June 7, 2012 was a difficult day for us. My wife gets morning sickness pretty early in pregnancy and we’ve known as early as a week or so after conception when she’s with child, so we had known for several weeks at this point that our third little bean was on the way.
The past year had been difficult. Late in the evening months before, I’d woken to my wife answering her phone and crying out in anguish at the news of her father’s untimely passing. The accompanying grief had taken a heavy toll.
Needless to say, Jennie and I were looking forward to the outnumbered life of 2 parents with 3 young children.
Darkness and Hope
On June 7, 2012, in an instant, all that changed.
Our baby could not be found. His heartbeat was not detectable. His little kidney bean shaped body was no longer on the ultrasound. He was gone. Our joy had been robbed from us and our grief renewed. Our baby was determined to have died. We went home crying, distraught, dreading the moment the next day when we would return to the doctor for a consultation on next steps.
It was then that I remembered a little gift in my work bag. As a teacher, I hadn’t opened my work bag in a few weeks and so I might have forgotten completely what was there, had God not prompted me. From the pocket, I pulled out a vial of water. One of my students, whose parents are that uber-religious sort that go on pilgrimages often without a second thought, had kindly given me a little bottle of water from Lourdes.
With a glimmer of hope in my eyes, but my voice betraying the weakness of my faith, I poured the water on my thumb and blessed my wife’s belly in the Sign of the Cross.
I knew that I would feel foolish if it didn’t “work,” as so many others might feel before giving up on God. Even as I knew that reasoning didn’t track — His will not to perform a miracle is neither a failure of His love nor a proof that He isn’t there — I feared what might become of me if my faith’s weakness won out, if I put too much more stock in the consolations of God than in the God of consolations. I resolved, as we should in all things, to let it rest in His hands.
In the morning, we went to our consultation with the doctor. She had an ultrasound performed to check the conditions of my wife’s womb and prepare to offer her medical advice. This time, however, something was notably different: there was our son, wiggling all around, his heartbeat loud and fast with the joy of life.
God is good! Our Lady of Lourdes is good!
Go to our Blessed Mother in all things and in every circumstance, entrust to her yourself, your family, and even your soul. Mary never fails to make a garden spring in the desert. She brings the water of life.
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Thy Geekdom Come is the sometimes profitable endeavor a man who, like his main characters, the Puddle Family, has thrown himself head-first into the Humanae Vitae lifestyle of way more kids than have been deemed sane by the world at large. If you feel moved to pity him — or his family — please consider throwing him $5, $10, or $15 and he’ll give you a few perks in return for becoming a Supporting Member of TGC.
Humorist, cartoonist, general pain in the ist
Born from the mind of a neurotically serious Catholic heaven-bent on choosing to laugh at his own folly, Thy Geekdom Come is the endeavor of Micah Murphy, academia nut by day, mediocre cartoonist by night, but ever the geek-of-all-trades. He brings to this work his B.A. in theology, catechetics, and Latin, his M.Ed. in Curriculum, and – far more relevantly – his years of experience as a lay Catholic in ministry. His hope is to bring everyone a laugh through the gift of humility that allows us to take ourselves lightly. Micah lives in the Diocese of Shreveport, LA, with his wife and their flock of billy goats – NO! Children. Children. Please treat him to coffee before engaging in conversation.