Friday, April 13, 2012

the rainbow baby, a new version

About two months ago on a whim, Jude and I decided we should head out to the woods one unseasonably warm Sunday.  We picked a state park about 45 minutes from our apartment and a trail that looked challenging but doable with a promised overlook and rock garden at the summit.  The trail was magical as we walked up through many distinct habitats.  This hike was by far the most challenging Jude had ever experienced, and he didn't complain at all until we approached the steepest section right before the summit.
When we got to the overlook, I looked out over a vast uninterrupted sea of trees.  I'd been here before without realizing that this trail would take us here on this day.  Instantaneously I was sloshed with waves of gratitude.  The last time I had been to this spot was six months after my first son, Bennett died on what would have been his second birthday.  I am pretty sure that I didn't hike that day but rather drove to the same overlook.
I shouted from that spot... out loud or in my heart?  My memory fails to remember because at that time my emotions were often so raw that I couldn't tell the difference.   "I love you Bennett."

On the drive home, I first considered whether or not I would ever be able to bring another child into this world.  I looked out the window and saw a giant rainbow arched across the sky.  I knew without a bit of doubt that God's answer was "you shall have another child."

So here I was at this same spot.  The promise of God fully manifested before my eyes.  All the many prayers answered in a single child.  A child who has helped me learn how to experience joy again.  A child who loves to smile and joke around.  A child who likes to get his way but who also enjoys the company of whomever he is with.  He is the greatest blessing I have ever received.

He was born on good Friday on the 13th of April.  God revealed to me he would be a boy.  And we promised to name him Jude after the saint to whom I prayed for the entire year that Bennett was treated for a brain tumor.  And yeah, the Beatles song works too..."take a sad song and make it better."
On the day he was born, God told me there would be a rainbow just to let me know that my prayers were answered and that the promise had been fulfilled.  All day I looked for that rainbow.  There were spring showers and a magnolia tree was blooming.  Gentle breezes wafted through the open windows of our home.

At 6:00pm Jude passed through the same portal that his brother had passed 2 1/2 years earlier, and he took his first breath in the same spot that Bennett took his last.  A friend stopped on her way to Good Friday service to take a photo of the double rainbow that was so beautiful it made the evening news.

He is my miracle.  He tells me that "God slide me down a rainbow into your arms."  And I believe him.

Happy Birthday Rainbow Baby!!!  I LOVE YOU!!!


  1. I love love love this story.
    I love you and Jude.
    I was there. Your witness.
    It was hard, your body heaving with the work.
    You did it, and there he was.

    The forsythia on the way to and from your house that season was an outrageous yellow.

    I will never forget that day.

    peace, namaste,


  2. Dear Elizabeth,
    I'm not sure words would express appropriately the feelings triggered in my heart by this beautiful story of yours. You've been so brave...
    I've posted a picture of a double rainbow recently...
    Somehow it feels as if Bennett had been climbing the rainbow, while Jude had been sliding down the same arch. You've got one baby at each end of the rainbow, don't you? One watching you from above, and one at your side...That little Jude of yours is such a poet. Happy birthday to your dear boy!

  3. such a beautiful story! you are a special mama with 2 special boys. thank you so much for sharing here.

  4. Talk about synchronicity - here the past several weeks I have been dreaming about taking a walk in a deciduous forest like the one you both walked, but here on the West Coast, there are none to be found! Its all conifers (or very nearly) all the time. Then, I decide to Google my dear friend Nancy Cleaver, got here, and voila! A deciduously nice encounter! Thanks for that! And do say haloo to dearest Nanso should you see her - tell her she is missed on the Coast. Notty Bumbo

  5. Your son is beautiful!
    And there is nothing more magical than love between a mother and her child.
    Your lines made me want to rush out of the office to see my son, but I have to wait for a couple of hours before doing so, while I can caress the little girl who's moving incessantly inside me.

    Many happy years for Jude!

  6. Dear Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your beautiful wonder and love for life, your journey, gifts and the giving you do in all that. So wonderful to hear your heart speak. Thank you for sharing yourself. I've missed your posts. Glad to hear your voice again.
    Happy Birthday Jude. (it was Mothers Day this year!).


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