In my lifetime I’ve had periods where sometimes doubt wins and sometimes faith wins. And then something happened to make faith win forever.
I was raised in an agnostic family and not much was said about religion at all. It just never really came up. We went to church for weddings or funerals and that was it.
As a sassy 12 year old, my mother told me to stop saying, “Oh my God! Because many find it offensive.” End of discussion.
Since we lived in Yupik villages in Alaska, I heard the story of the elder who led all the animals and all the people to the hill behind the village when the waters began to rise before I ever heard the story of Noah’s Ark. I learned respect for nature and the animals that feed us. If you catch a fish, you should return a bit of it in the river to swim back to the Mother and grow into another. Killing a spider will make it rain. These lessons from Elders were part of my childhood.
Sometimes when I stare at the vast night sky, I wonder if one Being could be responsible for everything. Or if just all-things-Earth are His domain? There are so many questions I wonder about, and being a realist, I like to see answers, but when it comes to God, I have learned it is about faith, being able to believe in something without seeing proof. There is proof of His work all around us in sunsets, spring crops, caring neighbors and such, but are those enough to prove God’s existence? Those are the kinds of questions I always think about.
And then we were ready to start a family, but when we went to our OB for our 12 week appointment to hear the heartbeat for the first time it wasn’t there. They listened and searched. We were sent upstairs for an ultrasound. We were able to see our baby, floating, tiny and still.
This was our first baby.
One we’ll never hold. Blue eyes? Brown eyes? Curls? Silly or serious? We’ll never know.
“Many miscarriages happen because the baby isn’t developing properly.” The OB told us. Tears.
“Unfortunately, miscarriages are very common. If you choose to talk about it with friends and family, you’ll find you have a lot of company.” The OB told us. More tears.
And more and more tears.
And slowly, day by day after our loss, life got better. But we’ll never forget this little one. And because I can’t stand to think of our baby as ‘gone,’ I choose to believe in God. Selfish, I know.
I want there to be a heaven where God sits in a rocking chair holding, singing and snuggling our little one. In my heart I know that life just doesn’t end because our bodies fail. Where there is love, there is life. I hope that one day (I’m being optimistic) I’ll be able to walk to God’s enormous rocking chair and meet our first baby. See those eyelashes and smell that newborn skin.
While I’m not at all thankful for the miscarriage, I am thankful for the lessons I learned from that time period. After our loss, we wanted a baby more than anything and it took a while to get pregnant again. Our children are now 3, 5 and 7 and on the days and nights when parenting is the hardest, I remind myself, “I wanted this. I wanted these children in our family.” I take myself back to the time period where our arms were empty and now they are so full. And I am so grateful.
There is so much to be thankful for, so on this Thanksgiving Day, I hope that you are able to celebrate with friends and family, both near and far. And to those you will meet again and to those you will meet for the first time.