A friend of mine welcomed his 3rd baby into this world last month. Within the week, he was driving across state to his sister's funeral.
3 years ago, this season, my dearest and closest friend gave birth to her beautiful twin daughters. One was heaven-bound before ever taking a breath, the other was a strong fighter who rested her weary heart after wrestling the fates for many days.
It is miraculous to me, how intimately tied life and death is. While I was pregnant, I noticed many more pregnant women - it was as if we were drawn to each other with the miracle of carrying new life within our wombs.
Likewise, I heard and knew of so many more loved ones, friends, and acquaintances who were moving on to the next life while I was working to bring in the next generation.
My great-grandmother had a theory that, for every new birth, there had to be a new death. I wonder how wise she was? How right (or wrong) was she?
I do know that I have seen loved ones take their last breath, and I have seen many more take their first breaths - and the same awe, peace and reverence should accompany both.
Both can be highly medically managed, some highly medicated.. while other times they are very intimate, dark, private, and humane.
I have been to holy births, and celebratory passings... I have been witness to honorable deaths, surrounded by loving and supportive families, and I have been privy to sweet and joyous first-breaths.
I pray every persons beginning and end are honored. And I pray that, in the interim, we don't loose sight of that which is truly important.
During this holiday season, I have family expecting any day, I have friends who are ailing. And I have a peace that surpasses all understanding - going beyond my circumstances.
This season has brought such a profound and symbolic death on so many levels of our personal, familial, and financial lives. We are now pregnant with hope and excitement on what is about to come forth as new life into our family.
I am thankful. Thankful that we are safe, that we are healthy, that I have 5 beautiful children who brought me closer to miraculous than I thought impossible. Thankful that the fridge is full and the hearts and hands are warm. Thankful for my strong and loving husband that makes this journey all the more bearable.
And thankful that the reverent beginning and holy transitioning are not far this season - reminding me of what is important in this life.
Thanks to all of my friends and family, cyber readers and blog buddies - your thoughts and prayers are coveted...