Eternal Rainbows

Elijah Dearly Missed Deeply Mourned

In memory of Elijah Rainbow Fisher, a gorgeous little boy who went to be with Jesus last Saturday. The circumstances of his death are not yet completely known, but these things are sure: our hearts are breaking, our eyes are weeping, and this family’s pain has touched the world.

In the words of his loving mum, Lauren, just hours after Elijah was so tragically lost in the river:

“I was so blessed to meet Elijah Rainbow. 26.11.11 – 23.06.12. I love you, little one. Go with God.”

It is said that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but why look for a measly pot when you have a beautiful rainbow? Perhaps it is better to treasure the transient rainbow, than hope for something that might come later.

Sometimes there isn’t a later. There is just today.

Sometimes the days of a person’s life are many. Sometimes they are but a few.

But each day that is fully treasured will add more colour and vibrancy to the rainbow, causing that rainbow to shine even more brightly in the sky, so it can brighten the dreariest, dullest day. So it can bring hope to the rainy days. Hope of a bright sunny day.

Perhaps the pot at the rainbow’s end really does exist, filled not with gold, but with a million sparkling fragments of colour, falling from the sky as the rainbow dissipates into the sunlight, each particle containing a memory of a special moment, a shared experience, a joyful connection. A smile on the face, a twinkle in the eye, drool on the chin, giggles and gurgles, sighs of contentment, snuggles in a sling…..

Some of the coloured sparkles will scatter across the earth to touch the lives of those around the world who have loved and lost, who need some colour to brighten their dreary day.

What will be left of the rainbow will be memories of moments, a sphere of influence, and lives forever changed. The brighter that rainbow has shone, and the more vibrant its colours, the more deeply those memories will be embedded into who we are. They will be a treasure to hold onto, and they will continue to brighten the dreary, dull, rainy days.

To Elijah…. The coloured sparkles of your rainbow have touched us all. May your memory live on eternally in our lives, just as your spirit lives on eternally in the heavens.

To your beautiful family… In the middle of your pain, may you know the peace that passes all understanding.

elijah-fisher

A message from Elijah’s amazing mum, Lauren:

“Now I will learn how to comfort those who have lost a child, I will learn how to love those who have family in jail, I will learn how to be a single parent and I will learn how to love the people around me who are well-meaning but not comfortable with our lifestyle.

These are huge areas in which I will be stretched and growing in grace and love, and I embrace the opportunity to grow in Christlikeness, however painful it may seem at this time.

Know this: God is good. All the time. Of this, I am convinced.”

If you would like to get the real news, rather than the media’s version of it, you can follow Lauren at her Facebook page here.

You can donate funds to support the family here. They currently have no car, and no income.

FB Page has also been set up to keep people informed of opportunities to help and support the family. We would love to have you join us.

If Nine Hours Was All You Had…..

Nine hours.

The brief, WAY-too-short amount of time I got to spend with my second son before he died.

The springboard from which would come my determination to hold my children close. To make the most of each moment.

Those brief nine hours had a far-reaching effect that I don’t think I’ll ever be fully aware of (in both my own life, and that of others too, I’m sure). The impact of those few short hours showed up in all sorts of areas of my life, such as my absolute determination to breastfeed my third son, in spite of five bouts of mastitis in 8 weeks, intense pain & discomfort & details I won’t go into here! and numerous other challenges including my personal lactation consultant eventually suggesting that maybe I was one of the few that might not be able to feed my baby. Talk about a red flag to a bull! There is no way THAT was going to happen this time. I had fed my first son for only 1 week, after having all sorts of issues and a clinic nurse who handed me a packet of formula instead of the support and help I needed. And then I never got to feed my second son during his short nine hours, in spite of me saying I desperately wanted to. So NOTHING was going to stop me this time around. And it didn’t. 🙂

Later, at the end of a four year court case, those nine hours would be the impetus for us moving to live in a Christian Community to try to work through a few (well, maybe a lot of) faith issues we were struggling with. And this in turn affected our decision to live where we do today, which has affected who we spend our time with, who our closest friends are, and the friendships our children have formed.

Then in a roundabout way the impact of those 9 hours would also be part of the catalyst for bringing my children home from school; a decision that has enabled me to have many more moments with my children than I could possibly have had if they had been at school five days a week; a decision that has given me ….. time.

I still often get waylaid by the ordinary everyday pressures that are part of the stuff of life. Well, alright, I OFTEN get waylaid. But underneath it all is a current that sometimes becomes a raging force in my life. An undercurrent that reminds me of the frailty of human existence, the uncertainty of what tomorrow might hold, the undeniable reality that shit happens to us all at one time or another, and only we get to choose whether to allow it to become into a festering quagmire for us to wallow in, or a fertile meadow filled with unexpected wild flowers, bursting forth from the soil.

So you see, nine hours is more than just “nine hours”. One nine hour time period can have ripples that scatter far and wide. And in that nine hours there are many, many moments. Moments filled with choice and opportunity.

