The preciousness of moments, the sweet knowledge of time,
Holding our angel in my arms, imagine his spirit shining!
Contemplate the magnified grace, her little body at rest,
Knowing that our Lord holds him, as my hands are the nest of his body.
Lusciously perfect in our minds, the very substance of our hearts,
By the time it was conceived, our love story got its best start,
Our splendid little man, who swept us from our feet,
Now he is finally with us, and his run is now running, complete.
The smallest fingers and toes showing the best work of God,
His ears, his eyes, his belly, perfection, not a sign of weirdness,
More muscular thighs with potential beyond work looks like,
Her calves will never burn, her long feet will never make dreams come true.
Blessing ourselves for just a few months, heaven is better for our performance,
Hold it, kiss it and enjoy it, today it will lie with us,
His conditions were too difficult, somehow too good for the Earth,
We find him while we hold him, his life has always been of heavenly birth!
We long for the minute and defend the hour strongly,
Her delicate little body is ours, yet her spirit has taken flight,
Physical comfort is our obstacle right now, as we consider what can be,
Fleeting moments of pain just now, soon we won’t see it again.
“It is good.” As those words of the song rang from the midwife’s phone in the theater, the tears of the longing for eternity streamed down our faces. Okay, because it’s not. Because we can’t fix it, only God in his grace can do it.
We wanted to be with our little one, both to get to know his listless body, and to get to know him as only God does now. We have received what we wanted.
Our cherub, Nathanael Mark, was delivered lifeless, yet he was, in our judgment, the essence of God’s work: a gift (Nathanael in Hebrew means ‘given by God’) and always destined to be eternal (Mark in Hebrew means ‘shining’; of eternal purity).
Washing the vernix from Nathanael’s hair and skin proved to be a difficult task, but not without purpose. As I gently stroked her skin with the soap, God gave me the opportunity for a tactile stimulus and response. The more I washed him, the more I held him tight, the more I watched my timeless wife – after the Caesarean section – caress his head, the more I saw him as God sees him: a gift for us and for the world, but always destined for an eternal being, like all of us.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to be Nathanael’s parents. It will always be ours. For those who love us, it will always be yours too. Above all, it is now God’s and we expect him to finally greet us when we are called home.
© 2014 SJ Wickham.
While writing the words of the last paragraph, I had Nathanael cradled in my left arm.
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