Tuesday, December 18, 2007

* That Story

In my post 'The Other Side' , I mentioned a story that Dr. M told at Owen's burial that I truly believe helped me survive that awful day. I want to share it with you, but first I need to give you some background. My mom passed away in February 2006 after a brief and awful illness. She started not feeling well around Christmas, was diagnosed with cholan*giocarcinoma in January, and was gone by the end of February. In two short months, she went from being this amazing, caring, full of life woman to someone who could not walk from her bed to the bathroom reliably. My father cared for her until the very end and she died in his arms. She died the day before I was coming to help Daddy take care of her. I think that was on purpose. I don't think she wanted me to have to care for her, she wanted to be taking care of me. My mom was, at the risk of bragging, everything one could ask for in a mother. She loved us unconditionally and with her whole heart, and we knew it. Needless to say her death was the worst thing I had ever experienced. Until I lost Owen.

The night I spent in the hospital laboring with Owen, I had a vision of my mother. She was walking toward me from down a long dark hall and as she got closer, I could see she was holding something in her arms. She pulled away the blanket and showed me the tiny baby in her arms. She leaned over and kissed him and we locked eyes. Then she turned and walked away. That moment gave me the strength I needed to carry on. However, over the next few days I lost my certainty of what I had seen to my all encompassing despair. I didn't tell anyone what I had seen.

At the service, Dr. M (the minister of the church I grew up in) began by saying that something had happened to him that he felt compelled to share. He told us that the day before the service, he went into his office at the church to gather together some materials. Dr. M.'s office is packed from floor to ceiling on pretty much all surfaces with books. He reached up to pull one book down and a card tumbled to the floor. As he told the story, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. This, he said, is what I found. It was the prayer card from my mom's burial service, held nearly a year and a half earlier.

8 comments:

kalakly said...

Ashleigh,

I absolutely believe that those who have gone ahead can come to us, especially in the darkest of hours.

So now you know that your Owen is safe and well cared for in the arms of his grandma.

I am so sorry that you lost your mom. She sounds like a wonderful woman who cared more than anything for her babies. And still does.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Kalakly

Coggy said...

It's weird how these strange coincidences happen. Like someone is trying to tell us something. Maybe these things happen for a reason, maybe they are just chance. I don't know and you know what I really don't think it matters which you believe. It IS comforting to have these occurrences and these things are often what we need to get us through our darkest hours.
Like finding the prayer when you were struggling with your beliefs.
I'm sorry to read about your Mum Ashleigh. I lost my Dad 5 years ago, to sm.all cell c@rcin.oma. It's frightening how quickly the person we love can be lost. For me I lost my Dad 6 months before he died. He just stopped being the same person that I had known all my life.
thinking of you x x x x

C. said...

My deepest, heartfelt sympathies at the loss of your mom. I can't even begin to imagine what that feels like. I'm so sorry.

Your story gives me the chills. I really and truly want to believe that we have something more to look forward to after this life. I want to know Callum is there now. It is a remarkable story you tell...and I hope with every little bit of me that your Owen is safe and being cared for by your mom. What a comforting thought, indeed.

meg said...

This is quite the story. I literally got goosebumps. I'm glad the minister told that story at the burial. It's just amazing.

I have never lost a parent, but I imagine it's pretty horrendous. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mum.

yummysushipajamas said...

That is beautiful. Never doubt that your mother came to be with you in your time of greatest need. No doubt she continues to watch over you every minute. I hope that knowing her presence surrounds you can bring you some peace.

Becca said...

Oh my gosh I literally have chill bumps all the way down my spine. What an amazing story. I know that your mom was there that day with you, and as hard as I know it has been to lose them both so close together, how wonderful is it to know that she's up there in heaven holding and rocking him right now.

Rosalind said...

It sounds like your mom wanted to give you some peace of mind that your little one was okay.. you're very lucky to have her

Honey i'm so sorry that you lost your mom

What a story .. thank you

whatthef*ck said...

woah. goosebumps, lump in throat. your mom's visit. wow. she continued to care for you even after she'd left her body, coming thru the time and space barrier to comfort you. amazing. what a gift she gave you.

when i was told that my perfectly healthy baby woyld have to be delivered at 23 weeks, even though she was too small to live, there was a baby being born in the next room. the baby's newborn cries somehow calmed me and i was filled witha certainty that i would hear my own newborn baby cry someday. that feeling helped sustain me. i must have come from somewhere else to get me through the worst moment of my life.

i am so glad your mom came to you. try to hang on to your memories of her visit.