For some reason, every time I'm at Mass, I find myself once again overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for John. Perhaps because just about 48 hours before he was born and I was feeling so ill, God blessed me with a great moment of peace during Christmas Eve Mass, a moment I clung to 2 days later when I didn't know what struggles might lay ahead for my baby forced to come into the world before he was ready. I know, I've said it before. The scariest day of my life. I still cry when I think about it. Every.single.time.
Tonight at Mass, after Communion, while chasing Aggie around in back, the choir, lead by John's godfather sang Gently She Carried. As I listened to the song and let the words sink in, it dawned on me that Our Lady did not know Jesus would rise, that he would triumph over the shame and ugliness of his brutal death. She watched it all and she didn't know. She did not despair. Imagine what it took in the depths of her soul to trust that the God of Israel had a plan, that this would all make sense. As I let this meditation wash over me, I suddenly realized that the day of John's birth, Our Lady was with me, closer to me than I ever dared hope. She waited with me and I know she prayed for my sweet boy, trusting that the God of Israel had a plan for him, for me, for my heart to grow. To learn to trust.
I probably will still cry when I think about John's birth. But it won't because I remember the fear. Instead I will remember how She "carries us all."