4 October 2011
We are the baby-boomers who revel in the joy of welcoming grandchildren and who, at the same time, experience the challenges and sadness of looking after and farewelling elderly parents.
Our son and daughter-in-law, thrilled and excited at the prospect of a second baby, show us the scan of their wee one, taken at 12 weeks of pregnancy. On our lap-top screen we gaze at tiny hands and feet, a little button nose, a perfectly beating heart, and we marvel at the miracle of this tiny grandchild growing just centimetres out of reach.
In another country, mere weeks earlier we have had the privilege of stroking the beautiful face of a much loved mother as she drew her last breaths.
She slipped peacefully from our world surrounded by those she loved. Being able to nurse her at home for her last month of earthly life was sheer blessing for all involved.
Both experiences are milestones on life’s journey, both blest beyond measure.
As I reflect I recall the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, ‘each one of them is Jesus in disguise’.
In the unborn baby, the gravely ill parent and at every stage in between, we encounter humanity into which God has dribbled a little divine essence. Human life at every stage is precious, human life at every stage is arrestingly, starkly miraculous.
May we never take it for granted.
All things are full of God – a dying mother’s son’s view of life
Where is hope in the face of serious illness
What’s really behind pro-euthanasia calls