Unexpected Transparency

My heart catches in my throat as I glance back at the compassionate brown eyes that lock with mine in the rear view mirror.


I’m not ready to talk about this.  Not now.  Not in the car.

(Not ever.)

“How come, momma?” he insists.  “Why won’t you talk about your babies that died?”

I grip the steering wheel tighter as questions of my own flood my soul.

Why?  How can I talk to you about what I haven’t really come to grips with myself?  How do I tell you that all my babies  (but one) died in the first trimester? How do I explain to you that we didn’t feel like we could name a baby when we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl ? How do I explain why our babies had so many genetic difficulties when you’re not mature enough to know how a baby comes to be?  Even if you could understand, do you realize I don’t talk to your father about this? Or even my sister? 

“Does it make you sad, momma?” he gently prods.

Sad?  How about confused?  How about invaded?  How about realizing that I really don’t show anyone my heart’s true feelings…not even to you, my sweet son.

“Yes,” I sigh.  “It does. But you know what?  I’m glad you’re asking me these questions, because we do need to talk about this.  Good stuff. Sad stuff.  All sorts of stuff.  And I’ve been learning that I haven’t been very good at opening up my heart – especially with those I’m closest too, like you.  What do you want to know?”

With that small window of opportunity, my son seizes it, asking the questions he longed to know.

  • Do I still cry over missing them?
  • Did I name them?
  • Did I get to hold them?
  • Do I feel better since adopting him and his sister?
  • Does every baby take nine months to be born?
  • Was he held by his birth mommy too?

And as we talked and listened to each other in this conversation, I listened inwardly to the change in questions as they came.  I realized as he started transitioning from my “story” to his own, that he was wondering if his birth mother cried over him still and missed him.  But he couldn’t figure out how to ask those questions directly.  In fact, the only one he really asked was about being held by his birthmother.  Yet it was *that* question that connected all the other ones together and I could see how heavy this was on his heart – even if he couldn’t voice it.

All these questions he asked of me…I’m sure he wants to ask her too.  The Special One who gave him his name, held him close to her heart, and yes…cried over him.  (As I know still does from time to time.)

The questions I could answer, I did to the best of my ability.  For the unspoken ones he wanted to ask but didn’t, I waited in the silence. 

As he stared out the window, I asked God for more of these times with him.  Times of utter abandonment and transparency.  Times of walking through the pain together.  Times of being okay with silent unanswered questions.  Times of knowing that questions can be asked ANY TIME. 
I’m here.

Just as God is here for both of us.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
~ I Peter 3:15a


Pastor Brent Baxley said...

I love you, Holly Belle - I love your writing - but I love your heart more! Yes, we do need to talk more about this :) Love YOU!

Holly said...

Love you too, Brent!! <3

Anonymous said...

I love the entire Baxley clan, Holly, Brent, Anthony, Ari. There are not too many "fines" but there is hope and love and compassion and courage and growth. I feel blessed to know all of you

Holly said...

Thank you, June. We are very blessed to know you!! :D

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Feel free to comment, and God bless you! ~ Holly

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