From Psalm 71
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
I was born in 1950. (No guffaws from the back of the room please. I am not a geezer and never will be.)
I was also born one of two, and my mother's much-anticipated twins arrived three months ahead of our due date. Nowadays, that doesn't mean what it did in 1950. The chances of a preemie of 6 mos. gestation surviving outside the womb then were minuscule. Neonatal units did not yet exist.
My twin did not make it past day three. Her tiny grave is in a lovely cemetery in California's San Fernando Valley. I haven't been there in many years, but I recall it as filled with the scent and the sound of rustling eucalyptus trees. The little marker reads, "This bud He plucked for His own." My mother told me that she had sewn two delicate little dresses as soon as she heard she was carrying twins. My twin was buried in her dress, holding a tiny pink rosebud in her hand. My dress is packed away in a chest.
My mother always said the baby, named Beatrice, (I was Baby A; she was Baby B-- I still have the tiny bracelets) looked perfect, just incredibly small. She weighed about two pounds.
Mother also related that neither of us had been expected to live. Her heart was broken as she looked at the two tiny infants in incubators. She was not allowed to hold us. (It was 1950.)
On her second night in Los Angeles' Good Samaritan Hospital, she had a strange dream. In it she saw that the smaller twin was taken to God, who spoke to my mother, saying, "I am plucking this bud for my own. She will be waiting. I am leaving the other little bud for you."
She awoke the next morning with an indescribable peace, and almost no sadness in her heart. Not long after, the doctor entered the room to tell her that the second twin had died in the night. He was not optimistic about my survival, but my mother was. Five weeks later I arrived home, to the joy of my two older sisters. There have been lasting physical effects, but God has granted me life in this world.
Thank you for my life--all of it--good and bad. Thank you, Loving and Merciful God, for comforting my mother in her time of sorrow. Thank you for taking "Baby B" to live with you, and that she will be waiting for me. If it's all right, tell her I love her, and I eagerly await our first meeting.
I'm not recalling God's goodness just to let you know more than you need to know about me. It is a reminder, and I have to stop and think each day. I hope it makes you think of some of the things on your list.