this mama’s heart…

We snuggled much last weekend.

She laid her fevered head against my shoulder
and whispered,
“Please make it stop hurting.”

What does a mama’s heart do with those words?

I stroked her hair
and whispered back,
“I would if I could.”

It was all I had to offer…
the comfort of knowing she didn’t suffer alone.

Eventually, the virus found it’s way to my throat.

She’s fine now,
I’m not.

And, I’m really good with that.

While she skips and dances..
sings and works on her schoolwork…
I ponder these things in my mama’s heart.

I thought I had arrived to a place
where I was less “Mom” and more “Me”…
a place where my children didn’t need me
and I needed to find my own way again.

Silly me.

In the light of stories of disease and famine,
war-torn countries and genocide,
I sit in my first-world living room
and know that I know that I know
that I would do more than simply take on a virus for my child.

Just over 18 years ago,
when the flutters of a tiny body first rippled through me
my heart began to change.


Somewhere in a span of about a year,
my heart went through a metamorphasis.

It wasn’t when I first felt that flutter,
or when they first laid him against me.
It wasn’t the first time I fed him,
or when my man carried him into the house.

Looking back, I can’t tell you when,
I only know that it did.

And, there is not going back.


Last weekend,
I held her as much as her long, lanky body would allow.
I made her juice and gave her popsicles.
I stroked her head and read to her from the words of C.S. Lewis.

All the while, knowing she was sharing the virus with every breath
and letting her know she wasn’t suffering alone,

knowing that I would take it on for her if I could
and letting her know that she was worth it,

knowing that I would lay down my life for her, her sister, and her brother,
for the rest of my life and theirs…

because the heart that beats deep within me
is a mama’s heart.




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