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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Closing time. . .

No, not for this blog, but just for the end of my day. It has been a long several weeks and many things have been racing through my mind at random. I am a father to 5 children. That is the thought that keeps coming back and forth into my mind. I have four beautiful daughters that I love dearly and get to see daily. I have one daughter (my wife and I's decision on gender) that was taken from us in an act of mercy. We don't know why we had the miscarriage but we do know the simple fact that we did.

It is not a mercy in the nice politically correct way of looking at things but more in the respect of Sheldon Vanauken's, "A Severe Mercy" or C.S. Lewis's "Shadowlands". The mercy is in the loss and the pain. My wife told me she was suprised that this miscarriage was something that affected me so much. She has told me that she thought it was something that women dealt with. However, I can't help but look on this miscarriage as the loss of my child that I swore to care for before her conception. Something that is part of my being as a man demands that I am a knight for my children, present and God-willing future. They are my charges, given to me from God.

This miscarriage has caused lots of different emotions and reactions to come into my heart and mind. Part of me is excited because I have a child that is a Saint in heaven. Another part of me struggles with feeling robbed. This is my child and I will never get to hold her, watch her first steps, teach her to ride a bike, give her away on her wedding day, watch her profess her vows in the convent, or any of the other things that are possible with my other four daughters.

However, I feel guilty for feeling robbed, this isn't about me, it is about my child. She is in a better place than I am. She is part of the Church triumphant and I am still on my sojourn. My children are a temporary gift for me to be a steward of during this short time here on earth. They are not something for me to control and possess. I am to raise, form and shape them to know, love and serve the Lord. They are not tools for my happiness but an extension of who I am in essence that will, God willing, lead to my ultimate fulfillment as a being.

My wife told me something she heard, I don't remember if it was from another blog or from a friend. It was a simple statement that is a good frame for all of us as parents. When dealing with your children and the seeming interruptions in your day remember, it isn't "Now I have to do _____" but instead it is "Now I get to _____". Total change of perspective on how I deal with my current children. My children being in my life is something that I can never take for granted. They are here as a gift for me. Not for me to own or possess but for my benefit, to make me into a better person.

I know that the raising of my oldest child is stretching me into a better person. I come from a household with just my brother and I. We both have our own personalities and my father does. My oldest daughter is not unlike me but she is also unique in her own special ways. She is requiring me to move out of how I was raised and my cookie-cutter mentality of how a child is to be raised and realize that it is more about connecting in a realtionship with our children.

If you think about it realtionship is the very basis and being of the parent-child relationship. Terms like father and daughter are realtional. You can't use those words without them automatically implying a relationship. That is the biggest thing that I have learned. I have five wonderful children to thank for that and a very beautiful wife as well. My heart is moved by all of them.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. God bless you all.