Sunday, January 30, 2011

Death and Life are Messy

My swollen belly has cast a spell on the men in my life. I've been receiving multiple calls, texts and emails each day. How do you feel? Have that baby - I want to meet it! Hurry up already. They send me articles about inducing labor naturally and beg me to reveal the magic if I have a hidden time line I'm keeping from them. My dad, my brothers and my husband are excited. This new beginning is transforming each of them in magnificent ways and I'm honored to have a front row seat.

My walk has turned to a waddle in January, but things are still getting done. The house is quiet and clean. The nursery is ready to be pooped on. My desk is organized and lists are checked at work. So we wait.

Two weeks ago I started having real, painful contractions. Since Matt was out of town, Gabe took me to the hospital to be monitored for awhile. I blushed at his proud chest and his eager leadership that morning. He was so glad to be helpful and asked questions that prove he takes becoming an uncle very seriously. These pre-labor signs upped the level of impatience and excitement that surrounds me and I spend a lot of time smiling at these men, giving thanks for their silly love. Something about their stirring makes me very quiet and calm.

Today I found out that a saint in our congregation passed away this weekend and my excitement about this baby's birth took the back burner. I want to be able to write a sermon and do her funeral and celebrate her life with this congregation on Wednesday. I want to speak truth about new life while wearing an alb before I live the truth of new life wearing a hospital gown.

But that's just me being a control freak. That's just me wishing that death and life could be tidy and organized and chronological. And since it's not - since 2 Corinthians 5:17 is sneaky and spontaneous - I will draft a sermon proclaiming resurrection for a 94 year old and her loved ones while being poked and prodded by this little life on its way. And I'll hope it gets preached on Wednesday, giving thanks for the beautiful mess either way.


Kristi said...

Meta: I choose to write on your "wall" tonight, although your mom sparked this by adding an update to her Caring Bridge. She mentioned that your due date is today (actually, yesterday as I write) and I was reminded that she had earlier sent me a link to your blog (which I had not executed). So, here I am. I love the way you express yourself. I anticipate that you are now (or earlier or soon to be) expressing yourself during the pain of childbirth, but that it will be replaced with joy and a love that surpasses understanding. I hope everything goes very well.

I also appreciate reading your message about death and life (I would try to navigate back to see what it was but I'm not willing to risk my investment in keystrokes!). I know you mentioned the 94 year old "saint" whose life you wanted to celebrate. Earlier today, I received word that a close friend of mine - and a business partner - is now preparing to leave this world. He has fought pancreatic cancer most valiantly - and I just want you to know that the life I anticipate that you are bringing into the world at this moment (or in close proximity to) is providing comfort to me. Be safe. Deliver quick. Experience joy. Bless you. I love your Mom (and your aunt and the multitudes of cousins and family members who have touched my life in so many ways). With fond and best wishes - Kristi Peterson

Meta said...

Thanks for sharing, Kristi. Death and life ARE messy in all kinds of discouraging and hopeful ways. I pray that your friend is not only grieving but also rejoicing and that he's surrounded by people who show him love and that there's more to come.

I have not gone into labor yet, but I vow to give a good shout and a powerful scream for the things that will die with this birth - some of my independence and control, but also the vitality and movement in my belly that has made me feel more alive than ever these months.

And then we'll move on to death and life in other forms, still messy but brand new, too. :)