I think I was a teenager when I read, heard or was taught by someone that if you have children, you live forever. The premise being your children will have children, and their children will reproduce and…. Your DNA could literally continue on indefinitely through your descendants.
I don’t remember how this nugget of wisdom found its way to me, but I believed it. A major portion of my life was defined by that belief.
When my son was young, I worried constantly. I’m not talking about the “normal” fears every mother has for her child’s safety. Mine was of the deep seated, irrational variety. See, I was always afraid that he would die and my life would be over – Maybe not literally, but definitely in every other sense of the word. I could not imagine living this life without him and the only hope I had to live on in this world through him would also cease to exist.
I’m the only mom I ever met who actually wished her teenage son would get some girl pregnant. The really weird thing is.. I had convinced myself I had a valid reason to be afraid. He was a young, black, male living in Philadelphia. If the streets (gangs, thugs, addicts, random acts of violence) didn’t kill him, then “Philly’s Finest,” the PPD (mistaken identity, Driving While Black, looks suspicious, because they can) would.
By the way, he didn’t get any teenage girls pregnant. Thank you Father God!
My grand daughter was born on December 7, 2002, when my son was 26 years old. She was a tiny little preemie, weighing in at just a little under 3 pounds. They named her Kiyah Siani Gilmore. My heart was filled with unspeakable joy and I was finally satisfied.
Six weeks later, on January 18, 2003, we buried her.
The turmoil, pain and confusion would fill a book. I won’t address it here.
Fast forward to 2012: I have two healthy grandchildren and I adopted a baby girl. She’s nine year old now and I no longer live in fear.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
This post is my contribution to HOPE 2012, a blog relay to celebrate the 2012 Olympics. Anyone can participate and spread a little hope around in the blogging community. This relay is the brainchild of Melanie Crutchfield. She will forever have my gratitude for being the inspiration behind me sharing a fear and a hope that until today was known only to me.
Now it’s your turn to share your story.