Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Having Nathaniel Part 3
It was early, about seven am, and I was expecting Daddy and the Minister around nine. Ordering breakfast seemed so trivial that morning but I knew that I had to eat something. It just seemed so unimportant. I found myself lying there in that hospital bed and though emotionally I felt a wreck, physically I felt fine. I had had enough of hospital beds. So I wheeled breakfast over to the window next to a chair. A few bites were all I could manage. All the time you were still lying in your blanket in my lap. Pushing breakfast aside, I then turned the chair around to look out of the window. It looked chilly- November chilly. Grey. Rainy. The clock was moving forward and there was nothing I could do to stop it. After the Baptism I would walk out of the hospital and never see or hold you again, at least not in this lifetime. And I was crushed by this. How could I just leave you there? How on Earth was I going to do this? I stood up and leaned against the window sill. I moved your blanket just a bit so that your face was exposed to what little light there was under the clouds. I asked for help. All of my Grandparents are gone from this Earth. All four. Not one lived to meet my children whom I know would have given them so much joy. I looked out and thought about all the things I had talked about with this little body here in my arms over the last hours. Promises I had made. One was that I would do my best not to live in sorrow. That I would Mother Wren and Dane in a spirit that also honored Nathaniel. That they would know they have a brother in Heaven. That when things got bad, and I was feeling sad, that I would look for him in the Sun and in the Moon. That I would know, in my heart, that he was with my Grandparents, looking down on us. Nathaniel's face was literally a glow. It happened quickly, the clouds had parted, the sun shown in the window upon us, and then disappeared once again. I stood there as if transfixed. Nearly two hours had passed because just a few seconds later the Minister walked in , and then Daddy. And then the nurse who had been there with me most of the previous day. We stood hand in hand after I laid you in your little bassinet as the Minister read the story of the First Baptism. We all cried. I had placed a picture of Wren and Dane together at your feet. I had wanted them to be there too. The Minister told the story of how Jesus had told all of the people at the Baptism that children were some of the most important people of God. He asked them to recognize this and I thought to myself how my children mean the absolute world to me. The nurse knew my difficulty and asked if we were ready. The three of us walked you down to the little room where your pictures had been taken and the nurse showed me where to place the bassinet. I saw the two faces of my living children in the photograph at your feet and kissed your sweet little face one last time. Wren and Dane's picture traveled with you on your journey and that picture is part of your ashes. Hardly a day goes by that I do not lay a hand on your box just to feel you near. I feel your spirit in everything I do with Wren and Dane. It's as if Wren can read my mind when she says "Let's draw Nathaniel a picture." And, of course, I say "Yes, Wren, let's."