I’m not sure what it is about the regular conflation of ecstacy and agony in my life. But it’s true: very frequently, as I’m enjoying some great happiness, a tragic event shakes the earth under me.
Friday, as I was visiting with old friends and preparing to head to the wedding rehearsal, my wife started experiencing some very foreboding symptoms related to her pregnancy. Which is to say, it looked for all the world like we were losing at least one of our precious children, who I can say without the slightest exaggeration that I love more deeply than I could previously imagine. Our doctor prepared us for what we were likely to experience, and sent us to the hospital for monitoring and testing.
Going to the department where my wife works was, all at once, comforting and agonizing. As we were buzzed into the secure area, we saw a couple leaving with twins. Which just about killed me. I wanted to paint the whole world black, and remove each and every piece of mother-and-child art from every single room. And yet, seeing friends and co-workers providing complete and compassionate care was reassuring and inspiring.
The tests which were done were inconclusive. The hard data at hand suggests that we ought to expect the worst. But the other data doesn’t confirm this. The ultrasound showed two babies moving, with hearts beating and with plenty of fluid around both of them. So we just don’t know.
And so, we wait. We’re home again, waiting for our appointment on Tuesday where further testing will be done. We wait in that familiar place of fueling the hope that burns within us, while at the same time preparing for the worst. We wait with our family and friends who pray with us and for us, loaning us their hope. We wait, and we wait, and we wait.