Through the years, when news of Timmy was less than hopeful, I would often call to mind the image of him as a young, laughing baby of three. There was a picture of him and I and my other brother at the beach. I am struggling to maintain my "cheese" while trying to keep him corraled for the picture. His face is lit with a smile that melted hearts.
Last month, after battling lung and heart disease, my brother Timmy, my mother's wild Irish rover, died of a massive coronary at the age of 51. At his funeral, several people mentioned that he looked at peace. I had to agree. The agony of a life battling drugs, disease, and poverty had been erased from his face. Instead, I saw a glimmer of the laughing baby boy. It brought me great peace.
The day after Timmy's funeral a new life entered our family. The second of my granddaughters was born by emergency c-section. Chloe Jayne was a bit over 7 pounds with a shock of dark hair (Shocking for me, most of my babies had very little hair.) Her big, almond eyes were open to the world almost immediately, as if to say, "Hey World, I'm here...what up?"
Holding her an hour after her birth took me back to the day I held her mother close to my heart for the first time. How magic! As Chloe looked up at me, I felt our lives entwine around each other. How blessed I am.
From the shock of Timmy's death to the joy of Chloe's birth, I had little time to be introspective. Now, however, I have had time to sit quiet and absorb the happenings of the past several weeks. One door closes, another opens, keeps playing through my thoughts. Timmy was born into a new life through death and Chloe was born into a new life through birth. Tears of sadness where turned to tears of joy in a short 24 hours. The heaviness of my heart was lightened as if a hand had reached out and lifted out the pain.
The Circle of Life...birth, death, birth...it goes round and round. If we are quiet and listen carefully, we can hear the doors open and close in the Halls of Eternity.