Before My Mother Named Me

Early September:

I remember the night you met my father. You were tipsy and he was flirting with you at a frat party your senior year at Berkeley. My soul felt the way your heart skipped a beat when he ran his fingers through his tousled hair. I was outside of you then; but I was hovering oh so near. I was drawing closer later that evening while I watched the cup of his hand slide over your hip, and even further still.

The moment he became part of you, that magical moment that eclipses as two bodies become one entity, one passionate living breathing being, there was this moment in time. It was the moment that only comes once in all eternity for each of us.  It is the moment that changes everything!

 Before you named me, you and my daddy helped create me. I heard your giggles when you admitted you weren’t the kind of girl who normally did this sort of thing. The eyes of my spirit saw how Daddy looked into your eyes and just sighed. Did you know you meant more to him than just this moment? He felt future, not just fun, more than the immediacy of mere satisfaction. His external confidence is big, but his internal longings have quiet deep roots that hide beneath the surface of things.

Late September:

Before you gave me a name, God was stitching me together. He was sewing up my neural tube that would eventually grow my brain so smart, that it would give me the capacity to cure cancer in the distant future. Can you believe it Mom? Yes, I will be the one that unlocks this genomic mystery. But not quite yet, give me time.

My heart is being formed too. It’s the one that’s going to break so bad when I’m six because my new kitten will get hit by a car. Your loving arms and Daddy’s warm chest will sop up my tears on that dreadful day. They are the only things that will comfort me. I wish I didn’t have to endure this.   You will remind me that this is not the end.

Thirty years later, cats and dogs of all varieties and all levels of unwantedness and unloveliness will be saved and adopted because of that little one that died so young—all because my heart will demand it. You know early on, that I knowall life is precious.

 Time will pass. Because of my unique heart I will play “vet” my whole childhood to all these beloved pets. That’s because I’m practicing for my real mission of curing cancer someday.

Baby at 4 weeks

Late October:

While my urinary tract and kidneys have been congealing and forming, you have been moody of late. You felt dizzy all day in class today. Something is amiss. Daddy senses you’re changing. He’s been distracted as of late too. In his Infrastructural Architectural class, a young Norwegian girl who is studying abroad finds him attractive.   He feels conflicted. The stress between you and him is palpable at night.

You both had a terrible argument last night. I heard raised voices and sensed the tiny splash of tears when they hit the floor. Were you thinking of me during this moment?

I need to know my name. Please! Don’t fight. It’s going to be okay. I want to meet you both soon.

 I want to love you!

“I can’t do this anymore!” I hear you shout. “I’m pregnant” you finish, barely a whisper.

You could have heard a pin drop. Yet only silence prevailed. The invisible bomb of shock that explodes when two people realize the gravity of a decision that has arisen out a moment that seemed like no decision about anything, other than this moment, this feeling, was required.

Do you love me? I felt each of you wonder about the other.

Do you love me? My spirit wonders too. Do I exist in your mind yet? Am I even real?  

My cells are exploding exponentially, even more quickly then your questions that are also multiplying. Both of your heads are spinning. You can’t grasp this whole future thing. Eternity. It’s too much. Being sure of anything, much less the future has always been impossible. Predictability has always been a temporal illusion.

Things happen for a reason. Your grandma used to tell you this. Do you remember?

As I’m forming, and moving beyond dividing cells I’m becoming more fully human, your own world is unraveling.

I’m so sorry mommy. I’m sorry daddy.

Baby at 8 weeks

 November 1st:

I know Daddy said something that hurt your feelings. The moment you slapped his face, I felt my own wrist bend for the first time. I’m floating and suspended. I’m in a dark place.  I know you are in your own dark place too. I want to tell you it will be okay. But I can’t speak yet. I will with all of my spirit for you to hear me. I don’t know if it does.

I taste things a bit now. It’s salty here. Did your tears find their way down here? My little webbed feet are starting to elongate. They won’t look like this much longer.

The days keep passing and I know you are so stressed.   You have such big dreams. You are so close to graduating.   I feel your hurried movements as you go to and fro chasing a future that seems so close, and yet so far away. Everything in your head is jumbled. Your jeans are too tight, your bra is too small, and I still don’t have a name.

Late November:

It’s been twelve weeks since the party. I haven’t heard my Daddy’s voice for a third of my entire life now. I sense all is not well with us mom. What can I do to help? Again, my spirit tries to send you this message, but can you hear me? How can the helpless help anyone anyway?

 I’m curled up in a ball now. My eyes have moved to where they need to be. I don’t look like an alien anymore. My spirit eyes saw how you looked with equal fascination and an odd repulsion at the screen as you Googled baby development one night. Human shrimp. I saw you think that. But you said human in your mind first. I may be shrimp-like because I am small. But if you wait and see, I have the potential to influence presidents, and save hundreds of thousands in third world nations.

But I still don’t have a name Mom. I only have a brain, even though it has unlimited capacity. I have eyes as blue as a sky. I have small hands, but they will knit for hours someday. I have, little pink lips that kiss kittens, and a little girl laugh that I never outgrow. Just like you mom. I am your daughter.

I long to be bundled in a blanket and feel your warm breasts filling with milk as you gaze down at me with the most incredible love you’ve ever known for anyone—anything!

Baby at 12 weeks

December 1st:

 I need you more than I’ve ever needed anyone. Especially at this moment. This hour of decision. This moment in time, a blip in the span of eternity, but the one that changes everything.  

