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.