Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away!

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Before I had kids, I always thought that last line was kind of morbid. Way to make it weird, song writer. Way to make it weird.

And then I had a miscarriage. And then I had another miscarriage of twins. And then my first child was born with little holes in her heart and a possible metabolic disorder. And my third child was born with a more serious congenital heart defect. And my comfortable world with its simple cares before that first pregnancy came tumbling down.

You see, the way you feel about your children is a unique experience. Never before have you felt that if someone else suffers in even the slightest bit, you wouldn’t be able to bear it. But that is how it is with your children. You want to keep them from ever suffering at all. You want them to live a very long time and have a very happy life. You do not want to outlive any of your children, even the ones that are still in your womb. You are even more pain averse for your children than you are for yourself.  All of the horrible things that could happen to my children literally keeps me up at night.

But here is the thing. In the immortal words of the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” We cannot keep our children from suffering in this life, as much as we desperately want to. And sometimes, we cannot even keep them from dying.

I can’t help but think of Mary. She watched her child suffer cruel tortures. She watched helplessly as he was led to his death. She gazed at him as he slowly died in agony. She lived every mother’s worst nightmare.

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I remember looking at Michelangelo’s Pieta at the Vatican as a teenager and being profoundly affected. Mary’s pain was palpable, even to a naive teenager.  Simeon prophesized at the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple that a sword would pierce Mary’s soul, a prophesy that was fulfilled during Christ’s Passion.

Mary knew, when her babe was still a newborn, that this child would cause her enormous suffering. She knew that he would be taken from her much too soon. How did she bear it?

But Mary’s son suffered and died so that our children could live. And I don’t mean “live” as in “never suffer and die.” I mean “live” as in “have eternal life.” Each of our children (even the ones in the womb) have an eternal soul that lives forever. And even if our sunshine is taken away from us in this passing life, they are still there, just as the sun is still there during the night. It is just temporarily separated from us.  Thank you, Lord, for the dawn.

 

7 thoughts on “Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

  1. Elise Smith

    This post comes at an appropriate time for me. The day after Halloween my youngest of four who is 16 months old was acting out of the ordinary (extra grumpy and extra tired). We took her to the ER, which at the time I felt silly about because what toddler isn’t grumpy and tired, but something was off). Hours after showing up at the ER we had found the little one to have severe anemia. Her body had stopped making red blood cells. We were life flighted to Johns Hopkins where baby had three blood transfusions. Luckily they are pretty sure she had TEC, which is a randomly occurs in children ages 1-4, and she should fully recover (although she is very displeased with her weekly blood draws and monitoring). The moment when you realize your child is sick enough to require helicopter transport is rather frightening. Many, many God moments throughout the whole experience and lots of powerful prayer to help us through, but it sure does make you hold your babies closer.

    I feel you Momma, don’t take my sunshine away!

    1. sylvia.hobgood@gmail.com Post author

      Oh my goodness, Mama! What a harrowing experience! Thank God she is going to be okay. I’m telling you, they don’t tell you this stuff in the handbook! 😜 Prayers for your little one!

  2. Kim Johnston

    Exactly. I’ve had all these same thoughts – including the morbid line of the song, which makes sense now as a mom. I couldn’t imagine the despair of losing a child without having faith.

    1. sylvia.hobgood@gmail.com Post author

      Right?! I had the same thought! If I were an atheist, I wouldn’t even be able to have children. Too much depends on attempting to control the uncontrollable

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