We never cease to be amazed at the tender working of God’s grace in those who attend our Hope and Healing Retreats. With permission we reprint the following letter sent to us by a participant of one of our retreats. A remarkable grace received and shared.
When I was pregnant with my oldest child, I had some very detailed dreams. I dreamed about a beautiful boy who was around three years old. I can still remember his sparkling blue eyes and blonde ringlet curls. He had a delightfully happy smiling face. I even remember his dim- ples. Somehow I knew that his name was Thomas Christopher. He was in a swing – one of those homemade ones hanging from a tree and was being pushed. Every time the swing drew near, he giggled with joy.
As my pregnancy progressed, I became convinced that I was having a boy and I knew his name. But when I gave birth to a girl, I was bewildered. She was long and lean with a mass of dark, straight hair, and I had no idea what to name her. Of course, I loved her beyond telling, but I remembered my dreams. I had been so sure that I was having a boy; after all, I had seen his face many times in my dreams.
Several years later, I realized I had been dreaming about the child that I had aborted. At the time I was pregnant with my daughter he would have been around three years old. I have come to believe that it was not me pushing my child on that swing. My totally innocent beautiful baby boy was being taken care of by our mother, Mary. In my dreams, I could see hands pushing the swing and Thomas Christopher gazing at her with pure happiness. My child has been raised in heaven by the perfect mother. I am eternally grateful to Mary. She, with her profound and perfect love, took my child when I had refused to let him be born.
The bitterly profound loss is all mine. I will never feel the touch of my son’s hand in mine. I won’t see him gaze into my face or feel his arms around me loving me so completely. I cannot nurture him, love him or watch him grow into the man God created him to be. I can barely remember the reason why I chose not to let him live, but I live each day with the loss. My soul yearns for him. My heart grieves and my sadness is inexpressible. Yet in spite of all my pain, I know I have been given a gift. I know my son’s face – I have seen it. Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Mary, for showering me with so much undeserved generosity.
Years later, a friend of mine gave me a gift. She was the type of person who entered the gift shop and immediately prayed, “Dear Lord, Blessed Mother, please show me the gift you want my friend to have.” As my friend presented me the gift, she apologized saying, “knowing that you are a convert to the Catholic faith, I wanted you to have something more traditional, but something kept drawing me back to this”. As I opened the gift, she apologized again, saying, “This is not my taste – the frame is contemporary and the Blessed Mother looks like no other that I have ever seen but I am sure that this is the one I’m supposed to give you.”
The silver framed “contemporary” Madonna and child shows Mary from a side view embracing the child Jesus close to her heart. The baby’s eyes are contently closed. He is safe in His mother’s arms. Around His face you can clearly see wisps of golden curls.
I am sure that Mary chose this gift for me, through my faith-filled friend, to let me know – mother to mother – that my son is safe with her.
Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Spring 2009