17 Days

So often we take for granted the children that God has given us. My heart really broke when I received a text from a friend who said that one of her twins died. She gave birth prematurely 17 days before. Her twin boys were only six months and had been battling severe complications after they were born.

They were living inside incubators and undergoing various procedures. At some point, the kidneys of one of the twins failed completely and his condition worsened. She had been updating me through text and I had been praying for her and her babies.

When I heard the news about the first twin dying, I started to cry. In my mind, I thought, “I don’t understand, Lord. This woman loves you, serves you with her husband, and she is a wonderful homeschooling mom to her son. Why, Lord?”

I called my friend not knowing if she would pick up or not, but after three rings, she did. I didn’t know what to say. I just blurted out, “I’m so sorry.” She said in a gentle, almost unnaturally peaceful way, “Well, God ended his suffering and he is in a better place.” She went on to explain the series of events surrounding his final moments and the image that most struck me was when she said, “When we knew he was going to go, the doctors gave him to me so I got to hold him before he died in my arms.”

I could hardly contain my emotions.  Just thirty minutes prior to calling her, Tiana had woken up and I had held her in my arms, kissed her, fed her, then put her back down to sleep peacefully.  The pain grew in my heart as I thought about how, in almost parallel moments, we had both been holding our babies. I almost felt guilty that I could hold Tiana again, but she would not get to hold her son.

After my friend and I said goodbye over the phone, I sat on the sofa for a while and cried. Even though I reminded myself that God has a purpose for everything, I felt a lot of hurt for my friend. The next day, her other twin died, too.

When these kinds of tragedies happen, it is sobering to realize that we never really know how long we will have to love our children.  God convicted me to think of all the times when I get impatient with my kids, or when I don’t enjoy them enough because I am rushed or harried.

As I reflected on what happened to my friend, I felt compelled to write this poem as a reminder to appreciate each day that I get to be with my kids, each day that I get to love them.

 

I MAY NOT ALWAYS HAVE TODAY

I may not always have today,

To hold you in my arms

To hear your laughter as you play,

Or catch the smiles you pass my way.

I may not always have today,

To linger for a while,

To paint, or read a book or two,

Or pass the time to be with you.

I may not always have today,

To take your little hands,

To teach you how to fly a kite,

Or point to stars on walks at night.


I may not always have today,

But while I have you still,

I’ll thank the Lord for all you are,

Enjoy each moment and each hour.

You are God’s gift from up above,

My privilege today, to love.

My privilege TODAY, to love..

 

Comments

  1. Juanito and Claudine Ng says:

    =”(

    we’re so sorry…. may they find peace in their heart, strength in each other, and comfort in God.

  2. Juanito and Claudine Ng says:

    =”(

    we’re so sorry…. may they find peace in their heart, strength in each other, and comfort in God.

  3. JESSICA DYPUA says:

    nice blog…..super duper coming from the heart ……i cry reading this one………

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks Jessica. God reminded me to really love my kids. It’s not always easy, but remembering that we don’t always have forever helps. 🙂

  4. Mina Tanchi says:

    Nimfa is a great help to the GCF Women’s Ministry.It’s beyond sadness for them to have lost the twins.She is indeed a woman of God who continues to trust Him despite all odds

  5. Aww.. This made my vision blurred and since I’m not a mom yet, I’m imagining my parents instead. God indeed is good and loving. God bless you more Ma’am Joy 🙂

  6. And I love the poem, really. Thank you 🙂

  7. Kaye Tigas says:

    You are such a blessing Joy!
    The poem is beautiful.

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17 Days