Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How preemie moms are chosen

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen(Adapted from Erma Bombeck)Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting hisinstruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As heobserves, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giantledger. "Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. MarjorieForrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Carrie Rutledge, twins.Patron Saint ... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity." Finally,he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy.""Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother whoknows no laughter? That would be cruel.""But does she have the patience?" asks the angel."I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a seaof self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off,she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self andindependence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the childI'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it livein her world, and that's not going to be easy.""But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She hasjust the right amount of selfishness."The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with achild less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to beenvied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will neverconsider a step ordinary. When her child says 'mama' for the firsttime, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit herto see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – andallow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be ather side every minute of every day of her life because she is doingmy work as surely as she is here by my side.""And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised inthe air. God smiles."A mirror will suffice."

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