It’s the spring of 2018, and a pivotal moment in this gal’s life. I’m headed to a writer’s conference that will be, I pray, the days that determine just whether or not I will actively pursue this business of writing. I’ve toyed with it for years. Had a wonderful experience writing for the Museum Center at 5ive Points when it was in its developmental stages. Have always written articles and stories, but never seriously pursued it due to the obvious time thiefs of raising children and directing show choirs and plays and running a house and church choir commitments and a multitude of minutae that takes up our days. I’ve decided to pay the money. I have done the preparation. And I am fairly terrified.
Newby writers are told to “write what you know about.” So that’s where I have begun–I’ve written the family stories that defined my childhood and the stories about the family Steve and I created. Sometimes strange. Sometimes funny. Sometimes poignant. But they have left me with definite impressons…definite moments…definite thoughts about this world we inhabit and our place in it. The moment I begin with in this blog is a moment shared with my daughter Abigail.
In the winter of her third grade year, I got myself ready for “the talk”. I had bought the appropriate age-level books. I had planned the appropriate explanations. And I was ready. When that winter brought a snow-day home from school, she and I sat together in the big recliner, and we began. It was a precious moment for the both of us. After a couple of hours, I explained about the questions that would come to her later as she grew, and asked if she had any questions now. After all of this information, after all of the children’s books and pictures, her one question that day was, “Why do the Burrell’s get four?”
Her brother Clark had been gone for three years, and all of us still hurt mightily. Our friends and neighbors, the Burrells, had recently added a baby boy to their three girls. I had tried to anticipate all of the questions she might come up with. I had not anticipated this one. After a moment, all I could say was, “one day, we will have to ask Jesus about that. Some questions only He can answer.”
Later that spring I decided it was time to explain to her about her other brother and sister…my stillborn children. She had known and loved her brother Clark, calling him “Quark”. She had experienced his mischief; I once came upstairs and found him standing with his heels backed up to the line where the hallway carpet met her bedroom carpet. She had taped a sign to her door – “No Boyz Aloud”! He hadn’t gone in. He was just standing, smiling in his inimitable, sparkly-eyed mischief, just barely but definitely outside her room.
So when the time came, I sat on the edge of my bed while she twirled and danced in front of me. I referenced our conversation about families and parents and babies, and explained about the brother and sister we never came to know, because they had passed away in the birthing process. She was dancing, but I could tell that she was intently listening. When I finished telling her about Nicholas and Alexandra, these babies we had not been allowed to raise, she danced for a few more seconds and then whirled around and looked straight at me, saying, “I come srue for you!” Tears welled and my smile lit up the room as I grabbed her up into a waltzing hug and cried, “Yes you did, my Sweet Boo, yes you did!”
She came through for me. And still does. Just as the Lord has come through for me in ways I shall spend eternity being thankful for. There are always gonna be people and situations and scriptures and Jesus Himself who comes through for you. Just be sure you’re ready when the time comes.