Friday, June 8, 2012

Finding Beauty in Life's Crosses

Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth and death of my precious nephew, Daniel Aiden Palmer.
My brother and sister-in-law had been trying to conceive for a very long time, and at long last, she was pregnant. We all were ecstatic and waited impatiently for his arrival. But sometimes things don't turn out as you plan, sometimes tremendous crosses are planned for us, instead of joy. On June 7th, Daniel was born prematurely. My sister-in-law had eaten some food out that didn't seem quite right, and it threw her into early labor. Daniel's little organs were not fully prepared to function yet. And so on this fateful day, my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their long-awaited child into the world, had the most memorable 45 minutes of their life, and were then asked to let him go, whisked away to the loving hands of God. 

Thanks be to God, he was blessed with the sacrament of Baptism during that time. I have often thought about this precious child that God blessed our family with. Untainted by personal sin, he must have just been "too precious to stay" (an inscription I saw on one of the infant tombs near his grave). I have thought about the gift of my brother and sister-in-law. Because of their willingness to co-operate with the act of procreation, this child was given the chance to exist, to have an eternal soul that would now have the privelege of getting to know, love, and serve his beautiful God, forever. I have thought about the fact that we now have a powerful intercessor in heaven who is routing for his whole family to get there too. I have struggled with the why as my brother and sister-in-law's wound in their hearts I am certain is still fresh and hard to stifle on a day to day basis. But God's ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts, and some day all of our questions will be answered and we will see how the beautiful tapestry of our lives, trials, sorrows, and joys were woven together to create a masterpiece worthy of the great rewards that await us in heaven where there will be no more sorrow and suffering.

On the same day (yesterday) I began a conversation on facebook with another mom in our homeschool group. She has a daughter with Down Syndrome. Her witness to others is a testimony to how precious all life is. I am not sure if it is possible, but if it is, she is the proudest mother alive (maybe next to Mary). And she should be. Her little girl is a jewel. Some people though, might look upon the difficulty of it all, the challenges she faces as a mother on a daily basis and say, "Why say yes to such a life?" I asked her to point me to some videos to show to my kids that would educate them more about Down Syndrome, and she sent me some amazing ones. 

Christ said once to St. Faustina ""If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering." (p.1805)

Why?! Because those are the 2 closest paths to uniting ourselves with Christ. It is a privelege allowed only to humans. Lucky us right? ;) 

 "We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh." 2 Corinthians 4:8-11

So why say yes to life if it may bring suffering? Because it will shape us and form us into the perfect human being God intended us to be. 

Though my brother and sister-in-law do not have the privilege of holding their baby as my friend does in this life, one day they will all embrace, and cry together, and talk about how all this suffering made them better people and brought them to perfect joy. 

Precious Daniel resting in the arms of the Father, pray for us. 

1 comment :

  1. So true and beautifully written. Thank you for remembering our sweet boy. Love you.