The days are long but the years are short.
A young father spoke these words to me. He was just beginning, I was just finishing. He was enrolling his son in the preschool as I was preparing my youngest for high school graduation. I was reflecting on the past, he was planning for the future. I was longing for the clock to turn back, he was anticipating the clock moving forward.
My children have all graduated, one living for the moment, one planning the specifics for each day, one living in Eternity, and the youngest dreaming of her future. Each one looking to me for nurturing, each one needing me less.
I remember the day I was told I was pregnant with my first. Randy and I had just begun our senior year of college, I went to the doctor to discuss birth control, he informed me I came in a month too late. MyBoy arrived ten days before my college graduation. I held a diploma to one breast and a baby to another.
I remember the day MayBaby was born, the doctor placed her in my arms and Randy and I knew at first glance MayBaby had Down’s Syndrome and our first thought was “What about retirement?” Five days later we took our baby home to love and care for and fill our lives with joy.
I remember the day we were told she would not live outside my womb. Each day felt like an eternity, but the day of her birth came too soon. As I held my little one in my arms she breathed her last breath. I handed my baby to Jesus. I cried for my loss but felt a sincere peace knowing one of our children was in the hands of Jesus.
I remember the day I chose her name. As Randy and I waited a very long week for the results the amniocentesis held, I wondered, “Was my baby whole?” “Would my baby have a disability?” What answer would the test bring? The hours were long. I would have faith, “My baby is healthy.” I would doubt, “My baby is broken.” The Lord spoke to me. “Do not worry, consider the lilies how they grow, they do not labor or spin, yet I tell you Solomon in all his splendor is not as beautiful as one of these.” The answer came I would have a “normal girl” I was given a Lily.
As I sit and remember, it was yesterday, it was a lifetime ago. There are so many “do overs” I would like to have with my children, especially MyBoy, my first-born. I would listen more carefully, I would hold a little closer, I would let them feel a little longer. But if I had a “do over” and fixed all the things I could have done better, I may not have the adults that I am so proud of, whom I love so much, who bring me joy, who still call me Momma.
The days are long but the years are short. Today I will choose to love, listen and laugh.