Tuesday, April 29, 2008

For Katia

Last summer Katia was here working as an Apprentice Midwife. We had some amazing experiences together. She taught me many things about babies, bellies, mamas, papas, life and Michael Franti. We met at Gallivan Center one hot summer night and experienced his great, soulful music. I felt so sad when her time here came to an end. Once again we caught Franti in concert at The Capitol Theater performing for a U of U benefit, Raise the Roof for Diversity. This was the last song, "Say Hey, I'll Be Gone Today". I felt tears welling up knowing that my friend, my sister, Katia would be leaving directly after the concert for her home in Costa Rica. I took some comfort in the next line of the song, But I'll be back come around the way. . .I knew I would see her again. If not here in Salt Lake City, then I would have to go to Costa Rica. Kindred spirits just don't drop in on your life everyday. A recent e-mail from her gave a glimmer of hope - she might come for an MCU conference in June. I wish I had someone due then. Tamra, can you hold off that long??? Anyway Katia, this song is for you. Dance away. Share it with your babies. My little friends call it "Hey Ma" and we dance our hearts out daily, pointing to each other with "I Love You, I Love you, I LOVE YOU!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the mama and the papa

I thought the hard part would be letting her go. I had no idea. Yes, I did have a giant lump in my throat when Steen and Tyson sang during the wedding -
Now I see a family where there once was none
Yeah, we've just begun
Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun
A few hours after the hospital wedding, she came home to change clothes. We picked Amy up at the airport, got some food and took her back to the hospital. We dropped her off at the door and she walked away with a little bag. Another giant lump in my throat. She was weary. For two days she had worried. Worried about her sweetheart. All of a sudden she became the nurturer in a big way, riding in an ambulance, watching him go through procedures, holding him tight, running out in the hall to get help. Worried about her family and the preparations that had to come to a screeching halt. She cried and apologized. We assured her that his health, his very life was by far the most important part.
She spent her honeymoon on a hospital couch bed, waking every hour to beeping machines and night nurses. Early in the morning she called. Did we miss her? DID WE MISS HER! Oh, yes we did. We picked her up that afternoon and fed her. I felt some relief. She was still my baby and I could still take care of her.

I think we all figured he'd be home in a couple of days - home to his new bride and the beginning of their life together. He's still not home. Tonight marks 2 weeks of this baffling experience. Sometimes she sleeps at the hospital. Sometime exhaustion wins and she sleeps here. She finished boxing up her childhood. She's set up the room that she hopes he will soon come home to. She's learning a new vocabulary. Lipids and amylase. She watches enzyme levels and monitors his breathing as he sleeps. Did I say letting her go was the hard part? Well, it's nothing compared to the waves that sneak up on me now. I can't fix this for my baby. She is ready to be a wife. I am ready to enjoy this season as they become the mama and the papa. I promise I will be brave and happy. Just let him heal and come home.

The helpless feelings have been hard for everyone. Today we chose to be proactive. If he can have liquids by mouth then we will bring in good stuff. No more orange colored Jello, high fructose corn syrup juices or msg loaded beef boullion. We loaded up at Whole Foods. Teas, homeopathics, probiotics and antioxidants. She will update her blog daily and share reply posts with him. We're organizing a family day of prayer and fasting for this Sunday. To everyone within the reach of this blog's ripples: Please join us in prayer and support as his doctors try to figure out why his digestive system shut down, his pancreas inflammed and his esophagus tore. If love can heal him, well, we're giving it all we've got. We have grown to love him and welcome him as one of our own.

It really seems like yesterday that we, too, were 18 years old and newly married. We had no idea how we were going to survive. It was more than our determination that carried us. It was the quiet, loving support of family and we are more than ready to pay it forward.
It used to be our song. . .
And in the morning when I rise
Bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything's gonna be alright
To Kody and Jade ~
I don't know exactly how or when, but you will be together and on your way soon. You are going to be just fine.

We love you.

Mama and Papa

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

someone bless these seeds I sow. . .

My 5 Gratefuls on this Earth Day:
1. The purple mountains majesty that I can see through my window every day. It would be hard to ever leave Utah for that reason alone. Add a sunrise (pinkset as Cameron says) and it's breathtaking.
2. The herb and flower basket that sweet mama Jodie gave me. So far I have kept it alive!
3. Peter, Paul and Mary. I made an Earth Day playlist and found lots of their stuff made the cut. This Land is Your Land, Lemon Tree, Weave Me the Sunshine, Early Morning Rain, and of course my favorite of the day, Inch By Inch. This is the weekend that Jade and I planned so long ago to go see them in California and have a girl trip. Funny how life happens when you're busy making other plans.
4. Michael Franti,
"If you love somebody, better tell them so,
you never ever know when you're gonna go,
you love them back, just give thanks,
can't keep love like money in the bank"

"hold to your children, hold to your children, let them know"
The incredible balance and design of The Creation. From day and night, land and water, trees and plants, fish, birds and animals to man and woman and the wee ones we get a chance to help create. Doesn't the power and beauty of it all just blow you away?

Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'til the rains come tumblin' down

Someone please watch over Kody and Jade until we figure out what is making him so sick.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

joy in the morning

My grandson was born in the wee hours, Sunday morning, March 30, 2008.
Your name is Elias.
Elias River Larson, named after the place where you were born on the mighty Columbia River.
There was a moment during Amelia's labor when time stood still and quiet for me. I realized what a gift, a blessing beyond description it was to be present in such sacred space. A new little soul was preparing to leave that place where all is light. He would be received in peace by a mother and a father well prepared to love and teach him in this world half day and half night. I gave silent thanks. The trials and challenges of my life paled with the realization of a great blessing; my son and his wife were worthy of the task of raising up a most valiant child. Amelia is a stong, amazing woman - a birth warrior as great as any I have ever known. Jeff is a strong, amazing man - worthy to carry the birth warrior high on his shoulders, triumphant. This was not an easy birthing. They worked hard and I felt them draw strength from each other. As a midwife, I celebrate women with my every breath. Being present with my son at his child's birth gave me a deeper sensitivity to the courage and faith that it takes for a dad to be "with woman". Jeff is truly strong enough to be gentle. I love Jeff and Amelia and their example of great strength and great tenderness. This birth experience will fill my soul with gratitude and goodness for the rest of my days.

My heart just grew a little bigger. There wasn't room enough before to hold all of the joy that these babies bring to me.

Papa Jeff said to Gabriel, "You have a really big job, don't you. You have to be a good example to your brothers." Gabriel stood a little taller. He said, "I am just so excited about this new baby!"

Lead us, guide us, little one.