I heard the other day that a friend is expecting twins.  I think about twins. How special. Not a lot of people get to experience the delights of having two babies at once, maybe two babies who might even look alike. It’s almost fairy-tale stuff.  I know mothering twins is not easy. Still… I am sure almost every twin-expecting mother feels an indescribable happiness when she finds out there are two precious souls tucked beneath her heart.

I think about the moment my friend found out she is having not one baby, but two. Did a thrill of excitement pass through her as she gazed at the ultrasound screen? Could she hardly believe her eyes and her ears? Maybe she thought of nothing else but twins for days afterwards.

I remember how I felt when I saw Thomas for the first time. I too couldn’t believe my ears. I too couldn’t think of anything but the baby tucked inside me for days… weeks…  months. But I didn’t feel a thrill of joy shoot through me as I heard the news of my child. Instead a feeling of dread and fear and grief engulfed me.

That was 12 years ago. Today I feel very special…  as special as my friend of the soon-to-be-born twins. 

God chose me to be Thomas’ mother. Our child needed a mother who’d keep him safe until the day of his birth, someone who'd ensure he received the sacraments if there was time. He needed a family to stand beside him as he struggled to live, loved ones to cry and to mourn his death, to hold his tiny body close even though his soul had departed. He needed someone to arrange his funeral, to give him a lingering kiss goodbye and to suffer the sorrow of seeing him buried.  He needs someone who won’t forget him, someone who wants to keep the memories alive even if they are painful. And love… I am sure he still needs a mother’s love.

God chose me to be the mother of Thomas. He sent this beautiful precious soul to me, to grow within me, to be born, to be baptised and confirmed, and then to be returned back to Him. God gave that difficult task to me.

I think of St Clotilde’s words at the time of the death of her firstborn child, immediately after baptism: “I give thanks to Almighty God that He had not considered me unworthy to be the mother of a child admitted into the celestial kingdom. Having quitted the world in the white robe of his innocence, he will rejoice in the presence of God through all eternity.”

Yes, I still sorrow. I still cry when I think too deeply. But at the same time I rejoice. And I never wish I’d been given another child, a child who would have lived instead of my baby who died so soon.  I never wish Thomas had never been born.

I think of that day when I will meet my son again. Will he be all grown up? Will I recognise him? Will he know me?  Will he say, “Mum! I love you”?

I imagine... and a thrill of excitement flows through me.

My Starring Role is another story where I write about the privilege of being the mother of a saint.

Please visit The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears blog: We offer prayer support and comfort to the brokenhearted who suffer the pains of infertility at any stage of life, difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, the loss of a child and the adoption process.

The BeNotAfraid Facebook page also has many helpful posts for those facing a difficult prenatal diagnosis or those who are grieving after the loss of a child.

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  1. I love the quote. I am going to ponder that one for a long while. I too thank God that He gave me a child who just now is sitting eith Him.

  2. Sarah,

    I think about Thomas, how I wanted him and no other baby. And if this was the only way I could have him, I accept all the suffering. I am so pleased to be Thomas' mother. I know no one envies me my situation. But the other day I was thinking perhaps I do in fact have something enviable. Sounds crazy, I know!

    St Clotilde's words are so positive and yes, something to ponder. I guess that is what I have been doing!

    Our children sitting with God: an awesome thought. Not one that takes the pain away but one which gives hope.

    God bless you, Sarah.

  3. This is just beautiful, Sue.

    1. Pam,

      Thank you! Sometimes I mull over crazy ideas: were we actually privileged to have Thomas? I used to think I was very unfortunate, that maybe I had done something wrong to deserve such pain. But Thomas was certainly worth all the suffering!

      God bless you.

  4. Suddenly, it all seems to make sense and the joy of Heaven seems incomprehensible. Imagine meeting God face-to-face AND all of our beloved family and friends in the most perfect of circumstances! I have felt a glimpse of that in the worst of my sufferings and, you know, I think the sufferings of old age just might take on a different light with that image in mind. Happy thought! Roll on gray hairs and wrinkles! And, roll on meeting Thomas in the real world. :)

    1. Vicky,

      You said, "roll on meeting Thomas in the real world." I like that! Sometimes we can forget where we're headed. Though saying that, sometimes our sufferings seem so big, it is almost impossible to focus on our ultimate end. When we have trouble getting through each day, we have no energy leftover to contemplate the future.

      I am hoping that the sufferings of old age will seem nothing compared with the vision of Heaven which we will be close to attaining. Yes, the thought of meeting our friends and family once again (and God of course) should spur us on to the end.

      Thank you for sharing my story.


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