 I know you know the truth. You’ve seen the news. You’ve watched the videos. You’ve tried to tell yourself you don’t feel anything at all. I know you do. You can lie to the whole world, but you can’t fool yourself.

You’ve played this most important moment over and over and over in your head before even one second of it has come to be yet. You’ve lived the nightmare-to-be in your imagination a thousand times:

Fear. Cold steel. Shame. Tools. Tubes. Suction. Tears. Isolation. Parts. Sold. Over. Nightmares. Longing. Regret. Relief. Regret. Relief? Regret. Regret. Regret.  Don’t think about it. Secrecy. Forever.

You’re in limbo. I know. I am too.

Baby at 16 weeks

December – Forever:

We could love each other you know. The future could just be bright.

God already knows the day and time I’m coming home forever.


For He knows my name. Do you?

**All baby in utero pictures above are from the site

Picture 138


For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

(Photo: My life at 40.  NOW: the best time to stand up for and choose life!)

Trying to Undertand Evil

Photo: Jeremy Papasso – Reuters

Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living.  ~Douglas Malloch

    It’s been a tough week in America.  We are all having to come to grips, again, with another random, senseless act of slaughter and mayhem; this time it’s the Colorado movie shootings.  TV and Blogland is rife with details, and all try to answer the question everyone wants to know:


     Anyone who attempts to answer the question is going to fall short.  My six year old who is just barely old enough to process such horror is starting to realize the world of reality is far more sinister than the Disneyesque existence he’s experienced the first five or so years.  Somewhere around six he’s learned that people not only die and loss is unavoidable, but sometimes it’s even a result of something completely nonsensical that defies understanding.

     Evil exists.  That is what I told him, when he asked me the one word question, “Why?”   We were at the beach and I turned on the news only for a few moments late Saturday evening.   I had gotten word even while playing in the ocean tide and completely absent from technology.   When it comes to the sensational and dreadful, word travels fast.

But why does evil exist?  And a dozen other reasonable follow up questions that still, when boiled down to the core, come down to why.  I don’t know and it just does seems like such a lame answer.  Yet it’s the only truth I can provide.  This is where our faith is tested.  Many want to know how a good and loving God can allow this to happen.  It seems reasonable to me.

I am not a theologian, just a person who is trying to navigate life and keep believing and trusting in a God who remains in control, even when I am not, and clearly the world isn’t it either.  That’s where the rubber meets the road and your faith is truly tested.  This is where choice actually comes in to play.

It’s essential to choose well in life.  If we begin to doubt God’s goodness, it’s easy to then wear shades of cynicism and doubt.  This causes us to pull back in life, unplug, and lament rather than to seek ways to alleviate suffering or bring about peace.

Events like this are always our reminder to hug our own families, and not get out the door without reminding them of the three little words.  Eternal words our hearts can carry with us as a shield against the evils of this world!  I LOVE YOU!  Say it more.  Say it TO more.  Show it more.  Live it more.  Don’t hold back.  Find those in life who are isolated and intervene with love. 

I don’t know if the shooter James Holmes was adequately loved.  Plenty of people don’t feel adequately loved, and don’t respond the same way.  To me the scariest part is how someone can live a so-called normal life, and then something snaps inside them.  It starts with a one-second decision, but from that point on, they decide to follow and promote a culture of darkness, evil, and death.  It is one thing to acknowledge evil exists; I think that’s why so many people wanted to go see Batman.  We love a superhero who vanquishes evil!  It’s another thing to emulate evil and join it.

I’m sure in the days ahead media will analyze what caused this.  Was it lax gun laws?  Were the fictitious characters Batman or Joker responsible for his delusions?  In the end, it won’t matter.   Evil exists.  We can’t legislate it away; we can only choose which trait we wish to nourish in our own life:

  Good or Evil

      I find it interesting that EVIL spelled backwards is LIVE.  Even more true, is that when we speak and make our choices that value and promote LIFE by valuing others, even those that believe and behave differently than we do, we promote a culture that respects life.   Jesus said, “He that tries to keep his life will lose it, and He that loses his life will save it.”  (Luke 17:33)

The shooter will get his fifteen minutes of notoriety for his despicable act of evil. His potential for living a good and productive life are now completely over.  He will live in that reality much longer than his few moments of fame.

Yet the victims of his carnage and their survivors will have the last word, because of the way they lived.   Those will be the stories that the majority of people will remember:  When superheroes stepped in, when the brave successfully rescued the injured despite personal risk, or when one sacrificed one’s self so that another could live—these people and memories are the people we became inspired by.  They represent the love and hope we cling to.

Aurora and America will move forward.  The families of the victims have no choice now but to live life and see it and appreciate it in all its magnificence, and sometimes heartache, not only for themselves, but they will be required to see with a vision for their loved ones whose lives were cut too short.  In order to most honor their loved ones, they must rise above the evil, and truly live.

I pray the survivors can find ways to enjoy life again after their time of grieving, and even during.  I pray they can eventually not dwell on the manner in which their loved ones died, but in the ways that they lived.  I pray they can live without fear and love without limits.  I especially pray they can find big and small ways to forgive others so that they may live in freedom and not bondage to that which they never had control of anyway.  I pray they will know that God is good and that He loves them.  I hope they feel the prayers of America and the world surrounding them during this devastating time.  I hope every tear of sorrow will be redeemed and ultimately turned into tears of joy.  Above all, I pray they live.   I pray they live long, they choose to do good and love well, and that they live strong.

When we choose love and life intentionally in our own life, the oxygen is removed for evil to thrive and its roots shrivel until they die.  Choose life.  Choose love.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.