Long before I first held Baby Miles, I ached to fill the void, the hollow space within my arms where I knew this child belonged. I remember being surrounded by mothers, their arms so full of life and love, and I fidgeted, trying to find something to keep my hands occupied. Well intentioned friends would often place their babies in my arms in an attempt to fill the chasm I found there. A kind gesture indeed, but one that lacked the familiarity, the sweet congruency of a mother holding her own child.
Sunday night I lay in a large king sized bed and had a hard time finding sleep. Hours earlier I had learned that my good friend Tami had lost her baby Joy. Miles stirred and cried out in his sleep, a fever disturbing his peaceful slumber. There was little I could do to comfort him other than to hold him in my arms. Rather than the usual annoyance at his inability to sleep through the night, I found grateful tears sliding down my cheeks. I held him close, his body molded against my own. In the dark I found solace in the familiar scent of his hair, his warm breath against my neck. My arms were full and yet the ache in my heart for Tami was recognizable and overwhelming. While I do not pretend to know the pain she is enduring, I understand in some small, diminutive way the emptiness she feels in her arms.
For months before I carried this boy in my arms, I carried him in my heart. He never left me and somehow, knowing he was residing there inside me, with every breath and beat of my heart, helped me to carry on. And so I hope it is with Tami. I hope she can hold Joy in her heart until she can hold her in her arms once again.