epiphany

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epiph-a-ny : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something

It was supposed to be a practice session. She’d gone through the healing touch training and wanted to try out what she learned. I’d been sick for weeks, and she offered to come over one night, hoping it might help the morning sickness lift.

But after she stepped back out into the winter cold and I wrapped back up in blankets on the couch, I stared into the fireplace and realized with absolute clarity. That it wasn’t nausea or vomiting or endless exhaustion that needed healing.

It was fear. Fear that we’d lose the baby again. Fear that I’d never make it to another delivery day. Fear that something was doomed to go wrong.

All of a sudden I saw that the hardest part of this nine-month journey would never be a burden of the body. It was all in the heart.

. . .

epiph-a-ny : a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the Magi to the infant Jesus Christ

“Mommy, why is tomorrow the last day of Christmas?”

Because it’s Epiphany.

“What does Epiphany mean?”

It’s when you see something amazing, that you never saw before.

“So why is January 6th called Epiphany?”

Because it’s the day the three wise men came to visit baby Jesus. They had never seen something amazing like that before.

“So tomorrow we will sing ‘Hark the Herald Angels’ but then on January 7th we will sing regular grace for dinner?”

Yes, that’s right. Because it’s the last day of Christmas, we still get to sing the Christmas songs.

“We should sing ALL the verses. That’s what we should do for Epiphany.”

We should.

We should sing all the songs we know by heart. For all the things we’ve never seen before.

. . .

epiph-a-ny : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure

For weeks the meteorologists have been worrying and warning about the cold. Record-breaking. Life-threatening.

When the temperature finally plummeted last night and the negative numbers on the kitchen thermometer were enough to make me shiver, I listened as the radio host reveled in the jaw-dropping wind chills. The coldest in two decades.

That’s when it hit me. I’ve only lived here for ten years.

Tomorrow would be the coldest day of my life. When can we ever hyperbolize with absolute truth?

Even though I hate the cold, I smiled to myself as I flipped off the radio and turned upstairs for bed. Tomorrow I would see something I had never seen before.

. . .

epiph-a-ny : a revealing scene or moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way

As soon as we stepped into the dim room, my throat tightened with the memory: the two of us walking down a long, cold hospital hallway, the smell of freshly mopped linoleum and medicinal hand foam as we passed through the doorway, the blond-haired ultrasound tech waiting for us with kind eyes and a gentle voice.

Too much like the last time.

She poured warm gel from the squeeze bottle in a slow circle on my round belly. The grainy grey and black images began to blur and blink as she spun the wand around, trying to find the baby.

I wanted to look and I wanted to look away and I wanted everything to look right.

And suddenly, like a signpost in a swirling blizzard, the face slowly emerged from the whirling snow on screen: eyes, nose, lips. Two tiny hands trying to cram themselves into one small mouth.

All the fear evaporated as quick as a puff of breath into January cold.

I never believed women who said they fell in love so suddenly, when the lines on the test turned positive or the doctor placed the baby in their arms. But there it was.

I was absolutely smitten with what I saw.

Why this one, this second chance, this third child would make my heart leap like cloud nine, I’ll never know. Maybe because even though we had come here today – through bitter cold and biting wind and every wise voice warning us to stay home – hoping to find exactly this, I was still astonished to discover it before my own eyes.

Love in the humblest, smallest, most unlikely place.

Everything changed.

baby

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11 thoughts on “epiphany

    Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings said:
    January 6, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    There is so much beauty and truth here. I feel like I just exhaled for the first time in weeks. I’m still waiting for a glimpse of our little one, but I can just imagine the warm flood of relief and love you felt…thanks for sharing this.

      Laura responded:
      January 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you for these words, Abbey. You nailed it – I feel like I let out the breath I’ve been holding for months. I know there is never anything certain on this journey, but I still have to savor the small moments of hope & joy. I hope you will get to see your glimpse soon.

    amanday@q.com said:
    January 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    A beautiful epiphany!

    Molly (@MollyMakesDo) said:
    January 6, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Beautiful – we’re still waiting for the chance to see a picture like this again after our two losses last year. But it’s beautiful no matter what.

      Laura responded:
      January 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Molly, I’m so sorry to hear about your two losses. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Thank you for stopping & sharing your story here.

    Lauren said:
    January 7, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I just looked at that picture again and it took my breath away. Amazing. I love you, and I’m holding you, F., and your boys in my heart.

    epiph-a-ny: learning to trust that which is miraculous, that which simply cannot be yet is

      Laura responded:
      January 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Lauren – thank you. As ever. And for reminding me of the abundance of small miracles, even in darkness.

    Ginny@RandomActsofMomness said:
    January 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    The Christmas season — all of it — is so different when seen through the lens of motherhood, isn’t it? I loved this gorgeous reflection and the photo of your little one. Blessings on you and your family!

      Laura responded:
      January 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you, Ginny! And absolutely, it is a lens that changes each season and feast. And they change every year, based on where we and our children are, too. (I think we shall never be bored!)

    Thrift Store Mama said:
    January 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Wonderful.

    […] on that freezing cold Epiphany day, we found out. And we both loved it. I will never forget the grin we shared in that dimly lit […]

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