We can choose to hate, or to love.

To hold on to our pain and the desire that someone should “pay”, or to forgive.

To hold on to resentment, or let go and live freely.

To wallow in self pity, or take off that heavy sack and lift our face to the sun.

To look for the worst, or the best.

To be distracted by the stuff of life, or engage deeply with our loved ones.

To rush frantically, or to stop and smell the roses along the way.

To act mindlessly, or mindfully.

To disconnect, or connect.

To stress, or to breathe.

To seek power, or partnership.

To be boring, or to play.

To treat a child with harshness, or kindness.

To listen with one ear, or two.

To merely glance at our child, or to gaze with love into the window of their soul.

What I would give to have nine more hours with my second son, Cody! Even just one more moment where he opened his eyes and looked at me.

What about you? If you could only have nine more hours with your child, what would you do? How would you treat them? What would you most treasure?

What will you do with the next nine hours of your life?

In Honour of a Mother’s Heart

During my childhood, motherhood is what I dreamed of doing. Of being. I always knew I would be a mum, and that it would be the most important thing I would ever do. And it has definitely been true for me. My role as a mother brings me intense fulfilment. I am often awestruck when I consider the privilege that is mine, and that of many others, of being able to spend these formative years with such incredible human beings. It is something that I will always treasure.

mollymum_unshackled

One of my children asked me this week “what I would like” for Mother’s Day and I wasn’t sure how to answer, because I honestly don’t  have expectations of receiving anything in particular, and I don’t want my children to feel like they “should” get me something. I used to have expectations of days like this, and after a few disappointments I learned that if something doesn’t come from the heart of the giver, then it isn’t really a gift. Basically, I just want to feel loved and appreciated (although having someone do the dishes, laundry and dinner would be nice too. :))

It’s funny how things change over the years. When my children were young, my need to feel loved and appreciated was just the same. But in practical terms my desires mostly centred around the theme of solitude: a nice loooong sleep, an opportunity to read without interruption, to use the bathroom without being needed elsewhere. Now I look back and I just want to hug those children to me. To say, I no longer crave solitude, I want to be with you. Because those years, while seeming long at the time, are truly fleeting, gone like a whisper of the wind.

Now, with my children aged 9, 12, 15 and 18, my Mother’s Day desire is for togetherness, not solitude. I simply want to be like a mother hen, gathering them all together. I crave connection, and FAMILY time. Not “me time”.

Some mothers have so much “me time” they don’t know what to do with it. And they would trade it in a second for one more moment with their c hild. Today I want to honour those Mothers whose children were born too early. Or died too young. Those mothers that have no one to make them an “I love you card”. Oh, I feel your pain. Your heart wrenching grief. I will never, ever, ever forget the first mother’s day I endured after my baby died. Oh how I wish all mothers everywhere could hold their child in their arms today, to hear those precious words, “I love you Mum”. I know it’s not the same, but I’ll say it anyway. You are loved.

And then there are the women with a mother’s heart, but no no children of their own. Some will still be struggling to come to terms with their situation, and will feel deep grief today. Others will welcome children into their hearts, either formally through fostering or adopting, or informally through simply loving and celebrating the children in their lives. Some will even travel to distant lands to care for orphans and street children. Many will never receive thanks for the incredible role that they play in the lives of the children they love and nurture. Well today I recognise you. I honour you. And I say thank you.

And what of those whose husbands have died too young. Who don’t have anyone to help their wee ones prepare “breakfast in bed” for mum today. Who will perhaps spend the whole day just wishing their children would remember what day it is. I will say it for them: You are their life and their hope. You are the one that will stand beside them and hold their hands and hearts as they walk their life’s journey. You may not have your husband to walk the road with you, but those children will survive and thrive because of you, their mum.

And lastly, I want to honour those who have had to say goodbye too soon to their own mother. Those who have to go through another day of constant reminders of their loss. Who today will be feeling the pain that comes from having loved deeply. In the midst of your pain, may you know peace and comfort. And may the “extra mothers” around you bring you love and companionship.

I haven’t yet experienced that loss, although I know all too well that life and death are separated by only one breath, so I will finish by honouring my own amazing, wonderful, inspiring mother. I have so much within me that I know has come from her, and I will be forever thankful.

So today, if you’re a mother, thank you for the love you are pouring into the next generation of human beings. Nurture yourself, so you can keep nurturing them.

If you’ve ever had a mother (that probably means you), let her know how much you love and appreciate her. If she’s no longer with you, find another grandmother or mother to share some love with. Or say thank you to someone who’s loved you like a mother. Or just take a moment to remember and reflect on what your mum meant to you.

If you know someone who isn’t yet a mother, but you’re pretty certain would love to be, find some way of helping them feel special and loved today.

If you know someone who was a mother for the briefest of moments, remember that they are still a mum, and they are probably having a really really hard time today.

Let’s all celebrate the heart of a mother, and the nurture, warmth and love that she brings to our world.