Thursday, August 6, 2009

Minister of Music

(Warning: miscarriage discussed if that is a sensitive topic for anyone.)

The house is dark. The children are in bed. Theo is out of town. And yet, I am listening to him play guitar and sing praise songs on a CD he made five years ago. He is the minister of music in our house.

In November 2004, Theo went on his first foreign mission trip. I really wanted to go but had a small son with special needs and I was pregnant with our first biological child. It was best for me to stay home.

Theo and I knew it would be difficult for John to be without his Daddy for almost two weeks. John adored Theo and could barely wait for him to come home everyday after work. Every night Theo played piano or guitar and sang praise and worship songs after John was in bed.

At that time, John's bed was against the wall the piano was on. He would lay with his body pressed to that wall to feel the vibrations as the piano played. John always fell asleep quickly, before Theo was finished playing. At the end of the music, he would turn off the night light in John's room and say "Good night, my precious child," into the room as he went to our room.

Knowing how important this ritual was to a boy who had suffered so many attachment issues, he made some special provisions that I had no idea about. He wrote a letter to us each individually to open each day of his absence. Each letter revealed the location of the following day's letter. John's note always included some stickers too. With the first letter, I discovered Theo had created a CD of himself playing his nightly music, complete with the good night wish to his precious child.

Theo had no idea how important that CD and letters would become while he was in Romania. While he was on the plane, moving farther and farther from us, I found out that I was going to miscarry. We discussed his coming home but I insisted I needed him to follow through with what he was doing, though I missed him and wanted him terribly.

It was a time that allowed many, many people in my family and church family and other friends to care for me in ways they would not have done if Theo had been here. Love and support poured in. My mother-in-law and I developed a very special and tight bond as she cared for me in his absence. After the first few nights, I wanted to be back at my own house to mourn by myself and I found myself so greatly soothed by Theo's CD, as I'm sure John was.

The time passed in a haze and Theo was home for the hard part when I actually miscarried on Thanksgiving Day, a couple of days after he returned. Since then, I've miscarried twice more. Once on an anniversary of the first.

I've also had a healthy pregnancy that gave us Hannah. I'm now pregnant for the fifth time and find myself reminiscing as Theo is out of town. This baby has a heartbeat and has lived longer than any of the three we won't meet until heaven.

What a comfort to hear his voice, his words of praise for our God, the comfort of songs he's been singing for years. This time the CD soothes two children to sleep and also soothes a pregnant wife who has been changed and improved though she now bears more scars than when the music was originally recorded.

Thank You, Father for providing me with such a provider. Thank you, Theo for being my husband of 14 years and my love for 18. I really look forward to your live music ministry when you return. Good night, my precious husband. I miss you.


~p~ said...

Oh Holly. You have brought sweet tears to my eyes tonight. You are such a gifted writer. But beyond that, you are a remarkable woman. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given to get to know you again. I remember what a sweet, kind girl you were back in high school, and I can see now what an amazing woman you have grown to be. I feel so deeply for your losses, but am comforted by the knowledge that you are smart enough to know that those events made you stronger & more loving & more patient - all things that a Mommy should be. I'm so glad that you & Theo have each other. I can't imagine a more perfectly matched pair. God bless you Holly.

Carissa said...

Okay, I can't even think of what to say. Your story is amazing. Thank you for sharing it will all of us. :)

Amy said...

I'm catching up on my feed reader after a summer of trying to stay away a bit. Am so glad I read this post. It brought tears to my eyes.

Christy said...

Holly you are such a gifted writer. I remember the first time that I read your words, it was back when you and Theo had first married, and we're living in that townhouse in the New Center area. I was in awe. This post especially touched me because my own mother had four miscarriages before she conceived me. Thankyou for posting your journies.