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A planning, a challenging —

another child,

timed and prepared to fit

our schedules.

 

Everything seemed to proceed easily.

But plans are that only

nothing more

 

Thanksgiving weekend

I bartered with God.

Please let this baby live.

We want it so much.

Give me a reason for giving thanks,

give me this child,

this bit of immortality.

But God had other plans.

 

Deep, immeasurable grief

years later, at Thanksgiving

the waves of loss —

of potential, of possibility,

of a soul connected to mine

gone.

 

Yet unexpected gifts

a community

of women

of friends

of love

shared my grief

 

Controls

plans

schedules

vastly overrated

ultimately self-deluding.

I opened up to possibilities.

 

My second son is special

as all children are

but also in miraculous recognition

without the miscarriage

he would not be.

 

In him

made manifest

God’s lesson in love and hope.

The cliche,

“What will be, will be”

profoundly comforts.

This child is what will be,

the other not.

Simple.

Difficult.

True.

(c) Lydia A. Schultz, 2009

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My oldest is about to graduate from college this year, and I have been thinking about the process of nurturing and letting go.  I wrote this a number of years ago, when he went off to sleep-away camp for the first time.  Funny, to me it doesn’t seem so long ago.

***************************************

Daniel

 

Absence

Is an ache

Not like the active toothache

But like the way your tongue keeps working a spot

Where the tooth is gone,

The way your jaw remembers that place.

The pain isn’t stabbing or shooting

But constant

A sense of loss

Of being missed

Of something that was so much a part of you

That its absence makes clear

Just how essential.

 

You grow so fast, so far away.

I cleaned your closet in your absence

Finding old treasures, long forgotten,

Finding the badges of your courage,

Achingly.

 

The letting go is hard–

Harder than I thought.

But the joy in the progress, the growth,

The glimmers of the man you will become,

Make me hopeful.

 

So I sit with tears now

That I can’t tell you about.

Tears after the heartfelt hug you gave

In spite of wanting to be macho in front of your friends.

Tears when I heard your tiny brother

Sigh deeply and say,

“I miss Daniel ’cause I love him.”

 

A boy too big to kiss his mom in public

But young enough to sneak

Stuffed animals into bed.

 

My gentle, temperamental son,

I miss you too

And love you.

 

Camp helps me to grow up too.

 

(c) Lydia A. Schultz

March in Minnesota

 

It overwhelmed, if for a while

            Snow so thick I can’t see across a street

            Flakes aswirl, enveloping me as I walk

 

Suddenly, sunshine, brilliant, blinding,

            Squirrel and rabbit prints

            Chase each other in the snow

 

The world comes alive again

            Cardinals dart from tree to tree

            Serenading me, sending me forth with hope in my day

 

Hoar frost rimes the trees

            Gold finches flit

            A psalm of their own making

 

Sculpted with whiteness, dotted with colors

            Children playing as penguins

            Making snow mustaches and beards

 

A splash of melting snow.

Copyright (c) Lydia A. Schultz