My youngest nephew is a rainbow baby.
Throughout the years after his older sister was born, I would often hear my brother-in-law say that he wanted to have more children. Whenever he held a baby, you could lovingly see a smile fill his face, quickly followed by a glance towards my sister and a dreamy gaze in his eyes. My niece and my nephew are quite a few years apart, so needless to say, news of my nephew’s arrival came with joy-filled anticipation and wonder.
For some time, my sister had seen a little boy in her dreams. She described him to me as the most beautiful little boy she had ever seen. His life filled many prayers, and when she spoke of him she did so with anticipation, excitement, pride and admiration for the gift that his miraculous life would bring. My sister would birth a son, and he would fill their days with smiles, wonder and endless joy.
I still remember when the news came of the baby we didn’t get to meet. It was a time of rejoicement, of counting the weeks and months ahead, and of anticipation for one of life’s greatest gifts to come. This child my sister now carried in her womb, she’d already spent time with in her prayers and in her dreams. And that child’s life, would soon find it’s home in heaven.
I also remember the call from my brother-in-law saying nothing except to come home. I walked into my sister’s house and everyone in it was completely silent with heaviness in their eyes. They glanced at the bedroom where my sister was in. I walked in, saw her heartbroken, tear-filled face, a deadened gaze staring far into the distance, her face unyielding to the pain, and her body sunken into the mattress as she laid numb on her bed. She didn’t say anything. As a fog of words flooded my mind, I knew there were no comforting words I could offer-up. I just hopped on the bed to sit beside her, and held onto her aching body as tightly as I could. With just one glace, somehow I knew that she had lost one of the most valuable gifts she will ever know.
I remember being in the waiting room in the hospital, feeling helpless that I couldn’t do anything to take my sister’s pain away. Minutes felt like endless hours as I tried my best to keep up conversation with family in hopes to distract them from their pain. I shared crayons and a coloring book with my niece, offered her snacks, and as I looked at the other people in that somber waiting room that day, I wondered how many others where there with their wife, sister, daughter, or friend, who that day faced the death of one of their greatest joys inside their own body, and the end of a life that they would now never get to hold. What do you say to someone whose heart has just been shattered in a way that it can never be the same again? I’m not sure I knew then, I’m not sure I even know now, all I knew then was to silently pray.
Sometime later, joyful news came again and gifted us a miraculous, beautiful, new life. This miracle now lives and breathes, and talks and sings; it jumps and screams, it dreams and laughs, it even asks lots of questions and prays prayers from its beautiful heart. This miracle is responsible for endless hours of joy, for added faith, and a steadfast hope. This miracle is a precious gift, undoubtedly from up above. This miracle is real, this miracle is joy. And now when I look at my sisters smile, I can see the unity and confidence that fills her heart.
Ever since my youngest nephew was born, I have been singing over him these words:
Mamma’s silent prayers made me brave.
My nephew was born prematurely, he spent his first several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit and put us through a few scares along the way. But the truth is, my nephew has been brave long before he took his first breath. And as he took his first breath and fought against the odds to survive, he was brave. And as he lives each day, he is brave. And the reason he’s brave is because my sister silently prayed for his miraculous life. She prayed for him through rainy seasons of heavy tears, against all odds, through disappointments, through challenges, through uncertainty. His mother’s prayers made him brave, because her prayers were brave enough to believe in the future unseen, a future where my nephew could and would be.
Oh sweet and joyful nephew of mine, you have brought us one of our greatest joys. Your future is bright, God is always by your side, and we are so grateful for the silent and tear-filled prayers your mom prayed over you long before you were born. Because of them, YOU ARE BRAVE.
by Wendy Gonzalez for www.thehoperesolve.com