Monday, March 8, 2010
Sister Mary Sunshine
When I was expecting Mattie and Michael, we had just moved to Chesapeake, VA. In fact, I found out I was pregnant the day the movers were packing us up in Massachussetts. The nurse from Baystate IVF called and said "Catherine, honey...you're pregnant. According to your numbers, you are VERY pregnant." My articulate response was something along the lines of "Whoa." I had to go sit down for a minute. Then I called David, gave him the news and then got back to the business of moving. I remember thinking 'Wow...ok...well, this is going to be a great adventure for our little family.' And it was. Then we got to Chesapeake, settled into our temporary residence and the morning sickness hit. And some very scary and emotional medical issues (too involved to go into) came along. Oh, and Patrick got really sick. Still, we persevered and had fun where we could and managed to be excited about the blessings coming our way. We were building a house at this time (right smack in the middle of the holidays) and I was going back and forth from our apartment to the building site with Patrick on my hip and two babies in my rapidly expanding belly. So one day the contractor met me at the new house and we were discussing the sprinkler system. It was pouring rain and he said "What a horrible day. I hate the rain." I told him I was grateful for the rain because it would be good for the new sod they were laying. He sort of snorted and said "Sod isn't going to grow in the winter, lady. I don't know why the builders even put it in when it's this time of year." I told him I believed they knew what they were doing and that I was believing for grass in the spring, thank you very much! He said, smirking, "We'll just have to see, won't we?" So he asked me when my baby was due and I told him we were expecting twins in May and that I was really getting excited. Now this guy had many responses to choose from but this is what he decided to say to me in that moment: "Well, I had a sister who was pregnant with twins. She went into premature labor and both of the babies died." Umm...are you kidding me? Now don't get me wrong...I sincerely feel compassion that his family has had to deal with that kind of pain. But was that the appropriate time to pull that particular piece of history out of his family laundry basket? I would answer that with a resounding 'no'.
It's a wierd phenomenon. There are people who will, for some unknown reason, just drop a bomb of negativity on you when you least expect it. It happens a LOT when women are expecting. Never have I heard more pregnancy and childbirth horror stories than when I was expecting. So strange...I just don't get it!
So anyway, I'm an eternal optimist. I'm even optimistic about eternity. I have always believed that things would turn out all right if I would just stay in faith and keep moving forward. Have I ever been discouraged? Of course. Fearful? You bet. Angry? Yes. The thing is that I don't dwell in those dark places for very long. I don't like the dark. When I was a kid and things at home were at their worst, I would be imagining how great it would be when I was older and could make better choices for myself. It's just the way I'm wired. A beloved family member has joked to me on occasion; "Well, aren't we Sister Mary Sunshine today?" Same person refers to me as a 'Pollyanna' sometimes. Well why not? I choose to trust that the Lord is in control and that no matter how deep the sorrow, "joy comes with the morning." God's answer may not come in the way or at the time we expect it but I've found His answers always make perfect sense when they do come.
Yes, I'll admit it right now. I am happy. I am optimistic. I believe in miracles. I really try to see the good in people. I don't hate anyone. I trust Jesus. I can't hold a grudge. If you tell me your troubles I will probably tell you that everything will be all right. Because it will, one way or another. Nope, there's nothing to be done for it...I have incurable hope. Oh, I almost forgot. The grass grew in perfectly and right on time just as expected. Never doubted it for a second.