Thursday, May 14, 2015

Madelyn's Empty Cradle

When Madelyn first heard that there would be a new baby
 she immediately had me pull up ALL the baby stuff from the basement.  
Baby toys, blankets, clothes, diapers and this bassinet, 
which she insisted on setting up beside her bed.....

She was so ready to be the real mama.  

So enlarged by this incredible bright future!

But, the ultrasound confirmed that this bassinet will remain empty for a while yet.

So yesterday we built another tipi.  

It has become a meaningful ritual for us -- 
creating a shelter that can house our most important stories.

I lit a candle and told a short and simple tale.

 All straight up true history.

Once upon a time, almost 4 years ago when Davis was in my tummy, I was at a wonderful week of Waldorf teacher training in Calgary.  I needle-felted a picture of a river.....
On one side of the river there were 2 flowers; on the other side there were 3.  That very afternoon blood started coming from where the baby was.  That made me very worried and I even started to cry.  But Miss Tara and Miss Lesley took me to the hospital and cared for me.  

The nurses put their special camera on my tummy and what I saw completely shocked me...  

(I showed the kids this ultrasound of Davis)

What I saw was a perfect, healthy baby kicking like crazy!  Everything was fine.  I would cross the river to the land of 3 children, and here you all are!

Then I went on to say that I'd been to the doctor again because once again there was bleeding from where the baby was.  This time, when the nurses looked with their special cameras they saw something very strange and unexpected.     

It was like this picture except it was empty!  There was no baby in there.  Sometimes that happens when all the ingredients aren't coming together very well, it just doesn't become a baby.  

By this point Madelyn was already aghast and sobbing.

But the truth was told, and I must say I was relieved. 

3 year old Davis gave me a big kiss on the lips.  

7 year old Brayden reassured us that we would 
save a lot of money.  

And 9 year old Madelyn cried, and cried, and cried.....
even more than I have.  

She sobbed and wept her way to sleep last night.

But then, 

today was a new day....


-Madelyn holding Lavender Blue Jong

My daughter is getting an education.  

Not just her Waldorf education that I'm always raving about;
 I mean some serious, beautiful, life education.  

I watched her eyes today in the playground after school
 and saw questions and answers rise and fall
 like bubbles in a lava lamp -- 
dancing with gravity and levity. 

I watched her face out of the corner of my eye 
as she watched me.  

And what a sight: 

Friend after friend approaching me, 

offering their very best long and tender, 
deep and fervent hugs, 
words of love, spilling tears, 

an overflowing care basket of organic fruit & bath salts 
& tea and freshly laid eggs, 

and a watercolour painting/poem written 
for our unborn babe.....

Madelyn wouldn't leave my side for a moment.

For her this was an incomprehensible and lavish display of compassion -- 

a mysterious chain reaction somehow related to the heartbreaking news of yesterday -- 

Her eyes were wide with wonder over the omniscience of our community!  How did they all know?!

(her mother is a very transparent and public person!)

I could tell by Maddy's slight smile that some learning was going on...

- you know the smile of secret delight kids get from witnessing something 'adult' and new -

 the smile that signifies their perspective widening by the moment?

This was my greatest gift today:

In Madelyn's face I saw the working of soul medicineunknowingly being administered by my community. 

I saw a gentle, healing warmth flicker in her eyes,
like deep fairy magic bringing the thaw.  

The magic of beholding the love of these women 

for her mother... 

bestowed a truth in her spirit,

deposited evidence in her heart.

She knows something now,

from this extra-curricular education,

that she didn't know before.

(The kind of learning it takes many angels to orchestrate)

I can't even begin to express it,

but I know it deep in my bones too.

-drawing of Mommy, by Madelyn

This is all poignantly dear to me because the one thing 
I asked for help, support, and prayer with 

was this - how to shelter Madelyn through this storm.

How to heal her empty cradle heart.

More than any therapeutic story I could ever write for her, today brought profound healing.

What a simple cure: friends living out their love,

big and bold enough that a child can plainly taste and see.

The beauty of a tipi is this:

One stick of willow alone cannot provide much shelter.

But bound together at a point of oneness 
many willow branches become a home...

A wonderful place to share joys and sorrows.



- and I mean all of you
not just those who were physically here 
to spread their arms around us -

you have been these many pillars. 

It has felt like a hundred hugs, thank you all.



1 comment:

  1. Love. love. love. to you all. to your sweet daughter. to your community. to you. to your unborn babe. love. to all.