I've been distracting myself lately with Bones. It's why I haven't written. I guess I'm entranced by it because it is an entire TV show devoted to discovering why a person died. And that is my hearts cry. I heard today's song on one of the last episodes of the first season. Enjoy.
The worst moment I spoke of earlier was when Paul came in. Paul is the man from Garden View Funeral Home. Paul carried my tiny cold son away in a black duffel bag. Paul was kind. He didn't try to offer me advice or make me feel better. Paul was made to be a funeral director. If you live near me, and have attended a funeral at Garden View you have most likely met Paul.
My parents had left the hospital to shower and take care of my other siblings. My mother-in-law stayed because I asked her to. I didn't want to be by myself when I did the inevitable; hand Asher over.. Right after Asher was born I was told that we could hold him for as long as I wanted and that when I was ready they would call the mortuary. At about 7am I had finally had all I could take. I called the nurse and asked her to call the mortuary. I have tremendous guilt over this now because I really only held Asher for around 4 or 5 hours. At the time it seemed like an eternity. If I had realized how empty my arms were going to feel in the days and months ahead I'd have held him longer. We had taken pictures, we had passed him around, we had cried, and I was totally spent. I had been awake for over 24 hours and lost and birthed a child in that time. So I called for Paul.
I fell asleep around 7am and woke about 10mins before Paul arrived, as if anticipating his arival. I was stired awake by one of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard, and will likely ever hear this side of heaven. It was my mother-in-law rocking and singing to Asher. The only light in the room that was on was shining down onto her and Asher. The scene like a dream. God Himself was presiding over that moment, comforting my mother-in-law, Marla, in the last few moments she had to hold her grandson.
When she looked up and noticed I was awake I asked to have Asher back. She handed him to me and I wrapped my arms around him for the last time. Death used to be so terrifying to me, but now it is only heartbreaking. And I never understood what the old-time saints meant when they said they were homesick for heaven, but I do now. It takes real effort to live in the now when I am so ready for Christ to call me home. No more sorrow. No more sickness. No more pain. I will embrace my Asher again.
After Paul arrived he and I spoke for a few minutes. And when I was ready I kissed my sweet child goodbye and told him that it wouldn't be long until mommy came home. That was the hardest, most terrible moment of my life. I handed Asher to to Marla and she carried him behind the curtain, I didn't want to watch them take him away. I wept and sobbed quietly while Paul wrapped him up and placed him into what looked like a black duffel bag. Then I guess Paul walked out of the room, down the hall, into the elevator, down more halls, out the hospital doors, got into his car and drove back to Garden View. I have always wondered what passers by thought was in that small bag held by the somber looking young man with big eyes and perfect hair. Did they assume he was taking clothes to a relative somewhere? Did they even register that black bag? Had another woman recognized that bag from her own journey? Hours later I had impulses to tear out of the hospital in my blue hospital issue socks with rubber bottoms and run to the mortuary to reclaim my son. To tell them it had all been a terrible mistake. I just knew it couldn't have happened and that I needed to go get Asher.
After Paul left, Marla also had to go home. She had been up all night and was exhausted as well. I kissed her bye and she was gone. It was the first moment that I had been alone in over 14 hours. The silence was overwhelming and I felt as though I were drowning. I leaned back and sobbed again. Great tears rolled from my eyes in droves. I wanted to roll to my side to curl into the fetal position and try to hide from the hurt but I was stuck on my back from the epidural. So I just laid there looking up at the ceiling and allowing my body to shake with heartache. Finally the exhaustion overtook my body and I fell asleep. A dark, dreamless sleep it was.
Song #8 - Rain by Patty Griffin