A Plus Sign
Two years this Monday...October 1. The Feast of St. Therese. I had proof of your life growing within me. The inkling I had felt was proven true with a plus sign. I had been nauseous for over a week, but I was thrown off by the spotting and my irregular cycle. But something within me just knew. I just knew it would be positive.
I woke up early that morning to attend First Saturday mass, which would end up becoming our monthly devotion. I could hardly sleep and couldn’t wait to get out of bed to take the pregnancy test. My heart was racing, but the lines showed up immediately.
IT WAS POSITIVE
You existed and were growing within me. The story of your life was already beginning to unfold. And in that moment, all I felt was true joy, and had already begun to hold on to you fiercely.
My much loved and longed for little babe.
I went to the store to purchase roses...orange and yellow beauties. We would receive the same kind in the hospital from a friend during your delivery, and we would select the same colors for your funeral...just seven months and twenty-six days later.
I went to mass and thought I surely must be glowing. I wanted to proclaim my news. I couldn’t contain it. I was so sick, but I relished every moment. I was pregnant! Life was manifesting inside of me. Your life, little one. My body—a vessel for your sacred existence. Our story waiting to unfold.
The roses were blessed at mass, and I spent time in prayer in front of the relics of St. Therese. She chose me, and she chose you. She chose us. I had just finished the Divine Mercy Consecration from her Offering to Merciful Love over the summer before your conception. I should have known you would be my little Teresa.
I left church and met a friend for coffee. It was a beautiful fall morning. The air was crisp. The sky so clear. I was overflowing in gratitude. I felt so happy. My joy was so tangible. I had been waiting for you. I knew God had been preparing my heart to be your mother, and I was so unbelievably thankful. I couldn’t drink coffee...I was too nauseous. But you were worth every sacrifice. Worth every suffering. Worth it all.
The day was one of celebration. We had a good friend over for dinner—the priest who would bless and bury your body at the end of your earthly life. The roses, placed on the dinner table. He even commented on their beauty. Flowers for St. Therese. Flowers for you. Those roses are now dried out and placed on display in our home. They are a tangible reminder of the hope I felt that day. Over dinner, we shared with him our news... We were expecting! He was there for your beginning and your end. It’s all so strange how your story unfolded. It’s one of great mystery to me still.
I do know my heart hurts. The reality of tomorrow stings. I spent my entire pregnancy so anxious for your arrival, and I couldn’t wait to have you in my arms. And yet, you are not here. Instead of holding you close, I will have to bring flowers to your grave and attend mass to find you. And I will hold your little brother, instead, and cry both tears of sorrow and gratitude for the loss and the gain.
I miss you, and I love you, my little flower. I love you, my sweet Teresa. Celebrate tomorrow. Celebrate with your namesakes. Celebrate, rejoice, and pray for us.
"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!" (Job 6:21)