body's ability to carry and deliver the baby. In fact, his medical advice to her was, "You need to abort this baby, and you should not have any children." What a decision for a still-newlywed 21-year-old to face. I wonder who, beyond my father, she might have confided in or sought counsel from. Her own mother had died years before; perhaps her sisters or my father's mother?

Ultimately, she had a decision to make. She decided to take the risk and carry the baby, rather than sacrifice that life within her so that she might live. She was on bedrest for a time, and hospitalized for observation before the due date, but she did deliver a healthy little girl. How she must have cherished that tiny infant girl, knowing what might have been.

Mama made another decision, as well. She wanted a family. Raised by her aunts and older siblings, moved from place to place, I wonder if she wanted to opportunity to create a strong family unit, building in so many things that she knew she had missed out on. I do know that she loved the Lord and wanted to share that love with her family.

So two years later, a boy was born. Four years later, I came along... and after a break of five years, another baby girl.

I'm certain that doctor believed he was advising the right things -- this was a good 16 years before Roe v Wade, so I don't have any reason to believe that he took the situation lightly. And yet, I am so thankful that my mother had a firm hold on the rightness and wrongness the options before her, and a faith in the God who had created this little life within her. I wonder, did she yet recognize that more than one life was at stake?

Anna, with AnnaKate, 1996
Because one baby was allowed to live (and my mother lived, in spite of her condition), three more were also born. Because those four children were born, they went on to have a total of twelve more children, my mother's grandchildren. Those grandchildren have gone on to have three great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. What lives within our family have been impacted... what lives beyond our family have been impacted.

All because a young wife and mother-to-be decided, "It's not about me."

While I'd love to be able to hug my mother today and tell her thank you for all of this, I can't. But she's with the Lord, and I know that she has a greater realization of His plan and His glory now than she ever had on earth.

Oh, that we might all seek to glimpse that here on earth.

January 17, 2011

January 15, 2011

What was the best thing about... yesterday?

I love to write, but I'm not very disciplined about it. Other things just seem to take priority. But even I should be able to write one line each day -- and what a great exercise in brevity! That's one of the things I love about this DIY project. Well, it's also very cute. And it would make a great gift for a friend, as well as a helpful mini-journaling tool for a child who is a new or reluctant writer. It would also be nice for anyone who is starting a new adventure...

I hope you enjoy the best of my days notepad from Under the Sycamore.