A Summer's Day
I’m sitting on the grassy banks of an ambling river that leads to the sea. The breezes are gentle and warm. Today is a sacred day for me.
On this day, many years ago, I delivered a beautiful child into this world. Within a few minutes, she nestled next to me. I could feel her warm breaths. Perhaps she already knew me. Perhaps she already knew the measures of my breath, the sound of my heartbeat, the gentle spirit within me. I was amazed by her peacefulness. Where did this child come from?
She was a gift from God. I knew that then and I know it now.
When I was in the hospital it was close to the 4th of July. I could imagine cars filled with families bound for vacation houses and others shopping in preparation for a barbecue in their backyard. But my newborn daughter Elizabeth and I were far from the holiday hustle and bustle. We were in a cocoon in a quiet state of rest.
When Elizabeth was born the doctor gasped. I wondered what was wrong. She told me that the umbilical cord was wrapped around my baby’s neck. She surprised me further when she said, “She’ll grow up to be a gifted child.”
She was a gifted child. Gifted with kindness. Gifted with humor. Gifted with strength and wisdom beyond her years.
I love her dearly. I always will. She taught me more about the preciousness of life than I may ever have learned. She taught me to cherish each day, to fight for what I believe in, to be true to myself, to be courageous when the world is frightening, and to love again.
Elizabeth’s spirit is with me every day of my life. But I miss her cheerfulness, the echoes of her laughter in our house, and the way she hugged me good night.
I close my eyes and draw her memory close. A gentle breeze embraces me.