Sitting here in the lobby of the Lankenau Hospital, so many feelings come up. I am waiting for my husband to finish a routine follow-up procedure and thinking of all of the work and client phone calls I need to make, when a song comes over the loud speaker in the lobby to bring me back to the present moment. I hear Brahm’s Lullaby- which I still sing to my two and a half year old as she falls off to sleep – and it takes me back. The attendant at the lobby desk says that the song is played in the lobby each time a baby is born here. I have given birth at this very hospital twice, and never knew that it was the custom here. What a beautiful and thoughtful gesture! Announcing the birth of a new soul into this world! I have always felt that the miracle of birth is not taken lightly here. I received such special treatment here when I was admitted to prepare for the birth of each of my children. My first born, James IIIrd was an emergency c-section because he was too anxious to get out and there wasn’t enough room for him to get out naturally! What a blur it was when I was whisked away to the emergency room and told to sign some papers as they unplugged me and pushed my bed down the hallway. I still remember the moment they placed him in my arms. We take for granted this gift from God. A new beginning. So many women never get to experience this feeling and then others do and have it taken away from them in a moment’s notice for reasons they may never know.
My daughter was named Janai, because it means God’s answer, or a gift from God. After three miscarriages, I asked God to give me a clear sign as to whether I should give up my quest to become a mother again. This was the last try one way or the other. Six weeks after the positive pregnancy test, the ultrasound showed a blood clot which meant another possible miscarriage. I was a mess. The doctor sent me home to rest for a week, promising that everything would be fine. I tried to believe him. I prayed a lot and was grateful that I was able to take the time to rest. A week later, the doctor and nurses were shocked that the the blood clot had completely disappeared. A miracle. Eight months later, I cried again as I watched my husband hold up this nine pound beautiful bundle of great joy. The birth of Jesus Christ, for me, is the reason for my celebrations this time of year. Our family celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa and I send Hanukkah cards to my friends. I am not stuck on one type of religion and have made it a point to learn about all types of beliefs, but I can’t deny the miracles and the magic that I experience during the Christmas season. With the economy the way it is, pinching pennies, making tough choices and sacrifices, it helps to think of a higher power and the beauty, the strength, the power and the promises that the belief in someone so loving and powerful brings. I get so emotional still hearing the Christmas carols that we played in our home while wrapping presents during the week of Christmas. I can’t wait to see the look on the children’s faces when they open up that “perfect” gift. I can’t wait to bake cookies and sing carols with them on Christmas eve as my husband and I fight over who will eat Santa’s cookier. I was so excited to see the first big snow fall and couldn’t wait for my kids to open their eyes and see the snowfall. The beauty of each individual snowflake, the crisp, white snow and cool, fresh air. The ground is cleansed. Rebirth. A new beginning. We cannot look back to the past and change anything that we or our parents have done, but with each new birth and each new season, we can start anew, search ourselves, our emotions, our hearts and our souls and make a choice to do something different. Challenge yourselves this season to take one person or one project or one vision and choose to do something different with that person or thing. Think about how you can make the relationship new, how you can put a smile on that child’s face or re-submit that business plan or revamp that project. Just for today, how can I experience a rebirth?
I still remember a poem that I wrote in second grade about the change of seasons, “The Colored Leaves”
The colored leaves so soft and pretty
Falling on the ground, oh what a pity
Leaves of beauty like a colored carpet
An orange bonfire or a golden trumpet
But when Jack Frost comes and paints like an artist
The colored leaves are buried all tight
Like a frosted winter blanket at night.
Sometimes I wonder why I am here in this particular place at this particular time. Now I know that I was supposed to hear that lullaby, and to be reminded of the time I spent here as God’s gift to me to be abler to start over and try once again to do it better than I did the last time. Now each time I hear that lullaby, I will stop and think about how I can show my gratitude to my God for the treasures that he has given to me. I watch a new family escorted to their car with their brand new baby. Before I finish writing, I hear the lullably two more times. God has given us another change to get this world right. To walk in the light and not the dark. To encourage one more soul to give back to this world, the gift that their life represents. One lullaby at a time.