Thursday, 13 January 2011

13 is just a number

Andrew’s mum has not been very well.  She has a virus which has wiped her out and it is compounded by the fact she is grieving.  No one should have to lose a child; it’s the wrong way round.   I don’t even want to begin to imagine how that must feel.

The usual distractions of reading and television hold no appeal at the moment so she is spending her days thinking.

The other day she thought of Andrew’s life from the moment he was born until the day he died. 

Sometimes I wish I had the luxury of time to just think about “some” of it.  My legacy is a long list of things to do and I am kept very busy.

She also recalled the last time we were ALL together as a family – Boxing Day 2009. 

There were thirteen gathered round the table as she sat with her sons, their wives, her grandchildren and my sister-in-law’s mother. 

Superstition dictates that if thirteen sit at a table one of that number will be dead before the following Christmas – apparently!

Now I’m not a great believer in superstition.  Although I was brought up not to put new shoes on the table and I can clearly remember my rituals before I took my O level exams.  

I would wear a special necklace and have to listen to a certain song before I left the house. There were in fact seven things I made up that I HAD to do each morning and I don’t think any one of them improved my grades.  More time and effort revising would have been a far better use of my time than devising a complicated superstitious strategy!

Andrew’s mum isn’t particularly superstitious ordinarily but this “unlucky thirteen” notion has struck a chord with her.

Andrew died on the 13th.

Today is the 13th – so that makes today the two month anniversary.

However there is something in this avoiding the number thirteen business.  As the due date approached for the arrival of our youngest son we were told he was in the breech position.  Not an ideal way to give birth. 

The consultant tried to turn the baby round by manipulating my stomach.  It was slightly uncomfortable but not really painful.  It was also not successful.  Baby stayed put and the consultant said as it was very unlikely for a baby of that size to turn naturally.

I was booked in for a planned caesarean section.   

“We can book you in for the Monday or Tuesday next week.   Any preference?  Monday is the 13th.”

Andrew and I looked at each other and decided our child should be born on Tuesday the fourteenth!  WHY???  What difference would it have made?  Would he be doomed to a tragic future is he arrived on the thirteenth?

Actually in this case I’m glad we waited one more day – our amazing second child turned round in the womb on the 13th December 1999 therby saving his mother from an operation that she really didn’t want to have.   I don’t think I have ever prayed as earnestly as I did that day.

Andrew always said that was our miracle.  He truly believed God had intervened and our son was born safely and naturally a week later.  Eight pounds and ten ounces, delivered by the same midwife who had delivered our first son three years earlier.

Coincidentally my mum’s birthday is on the thirteenth.  She was even born on FRIDAY the thirteenth how inauspicious it that?

At the end of the day THIRTEEN is just a number!

But here’s another thought….

On her blog, my friend Jude, wrote a list of her favourite Bible verses.   Desert Island Texts she called them.  She asked if anyone else wanted to write their list too and I responded.

One of my texts was 1 Corinthians 13 verse 13

It’s a famous passage read quite often at weddings as it speaks of love.  I chose something else for our wedding precisely because this one is so popular!

“these three remain: faith, hope and love: 
and the greatest of these is LOVE.”

Because of my FAITH I have no need for superstitious nonsense.  My God will supply all of my needs including the occasional miracle!

My HOPE is that one day Andrew and I will be reunited and this time spent apart will seem like the blink of an eye in the whole of eternity.

And LOVE is what compels us to reach out to others and show that we truly care.

It only takes one character change to turn 13 into <3

And <3 is a love heart, sent today from me to you!


1 comment:

  1. As you say Sarah it is only a number! Please send all my love to E and tell her we are holding her in our prayers.