owls perched in the corner of his room, watching.
it had been decorated with browns and creams, with quilts hand-sewn, with pillows placed just so. it waited for him.
but he … he of the eyes piercing blue, of the Buzza family nose, of the sleeping arms outstretched in touchdown pose — he stayed put. stayed put eleven days past due, like all good things you just keep waiting for. his mama, that womb – it was home.
he was happy there,
hiccuping her awake,
there, in the curve of belly that took up the bed’s middle, touching both mama and papa and finally sleeping.
from inside he was fed, of her own body. he was carried and rocked in the rhythm of her movements …
and on that night in the 8th month, when God whispered to her what no doctor had then known, he had been prayed over … he had heard them, perhaps, as they knelt there, speaking truth of Scripture through her skin. they had asked, that night, of their God, to meet him, please.
there were days and nights more and then: there was light. after labor long and doctor’s knife, this beautiful firstborn son was pulled into light.
and he cried – cried until his crying mingled with theirs, until he was pulled close into arms tender, into breast, into sound of beating heart, where he rested. his mama, his papa — those arms, ever present — he was home.
then: dark. in the quiet of the house where the owls perched, in the middle of his first night home, in the space where the babe snuggled in between, touching both mama and papa – the world went dark in the silence of no breath.
and his daddy, hero’s cape unseen, he put the breath there – again and again, while lights flashed toward them and wheels whirred toward hospital and the world blurred by in second-hand strokes that felt like hours. until there, in the tiny white room, with a nod of head the nurse pronounced him: gone.
and when they finally went back there … to the house where the owls had once perched, to the faucet that had once poured warm of first bath, to the chair that had once rocked to rhythm of lullaby, they found it untenable.
the room where the breath had gone silent was empty of oxygen … to breathe deep of life again, they would have to leave.
phone calls and emails sounded an S.O.S. and the number of people who pushed up sleeves and gave of sweat and friendship was astounding. this mama and papa, they learned, in those early days, a new gratitude for those who walked life with them.
and in the end, when the boxes were packed and the trucks were loaded and the house was left standing there, it glared as metaphor a spiritual truth that so easily eludes us: it was not home.
and this is one of many lessons that have been learned from this boy – the beautiful one who had been nurtured and loved so well, but who had finally discovered a peace far beyond warmth of womb and a comfort far greater than crook of arm.
ask Amy and Ben where their son is, and they will tell you, unblinking: he is home.
and, though grief storms hard some days, they find shelter in knowing that they were permitted a visit from him on his journey there … these brave, brave parents who stand, not in bitterness about the days that they lost, but in gratitude to God for the days that they were given.
and they trust that the God who healed their son in his eighth month, who brought him whole into the world so that they might be forever changed in their brief time with him, will also provide healing for them in the days to come.
they breathe deep on hard days and pray truth over each other. they find joy in the most unlikely of circumstances. they miss Aiden, but they are determined to glorify the God who gave the gift of their son by honoring him with a life well-lived …
until the day they can meet him — again.
Banebow is blessed to have met the Tennants and was able to provide volunteers to help them move from their house following sweet Aiden’s homegoing. We ask for your prayers for the Tennant family as they continue to seek God’s face in the midst of their grieving.