The invitation came in the mail and I was excited.
I was in a room full of women. Smiling faces all excited to bestow words of wisdom, advice and prayer on the newest member of the mommy club. And although I didn’t plan it, I ended up with a front row seat to the festivities when I unknowingly sat in a chair that would end up being right next to her. In that moment I wished I could disappear. It hit me like a sudden slap. The realization that this was the first happy baby event that I had attended since Amelia was born.
A lovely matron in the group suggested that before opening gifts the group pray for her, and woman after woman spoke wishes and blessings into the air. And all I could think of was how quickly things can change.
I fervently prayed in silence that my friend would get to hold her baby and that she never would know the grief of choosing the last outfit from the many she was given for her daughter to be cremated in. I prayed that each beautifully wrapped package and gift bag would be put to use and not put away to gather dust. I prayed that the gorgeous hand crocheted blanket a friend made would keep her daughter warm and not serve as a part of her coffin. I prayed that each birth pang that she felt would bring her closer to holding her living baby girl and that she never would know what it is like to give birth to death. I prayed that she has years of photographs and milestones to measure her life against, instead of having a few that help her remember what her baby looked like.
I prayed that her home be filled with baby things to keep track of and put away. I prayed that each precious memory she gets to make will be stored in her heart and not put away in a box to be taken out when she needs a good cry.
I prayed that God protect her new little family and guide them as they begin this new journey. I prayed that her adventure be glorious and filled with joy so that in the years to come, when hard times happen, she has happiness to lift her.
I prayed that I could continue smiling and show a happy face until the end of the party, and I did. I made it, no tears, no having to leave the room, no making a fool of myself and ruining her celebration. I left with a hug and a promise to go out to dinner, just the two of us. I calmly got into my car, turned on the ignition and took a deep breath.
I survived through prayer.